Monday, September 29, 2008

A VERY Interesting Story! Come visit with Dee Owen

Hi Dee. Please tell us about the author of your newest book.

My mum's name was:
Marjorie Grace Patricia Bridget Owen born on September 11th 1911 in England and endured the bombardment of World War II. As far as we know, she was born out-of-wedlock with an Irish Lord for a father and a Russian princess as her mother.

Although her life before working is somewhat sketchy, her career, as a major London department store clothing buyer, was long and interesting. Members of the Royal family were amongst some of her more famous clients.

Marjorie found time to write many short stories and four novels ranging from romance to mystery. She did not attempt to publish any of her writings.

We can only surmise that she wrote for the joy and did not wish to seek any recognition or fame.

Marjorie passed away on March 28th 2004, after a very full life, at the age of ninety-three.

Mum had told my husband, Mike that she had written a couple of stories and let him read them some years ago. She expressed no interest in having them published at that time.

He was never aware of the amount that she had written until she passed away. Mike, being an only child and having no Aunts or Uncles, is the sole heir to Marjorie’s estate. He discovered the box full of Mum’s writings on clearing her flat in England and took them back to the USA.

As an avid reader, I, Dee (her daughter-in-law) became fascinated with Mum’s stories and books. All her writings were hand written on legal size paper or note books and on both sides of the paper.

I began reading some of the short stories (there are fifty plus). After reading a few, I was hooked and decided to attempt the monumental task of transcribing them to computer.

Mum’s writing was not the easiest to read, however, I set myself the challenge and was going to follow through. At first, Mike assisted with the ‘translation’ of Mum’s hand writing. At times we became frustrated with each other and Mum.

After a couple of stories, I became an expert, reading Mum’s writing and even improving my own typing skills and speed. As yet, I have not completed the task, with a few more stories to go and two novels, after three years of work. I decided to see if my opinion about Mum’s writing skills were correct and began submitting several of the short stories for publishing.

Several of Mum’s stories were accepted for publishing by online magazines and were published without pay. But exposure is important. A small success spurred me to try for bigger things.

The first book of Mum’s was published on March 15th 2008. “Ladies of Class” by Vintage Romance Publishing. Both Mike and I are really happy and hope that the book will be a success and lead to further books and stories being published.

Our blog for Mum’s writings is The website is

SDC: How interesting, Dee! Tell us now about your book. I haven’t read it yet.

DO: In the book Ladies of Class, Richard Hayward’s promotion and move from the big city life to the sleepy town of Burshill, England, has been shattered. Sir John Bury needs a murder solved. Clues take him from Burshill to California, Paris and London and back in time. As the story progresses the plot thickens. Richard Hayward's reputation as the youngest officer to be promoted to Detective Chief Inspector precedes him. Richard hoped his recent transfer and move to Burshill would allow him a quiet convalescence from a broken leg. But his peace was soon to be disturbed by a phone call from Sir John Bury, the Chief Constable.

A murder had been committed that night and Richard's ability to solve crimes, in spite of his unconventional methods, were needed before his duties officially began.

The results of his investigations and travels, in search of clues and answers to the apparently senseless murders are surprising. Several ladies of a particular ‘class’ become part of the inquiry. As the facts begin to unfold, they not only amaze Richard, himself and the community of Burshill, but extends all the way to the top brass of Scotland Yard. In the face of adversity, Richard manages to outwit the criminal and emerges triumphant

SDC: You have a pen name. Tell us how you selected Marjorie.

DO: Well, (as you saw by the bio) I didn’t write the book! It was written by my husband’s mother, Marjorie, who passed away at the age of 93

SKC: Why mystery?

DO: Mum was an avid reader and liked murder mystery stories.

SDC: After a long day of writing or doing revisions in a story what is the very first thing you do?

DO: Well, I did several rounds of edits on Mum’s book, with much advice from our publisher. The first thing I would do, is jump in the pool and swim a few laps!

SDC: How long have you been writing, Dee?

DO: We’re really not sure how long Mum wrote for. When she passed on, we found the four novels and fifty plus short stories she’d written. Reading them, leads me to believe that she started writing in the late ‘40’s early 50’s.

SDC: How do you encourage other authors who get rejection slips?

DO: Keep on trying! With Mum’s work, I started with submitting her short stories to online magazines for free. Then someone suggested I should try to get one of her books published. I did and had quite a few rejections, but kept persisting and now its published!

SDC: Do you think you will move from a small press publisher to the larger ones, and what made you decide to choose Vintage?

DO: Vintage Romance were looking for books with historical content. Ladies of Class goes back in time to pre – World War 11, so I think that was one of the reasons I tried them. If LOC sells well, Mum wrote a sequel and I would like for VR to publish it. I think the larger publisher’s are a bit too competitive for me! If things went well with two books…who knows. I may have to hire a ghost writer!

SDC: What advice do you have for other aspiring authors coming into the field of writing?

DO: Trust yourself. Have confidence in your writing. Write from the heart.

SDC: What excites you most about your writing experience?

DO: The thing that has and still excites me about the process of having Mum’s works published is, just that, seeing her name recognized, seeing and touching the first book in print, the whole experience and ongoing!

SDC: What other books are your reading right now?

DO: At the moment I reading for my Certificate of education units to maintain my Educational Therapist status. Neurophsyiologic basis of language and other research.

SDC: Have you begun anything new since the project you just finished?

DO: No. Just waiting to see how LOC sells before attacking the sequel!

Thank you so much for joining us, Dee! This was a very interesting interview!

For anyone interested in winning a copy of Dee's book, please drop us a comment here! We would love to hear from you and will be selecting our winner in a couple of weeks.

People can purchase a copy of Dee's book by clicking on and/or going to Dee Owen's website, which is listed under authors.



  1. What a wonderful experience to collabrate with your mom and see her dreams fulfilled. Your voice will grow from hers, and amaze you when it does.

    Bill Wetterman

  2. How amazing to have your Mum's manuscripts! Thanks for all your work in preserving these treasures. I'd love to win a copy of "Ladies of Class." Please enter me into the drawing.

  3. I loved reading the interview, and this sounds like a fascinating book.

    Please enter me in the contest.

    Thank you,

    Becky C.

  4. Thank you Bill, Sarah, Robert and Becky for your wonderful comments. Thank you Shirley for hosting me on your blog. It is really fun getting Mum's works published. I hope to get the sequel to "Ladies of Class" published, as well as some of her short stories.
    Thank you all. Dee

  5. This sounds like a village cozy, my favorite type of mystery. I also found a good review of it online and would definitely love to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

  6. What a special book to get transcribed AND published. I am awed by your efforts and determination. I love mystery stories and am very interested in reading this one written by someone who had no formal training in the art of writing. I am sure I will appreciate the story written by someone who appreciates stories enough to write some herself. Please enter me in your drawing. Thanks.
    Pam Williams
    cepjwms at yahoo dot com

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