Today wraps up our feature on SILENT IN THE GRAVE with a few extra goodies.
First, do you know how the character of Grim came to be? Well, when I was in London doing research for the first Julia book, I visited the Tower of London—I’m actually incapable of going to London without hitting the Tower. It’s a doomed queens thing. Anyway, I found a quiet corner, which was rather remarkable for a June day. It was a misty morning and I was enjoying the atmosphere and the silence when I heard a little voice say, “Good morning.” I looked around, and I saw one of the Tower ravens perched on a bit of stone edging a walkway. I stared at him, and as I watched, he opened his beak. “Good morning,” he said. And I’ll be DAMNED if it wasn’t slightly impatient, as if to say, “You know, it’s just RUDE not to respond.”
Just at that moment, a Beefeater came around the corner. He greeted me, and I pointed—with shaking finger—to the raven. “Did you know it TALKS?” He smiled patiently and told me he was the Ravenmaster. He introduced me to the raven, Hardy, and explained the fellow had a few dozen phrases in his repertoire, and best of all, would use them appropriately. He would greet people properly, and when the Ravenmaster gave him a treat, he would say, “That’s for me.”
I ask you, how could I NOT put him in a book?
Now, let’s say you want to get your Julia Grey on. First, set the scene! I always listen to music when I write, and here’s a playlist for SILENT IN THE GRAVE:
*”Wachet Auf” (Sleepers Awake) Bach
*”The Last of the Mohicans” soundtrack
*”The Jane Austen Companion” Nimbus records
*”The Piano” soundtrack
*”The Mask and Mirror” Loreena McKennitt
Next, you might want a drink and a nibble with your reading to make a truly indulgent afternoon of it. For SILENT IN THE GRAVE, it must be the classic tea and scones. I would recommend a good Earl Grey, and the scones ought to be lavishly dolloped with Devonshire cream and jam—either strawberry or raspberry.
Want to spread the word about SILENT IN THE GRAVE? Click on this link to my postcards page at Writerspace and send a virtual postcard to a friend who might like to meet Julia, Nicholas, and the entire March family!
And what if you don’t have a signed copy of SILENT IN THE GRAVE? We’ve got you covered! We’re doing a quick and dirty giveaway today and today only. Residents of the continental US can enter by leaving a comment on today’s entry. Please note that comments are in moderation. Your comment must be approved before it will appear, so please do not enter more than once. Also, the contest will be open to the first FIFTY entrants. Once fifty readers have entered, the contest will be closed and a winner selected. Good luck and happy reading!
UPDATE: Thanks to all of you who entered! The contest is now closed. The winner is KRISTIN BLANK! Kristin, please drop me an email at deanna(at)deannaraybourn(dot)com with your mailing address. Congratulations!