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Interview with Julianna Deering

She’s DeAnna by birth, Julianna by choice, and a Texan through-and-through, unless you count against her the one sport she loves to watch. She has a fondness for herring—the red ones. To solve the mystery of this week’s featured author, you’ll have to keep reading. DeAnna Dodson, aka Julianna Deering, is more than meets the eye!

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Okay, let's first talk about your nom de plume! Should we call you DeAnna or Julianna (or maybe you answer to both!)? What factored in to your decision to write your English mysteries under a pseudonym and how did you arrive at the right name?
I do answer to both, though I suppose if you’re interviewing the author of The Drew Farthering Mysteries, you might as well call me Julianna. My agent and my publisher suggested that I use a pen name just to let readers know that these books would be different from the contemporary cozies and the medieval romances I wrote before. I chose it because my dad’s name is Julian, and his mother had always wanted me to be named Juliana. Since my name is DeAnna Julie Dodson, I thought Julianna would be a good blend of my middle and first names as well as a remembrance of my grandmama.

Name one thing you love about being a mystery writer and one thing about it you'd gladly give up.
I love red herrings! I love to plant little subtle clues that make readers think they’ve got it all figured out way ahead of time when something else entirely is going on.

What I could do without is marketing. Promoting myself is extremely hard for me, and I would always rather be actually writing. Of course, if you don’t do any marketing, then nobody even knows you have a book, so it’s definitely a necessary evil.

Do you know how the mystery is going to be solved before you start writing?

Never. I always know what the mystery is and who the culprit is, but how my detective will figure that out remains to be seen.

Who are some of your favorite fictional detectives? And which authors do you read for inspiration?
I love the classic mysteries, Christie, Allingham, Sayers and so on, so it follows that those would be my favorite of the detectives. Poirot is my favorite. Campion is a very close second. Both of these, of course, were deliciously portrayed on the BBC in grand style by David Suchet and Peter Davison, respectively. I much enjoy Miss Marple, too, and the portrayal of her by Joan Hickson. She’s the only one who filmed all twelve of the novels and, decades ago, was even chosen by Dame Agatha herself to portray Miss Marple once she got old enough for the part. There have been many other Miss Marples in the past few years, but I haven’t really enjoyed the way they have altered the storylines in those. I’m not sure what Christie would have thought of them. I also enjoy Lord Peter Wimsey and would like to see a really good series of those books done.

Those are the books I read for mystery inspiration, but I enjoy reading others in order to soak up English dialog and settings and characters. I particularly love Jeeves and Wooster for the witty way the stories are written. Again the BBC brought this series to delightful life with Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie in the title roles. Another favorite of mine is Georgette Heyer, mostly for her Regency romances. They are funny and light and impeccably researched. Obviously, I’m an Anglophile.

What do you think draws readers to the mystery genre?

I don’t know if this answers for all readers, but for me I think it’s the idea that, even when terrible, bewildering things happen, there is eventually an answer for why they happened and punishment for the guilty party. It pleases me to have some order made of chaos as well as justice and closure.

What would readers be surprised to learn about you?
Despite being a native Texan and not at all athletic, I adore ice hockey. I never thought it would appeal to me until a friend of mine explained what it was all about and I saw how much fun it was to watch. It didn’t hurt anything that my team, the Dallas Stars, won the Stanley Cup the next year. By then I was hooked. The NHL playoffs are always the highlight of my year.

Is your latest release the last in the Drew Farthering series? What are you working on next?
There will be at least one more Drew Farthering Mystery. Death at Thorburn Hall is scheduled to be released this fall. This time Drew and Madeline go up to Scotland for the 1935 British Open and, of course, murder and mayhem ensue. And those who are keeping track (and Nick) will be pleased to know that Carrie Holland makes another appearance in this one.

What I’m working on now is another book (under my real name) for Annie’s Fiction. This is the second in their Secrets of the Manor Library series that I’ve done, though I’m not sure what the release dates are, and I’ve agreed to write three more in a new series for them, too. I will also be writing contemporary cozy mysteries for Guideposts. As far as Drew is concerned, we’ll have to see what happens after Book Six is released. If readers really like him, I’m sure he’ll be back.

How do you spend your time when you aren't crafting mysteries to solve?
Ummm, there’s more time? Actually, when I do have time, I love to read and quilt and watch NHL hockey (not all at the same time, though I often do hand sewing during games, just so I don’t feel like I’m not accomplishing anything).

Any parting words?

Just a thank you for letting me visit. I’d also love to have everyone sign up for my newsletter (there’s a link in my Facebook header and on my webpage) for the latest news about Drew and his adventures, freebies, previews, giveaways and all kinds of good stuff. It’s free and I don’t send it out often, just when there’s actual news.

Thanks for sharing with us, DeAnna/Julianna!


Lisa Bartelt is a child of the flatlands fulfilling her dream of living near mountains in Pennsylvania. She loves reading, writing and listening to stories—true ones, made-up ones and the ones in between—preferably with a cup of coffee in hand. Wife, mom of two, writer, ordinary girl, Lisa blogs about books, faith, family and the unexpected turns of life at

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