Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The DEADLY DOZEN Book Bundle Interview

About the Book:

The DEADLY DOZEN Book Bundle contains 12 complete mystery/thriller novels by award-winning and international bestselling authors: Cheryl Kaye Tardif, Catherine Astolfo, Alison Bruce, Melodie Campbell/Cynthia St-Pierre, Gloria Ferris, Donna Galanti, Kat Flannery, Jesse Giles Christiansen, Rosemary McCracken, Susan J. McLeod, C. S. Lakin and Linda Merlino.

THE BRIDGEMAN by Catherine Astolfo
DEADLY LEGACY by Alison Bruce
A PURSE TO DIE FOR by Melodie Campbell & Cynthia St-Pierre
CHEAT THE HANGMAN by Gloria Ferris
A HUMAN ELEMENT by Donna Galanti
LAKOTA HONOR by Kat Flannery
PELICAN BAY by Jesse Giles Christiansen
SAFE HARBOR by Rosemary McCracken
SOUL AND SHADOW by Susan J. McLeod
ROOM OF TEARS by Linda Merlino

With an individual list price total of more than $45.00 and over 640 reviews collectively on Amazon.com, the DEADLY DOZEN Book Bundle is a value-packed, rollercoaster thrill ride that takes you from amateur sleuth to detective to paranormal to ancient mysteries set in intriguing worlds and so much more.

For More Information

  • Deadly Dozen is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Gloria Ferris began her writing career by authoring and editing operating procedures for a nuclear power development. It was an exciting job, but opportunities for plot and character development were limited, so she turned to crime fiction and found it to be a lot more fun.Cheat the Hangman was shortlisted for the 2009 Crime Writers of Canada Unhanged Arthur contest.

Gloria recently moved back to her native GuelphOntario, after spending 20 plus years in several small towns by Lake Huron, which inspired her mysteries. The stories are written in a humorous style, but the crimes are deadly serious. A sequel to Cheat the Hangman is in the works.


Where are you from?
I’ve lived my entire life in southwestern Ontario, including several small towns along the shores of Lake Huron which inspired the settings for my mystery novels.

Tell us your latest news?
I’m thrilled that my paranormal mystery novel, Cheat the Hangman, has been chosen by my publisher to appear in its first book bundle releaseDEADLY DOZEN: 12 Mystery/Thriller Novels by Bestselling Imajin Books Authors.

When and why did you begin writing?
I began to write purely as a hobby. Then, as is usual with writers, writing became almost an obsession. Cheat the Hangman was nominated for the Unhanged Arthur Award (Crime Writers of Canada) and, after publication, won the Bony Blithe award.
My second mystery novel, Corpse Flower, won the Unhanged Arthur the following year and has been published by Dundurn Press. The second in the series, Shroud of Roses, is due out next spring.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The day I went to the post office and mailed off my first submission for Cheat the Hangman, I knew I had crossed some invisible line. I was terrified and kept telling myself I wasn’t committed to anything. Heck, I could quit anytime I wanted. Right. I still tell myself that regularly, knowing it’s a bald-faced lie. I’m in it for the long haul.

What inspired you to write your first book?
I have always been a voracious reader. When I was a kid, I told myself that one day I would write my own book. Of course, life happened – marriage, kids, jobs, all that stuff. When I finished reading some books, I found myself thinking, “I could write a better book than this.” Eventually, a rather bored voice answered, “Okay, smarty pants. Why don’t you try.” So I did. That was an eye-opener. But, I kept trying, and here I am with my third novel about to come out and knowing there isn’t time enough to write all the books in my head. And I have a profound respect for every writer who finishes a work.

Do you have a specific writing style?
Apparently, I do. I write about crimes and I treat them with deadly seriousness. But, my female protagonists are irreverent, sarcastic, and downright in-your-face tough. I keep them on track and continually remind them of their place in the story and how I want the story to end. Other than that, I let them lead the way. Some of their relationships and actions make me laugh but, as long as they don’t get too crazy, I let them be.
I spent over twenty years writing and editing operational procedures for a nuclear power plant. One verb, one noun, and you better not instruct the operator to Push the wrong Button. As a result, my fictional writing style is swift, without frills, and I don’t often stop to compare a tree to a fluffy cloud. I have to deliberately shove an adverb or short description in every once in a while but I’ve learned to let my natural humour out.

How did you come up with the title?
I suck at titles. Luckily I have a sister-in-law who shines in that department. We were at her cottage having a few coolers when she shouted, “Cheat the Hangman, I knew it was the perfect title. She is also responsible for naming Corpse Flower (the first Cornwall and Redfern Mystery), and Shroud of Roses (the second). I’m pretty sure I’ve come up with a great title for the third but I’m not sharing it yet in case Donna decides it stinks. Which it doesn’t this time.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I didn’t write Cheat the Hangman with any theme or message in mind. My intent is to write a story that entertains. That’s it. When a reader comes to the last page, I would be thrilled if she sighs and says, “I loved that story. I wonder what else this author has written.”
That doesn’t mean that a message doesn’t creep in. Readers have told me that CTH has a recurrent theme of domestic abuse across multiple generations. And, you know, it does, in a subtle way. I didn’t plan it, though.

How much of the book is realistic?
Hammersleigh House is based on a real house. I have pictures, taken through the stone gates, from every season. I even toured the house once when it was opened for a Christmas fundraiser.
There is a paranormal aspect to CTH. The protagonist has inherited a limestone mansion as well as the family psychic gene. She reluctantly allows her spirit guide to come through after she finds a horrific remnant of WW2 in the tower room. I’m about as psychic as a door knob, so I did a lot of research into the paranormal. But, it isn’t my fault that the spirit guide was formerly Winston Churchill. Or was he John Lennon? He isn’t saying.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Absolutely everything in my books is made up. Sure, a few of the scenes may be based on personal experiences or those I’ve overheard. I mean, we all know that writers listen in on conversations. That’s why we appear to be aloof or stoned. Not so, we’re eavesdropping.

What books have most influenced your life most?
Hard to say, I’ve read so many. Probably L.M.Montgomery’s books, especially the Anne of Green Gables series, had the most impact on me when I was growing up. Also Ellery Queen – my mother would receive an EQ once in a while through the Doubleday Book of the Month Club and I loved them. I’ve recently acquired a copy of EQ’s Cat of Many Tails. Same edition I read as a nine-year-old, and in near perfect condition. It’s one of my most treasured possessions.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Mystery writer Mary Jane Maffini, who also writes with her daughter as Victoria Abbott, critiqued part of CTH in its infancy and was very supportive and encouraging. I’ll always be grateful to her for that. And, she’s a terrific mystery writer under either name.

What book are you reading now?
I’m indulging my love of British mysteries - I’ve just downloaded a book bundle, The Complete Father Brown Mysteries by G.K. Chesterton.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’m pretty eclectic in my reading. Mysteries are my staple, but I also like urban fantasy, thrillers, suspense. I like to read both established and up and coming authors, traditionally or indie-pubbed. If the blurb sounds interesting and is well written, I’ll take a chance.

What are your current projects?
Now that DEADLY DOZEN: 12 Mystery/Thriller Novels by Bestselling Imajin Books Authors has been released, I am doing my best to help promote and market the book bundle.
My second Cornwall & Redfern Mystery (Shroud of Roses) is off to my editor, and I must get started on the third. This is a contracted series, so I can’t dawdle. I’d also love to finish the sequel to Cheat the Hangman.
In my spare time, I’m developing a suspense novella series with my co-author (and sister-in-law), Donna Warner. And, I’d love to get back at my YA urban fantasy stories which I hope to release as an anthology.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members?
I joined the Crime Writers of Canada before I was published and found the members to be wonderfully supportive to new and pre-published writers. The association offers awards, contests, mentoring, newsletters, a blog, website. I’ve placed in and won several of their awards – a priceless boost to a writer’s confidence. So, CWC has my heart forever!

What would you like my readers to know?
If you enjoyed a book, consider posting a review on Amazon, Goodreads, Kobo, any of the review sites. It’s an invaluable service to authors and other readers alike. Writing a book is hard, and it’s soul-affirming to know someone likes it!

Twitter: @GloriaFerris
Cheat the Hangman on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/o772oxa


  1. Thank you for featuring me today on your blog, Auntie! I've enjoyed visiting with you!

  2. Great interview Gloria! I enjoyed hearing about the paranormal aspect of your book - and you're lucky to have your sister to create such great titles!