Monday, June 3, 2013

Kicking off June...Hannah Reed in the Hotseat!

We're kicking off June with mystery author Hannah Reed, aka Deb Baker!

Hannah Reed is the pen name of author Deb Baker.
As Deb (her real name) she has authored The Gertie Johnson Backwoods Adventures
and The Dolls To Die For Series.
In her youth, Deb dreamed of working as a private investigator or as an undercover cop.
So when Deb began writing a new series, the Queen Bee mysteries, she did something
she always wanted to do -- she went undercover with an alias!
Hannah was one of her all-time favorite names. Reed was her great-grandmother’s
maiden name. So she put the two together.
As it turns out, the author Hannah Reed is much younger than Deb Baker. She’s also
more daring, more willing to step right into the midst of any sticky situation, and she’s
not afraid to tell it like it is.
As Deb says, “Look out! When Hannah’s around, big trouble is sure to follow.”
And now in my hotseat...Hannah!
R:  Hello and welcome
H: Thanks ROCCO
R:  Tell us a bit about yourself and how you became interested in writing.

 H: I’m a late bloomer and graduated from college when I was forty-five with a degree in English. During that last year of school, I became involved in the creative writing department and found that I loved to kill peopleJ

R: How did you decide on bees as the backdrop for your mystery series?

H: I own it all to my amazing agent. One day we were batting around ideas for another series. She said, “No one has done a series about beekeeping.” And the rest is history. 

R: Your alter ego, Deb Baker, writes mysteries too! Which series is your favorite and why?

H: The Gertie Johnson Mystery series is my favorite. One day, out of the blue, sixty-six year old Gertie started talking to me and took control of a whole series of stories set in the Michigan Upper Peninsula where I was born.

I love sassy, unusual characters and fun romps and delving into family dynamics, all mixed with a twinkle of the outrageous and a bit of humor. Gertie fulfills that need in me.

R:  Do you have an “how I got my agent” story you’d like to share?  How did you feel when you got the call your first novel had sold?

H: The first Gertie story, Murder Passes the Buck, won best mystery in an international contest, then went on to win best of show. With those credentials, I ‘targeted’ an agent I wanted and she accepted me as a client. It still took almost a year to find a home for the series. That incoming news was the best phone call of my life!

R: What’s a must have for you when you are writing? What aids the creative process?

H: Quiet! A place of my own, no distractions, and a hot cup of herbal tea.

 R: What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to know about you?

 H: I’m a twenty-plus year cancer survivor after being given a 10% chance of survival. After that scary experience, I truly realized the value of each and every day, and have tried to make my time here on earth count. My motto these days - Don’t just dream your dreams, chase and catch them.

 R: What do you hope readers will most take away from your writing?

 H: My goal is simple – I hope to entertain my readers, give them a brief respite from their daily lives, make them smile, maybe laugh out loud at my character’s antics. A bit of humor is so important to our inner psyche, and I try to infuse it into my stories.

R: Are you a plotter or a pantser?

H: Panser. I don’t outline and sometimes have no idea where the story will go. So I’m constantly encountering forks in the road and having to randomly choose a path. Then there are those times when I think I know whodunit and that person changes midway through.  When that happens I desperately wannabee a plotter!

R: What are you working on now?

H: Two projects. A new mystery series debuting next year set in the Scottish Highlands under my pen name, Hannah Reed, and a Christmas story featuring Gertie called Murder Decks the Halls, which will be out in October.
R: Where can people find out more about you and your books?


Just for Fun: Night or Day?  Day
Dog or Cat? (answer carefully) Dog (Really?  Oh, OK)
Beach or Pool?   Beach
Steak or salad?  Steak
Favorite Drink?  Wine – red or white
Favorite Book?  Dune by Frank Herbert
Favorite TV Series?  Downton Abbey
Favorite Movie?  Harold & Maude
Favorite Actor: Johnny Depp
Favorite Actress: Meryl Streep
Dirty Martini or Pina Colada? Dirty Martini
Hawaii or Alaska? Hawaii

Finish this sentence:  If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be the Bronte Sisters

If I had just one wish, it would be World Peace

If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be E.L. James
Thanks for a great interview, Hannah!

Hannah will be giving away two copies of Beeline to Trouble to two lucky readers!

To enter, leave a comment on this blog post with your name and email address (entries without email will be disqualified). For extra entries, you can do any or all of the below:

* Follow my blog (+ 1 point)
* Follow me on Twitter (+ 1 point) (Link:
* Tweet about the contest (+ 1 point)
* Friend me on Facebook (+ 1 point) (Link:!/
* Mention the contest on Facebook (+ 1 point)
* Mention the contest on your blog (+ 1 point)

Winner will be chosen at random using  Don’t forget to mention all you’ve done in your comment. Good luck!
Winners will be announced June 10!
The winner of our Linda O. Johnston giveaway is:  Susan P! Congrats! Watch for an email from Linda!
Coming in June: Michelle Rowen, Nancy Gideon, Juliet Blackwell.  Meow!


  1. I think that's the best line I have ever read in an interview "I found I love to kill people". :) As a fellow Michigan native I will most definitely be looking into your series set in the U.P.! Great interview and a special WOOHOO on being a cancer survivor!
    Susan P
    farmygirl at hotmail dot com
    follow by email
    FB follower

    1. We Michiganders think alike, Susan:) And thank you.

  2. Hannah is a new author to me. This was a good interview. I look forward to checking out a novel by this author and reading it. A series about beekeeping sounds like a fun read. Congrats on being a cancer survivor. Take that cancer.

    I follow the blog
    I follow on Facebook
    Mention the contest on Facebook.

  3. I enjoyed your interview. I am entering the contest
    L Reed
    Thank you for the opportunity to win this great new bee series - I love the other books in the series.

  4. Fun series. Eager to try it.
    Barbara Tobey
    bobbipad at gmail dot com

  5. Loved this interview, one of my most favorite authors and I feel like I learned so much! I can not wait to read this series! Thank you for posting it!

  6. Loretta Blimline

    Your interview was very informing. Still can't figure out how you can write so many books at the same time, it just amazes me!!

  7. Deb, I can't believe how you keep all those voices from overwhelming you as you work with them one at a time and produce those wonderful books. Keep it up, I love them all.

    Yes I follow your blog,
    Yes Twitter Follower @NoraAdrienne
    Yes FB friend Nora-Adrienne Deret

    FB Share

    Twitter Share

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