Monday, July 9, 2012

Blog Tour Interview and Giveaway: The Grave Artist by Paula Lynn Johnson

Please help me in welcoming Paula Lynn Johnson to the Spine today in honor of her book The Grave Artist



Hi Paula Lynn, thank you so much for coming to Bending The Spine today!
Could you please tell us a little about yourself?
Sure! I'm a California girl, transplanted to Princeton, New Jersey area.  Like a lot of writers, I'm a former attorney who figured out law wasn't her cup of tea, although I do help out at my family's law practice (with the writing, of course!  Just the wordy stuff, please).  I also sell antiques out of Lambertville, NJ.  When I'm not writing, I'm hanging with my two eleven-year-olds (twins!), who are at that tricky age where they're starting to realize Mom's a dork, but aren't embarrassed by it . . . yet.  I'm also trying to potty-train our puppy with no results. 
What can you tell us about Grave Artist?
As far as genres go, the book has a little something for everyone.  At heart, it's a murder-mystery, but solved paranormally, since Clare communicates with a ghost.  A nice romance plays out along the way.  And it's also a coming-of-age story, since Clare starts to learn how to deal with a flawed reality with some grace.
What is your writing process? (Do you do extensive research? Do you write outlines? Do you know how your book will end when you start writing?)
Initially, the process is anything but linear.  I usually start with an image or a scene in mind, then build upon it like a jigsaw puzzle until I have a general idea what the story is about.  Then I force myself to draft an outline, even if only a few chapters, just to put some discipline on the process and get the ball rolling.  The story develops along the way.  My first drafts are always a mess, then its endless revising until it works. 
What is your favorite genre to read?
I love gothic, especially historical.  Maybe it's my love of antiques, but I'm drawn to older settings.  I gobbled up Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle trilogy.
What is you favorite book?
I have such a Jane Eyre fetish.  Historical gothic at its best!  And I've been obsessed with Mr. Rochester since I was twelve years old. Now I'm obsessed with Michael Fassbender as Mr. Rochester.
What are you reading right now?
The Flight of Gemma Hardy, by Margot Livesey, which is a great modern retelling of Jane Eyre. (I told you I was a Jane Eyre freak!)
What can we be excited about that is coming from you in the future?
I'm plugging away at another paranormal mystery, this one set in 19th Century New York and involving a young woman paid to be a ladies' companion.  It's gothic, and ghostly, and a lot more romantic! I'm having a lot of fun with it.
Again, thank you so much!
About The Grave Artist and the author
The Grave Artist
By Paula Lynn Johnson
16-year-old Clare can't stop drawing the bizarre, winged skulls she calls "Sammies". Her psychiatrist assumes the compulsive drawings are just expressions of Clare's grief over her father abandoning her. But then Clare discovers that her Sammies are exact matches for the Death's Head on the grave of Samantha Forsythe, a teen who reportedly fell to her death over two centuries ago.

Before long, Clare's drawings morph into cryptic writings that urge her to uncover the truth behind Samantha's death. Together with Neil -- the friend she might be falling for -- Clare scours the local history for clues. She finds that, although Samantha was engaged to a wealthy landowner, there were whispered rumors of her involvement with a younger, biracial man.

Soon, Clare is haunted by disturbing dream images -- a mysterious eye, a broken chain -- that point to someone Samantha called her "Dearest". But who is Dearest? And why does Samantha need Clare to find him so badly?

Isolated and carrying hidden scars of her own, Clare fears her obsession with Samantha will threaten her sanity and safety. But it seems she has no choice in the matter . . .

The Grave Artist is a compelling paranormal murder mystery and a poignant story about loss and what it means thrive in a less-than-perfect reality.


Paula Lynn Johnson loves a good ghost story. She's a former English major and attorney living in central New Jersey with her husband, kids, cat, dog, and killer rabbit. She adores them all, even the killer rabbit.

Paula also loves a good laugh! You can read her short, humorous pieces on sites like The Big Jewel and Errant Parent, or on her blog, Twaddle Like a Duck.

When she's not writing, Paula sells antiques and art out of Lambertville, NJ. You can visit her online at Tiny's Lambertville.

The Giveaway


Tour wide giveaway is a hand-hammered sterling silver pendant (about 3/4" wide) on a sterling 16 inch chain.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Sounds good :) I love Jane Eyre too (one of my all time favorite books) but I haven't heard of The Flight of Gemma Hardy, I'll have to look it up!

  2. I love novels that cross genre lines and a paranormal murder mystery is definitely my kind of book. The blurb sounds great, so I'm adding this book to my wish-list!

  3. Hahaha, killer rabbit?? Hmm. Not sure if I'd want a killer rabbit. But I suppose all things need love, even scary ones lol.

    Thanks for the giveaway! Cute necklace and I LOVE that cover!

    1. Our rabbit IS kind of scary! It's the sweetest looking animal you've ever seen, but extremely territorial. If it's running loose (we confine it to our rec room), it comes charging across the room at you to nip your ankles! At this point, I'm considering wearing rubber boots when I'm around it.

  4. This one does sound good and I'm loving the cover.


Thanks so much for the comment love!