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For a young Black woman, searching for answers in a city ruled by the KKK could mean real danger. Still, with her literary hero Sherlock Holmes as inspiration, Annalee launches her hunt for clues, attracting two surprising allies: Eddie, a relentless young white boy searching for his missing father, and Jack, a handsome Black pastor who loves nightclub dancing and rides in his sporty car, awakening Annalee's heart to the surprising highs and lows of romantic love.
With their help, Annalee follows clues that land her among Denver's powerful elite. But when their sleuthing unravels sinister motives and deep secrets, Annalee confronts the dangerous truths and beliefs that could make her a victim too.
|Title: All That Is Secret, Softcover, #1|
By: Patricia Raybon
Number of Pages: 384
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2021
|Weight: 12 ounces|
Series: Annalee Spain Mystery
Stock No: WW45838X
Author: Patricia Raybon
Located in: Colorado, U.S.A.
Submitted: October 11, 2021
Tell us a little about yourself. Thanks for your questions. At this point, after working five long decades - first as a journalist, then a teacher of journalists, then as a nonfiction author - I'm just one of countless working writers who gets up every morning, grateful for assignments that let me reflect on the two things I love most: my faith in Christ and the genre of fictional mysteries. So, I'm a regular writer for two ministries - DaySpring's (in)courage community and Our Daily Bread. Then, last year, I completed and placed a mystery novel, All That Is Secret, with Tyndale House. I'm not trying to achieve any lofty professional notoriety. I just love writing for people who love to read. That's my job. Gratefully, it has never felt like work.
What was your motivation behind this project? I love "clergy" mysteries - Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton, Grantchester, and the like. My hope was to introduce a faith character in Colorado, my home state - a beautiful sunshine place, but during one of its darkest times, the 1920s. Good fiction needs a threat element. So, that's how I used the KKK in my mystery, as background tension for my lead character's sleuthing. The threat was real in Colorado, however. So, I wanted readers to encounter history that they might not have known, but that also heightened narrative tension. I'm hoping it worked.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? To open their hearts wider to people who are different from themselves. Indeed, I hope readers will treasure and honor all others, treating all people with more compassion and understanding. In a mystery, since someone's life usually gets taken, the genre invites a brave look at all things in life that suffer and dies, especially spiritually. What, indeed, can we learn about life by looking hard at dying? For a theological detective, thatâs a key question. As for historical fiction, hindsight reminds us that winners write history. But whatâs the rest of the story? Historical fiction allows a second look. Writing my novel helped me get in touch with both sides of an historical time and place. I pray that's true, too, for readers of "All That Is Secret."
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? I learned that, with God's help, I could find the courage to work in a new format--historical fiction--and, then, write and complete a debut novel and stand on the large stage that being a novelist requires. I'm an introvert with a soft voice and a low-conflict personality. So, to ask myself to be a novelist is asking a lot. Not everyone will like a novel, so I have to take the slings and arrows that come with that, even though personal attacks hurt horribly. This journey means I must depend more on God's strength to carry me over every mountain and move the ones I can't get around. So, by writing a novel and sending it out into the world, I'm growing closer to the Lord, depending more on His goodness and grace. Without Him, I can do nothing. This novel-writing journey keeps proving that time after time.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? Howard Thurman takes the top spot. He was the theologian who was Dr. Martin Luther King's spiritual mentor. A brilliant scholar who grew up near the beach in ,Daytona, he was a naturalist - a Black version of Henry David Thoreau - and also a pacifist who, more than anyone, inspired Dr. King's passion for nonviolence. Two of Thurman's books are my absolute favorites: his autobiography, "With Head and Heart," and his reflection on Jesus' relationship to the poor and oppressed, "Jesus and the Disinherited." In my humble view, it's one of the best books ever written on faith and race. It's stunning. As for the craft of writing, I'm inspired most by film doctor Robert McKee, whose treatise on cinematic writing is called "Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting," and John Truby, another film doctor, who's the author of "The Anatomy of Story." Third is fiction editor Sol Stein, author of "Stein on Writing" and "How to Grow a Novel." Brilliant, all of them.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: Thank you. Book 2 of the Annalee Spain Mysteries is due to release in Fall 2022. With God's help, I completed Book 2 this summer. I'm working on revisions now. Then, with my wonderful editing team at Tyndale House, we'll start on the developmental and line edits. Many readers are saying they "can't wait" for Book 2. I'll be honored and delighted to introduce it!
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