Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club

I’m always interested in learning about new mystery titles and when they are filled with twists and surprises, it’s that much better. Thanks to the fine folks at The Cadence Group I discussed such a title with The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club. I’m delighted to welcome the book’s author, Duncan Whitehead, here today to talk about this release and his writing.

Here’s a description of The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club:
    Something is not quite right in the leafy Savannah neighborhood of Gordonston.
     As friends and fellow members of her afternoon cocktail club gather to mourn the death and lament the life of Thelma Miller, not all is what it seems.
     As old friends vie for the attention of widower, Alderman and mayoral candidate Elliott, jealousies surface and friendships are strained. An old woman with a dark secret and an infamous uncle plots her revenge for a perceived wrong done over thirty years before, a once successful children’s writer with his own secret is haunted by memories of the past and aspiring model Kelly Hudd has just won the trip of a lifetime. 

    As secrets are revealed and history, both old and recent, unravel and an intertwined web of deceits and lies surfaces in the middle class neighborhood a killer lurks and is anyone really who they seem to be?
     A mysterious European gentleman in South America, a young Italian count parading the streets of Paris and a charitable and kind hearted nephew recently arrived from India add to the remarkable assortment of characters in this story of intrigue, deceit and revenge. What is the secret a recently retired accountant is trying to hide and just why did the former showgirl and attractive sixty two-year-old widow Carla Zipp really have plastic surgery?
     As the plot thickens and the Georgia summer temperature rises we discover who is destined for an early-unmarked grave in the wooded park that centers the tree-lined avenues of Gordonston.
     A mysterious organization with links to organized crime, a handsome fire fighter who can do no wrong and a trio of widows with deep hidden agendas compound a story of simplistic complexity.
     As twists and turns lead the reader to a conclusion that they will not see coming and a sucker punch ending that will leave readers breathless, The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club’s top priority remains the need to chastise the culprit who refuses to ‘scoop’ after his dog walking sessions in their treasured park. 

Duncan has graciously answered a number of questions pertaining to his book and his writing.

Mason - How does a person with a background as diverse as yours come to write about Savannah, these intriguing characters and this tantalizing plot?

Duncan - Well, it was my background that led me to Savannah. I first visited Savannah in 2002, while working for the most Gordonston Coversuccessful Australian TV producer onboard his super yacht. I fell in love with the place. I began dating a girl from Savannah and eventually I bought a home there. While I continued to travel the world I returned to Savannah as a home base. I got married, had a child and actually lived in the neighborhood that I write about.  

I found the neighborhood, and my new neighbors quirky and they inspired me to write a fictional novel, based on my location and some of the characters, whom I loosely based characters on, and so was born the book.

Mason - With the book now printed, what was the most surprising thing that happened during your writing process?

Duncan - The most surprising thing for me during my writing process was how much I enjoyed telling the story, I became addicted to the characters and to me they seemed real. I would imagine what certain characters would do in certain situations. It really did take over my life for a while.

Mason - Of all the characters in your story, which one was the most fun to write?

Duncan - That is a tough one. I have actually anticipated this question and I struggle because there are so many fun and quirky characters. Heidi was fun, because behind her mask of genteel old lady who seemed to be the pillar of the society there was a very sinister and dark personality. Kelly was fun as it was easier to introduce humor into her character as she was kind of ‘dumb’, but in a nice way. Billy, because he so devious was also a fun character to play with.

Mason - Have you always wanted to write or was there an event that lead you to writing?

Duncan - I have always wanted to write. As a child I would read a book a week, I would not watch TV.  I like comedy and writing jokes and, having worked for a successful novelist, who encouraged me, I decided I would do what I always wanted to do

Mason - As a published author, has your perspective of authors changed?

Duncan - Yes, it isn’t all about writing a good story. The marketing aspect, the reading of reviews, which can sometimes be a traumatic experience, has shown me that authors sometimes have a hard time. Finding time to write is difficult, once you are published, so I admire those writers who can still write and market their books AND still interact with their fans.
Mason - What can readers look forward to next from you?

Duncan - I am still writing on the web, spoof news and satirical stories. My next novel, which is an out and out comedy, The Reluctant Jesus, is currently at the editing stage and I hope it will be released this year. A sequel to The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club has been drafted and I am also working on a further comedic novel, “Match”.

The next immediate thing on the horizon is finalizing the movie treatment for The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club. It has been completed and several studios have requested copies, so that is very exciting.

Duncan, thanks for joining us today and answering these questions. I can understand how it would be hard to select one character over another as being fun to write.

For more on Duncan and his writing, visit his website at http://www.thegordonstonladiesdogwalkingclub.com/index.php

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Do you enjoy a book where the town is as much a character in the story as the people are?


  1. Duncan, thanks again for sharing a glimpse behind the scenes of your writing. I think when an author really enjoys writing the story, it comes through making it fun for the reader too. Wishing you much success.

  2. Mason - Thanks for hosting Duncan.

    Duncan - How interesting that you've chosen Savannah as your setting. It's got so much history; it makes a terrific setting I think. And I couldn't agree more that the way we think about writers and writing changes once we've done it ourselves.

  3. Thank you! I really enjoyed doing this interview, the book is now just $2.99 everywhere. Savannah is a great setting for characters......


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