Published by Tor Books
Valentine has spent years trying to outrun her mother’s legacy. But small towns have long memories, and when a new string of murders occurs, all signs point to the daughter of a murderer.
Only one person believes Valentine is innocent—Rowan Blackshaw, the son of the man her mother killed all those years ago. Valentine vows to find the real killer, but when she finally uncovers the horrifying truth, she must choose to face her own dark secrets, even if it means losing Rowan in the end.
Praise for GIRL AT THE GRAVE
“With its vibrant, atmospheric setting and lush, captivating prose, Girl at the Grave is a searing Gothic story of love and murder that will burn in readers’ hearts and minds long after reading.” ―#1 New York Times bestselling author Kerri Maniscalco
“Girl at the Grave kept me up late at night with its non-stop secrets, twists, and scandals. An entertaining homage to classic Gothic romances that will keep readers guessing until the very last chapter.” ―Cat Winters, author of Odd & True
Teri Bailey Black grew up near the beach in Southern California in a large, quirky family with no television or junk food, but an abundance of books and art supplies. She’s happiest when she’s creating things, whether it’s with words, fabric, or digging in the garden. She makes an amazing chocolate cherry cake—frequently. She and her husband have four children and live in Orange County, California. Girl at the Grave is her debut novel.
What is on your nightstand?
Oh, interesting question! Books, of course, but only 1 or 2. (The big stack waiting to be read is across the room—about 20 books right now, growing not shrinking since I’m in the middle of a writing deadline.) Eyeglasses for reading. A lamp for reading. A Bible. (I love opening and reading whatever highlighted verse my eye lands on. Just a little inspiration for the day.) A pretty box where I keep my wedding ring and watch. A journal and pen. Never my phone. (I’m addicted to it like everyone else, but my bedroom is my escape, so it stays in the other room.)
What author would you totally fan?
Oh, gosh—all the usual suspects like J. K. Rowling and Jane Austen. And it would be super fun to hang out in Oxford with the Inklings, C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien.
As I think about this question . . . I realize I don’t usually fan over people who’ve already achieved success—whether it’s writers, actors, or musicians. I’m more intrigued by the people who are dreaming and aspiring. I guess I’m more interested in the creative quest than raging success. I didn’t realize that until you asked this question! For me, the journey is the good part.
What makes you cringe?
Spiders. Surprise parties. (I like to be prepared. Don’t surprise me.) Trying on swimsuits under neon lights. My husband’s driving on a crowded freeway.
Do you obsessively plot out each point or just go with the flow?
Oh, I wish I could plot out each point ahead of time. How easy that would be! Just think it—and then write it. All done.
I do TRY to plan it all out. I think I’ve done it. I feel very clever. Then I start writing and wandering. I think up a new character. Decide to murder a different person. And WOW wouldn’t it be interesting if THIS happened!
My latest system is—I plot it all out ahead of time. I write about 75 pages. I get to know my characters better and the story inevitably wanders off course in delightful ways that feel right. I stop and replot the rest of the book to fit what I’ve learned. Then I write the next 75 pages, allowing the story to wander as needed. I stop and replot. Rinse and repeat. So far, it’s working—a nice mix of knowing where I’m going and allowing myself to explore.
Is there a word you love to use?
Hm, I’m sure there is. My critique group is good at catching repeat words, so I’m losing the bad habit. I do love a cluttered old rundown house. It dawned on me recently that I’ve put one in every story. My editor asked, “Does the house have to be so decrepit?” Um . . . YES! And all three of my recent stories have had artistic people. I grew up in a big, happy, quirky family of creative people, and I love exploring that artistic drive. It’s not an easy or predictable path, and I love the bravery of someone who takes it.
– 6 winners will receive a Copy of GIRL AT THE GRAVE by Teri Bailey Black.