Who needs a good mystery, to curl up with, during this very cold winter? Our friend Rebecca, from The Cadence Group is stopping by to introduce us to today’s guest. Please help me in welcoming Rebecca and author, Duncan Whitehead!!
Duncan Whitehead was born in England in 1967. After a successful career in the Royal Navy where he served in British Embassies throughout South America and saw service in the Gulf War he joined the world of super yachts as a Purser onboard some of the world’s largest private vessels, working for many high profile individuals, being fortunate enough to visit some of the world’s most luxurious and exotic places.
Eventually retiring to Savannah, Georgia, he began to partake of his greatest passion, writing. Initially writing short stories he finally put pen to paper and wrote The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club, inspired by the quirky characters and eeriness of his new environment. The book, a thriller, which boasts an assortment of characters and plot twists, is set in the leafy neighborhood where he lived.
His passion for comedy saw submissions to many online satire news sites and a stint performing as a stand- up comedian.
He is a former boxer, representing the Royal Navy and an English under 19 team as an amateur and is a qualified teacher of English as a foreign language as well as a former accomplished children’s soccer coach.
In 2011 Duncan returned to South America, spending six months in Brazil and a few months in Paraguay before travelling to the Middle-East and Europe before returning to the United States to settle in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and lists his hobbies and passions as cooking, the Israeli self defense art of Krav Maga and the pressure point martial art Dim- Mak.
Duncan has written over 2,000 spoof and comedy news articles, under various aliases, for an assortment of web sites both in the US and UK.
As well as his other activities he performs volunteer work, as a hospice volunteer visitor and teaches English to refugees arriving in South Florida.
He has penned a further novel; a comedy set in Manhattan, The Reluctant Jesus, which is set to be published early 2013 and is working on the script for a potential sit-com.
The development of the characters for my book – The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club – came about very interestingly. I had written a number of years ago, two unpublished short stories that had twists at the end. I used these two separate and standalone stories as the basis of some of the plot and developed certain characters from the original short stories. The character of Elliot was always going to be a former children’s writer and I needed him to have a pretty plausible back-story so I loosely based him on a real life alderman who lived in my neighborhood. I then rewrote my original short story and used the character of Elliot as the main protagonist.
The character Kurtze I wanted to come across as a nice old man, a sort of Grandfather type figure. My aim was to make him as approachable, kind and decent as possible…which (and not to spoil the plot) is to shock the readers when his true (or possibly true) identity is revealed……..
Kelly was a fun character to work with; she is attractive and kind of dumb but deep down is a caring person. In my mind she kind of resembled Britney Spears, pretty but vulnerable. She is of course not based on any real person.
The development of The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club characters, the actual women who form the club was also very fun. I decided to have three characters who though friends, had entirely different backgrounds and conflicting moral standards.
Heidi I saw as a stern looking woman, fierce and kind of a natural leader, her character developed into something abhorrently evil and sinister though it was fun to kind of progress her from a nice, harmless old lady into (and no spoilers) something or someone with a very checkered past.
Carla, who is portrayed on the cover of the book, is an attractive woman to whom the years have been kind. I based her character on women who pamper themselves and pay a lot of money to retain their figures and partake of plastic surgery. Her secrets befitted her character, a man hunter, a cougar and a woman who could manipulate thanks to her looks.
Many of the characters have traits of people I know and I used those traits to help me develop each individual character, there is part of someone I know in every character of the book and sometimes in more than one character.
The great thing I feel about the characters in my book is that I can develop them further, especially in the sequel and for those that survive this book there will be more secrets and back-stories that will let readers get to know them even more!
ABOUT THE BOOK
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.
Purchase links: Amazon B&N IndieBound
Fun fact: February 22 is National Dog Walking Day.
THE GORDONSTON LADIES DOG WALKING CLUB eBook will be on $ .99 promo from February 14 through February 22.
THANKS TO REBECCA, FROM THE CADENCE GROUP,
I HAVE ONE (1) PRINT COPY TO GIVE AWAY.
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