The Devil in Merrivale by Jackie Griffey l Q&A + Blog Tour + Giveaway

Our guest today is Jackie Griffey, author of the cozy mystery, The Devil in Merrivale. Jackie likes to read as well as write cozy mysteries and romantic suspense. She and her family, two cats, a Chihuahua, and a couple of wild bunnies live in Arkansas where she is working on another cozy mystery. You can visit her website at or her blog at

Welcome to The Writer's Life, Jackie. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

Jackie: Seems like always but it's really just since 1993 when I joined a local writing group. It's a great group and I've been a member of ever since.

Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

Jackie: I grew up in Memphis but was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas and have always liked to read cozy mysteries set in the south. When I started on The Devil in Merrivale I felt it would be a series. The characters are made up of typical citizens of a small town and 'gifted' ones are brought in as well.

What kind of research was involved in writing The Devil in Merrivale?

Jackie: The Devil in Merrivale called for research and memory as well to people the little town and develop the characters, their problems, and the things closest to their hearts. The gifted ones are important to the different plot twists as well.

Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

Jackie: Yes. Isn't it always? I wrote from 1993 (beginning with a reading script and a horror short story) until 2003 when I got my first contract with a publisher. Before that I had self pubbed two novels but this historical novel in 2003 is my real beginning I think.

For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?

Jackie: I don't really remember. I think it was about a year. It was a beutiful and interesting book, thanks to excellent editing and a talented artist who did the cover. I'm still very proud of it.

Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

Jackie:No, I didn't and I still don't. Had a close call when a small studio contacted my publisher to ask about one of my novels for a possible TV series. When I didn't get the option from the studio, the agent disappeared too.

Do you plan subsequent books?

Jackie:That's an understatement. I plan on writing as long as I can see the monitor. I love to write, can't imagine life without it.

Can you describe your most favorite place to write?

Jackie:My own back bedroom where my and my daughter's computer, printers, and books are. Both of us are avid readers and she and my sister are my main fans. This means a lot to me since they would be the first to point out I was whipping a dead horse with a book that did not interest them.

If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

Jackie:Postage to send ARCs and perhaps excerpts to bookclubs and libraries. The local library and the Arkansas Central Library Systm all have my books and are very supportive. I spoke recently at the big and beautiful new library in Jacksonville, Arkansas when it opened.

How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

Jackie:A lot by word-of-mouth and the different digests for writers and newsletter, also blogs when fellow writers are going to guest somewhere.

What’s the most common reason you believe new writers give up their dream of becoming published and did you almost give up?

Jackie:No. Failure was never an option. My darling husband believed in my books; my daughter and sister like them; my fellow writers are supportive; and our local group is very supportive too. I don't know whether I should say it or not, but I believe my books are good and are ones I'd like to read myself. It is a pleasure when someone tells me they've enjoyed something I've written. But I just really like to write. Writing and reading will always be part of my life.

Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?

Jackie: Sit right down and write. You can't proof; rewrite; or change a plot if you don't have anything to work with. Even the bible wasn't a 'first draft wonder' - LOL Put something on that blank page and love it and live it and work with it until it will be a good read for others to enjoy.

Thank you for your interview, Jackie. I wish you much success!

We're having a giveaway! Leave a comment or a question for Jackie between now and January 22 and you could be the winner of an autographed copy of Jackie's new book, The Devil in Merrivale! Or simply write "I love The Devil in Merrivale!" in the comment section!

Only those leaving email addresses with their comment or question qualifies.

The winner will be announced on Jan. 25.

Good luck!


  1. Don't enter me...I just wanted to stop by and say hi! Can't wait to read this one!

  2. This came directly to me so I'm cutting and pasting:

    I hope this email question is reaching the right place. If I\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'m not navigating the book tour site correctly, just let me know and I will try again.
    My question is - and I have several which I will save until I know I am doing this right or not :) -
    What things can aspiring writers do to provide the appropriate exposure for their work so that it will be noticed by either publishers, or writers?

    Thank you very much,
    Thea Phipps

  3. Great advice Jackie. I don't rewrite as I go either. I found I never got anywhere when I did that.

    Best of luck with your tour.


  4. Well done, Jackie! I have tried to get into the libraries here, but it seems the economy has forced many to cut way back--even eliminate--such activities for the time being.

    I, too, belong to a writing group and genuinely enjoy their feedback and comaraderie. It's a most wonderful definition of 'kindred spirits' I know of.

    Good luck with your tour and book!

  5. Oh Jackie! I am a Memphian too! how fun!! we are tour sisters as well! Great to meet you :)

  6. This sounds like an interesting book. Great interview. I love learning more about the authors :)

  7. What a fun and informative interview Jackie/Dorothy! Great job. One of my favorite things about reading (and reviewing) books is getting the chance to meet authors online (and a few in person), and to interview them - it gives a whole new perspective to reading their books. :)

    About the book - it sounds like a really fun start to a great new series. I love books set in small towns and the "giften ones" sound really interesting.

    While I don't currently write, I love to read and review books on my blog... and believe it or not, some day would love to try to get one of the stories floating around in my head down on paper, so thanks for sharing all that you did.

    I hope you are having a wonderful tour, and thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of your book!

    Wendi Barker
    wbarker at
    Wendi's Book Corner

  8. I love The Devil in Merrivale!


  9. Anonymous1:44 AM

    Well, poo, I'm too late for the contest. (-:
    But never mind. I just want to say hello to Jackie and compliment her on a delightful interview.

    Jackie, was that possible movie option for "Recycling Humanity"? As you know, I love that book.

    I hope to see you in June, but can't promise. We will have to wait and see if my plans develop.

    Good luck on your blog tour! You deserve a break. Maybe this is it! (-:

    Pat Browning

  10. We've tossed everyone in a hat and want to congratulate Wendi Barker for winning a free electronic copy of The Devil in Merrivale!!! Wendi, email me your mailing address at Congrats!!!


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