Author Guest Post & Book Giveaway: THE QUICK AND THE THREAD

Today’s guest author, Amanda Lee (AKA Gayle Trent) shares how she creates fictional towns with realistic geographic facts without ever leaving her desk! Scroll down to read more about Amanda and today’s book giveaway! (Leave a comment or question on today’s post -Aug 3 and Come back tomorrow to see if you’ve won!)

“How to Get to Tallulah Falls”

Tallulah Falls is the name of the fictional town which provides the setting for The Quick and the Thread. Since my editor wanted the story set in this fictional town on the Oregon coast, and since this was my first job with a “big six publisher,” I readily agreed. But how does a writer from Southwest Virginia find her way to Tallulah Falls, Oregon?

A visit to the Oregon coast was out of the question. I had neither the money nor the time to travel across the country to soak up local color. My first step, therefore, was to search the Oregon coast online. Naturally, my search turned up a lot of tourist-related sites. I requested information from several of them, and soon my mailbox and e-mail in-box was overflowing with Oregon coast travel information. I received brochures and catalogs with beautiful glossy photos. The photos helped me get a feel for the environment. The maps included in the tourist information provided valuable details such as interstate routes, most common types of restaurants and annual activities.

I mention whale watching in The Quick and the Thread. Through the tourist catalogs I received, I learned that whale watching is a favorite winter activity for Oregon coast tourists and residents alike. I thought maybe seeing some whale watching footage might give me more perspective on the activity than merely reading about it, so I did a YouTube search. To my surprise, a search for “whale watching on the Oregon coast” actually yielded results. There weren’t many, but there were enough for me to get a better sense of the excitement of whale watching.

Since travel brochures failed to provide me with an understanding of actually living on the Oregon coast, I searched for online newspapers of towns whose names I’d gleaned from the brochures. I checked out newspapers from Depoe Bay, Lincoln City and Yachats. One of the newspapers offered a six-month online subscription, and I subscribed. I printed out articles of interest and filed them in a large file box. I also checked out the real estate listings and advertisements. After all, I needed to know what type of house Marcy would realistically buy, what types of community events she might want to take part in and what shops would compete with The Seven-Year Stitch.

I finally became enamored of the charming seaside town of Tallulah Falls. If you pay us a visit, I think you might like it, too.

About Today’s Guest Author:

Amanda Lee is the lady next to you in the grocery line or car pool. She has twins: one boy and one girl, she’s a baseball fan, she likes to decorate cakes, she rocks at Guitar Hero…oh, and she likes to think about murder. But it’s okay! She only writes about murder–a lot.

Amanda Lee is also Gayle Trent, author of the Daphne Martin Cake Decorating series that includes Dead Pan and Murder Takes the Cake.

Gayle is also a contributor to WOW! Women On Writing. Her most recent article is Avoiding Plotholes, featured in this month’s Fiction Writer’s Toolkit issue. If you missed it, be sure to check it out! It provides fantastic tips for fiction writers.

Amanda Lee (AKA Gayle Trent)

Author’s Websites:




About the book you can WIN!!

The first in a new mystery series that will have readers stitching–and itching–for more…

Marcy Singer has big plans: a move to the breathtaking Oregon coast, opening an embroidery shop called The Seven Year Stitch, and a fun grand opening stitch-in. What she doesn’t plan on is the shop’s old owner showing up–DEAD–in her shop. Some people think Marcy killed him. Some people think she’s the next victim. All Marcy knows is someone has to uncover the murderer before she’s forced to flip the sign on her shop door to CLOSED permanently. And it looks like that someone might be Marcy.

Note: The Quick and the Thread hasn’t even been released yet and it’s already been named a Romantic Times Top Pick with a 4 1/2 stars excellent rating!!


Filed under Advice, Author Interviews, books, Give Aways, Novels, writers

17 responses to “Author Guest Post & Book Giveaway: THE QUICK AND THE THREAD

  1. Thank you so much for having me here on your wonderful blog!

  2. I’m curious…do you check to see if a Tallulah Falls actually exists? Imagine if you created a “murder city” and it actually existed. Wow, would you be getting the hate mail. Of course it’s kind of funny too.

    • I didn’t check to see if Tallulah Falls existed, but I assumed the editor did. Although you know what they say about assume…. I did check, and there is a Tallulah Falls in Georgia. That’s probably far enough away not to ruffle any feathers! 🙂

  3. Jan Udlock

    Hi Amanda,

    Was this the first time you had to pick a town? You made it sound so easy…a lot of work but actually fun.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • I chose Brea Ridge for my fictional town in the Daphne Martin cake decorating series. It’s located between the real towns of Abingdon and Bristol, Virginia. Since I live in Bristol, I wanted to be sure and create a town that didn’t exist! I didn’t want all my neighbors to ask, “Hey, did you mean me when you said..?” 🙂

  4. Kathy

    Are you going to travel to the Oregon coast when your book is a huge success?

    Love hearing how you research your new books…do you have guinea pigs? and snakes?

  5. Kathy, bless your beautiful heart for saying WHEN rather than IF! 🙂 And, yes, I’d love to travel to the Oregon coast. After researching it, it sounds great.

    I don’t have guinea pigs (but my neighbor has two) or snakes (my husband would DIE!). But I do have dogs and cats. In fact, I posted a picture this morning of me with my Great Pyrenees puppy on my lap. (He’s four months old.)

  6. Carol Wong

    Think that you pick a lovely place to plant the town for you book. Do you plan to have the main character continue in future books?


  7. Mary

    I grew up in Oregon and have spent a lot of time at the beach. I can’t wait to read your book. It will probably make me very homesick!

  8. Your book sounds intriguing. I’m too late for the drawing, but I might send it on as a read to my reading group friends. : )

  9. Pingback: Tips Portal

  10. Are you sure that your fictional town was really fictional?! On reading the book, your town seemed very familiar to me.

  11. My partner and I stumbled over here by a different web address and thought I may as well check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to looking at your web page again.

  12. Hi I am so glad I found your website, I really found you by error, while I was looking on Askjeeve for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say thanks for a tremendous post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the great b.

  13. Martha Mills

    I love your books that i have read so far. I am from southwest Virginia always, I grew up in Norton VA.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s