Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The “Next Big Thing” blog hop

This idea of linking together authors and asking the same questions about their current works-in-progress (WIP) sounded like a lot of fun.

I was asked by two authors on the same day, so I’m tagged from the first e-mail I received – Keith Pyeatt ( But also go see Kris Neri (

These are the rules/questions:
Rule details:
  • Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress)
  • Tag five (or fewer) other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.
It’s that simple.

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:
What is the working title of your book?

Gee, I feel like a slacker because I don’t have one.  Me and titles – we’re complicated.  I tend to brainstorm titles at the last minute.  I’m calling the project WitchDuck as I work on it.  That’s where the kernel of the idea started…which leads me to the next question.
Where did the idea come from for the book?

There is a road in Virginia Beach called Witchduck Road; I hear it referenced in the traffic reports in the mornings.  The name intrigued me. I did some Goggling and found it refers to Grace Sherwood who was the only Virginian to be convicted of witchcraft. 
Back in 1706, Grace was tested for innocence by being dunked (or ducked as they said back then) into a pond to see if she would float.  Float = guilty of witchcraft.  Sinking below the surface of the water = innocence (but too bad because you would probably drown).  Grace floated.

The witch trials and accusers went after people who were different.  Three hundred years later, people who seem different are still persecuted in one way or another.  Even towns that refuse to accept the influx of sameness from the big box and chain stores, restaurants, hotels, and office parks lose tax money and traffic from the hordes of people who crave the numbing sense of sameness.

Each town seems to have a Wal-Mart, Lowes, and Home Depot with an Appleby’s and Olive Garden at the edge of the parking lots.  Sometimes I have no idea which town I’m in. I’m a big supporter of local independent businesses.
The idea was born to construct characters who are chastised for not fitting in. They lose things important to them because they do not comply. I’m using an ancestor in the 1700s accused of witchcraft to parallel the lives of her contemporary descendents.

What genre does your book fall under?
Good question…I would probably set it as historical or maybe a mystery since the main plot is a cross-generational mystery.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I list these like I have thought about it.  But, I’m trying to list people I like and who seem to have some of the character’s personality.  I don’t keep up with pop culture, so my answers may be a bit dated – hopefully these actors are still working.

  • Anna (the witch): Michelle Pfeiffer or Julianne Moore
  • Taliesin:  James Franco
  • Cliodhna:  Reese Witherspoon (love her because she reminds me of my niece Whitney)
  • Brigid:  Kirsten Dunst (love her because she reminds me of my niece Courtney)
  • Finn:  Colin Farrell (had a drink with him in Jerome, Arizona – he doesn’t know that since we were ten feet away from each other)
  • Granny:  Shirley Maclaine or Frances Fisher

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? (Really it is three sentences – I can’t comply)
Struggling musician Taliesin searches for the reasons his father vanished one night 26 years ago. The disappearance leads Taliesin and his cousins to discover parallels between themselves and their ancestors of over 300 years before. As it was then, and now, being an outsider can be murder.

Will your book be self-published, sent to an independent publisher, or represented by an agency to a large house?
I plan to have this published through Cherokee McGhee as were the last two books.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Hmmm, still haven’t finished the draft.  Once that’s done, I can have it ready for an editor in about five months. After that, it takes about a year to hit the shelves.  2014??

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
There are no other books like this one!!  It has bits of family saga, history, mystery, and mythology.  I think I aspire to be a mix of Lee Smith, Bobbie Ann Mason, and Tony Hillerman.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
People who know me and my family will see the Lillys here: my father, uncles and aunt, along with my grandparents.  I get a lot of inspiration from family history.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
If a reader knows Irish mythology, there will be multiple layers revealed in the symbolism. If you don’t then it will just be a damn good story – that may spur you to dig deeper into the tales and legends of our ancestors before us.

The following writers will pick up "The Next Big Thing" thread and answer the 10 questions about their WIP.  Go ahead and visit them today to learn a little more about the writers and their work.
They will post next Wednesday, December 5, about their Next Big Thing.

Tag – you’re next week’s posts:

Narielle Living
Narielle Living is the author of the novel Signs of the South, a novella in the collection Chesapeake Bay Christmas, and the upcoming novel Past Unfinished.


Michelle Moore
Michelle Moore is a North Carolina writer inspired by quirky characters; she has written of cats and criminals with a work in progress set in the Great Dismal Swamp.

William Torgerson
William J. Torgerson is an assistant professor in the Institute for Writing Studies at St. John's University in New York. In addition to novels and screenplays, William writes short stories and articles on teaching and writing.

John Bray
John Bray is a retired attorney, member of Chesapeake Bay Writers, author of THE BALLAD OF JOHNNY MADIGAN, THE CONFIDENTIAL and CODE NAME: CALEB, the sequel to Johnny Madigan, all published by BeWrite Books.
Work-in-progress working title, OPERATION REBOUND, sequel to Confidential.


Pamela K. Kinney
Journey to worlds of fantasy, beyond the stars, and into the vortex of terror with the written word of Pamela K. Kinney.
Website: Blog:

Monday, November 26, 2012

Coming: Next Big Thing Wednesday

Cool idea among writers on the Web: Start with ten questions about the current Work-in-Progress (WIP), answer them and tag a few writers to do the same thing on their own blog.

This past Wednesday, Keith Pyeatt blogged about his WIP  at and tagged me for this Wednesday. Scoot over to Keith's Blog to read about his upcoming release.

Stay tuned (as they used to say on Batman) for this Wednesday and discover details about my new book. Plus, see who I tagged to carry forward the questions.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Can you hear me now? -- Audio book production

I’m in the process of reviewing the audio book recording of my first Derek Mason Mystery: FINGERING THE FAMILY JEWELS. It’s been a long time since I reread the book. I’m doing it now as I listen to the production, chapter by chapter.

Well, honestly, I guess I’m reading along with the narrator Andy Babinski (great voice). I check to make sure Andy gets the pronunciation right on some of the Charlotte, N.C. location names and to make sure I didn’t have some huge error in the book that gets put in the audio version. I know the paperback is a little different than the eBook – words here and there, nothing big – and the audio is too. Some things read differently than they sound when spoken out loud.

How do you get an audio book made?
  • First write and publish a book. Make sure you keep the audio rights.
  • Secondly, sell a lot of copies of the book.
  • Third, post the rights on That’s Audiobook Creation Exchange. There are some ties to Audible and to Amazon.

ACX matches up authors with voice talent to produce an audio book. I had a few of auditions from narrators for FTFJ, but they didn’t capture my idea of what Derek would sound like. 

Searching through the database of voice talent, I found samples of Andy’s work. His voice matched what I had always thought Derek sounded like. I sent Andy a sample of the book, and he took on the project.

I feel lucky to have found ACX and Andy Babinski.

The cool thing I’m discovering is that the chapters are averaging about 16 – 19 minutes each. Perfect for a daily commute or exercising at the gym.

The production will be finished and available on by mid-December – just in time for a Holiday download! Get your ears ready for an aural delight!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Guest post at "Women & Words" blog

Book giveaway today!

I'm interviewed by Andi Marquette for the "Women & Words" blog.

Find out how I started writing fiction, my upcoming projects, my close encounter with a great-horned owl, and enter to win UNDER A COPPER MOON.

Women & Words Blog

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Interview for the Malice Domestic conference April 27 - 29, 2012 in Bethesda

Follow the link to Linda Rodriguez Writes blog for an interview with me about writing and mysteries.

I tried not to offend anyone, but might have.  ;-)

Linda Rodriguez Writes: Countdown to Malice Domestic 2012--Greg Lilly: This is my final post counting down to Malice Domestic 2012 in Bethesda, MD, April 27-29, and Greg Lilly is the last of my panelists for H...

Friday, March 9, 2012

Greg Lilly to appear at the 18th Annual Virginia Festival of the Book

Press Release

(Williamsburg, VA • March 9, 2012) Greg Lilly, author of Scalping the Red Rocks – a Derek Mason Mystery, will participate in the 18th annual Virginia Festival of the Book. The Festival, which takes place March 21-25, 2012, is held in venues throughout Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia, and is now the largest educational book event in the mid-Atlantic, drawing a cumulative annual attendance of more than 20,000 attendees.

Lilly joins authors James Church, Corban Addison, Thomas Kaufman and Brad Parks for the “Murder, Murder Everywhere” panel on Crime Wave Saturday (March 24). The panel discusses how the combination of character and location create unique settings for mysteries.

Lilly’s novels are acclaimed by critics for their sense of place and settings that act as characters in the stories. Drewey Wayne Gunn from Lambda Literary magazine praises Scalping the Red Rocks for its “vivid sense of place.” Author Keith Pyeatt says the mystery “showcases Greg Lilly’s mastery of characterization, setting, and suspense.” AOL Travel listed the new novel as an Editor’s Pick in Sedona (Arizona) Culture, alongside John Wayne’s movie Angel and the Badman and the Glenn Ford western, the original 3:10 to Yuma, which were both filmed in the desert resort town. “For a good airplane read,” AOL lists, “try Greg Lilly’s Derek Mason Mystery, Scalping the Red Rocks. Lilly, a former Sedona resident, so thoroughly captures the town’s personality and culture that a favorite game among the locals is guessing who the characters are based on.”

The “Murder, Murder Everywhere” panel is a collection of mystery writers who will discuss using setting as a character and plotting device. The panel is free and open to the public – Saturday, March 24 at 10:00 a.m. at the Charlottesville Omni Hotel, Ballroom A.

The Virginia Festival of the Book runs March 21 - 25 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Authors, illustrators, storytellers, and other publishing professionals from across the United States are participating this year, including
Jeffery Deaver (Carte Blanche),
Lee Smith (Mrs. Darcy and the Blue Eyed Stranger),
Charles Shields (And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life),
Edward Ayers (America on the Eve of the Civil War),
Kwame Alexander (Acoustic Rooster and his Barnyard Band),
Kathryn Erskine (Mockingbird),
Nikki Giovanni (Bicycles: Love Poems),
Sharyn McCrumb (The Ballad of Tom Dooley),
Nikky Finney (Head Off & Split),
Jill McCorkle (Going Away Shoes­–Stories),
Barton Seaver (For Cod and Country),
Nick Galifianakis (If You Loved Me, You’d Think This Was Cute),
and many more.

The mission of the Virginia Festival of the Book is to bring together writers and readers and to promote and celebrate books, reading, literacy, and literary culture. Full details on the entire five-day festival are available at More information on Greg Lilly and his novels can be found at

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