Interview with Mercedes King, Author of Grave Secrets
10 Nov 2020
What can you tell us about your new release, Grave Secrets?
Grave Secrets is a gripping, heart-wrenching tale that focuses on Delilah Baker, a young woman who’s overcome a great deal of trauma, including the disappearance of her mother nearly fifteen years ago. Delilah is now in a better place, having recently finished college, and she’s decided to return to her hometown and repair her broken relationships. Not long after her arrival, and after getting off to a rocky start with her grandmother and brother, Delilah learns that her abusive father is getting released from prison–and also returning home. It’s an emotional blow for her, but she determines not to let it derail her. At the same time, she’s also taken a huge step in looking into her mother’s case. New information surfaces, prompting the investigation to be re-examined. But Delilah isn’t prepared for the fallouts and consequences that result from uncovering the truth.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
Reading was my passion growing up. I was also hooked on soap operas. When I discovered Mary Higgins Clark in middle school, and realized I could write my own stories, well, the rest is history.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
Helter Skelter and In Cold Blood, because I’m a true-crime lover and those books–those cases!–left a lasting impression. To Kill a Mockingbird. I’ve read it six times. The symbolism and history wrap together so painfully and beautifully. It’s timeless. The View From Saturday and The Sign of the Beaver, because I homeschooled my five kids, and these were among the most memorable, meaningful stories we read. They’re middle-grade books, but the writing is exquisite and the stories are unforgettable.
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
How about the Bronte sisters! I’d want to know which book is their mom’s favorite and what would Thanksgiving look like at their English home? If that’s out of reach, I wouldn’t mind sitting down with Lisa Unger and soaking up some writing tips and advice. She’s one of my favorite crime-thriller writers.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
I love plotting my books. Having that germ of an idea and seeing if it can be shaped and molded into a viable tale with plenty of twists and interesting characters is my favorite part.
What is a typical day like for you?
After my morning dose of caffeine (because all writers run on copious amounts of caffeine), I usually start my day by reading, then exercising. Most of my afternoons are devoted to writing or editing, depending on what stage I’m at with a book. Interspersed throughout the day, I check in on social media, tend to my beloved dogs, and get in some adulting. Evenings are spent mainly with my family.
What scene from Grave Secrets was your favorite to write?
Actually, one of my favorite scenes to write centered around the book’s villain, Bill. He’s up to no good, of course, but as he’s working on a scheme, he takes a moment to pet and feed the cat. It’s that rare moment where he’s humanized, and even though he’s done a lot of terrible things and hurt people, there is a speck of something good in him. That doesn’t mean he’s a redeemable character, but I think that snippet is an unexpected surprise–especially since the main character loves her cat.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
“Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself.” I love this!
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