Write Now Literary is pleased to be organizing a two-week book tour for Black, White and RED All Over by Deeann D. Mathews. The book tour will run February 1-12, 2021.
Genre: Christian Mystery/Suspense
About the Author
Deeann D. Mathews is an author, musician, and fractal artist, from San Francisco, CA. She is the author of Black, White, and RED All Over, the first in a series of clean Christian mysteries, and also the author of Seasons Siblings’ Timeshare Tiff, a fictional take on the famous fall weather of her hometown. She is also the creative director of Praising Pilgrims Music, a small publishing company of music and music-related materials based in San Francisco, California. Ms. Mathews is also actively creating fractal art and other creative works across a variety of disciplines on Peakd.com.
About the Book
Ironwood Hamilton, new captain of police in Tinyville VA, is put at odds with his regional police colleagues when a new and confrontational Black newspaper hits them all with a demand for public release of records about police brutality in Lofton County. With the help of one loyal lieutenant and a relative with a famous name and suitably dangerous temperament, Captain Hamilton must gather the clues to a plan for rogue police action that will eventuate in blood and fire!
“It used to be ‘what’s that black and white and read all over?’ was a joke told about the newspaper, but every newspaper in the hands of racist reactionaries in the South has indeed been red all over – soaked with the blood of innocent Black people brutalized and slaughtered over lies in print that continue to this day.
“No more will we allow the wholesale placarding of racist tomes about ourselves and our children to pass for news. No more will we not have a voice to raise in challenge. No more shall we, the Black populations of Tinyville, Littleburg, Miniopolis, Smallwood, Shortport, Big Loft, and the rural countryside be passively painted as savages while the real savages sit comfortably in places of law, commerce, and politics. Be it known to all Virginia: those days are over! Hereby understand that the Lofton County Free Voice will roar back at the voices of racist reactionary news, beginning in Tinyville, then across Lofton County, then to the uttermost parts of Virginia!”
Captain Ironwood Hamilton and Lieutenant Patrick O’Reilly of Tinyville’s two-man police force stood at the nearest public bulletin board nearest the police station, reading what they had been reading, over and over again, on their regular dawn walk through the town.
The lieutenant was 25 years old, medium height and build, with bright red hair, ruddy skin, green eyes, and a shocking Southern drawl (unless you know the Scotch-Irish history of the southeastern United States).
The captain was 45 years old, six feet tall, sinewy, with iron-gray eyes and hair to match. His features looked like something that those Southern artists who loved to carve Confederates out of marble would have adored – classic, strong features, handsome, calm, and resolute. The slight pinch in those features from the sudden headache the captain was experiencing would of course have been glossed over.
“Wow,” said Lieutenant O’Reilly. “Have ever you read such bombast in all your life, Captain?”
Captain Ironwood Hamilton shook his head slowly, slowly because of the headache that was increasing every second.
“It’s only bombast if the Lofton County Free Voice can’t do what it says. I rather think it can, or at least can make a gallant effort.”
Lieutenant O’Reilly’s green eyes got wide.
“Captain, you’re not serious! A Black newspaper? In Lofton County? They won’t last a week!”
Captain Hamilton shook his head again and restrained his urge to rub his throbbing temples.
“It’s not 1819, and these are not amateurs we are dealing with. Just from this first issue, I know they have a good chunk of money in hand, dedicated people, and good strategic and tactical sense.”
How did you come up with ideas for this book? I am a voracious reader and was a professional journalist, and I still take a keen interest in current events. I am also a student of history, with emphases on the Civil War and Reconstruction, World War II, and Nazi Germany. I also am a devoted Christian servant of a a five-generation-deep Black community in San Francisco, so I am steeped in the stories of my elders as they struggled toward civil rights, and of the younger generations as they struggle to maintain and expand those rights. So: I noticed patterns in current events and the struggle to maintain and expand freedom that are eerily similar to past events, and adapted them into my work!
What do you hope readers will learn/discover from reading your book? How to actually stand on the side of freedom from wherever you start, and also what that looks like from a Biblical Christian perspective, not a common church perspective.
What inspired you to write this book? I won a writing award online for my short stories on a particular platform, and Ironwood Hamilton was one of the occasional characters I used on certain writing prompts that required a detective. I decided to write some extra content in that next two weeks to thank the platform for the award, and then realized: I had written an entire novel!
What’s next for you? I have a BUNCH of ideas for sequels, but I also have ideas for Civil War-era and science fiction series … folks who have a fear of a Black planet will have their fears realized!
What was the most difficult aspect of writing this book? Time – I was being recognized for a certain period of time, and I wanted to get the extra content out and be finished. But, literally, current events of the last four years have provided me an abundance of material to rearrange along with the decades of reading in fiction and nonfiction.
Did you have to do any special research for your book? I had to look into the nature of the Freedom of Information Act to make the story work, and also a bit about PTSD episodes to explain certain things in Captain Hamilton and especially Captain Lee’s behavior.
Why do you write? Is it something you’ve always done, or always wanted to do? Or is it something that you started fairly recently? Since nine years old I have been writing, and it is part of the make-up of my being a major creative – writing, composing, and visual art – I create because that is who I am, and a big part of that is writing.
In five words describe your book? Current realities explored through fiction!
Excluding your own, name 3 books you would recommend to your friends and why? The Bible, because it is indeed the Book of Books, and everything necessary of human life and eternity that is to be learned is there, although it is required to get to know the Author first before being able to get the most out of it. At the moment, I would add on The Worst Journey in the World, which is the journal of a survivor of Scott’s two-year expedition to Antarctica – the pettiness of the object for which the journey was made, the truly terrifying beauty of Antarctica, and the loss of Scott and his team and the search for the answers on what happen make for a riveting tale. Set aside a good deal of time, though: the book is as thick as the Bible. On any day, I would recommend Up From Slavery; Mr. Booker T. Washington’s message of uplifting one’s self and one’s community is always timeless and needed everywhere.
Name 3 authors you would love to collaborate with. I can’t – I read a ton of authors, but I write eccentrically, and thus, alone.
Among all the books that you have read, which of these have significantly contributed to your writing style? Growing up figuring out in wee years how to understand and read through the King James Bible, my grandmother’s old copy of Macbeth, and a bunch of old material about the Civil War probably contributed a great deal to my way of telling a complex story with a lot of real-seeming characters over a long period of time, and what happens with a redemptive theme where it is accepted OR rejected. Years of journalism training smoothed out my writing style for today’s readers, but the grim logic of Macbeth still haunts my incorrigible villains, and the reality that God can take fallen people and make the best of them and their situations pops up all over the place, constantly. In the middle of those two themes, Robert E. Lee sits uneasily, for in those same wee years, I read a junior biography of him, and found an actual person who was somehow between Macbeth AND the redeemed … many a troubled character I have written borrows from his life story. Arthur Conan Doyle’s entire output of Sherlock Holmes stories influenced how I write a short mystery, but Agatha Christie’s Inspector Battle stories taught me how to bring all the complexity together into a DEEP mystery.
Just for fun
Coffee or tea? Tea
Lights on / lights off? Lights on – hard to write in the dark
3 things you never leave home without? I am a boring person: my bag, my wallet, and my hand sanitizer to kill you-know-what
Sleep in or get up early? Sleep in … I write into the wee hours (like, right now doing this)
3 celebrity crushes? Nope. I do not pay the least bit of attention to celebrity life … but if Eugene Goodman, hero at the Capitol, were available, I’d consider him for a BIG crush.
Any advice to give to aspiring writers? Keep writing, a little bit every day, and read TRUE things as much as possible. Read REAL history from all possible perspectives. Talk with REAL people that the mainstream culture ignores, and LISTEN to their stories. Read SOLID fiction that has stood the test of time, in every genre. Keep writing, a little bit every day.
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