Friday, March 3, 2017

Interview with ANN H. GABHART and Giveaway!

Welcome to Suspense Sisters, Ann H. Gabhart!
Readers, Ann is giving away a copy of her latest mystery, Murder is No Accident,  to one lucky reader who leaves a comment for her. Be sure to your contact info for a chance to win. US or Canada only. 

A. H. Gabhart is the author of Murder at the Courthouse and Murder Comes by Mail. As Ann H. Gabhart, she is the bestselling author of many novels, including Angel SisterSmall Town Girl, and Love Comes Home, and several popular Shaker novels such as The OutsiderThe Believer, and The Innocent. Ann grew up in a small rural town in Kentucky much like Hidden Springs. She and her husband still live on a farm near that same Kentucky town. Learn more at www.annhgabhart.com.

Murder is No Accident: One body may be an accident. A second body means murder. The old Chandler place should be empty. The magnificent Victorian mansion is for sale, even if its aged owner Miss Fonda doesn’t realize it. But when real estate agent Geraldine Harper enters the house on a sunny October day, she’s not alone. Minutes later, there is a body at the bottom of the steep steps leading to the tower room. Deputy sheriff Michael Keane is called in. At first blush, it looks like the death was a tragic accident, but clues point to foul play. And when a second body is discovered, the race is on to find the culprit . . . before someone else dies.



SS: If you had to describe yourself in one sentence, what would you say?  

AG: I’d say it was impossible, but then writers try the impossible all the time. So here goes.  
I am a child of God blessed beyond measure with a loving family and a great life out here on my farm where I get to make up stories.

SS: What do you do when you’re not writing? Any interesting hobbies?

AG: I’d like to say spelunking or hang gliding, but alas my hobbies are very tame. I experience those more exciting adventures by reading about them. I do enjoy hiking here on my farm with my dog, Oscar and have even more fun when my grandkids are visiting and we go exploring. I’m also a Kentucky basketball fan who bleeds blue.

SS: What was your favorite book as a teen or child?

AG: Black Beauty was one of the first books I remember reading. I’m sure I cried buckets. As a young teen I read Gone with the Wind over a Thanksgiving weekend.

SS: Tell us three things about yourself that might surprise your readers.

AG~I got married when I was seventeen and had two children by the time I was nineteen.
~When I was in the sixth grade I wrote an essay as a 4-Her about raising chickens and I won 100 baby chicks. That was my first profit from writing.
~I usually lead the singing at my church even though I’m not much of a singer, but at my small church, I’m often the only one willing to give it a try. My husband does sing in a gospel quartet, but he says it’s hard to lead singing with a bass voice.

SS: What genre did you start out writing? Have you changed course? Why or why not?

AG: Way back when I wrote my first novel in the early 1970s, I tried a gothic romance. You know those books where the heroine goes out on a dark and stormy night to get into all sorts of trouble. That book got me an agent but never sold. Turned out that gothics were going out of style. My agent suggested I try a historical romance for my next book, and so I started reading Kentucky history and came up with some ideas. My first two historical romances were published by Warner Books in 1978 and 1980. Then after my next efforts were rejected as “too clean” I started writing books for middle readers and young adults. For various reasons, my market dried up there after I published eleven books with Avon, Silhouette, and other publishers. So once again, after several years of rejections, I changed course and wrote a book about a preacher and his daughter (Scent of Lilacs). That book landed me in the Christian fiction market and it was a perfect fit for the stories I like to write.

One of the great things for me is that I’ve been able to write in several genres for the Christian market. I started out with those family stories in my Heart of Hollyhill stories. Then I wrote several historical books set in my fictional Shaker village. I stayed historical but stepped away from the Shaker village to write about 1855 Louisville (Words Spoken True) and then about a family in the Great Depression and World War II (Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, Love Comes Home). A couple of years ago, I decided to give mysteries a try and have enjoyed my Hidden Springs Mystery series. So yes, I’ve changed course often. Why? Sometimes because I was hoping to hit a market need and sometimes just because that was the story I wanted to write.

SS: What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

AG: Years ago, after writing my second novel, my agent then rejected it with the comment that I had created cardboard characters. That was a very low day for me, and it was probably a good thing I was already well into writing novel three or I might have been too discouraged to start again. But that third novel eventually turned out to be my first published novel. 

Then the best compliment came from my current agent years later. I don’t know what we were talking about, but she said, “But Ann, you’re a storyteller.” And I thought, yes, that’s what I always wanted to be. A storyteller or story writer, anyway.

SS: Any other genres you’d like to try? If yes, what and why?

AG: Well, let’s see. I’ve written historical novels for the general market and for the Christian market. I’ve written family saga type series. I’ve written coming of age stories for young readers, the most recent one (Freak of the Week) published last year about a middle school kid who deals with some bullying issues. I’ve even written a picture book and one nonfiction book (Angels at the Crossroads) to share a friend’s amazing testimony story. And now I’ve written three cozy mysteries. Not sure what’s left, but if I think of something, I may give it a try. I do have a half written fantasy teen novel in my computer files. Who knows? Maybe someday I’ll finish it.

SS: If you could go back in time and do something differently at the start of your career, what would it be?

AG: I might have believed in myself a little more and not been so shy about saying I was a writer. Then perhaps I would have been better at carving out time to set aside for writing instead of just grabbing whatever moments I could between taking care of kids and helping out on the farm. But raising those kids was pretty important too.

SS: What is the most important piece of advice you’d like to give to unpublished authors?

AG: I’d want them to think about everything they write, whether it sells or whether it ever finds an audience, is practice. That’s how you get better. By writing. And by reading too. You need to soak yourself in words and let your creative inner self-absorb it all.

Praise for the Hidden Springs Mysteries

“An intimate town where everyone knows everyone and a secret is hard to keep.”Publishers Weekly

“[A] page-turning mystery chock-full of plot twists.”Booklist

“A fascinating puzzle.”RT Book Reviews

“Delightfully fun.”CBA Retailers + Resources

 Readers, leave a comment for Ann for a chance to win a copy of Murder Is No Accident. USA and Canada only.  

57 comments:

  1. Hi Ann, I am always thrilled to see you getting the "press" that I know you deserve. I have been your fan since meeting you at Fleming County Public Library and I'm glad that you are now writing cozy mysteries. Good luck with Murder Is No Accident.
    Blessings!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks so much, Connie. It's always fun to see your comments. Maybe I can come back up your way and visit again someday. I'm glad you've enjoyed the Hidden Springs mysteries.

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  2. I can't wait to read this book, a new Author for me. Thanks, Kristie tklovenestataoldotcom

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    1. Well, Kristie, it's always fun to meet a new reader. Hope if you get a chance to visit Hidden Springs for a mystery that you'll enjoy the story. Actually, right now, if you like to read e-books, you can get the first Hidden Springs Mystery, Murder at the Courthouse free and Murder Comes by mail at a reduced e-book price.

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  3. I have read some of Ann's Shaker books but none of her mysteries. I would love to give one a try. carola245@hotmail.com

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    1. Thank you so much for reading some of my books, Carol. I do appreciate that and I hope if you get a chance to read one of the mysteries you will enjoy those too. As I told Kristie, you can get the first two mysteries free or at a very reduced price as e-books right now if you like to e-read.

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  4. Beverly Duell-MooreMarch 3, 2017 at 12:32 PM

    I loved "Angel Sister"! I can't wait to read "Murder at the Courthouse" and "Murder Comes By Mail"! The new one sounds just as great! Great interview! duellonlysis(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. I loved writing Angel Sister, Beverly, and it always makes me smile to know that a reader loved my Rosey Corner story. I got to stay with those characters for two more books too, Small Town Girl and Love Comes Home. Check out the great e-book deals on Murder at the Courthouse and Murder Comes by Mail if you like to e-read.

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    2. Beverly Duell-MooreMarch 4, 2017 at 8:04 AM

      Thank you. I'll check into getting those other Rosey Corner books! I had n idea that there were more that were written there.

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  5. I would love to win a copy of this book! Nookwormwriter at live dot com

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    1. Always fun to have someone anxious to win a copy of one of my books. Good luck, Carolyn.

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  6. I love the sound of this book, a Victorian mansion and two murders has to be a great read. "Murder is No Accident" is being added to my TBR list.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. That's great to know, Dianne. I liked making the old Victorian mansion practically a character in the book. I took my inspiration for the house from a house here in my hometown that I've always admired.

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  7. I love the sound of this book, a Victorian mansion and two murders has to be a great read. "Murder is No Accident" is being added to my TBR list.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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  8. I love that you show your creativity Ann by writing different genres. Glad to hear you are a Wildcats fan too. Would love to read your new book.
    marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com
    Maryann

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    1. Go Big Blue, right, Maryann? :) Hope you'll get a chance to read one of my Hidden Springs books.

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  9. Ann, I really enjoy reading your books and your facebook page adventures. You sound like a person everyone would love to have for a friend and neighbor! lclee59(at)centurylink(dot)net

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    1. You're so nice, Connie. I'm not sure I make a very good neighbor. I just hide out for long stretches of time and play with my imaginary friends as I try to write new stories. But I'm glad you enjoy reading those stories and joining the fun on Facebook.

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  10. Ann, I am excited to read your new book. The other two in the series were extremely good. What made you decide to be a writer? How long have you been writing?
    Lhatton816@gmail.com

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    1. I'm not sure I ever made a conscious decision of "I want to be a writer." I just started writing when I was around ten and I've been at it ever since. That's a lot of years, a lot of words, many stories. Murder Is No Accident is my 32nd published book. Plus I've written some that never got out there in front of readers. I've been blessed to do what I want, tell stories in print, for most of my life. Some down times, but some up times too. Thanks for asking, Lisa, and I hope you will like going back to Hidden Springs for a new mystery.

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  11. I'm looking forward to reading this new book. Loved reading about how you became a writer, Ann. I enjoy all your facebook posts and the adventures with Oscar and the grandkids.

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    1. It's always fun to see your comments, Ola. Thanks for checking out my post here. And that Oscar has a lot of FB fans. I'll have to figure out some new fun thing for him to do. Maybe a video. He's very photogenic. LOL.

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  12. Love a great mystery. Great blog and I love Ann's books.
    Blessings
    Diana
    joeym11(at)frontier(dot)com

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    1. Thanks, Diana. I love a great mystery too. I did find writing what I hope is a good mystery a challenging task.

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  13. Thank you for the giveaway forgiven4gotten at g mail dot com

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    1. You're so welcome, Ann. I love giving things away. I'm having a great giveaway to celebrate the release of Murder Is No Accident on my website, but today is the last day to enter. If you want to check it out, look at www.annhgabhart.com/events.

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  14. I am so glad you started writing mystery stories, I really enjoy them! Please enter me for your giveaway!

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    1. tickmenot, I've enjoyed my Hidden Springs mysteries. I've met some new readers and that's been fun. I often threaded a bit of mystery through some of my other stories, but none were labeled mysteries until I decided to go to Hidden Springs for some stories. Good luck in the drawing.

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  15. Very interesting interview, Ann. Thank you for sharing. This looks like a great book.
    susanmsj at msn dot com

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the interview, Susan. Mary asked great questions. I hope if you get a chance to read any of the Hidden Springs mysteries, you will be glad you did.

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  16. This looks soooo good! I love mysteries like this!
    Abigail Mitchell
    richmond.abigail@gmail.com

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    1. Thanks so much, Abigail. I like reading mysteries too, but then, I like reading almost any kind of book. Hope you'll enjoy visiting Hidden Springs, my little town where murder sometimes happens, if you get a chance to read one of the books.

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  17. Sounds like a good read and right in line with some of the quirky TV mysteries on Hallmark I like to watch. I don't believe I have read your books yet so look forward to reading from a new author.
    dawn dot nicol at gmail dot com

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    1. I wouldn't mind my Hidden Springs mysteries being a quirky TV show on Hallmark. :) I hope if you do grab one of my books (and if you e-read you can get Murder at the Courthouse free for a limited time), I hope you like the story. So fun to meet new readers here.

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  18. Hi, Ann. It's Paula. How is your finger today! Guess it doesn't stop you from answering.
    Everybody should check out all your books and your website and blogs . You are great fun! Love your Facebook page , too! Sounds like there is a lot of interest for your new mystery. I'm telling my friends about you! Blessings

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    1. Hi, Paula. Thanks for asking. It doesn't hurt too much unless I bump it. But the splint is very awkward. If any of the rest of you are wondering, I fell down last Wednesday and broke the ring finger on my left hand. Thank goodness I can still type. Not as fast, but I get it done. If you want to know more, you can read the whole sad story on my blog at this link. http://www.annhgabhart.com/2017/03/01/typing-with-nine-fingers/ Some people have found the telling amusing. It is good to laugh about what happens to us if we can. Right? I do appreciate your kind words, Paula, and that you're telling your friends about my books. Love that. Thanks so much.

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  19. Hi, I have been a fan of your books for awhile now and I love this new series. Cant wait to see what you come up with next.

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    1. Thanks so much for reading my books, Carol. I really appreciate you telling me that you've enjoyed my stories. And with me, you never can tell what I'll write next although I haven't put my characters in a flying saucer yet. LOL

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  20. I love cozy mysteries and Murder is no accident sounds great! Thank you

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    1. Great, Linda. I hope you'll head to Hidden Springs and give my cozies a try. The stories break some of the usual cozy rules, but they do have cats on the covers. That helps make them cozies. :)

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  21. Ann, I love mysteries and yours is ones I'd like to explore. I've read one or two of your books, not mysteries.
    I love gospel quartets and bass is so fun to listen to. And my own mother married at 18 and had me at 19. I guess we kinda grew up together....

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    1. In case I'm lucky enough to win: tumcsec(at)gmail(dot)com

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    2. I hope you will give one of my mysteries a try, Gail. I'd love to have a new mystery reader. Sometimes young mothers find a way to manage all the challenges. While my parents weren't excited about me marrying so young, they were always supportive and that helped a lot. And we remembered to depend on the Lord. My husband has been singing with quartets for over 40 years. He's with the Patriot Qt now. If you want to sample their music you can check it out at www.patriotquartet.com. Good luck in the drawing.

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  22. I enjoy mysteries and want to read yours! I will look for it! Thank you your new to me.

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  23. My husband and I enjoyed the first two books in this series and very much look forward to the third one. Thank you for the fun interview and giveaway chance to win "Murder is No Accident"!

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. What fun, Trixi, that you and your husband both read my Hidden Springs mysteries. You could have your own two person book club. Thanks for checking out my interview here on Suspense Sisters.

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  24. I would love to read this book. I hsve read the others and fell in love with your writing.
    Thanks for the giveaway.
    jhdwayne@peoplepc.com

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    1. That's a great thing to hear from you, Deana. Thanks so much. Hope you'll give some of my other books a try too. Only the mysteries have the author name A.H. Gabhart. All the others are Ann H.

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  25. I love this series, would be happy to win it
    marcus802001(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Thanks so much, Mark. So glad you've enjoyed visiting Hidden Springs where mystery can come to call. Good luck in the drawing.

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  26. I just found you and the Victorian mansion and murders sound intriguing. I want to read it! Donamaekutska7@gmail.com

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    1. I liked making that Victorian mansion important in the story, Donamae. I appreciate you checking out my Facebook and my books too.

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  27. I just found you and the Victorian mansion and murders sound intriguing. I want to read it! Donamaekutska7@gmail.com

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  28. I've read several of Ann's books and have really enjoyed them, including the second in this mystery series. I think it's great that she writes in so many different genres.

    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. Hi, Pam. Thanks so much for reading my books and being willing to switch between genres with me. It's sort of fun to switch things around. If I was a younger writer the publishers might push me more to stay in a certain genre, but I decided a few years ago that I was old enough to write whatever I wanted. And then let the chips fall where they may.

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  29. Enjoyed the interview. The mysteries sound intriguing and would love to read them. Another new to me mystery author -- oh my!

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    1. I hope you'll be glad you found a new mystery author after you give some of my stories a try, Beth. Thanks so much for reading the interview.

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