Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Straight from the Mouth of Darden North, Author of 'The Five Manners of Death'

Darden North’s mystery and thriller novels have been awarded nationally, most notably an IPPY in Southern Fiction for Points of Origin.  His newest thriller, The Five Manners of Death, also follows Wiggle Room, Fresh Frozen, and House Call. Darden North has served on author panels at writing conferences including Killer Nashville, Murder on the Menu, SIBA Thriller Author Panel, and Murder in the Magic City. To book Darden for a book club, book signing, or presentation contact: A board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist practicing at Jackson Healthcare for Women in Flowood, Mississippi, Darden North is Chairman of the Board of the Mississippi Public Broadcasting Foundation and a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Mississippi Medical Association. He lives in Jackson with his wife Sally and enjoys family, travel, and, outdoor activities. The Norths have two adult children, who also work in the medical field. Author website: 

Purchase links for The Five Manners of Death:

• Barnes & Noble:
• Smashwords:
• Square Books:
• Lemuria Books:


Thanks for letting us interrogate you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?
     I wanted to be more famous than I already am.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?
     The main perk of being a published author is getting to meet a whole bunch of interesting folks. Writing novels and promoting them propels you out of your comfort zone, exposing you to new ideas and people—and maybe some different places—that would have been off the radar in your “other” profession. The demands of writing successfully lie in crafting unique stories about characters mixed-up in troubling situations and in the challenge of getting those novels published.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?
My first three novels were self-published; the next two (including my newest) were not. Having someone else in charge of book design, layout, and the process required to make the book available to stores and electronic devices is a relief. However, authors these days have to do a lot of their own promotion regardless of the publishing route.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?
    Sometimes they think I’m crazy. (My other job as a full-time ob/gyn physician keeps me busy enough!)

Do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?

     My wife and I have two small dogs, each about 10 years old, a Chihuahua (Valerie) and a Pomeranian-rat terrier mix (Foxy). Yes, Foxy really does resemble a fox. Valerie and Foxy love me best because I feed them on a regular basis and pay them the most attention. They are devoted to me, particularly Foxy. After endless time glued to my laptop during a writing session, Foxy will give up and sit at my feet, while Valerie will stand a few yards away and let out a piercing, ear drum-splitting bark to announce that I’ve been at it long enough. Valerie also tries to find her way onto my desk somehow to check for any candy or gum I might be hiding there.

Are your plants actually still alive?

     I love plants too. Fortunately, my lawn sprinkling system remains operational, and I can still afford the water bill—and the potted plants are just outside the exits to our house, so it’s difficult to ignore them. My wife is not a plant lover.

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

    It’s OK for the phone to ring because it might be Hollywood calling. As for my boss, I do try to balance my time with wife and family. (Personally, I think I do a good job with that. Maybe you should ask them.) I do not cook, and when my family needs dinner, I just hand them the credit card for take-out.

What was the craziest or most insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

     One weekend after a book festival in Memphis, my wife backed over my laptop with our car. She still swears it was an accident.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?
     Opinions certainly vary here, but I have found Facebook useful in spreading the word about a new book release or related event. My author page on Facebook is: and it’s kept up-to-date. With sharing and boosting post options, I have noticed that book sales do respond to online messages and posts. I’m also on Instagram: @dardennorth.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

      For my newly released novel, The Five Manners of Death, my publisher WordCrafts Press made pre-release orders available online to get a jumpstart on sales. In addition, my publicist arranged the blog tour for me upon release of the novel, and I have scheduled book signings in bricks-and-mortar book stores.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?
     What author doesn’t want to hit The New York Times Bestseller List? A movie or TV series deal based on one or more of my novels would be even better.

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

     What I love about being a published author is the privilege of sharing my stories with others via the printed page, whether on paper or per electronic device. Of course, it’s great to have a couple of my novels, Points of Origin and Fresh Frozen, published on digital audio as well. Being able to piece sentences into paragraphs and then into pages to complete a novel may indeed be an art—or maybe it is a gift. However, I do strive to capture the minds of readers and make my fiction seem real.

—Darden North

1 comment:

Darden North said...

Thank you for inviting me to stop by "Straight from the Author's Mouth."