Author Connie Chappell releases her break out novel Lily White Lie, the next installment in the Wrenn Grayson Mystery Series.
(Posted by Stanley, Community Contributor)

Connie Chappell's break out novel Lily White Lie delivers what this bestselling author has become known for in the literary world - taking readers on a fast paced and thrilling ride destined to sweep them away. Wrenn Grayson is a historian-for-hire in her hometown of Havens, Ohio, where a pocket watch, cryptic messages, Easter lilies, and Bret Kilmore, a sidelined spy, all come together to take historian Wrenn Grayson deep into a mystery only she can unravel..

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Lily White Lie and all of the books in the Wrenn Grayson Mysteries are simply brilliant. Filled with descriptiveness around every turn, the entire series will transport you to a place that you will never want to leave.

A good story is all about the setting, the descriptiveness, and the raw energy that draws readers into the world you have created. Lily White Lie includes all of them. What is one of the keys that you believe is critical when getting into the writing zone?

First of all, thank you. Those are very kind words. Quality writing for me comes in the stillness of the mornings. I go inside my head, so to speak, where my imagination lives, and see the details of the scene I want to create.

When I began writing twelve years ago, I had no idea my books would see publication. I wrote four novels, Lily White Lie among them, before I even attempted the next step. Then and now, I write for my own entertainment. I'm not going to shortchange myself when it comes to scene setting, character creation, or channeling raw energy.

Time after time, my scenes lure me in. I'm happy to know my readers are walking right along behind me.

While writing Lily White Lie, did you learn anything new about yourself?

Sadly, I learn the same thing about myself every time I write a book. The lesson never seems to stick.

I possess two traits: steadfastness and stubbornness. I write a scene, steadfastly pursuing perfection. Then I realize I've broken some writing law. Despite that, stubbornness feels it's perfect, while steadfastness believes it can be more perfect. Thus, the battle begins.

I know the passage needs rewritten, but I also want to stand up for the words dedicated to the initial draft, give it a breath of life before I rip it to shreds.

Deep down, I believe the battle makes the book better. It can be a bit wearing on the writer though.

If you could have anyone, living or dead, read your book and tell you what they think, who would it be and why?

I would give anything if the love of my life could read Lily White Lie. I began writing this mystery series two years after I lost him to cancer. The introduction of Bret Kilmore is a tribute to the real man. They are synonymous in many ways, such as the speedy completion of crossword puzzles, fear of spiders, instructor for a shooting lesson, a fan of cargo pants, paramilitary training, both pilot and musician.

As the mystery plays out, Bret seems half in love with Wrenn Grayson, the mystery's main character, because I could not separate the character's emotions from the real man's. This will be a tension to pursue in future mysteries, since Bret Kilmore is a returning character.

When you finished the final read-through of Lily White Lie, what was your favorite part of the book and why?

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My favorite part of the book comes in the chapter titled Tinkerer. What a wonderful word. It tells a story all by itself, just by the sound. So delicate. Yet, it strums curiosity.

Wrenn enters the world of Mr. Tompkins' jewelry repair shop to have an antique pocket watch cleaned. Mr. Tompkins is described as a "munchkin-of-a-man." His shop is enchanting, but still, resolution of the mystery is pursued. Clues are uncovered, thanks to Mr. Tompkins.

By the time he's introduced, the mystery has been running at a pretty good pace. The visit allows the reader the opportunity to slow down, take a breath, and enjoy the man's shop, where the glass display cases are "held together by fingerprints and old wood."

What can fans, both new and seasoned, expect from you in 2019? What else do you have in the works?

My literary mystery fans will be pleased to know that another Wrenn Grayson mystery, Honeysuckle Blue Revenge, is complete and working its way through the editing process. Likewise, I finished the third and final installment in the Wild Raspberries series. The title is Summers Only and it's literary fiction. I would like to see Summers Only published by the end of 2019. The mystery will follow in 2020.

Don't think I'm just sitting around. Not at all. I'm writing another piece of literary fiction titled Every Cloud. Four adult children come home for the summer, while the parents are away. They aren't there to misbehave, but to lean on each other or shine alone in the spotlight. Personal risks are involved. Will they discover what's behind every cloud?

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