Author: Bluette Matthey
Publisher: Blue Shutter Publishing
Genre: Travel Mystery
Outfitter Hardy Durkin and company are visiting the Black Forest area of Germany, staying in the guest wing of a local castle, Schloss Haeflin. In the midst of hiking the Black Forest, enjoying all things Swabian, and spending a day in Baden-Baden, the hikers find themselves at ground zero for coeds disappearing from the nearby University of Freiburg and foul play is suspected. Unresolved personal issues of several members of the group threaten the tour’s cohesion, and Hardy discovers the Baron, who owns the schloss, has stolen someone’s identity as well as his fortune. Ever the sleuth, Hardy untangles the web of deceit, madness, and murder in ‘The Black Forest Reckoning’.
Please tell us about Black Forest Reckoning, and what inspired you to write it.
I chose the Black Forest area of Germany as the setting for Black Forest Reckoning. The area has a definite mystique with its lore and traditions, and the food is rich and delectable. The history and culture of the area offer a plethora of jumping off points of interest. I was drawn to the various conquests of the region, the historical religious tensions, the Nazi occupation, the phenomena of the Stolpersteine Stones, and the sophistication of Baden-Baden as a casino and spa destination.
In Black Forest Reckoning, Hardy Durkin and company are visiting the Black Forest area of Germany, staying in the guest wing of a local castle, Schloss Haeflin. In the midst of hiking the Black Forest, enjoying all things Swabian, and spending a day in Baden-Baden, the hikers find themselves at ground zero for coeds disappearing from the nearby University of Freiburg and foul play is suspected. Unresolved personal issues of several members of the group threaten the tour’s cohesion, and Hardy discovers the Baron who owns the schloss has stolen someone’s identity as well as his fortune. Ever the sleuth, Hardy untangles the web of deceit, madness, and murder in Black Forest Reckoning.
What themes do you explore in Black Forest Reckoning?
Besides the mystery and travelogue, I examine human frailties, ego, and depravity of the soul.
Why do you write?
I enjoy it. I find it immensely satisfying and therapeutic.
How picky are you with language?
I think of myself as a wordsmith. I think the choice of words is extremely important in terms of accuracy and the descriptive energy of words. I write, ever-conscious of the impact my words are intended to make in the lives of my characters and on those reading my books. I sift language carefully.
When you write, do you sometimes feel as though you were being manipulated from afar?
You mean am I visited by a Muse? Sometimes writing is a slog; at other times the material flows so fast I can barely keep up with it.
What is your worst time as a writer?
Sometimes I get stuck in a rut thinking out a plot line and it just keeps hitting ‘replay’ and I get nowhere with it. I feel like I’m trapped in a distorted mirror house at the county fair.
When the breakthrough finally comes … all the puzzle pieces fall neatly into place and the sun comes out.
Is there anything that would stop you from writing?
Being incapacitated would do it.
What’s the happiest moment you’ve lived as an author?
I love visiting the locales that are settings for my books. As I travel the regions, I mentally weave a tapestry that is the story line for my mystery. It is a joyous, liberating time.
Is writing an obsession to you?
The telling is more a compulsion. What comes from the emotional, psychological cauldron where my thoughts simmer and blend. Writing is the vehicle. It is an act of creation stimulated by my imagination which reflects how I see myself and the world around me. Giving birth is not an obsession, more a physical necessity.
Are the stories you create connected with you in some way?
In many ways. Parts of me get cherry-picked for inclusion in my characters or plots. Opinions, ideas, experiences, highs, lows, seasons, fears, places I’ve visited, people I’ve known … my very personal reference library of everything and everyone that has in some way or another put its fingerprint on my soul.
Ray Bradbury once said, “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” Do you agree?
I wouldn’t put it that way. Reality is the flip-side of the unreal, which is more real. Both are part of an organic whole. I make both work for me; they are both a part of me. It’s the totality of life. That’s where I get my buzz.
Where is your book available?
All my books (Corsican Justice; Abruzzo Intrigue; Black Forest Reckoning) are available on blueshutterpublising.com; Amazon; Barnes & Noble; Smashwords; iPad, and other sites.
Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about you and your work?
bluettematthey.com; blueshutterpublishing.com; Goodreads; bluette matthey facebook; and Twitter@HardyDurkin.