Allen B. Boyer
is the author of the Dupree Sisters Mysteries
Corpse at the National Gallery
released on November 7, 2019
When the Dupree Sisters attend the National Portrait Gallery's annual gala, they expect an evening of fine dining and mingling with Washington's social elite. However, a dead body and an accusation of murder quickly change their plans. In the days that follow, names of suspects begin to circulate around parties and fundraisers. At the center of these scandalous tales is Harlan Ellis, a habitual gossiper who delights in spreading rumors with such dramatic effect it is hard to tell fact from fiction. Only Charlotte and Ruth Dupree are curious enough to pursue Harlan to learn the truth behind the Corpse at the National Gallery.
BOOK ONE BOOK TWO
Allen was kind enough to answer
some questions for me to share with you.
LKBR: Thank you for joining us today, Allen.
ABB: Thank you for having me.
LKBR: Please tell us a bit about Corpse at the National Gallery.
ABB: I’ve written quite a few mysteries over the years, but I always wanted to write a classic whodunit mystery. An Agatha Christie type mystery. One day I read a story about the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. It was about a gala they were holding that happens once a year. The article described the combination of celebrities and powerful politicians in attendance. As a writer, this event seemed like the perfect place for a dead body to pop up. The idea evolved into this twisty little story for two of my favorite characters (Charlotte and Ruth Dupree) to solve.
LKBR: What are you plans for this series?
ABB: The Dupree Sisters are two older ladies who live in Washington D.C. They never married. They live together in the house they were raised. They’re financially well off and enjoy the social circles of Washington society. In fact, they’re two of Washington’s oldest socialites who use their social connections as a way to solve mysteries.
I like doing the research the Dupree Books. I like giving readers information about famous and less famous locations around Washington. For example, Charlotte and Ruth enjoy fine dining in each book. So it’s interesting for me to do some research into the older restaurants in the city. There are now three books in the series. Right now, Ford’s Theater has been occupying my thoughts as a possible location for a fourth book.
LKBR: Are you working on any new projects?
ABB: I am. It is very early in the process right now. I tend to start a novel by writing random scenes. That’s where I’m at right now. Eventually, I tend to connect these scenes together with a narrative thread. When that happens I’m off to the races with writing a book. My hope is that this character and book will be the start to a new series for my readers.
LKBR: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
ABB: I had a professor in college who saw my strengths as a writer during my first year in college. He quickly moved me to a smaller class he was teaching with other students he considered to be “gifted writers.” That was a sign to me that I had some knack for writing stories.
LKBR: Was getting your first book published everything you thought it would be? The feelings? The process?
ABB: Oh, yes. The first book I wrote I got published, which is a very lucky thing to have happen. It was a young adult chapter book for a national publisher. When I read their acceptance letter I literally could not breath while I read what they wrote. It was so funny! I kept reading the sentences over and over…I’m lucky I didn’t drop over! It really was an exciting time.
LKBR: How did you handle it when changes were made to your first manuscript? I don’t have a thick skin, so I know how I would have felt.
ABB: Well, Arthur Ashe and Me was the title of that first book and it has sold very well over the years. I had a very nice editor who was very kind with her suggestions and asked me for my thoughts on her edits. Fortunately, both of us were on the same page with the changes. I don’t know what I would have done if there would have been major disagreements. Patricia Rockwell is my current editor at Cozy Cat Press. Terrific person to work with.
LKBR: What is your favorite part of being a writer?
ABB: I do like creating something that provides people with an escape from their daily routine. I’ve been quite fortunate that my books have sold in countries like England, Canada, and Australia to name a few. That’s also satisfying to think that storytelling is something that can transcend cultures and touch the lives of people around the world.
LKBR: Have you ever read a book that has stayed with you long after reading it?
ABB: When I was in college I read Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw and that really stuck with me. I loved the many ways he was able to create tension through his narrative style and pacing. I also keep a copy of The Dubliners by James Joyce in my nightstand. The language Joyce uses is just so beautiful. I tend to go back to that book for inspiration.
LKBR: Why are reviews, good or bad, so important to authors?
ABB: I’m a father of three children. Being an author is sometimes like being a father. When you put a book out there, you want them to succeed. So, yes, the good reviews make me proud of my books. The bad reviews can sometimes make me want to stand up for them. However, in the end I know that art is subjective. When readers plunk down their money they’re certainly entitled to say what they think and I respect that.
LKBR: On what sites do you recommend readers leave their reviews?
ABB: Goodreads seems to be a pretty popular website for readers. Amazon as well. To each his or her own, I’d suppose.
LKBR: If you could spend one hour with a reader, what would you want to talk about?
ABB: Them! I’m always interested in people. I’m always interested in talking to someone about who they are, where they come from, what their life experiences are. Everyone has a good story in them. I’m always interested in learning more about people when I’m around them.
LKBR: Thank you so much, Allen for letting us get to know you better!
ABB: Thank you so much, Lisa. It was a pleasure.
You can find Allen's books here
About Allen B. Boyer
Allen B. Boyer lives near Hershey, Pa with his wife and three children. He also lives near a retirement home that he visits with his children and his dog, Buster. If you enjoyed Gumshoe Granny Investigates, please check out Bess in her second book, Clues Over Croissants, as well as Married To Mysteries, Whispers In Winter and Suspicions at Sunset.
A second mystery series was begun with Death at The Presidents Church, the first installment that features two elderly sisters who use their social connections in Washington D.C. to solve mysteries. The first book dealt with the death of a homeless man. The second book in the series, The Blair House Cat Mystery, is just released.
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