Riley Gordan is visiting Ascroft, eh? today to tell us about A Night to Remember, the latest novel in the Adairsville Heritage Mystery series.
Welcome, Riley. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tell us about the novel that you live inside. Is it part of a series? If so, please tell us about the series too.
I am Riley Gordan. I live inside A NIGHT TO REMEMBER, which is book #2 in the Adairsville Heritage Mystery Series. My brother Kirby and I arrived in Adairsville in book #1 to settle our Uncle James’ estate. We soon discovered that Uncle James had not died in an accident but had been murdered. It almost cost Kirby his life, but we were able to expose our uncle’s killer. Now, in book two, after a year of law school, I am back in Adairsville for the summer looking forward to a leisurely vacation with my friend, Trish. Then one of my Sunday School girls is kidnapped. Stumbling upon the abduction, Trish, Connie, and I are pulled headfirst into a search for the girl. We battle a Neanderthal called Houston, confront an old man with a big gun, and find ourselves in lots of dangerous places. Eventually it becomes a matter of murder. That’s when my big brother steps in.
Does the writer control what happens in the story, or do you get a say too?
I think the writer intended to exercise complete control over the story, but he soon found himself being led by me and other characters in a different direction than he had planned. He remembered that sometimes the best story is the result of allowing the characters to have their way. This is a book in which the author listened to the characters. The result is a smooth, exciting, and unstrained story in which several characters are allowed to shine.
How did you evolve as the main character?
In book one, my brother, Kirby, took the lead, causing one reviewer to remark, “I feel like I got to know Kirby, but I want to know Riley.” To a certain degree, A NIGHT TO REMEMBER is my story. It’s not until the second half of the book that Kirby makes his appearance. His presence is strongly felt when he does arrive, but, early on, the reader has opportunity to learn more about me. Some of my weaknesses are apparent, but so are certain strengths of character. I’ve not gotten it all together by the end of the story, but progress is evident. It is my hope that the better you get to know me, the more you will like me.
Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them?
A NIGHT TO REMEMBER is overflowing with interesting characters. A good mystery requires an ample number of people. My college friend, Trish, is at my side throughout this adventure with her loyalty, her sense of humor, her paranoia, and her sweetness. She is to me what Bess and George were to Nancy Drew. The story revolves around the beautiful friendship of an old baseball player turned politician and a spunky adolescent who are known around town as “Nate and the Kid.” Getting to know them is a special treat. Then there are Amos and Carol. I can’t forget the two people who are parental stand-ins for both Kirby and me. Carol makes the best soup in town and Amos is one of the wisest people I’ve ever known.
What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story?
Adairsville, Georgia is a small town of five thousand people nestled in the foothills of North Georgia where the pines, and especially, the oaks stand tall. It is where some super resilient men and women reside as well as where some rather eccentric individuals hang their hats. The movers and shakers gather for breakfast at the Little Rock Café most mornings. It is a place where the best place to go for local news is the barbershop. You will find a better than average number of people in the pews of its several churches on Sunday mornings. History is everywhere and tradition is important to the citizens of the little town. When in Adairsville, my home is a beautiful little apartment in what was once a church building. My brother, Kirby, also has an apartment in the building as Amos and Carol. That building is just one of the treasures left to us by a loving uncle. When I run the streets in the mornings, I’m seeing fewer and fewer people I don’t know.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book?
Kirby and I love being in Adairsville. It’s where our father and his brother James spent their childhood, but Dad became a pastor and lived most of his adult life in the Boston, Massachusetts area. That’s where we called home in our earlier years. It’s been five years now since Dad and Mom went down in that plane crash while returning from a mission trip. Those years have been hard for Kirby and me, but in Adairsville we have discovered a new home and a supportive group of people that has put some stability back into our lives.
Thank you for answering my questions, Riley, and good luck to you and your authors, Danny and Wanda Pelfrey, with A Night to Remember, the latest book in the Adairsville Heritage Mystery series.
The novel is available at the following online retailers:
About Danny and Wanda Pelfrey: The Pelfreys are graduates of Atlanta Christian College (now Point University). Danny earned a masters from Kentucky Christian University. He spent 45 years in the pastorate. Wanda served as a primary Montessori teacher for twenty-four years. They have two daughters and are blessed with five amazing grandchildren.
Wanda’s career as a writer took off shortly after college, when she started writing curriculum and educational aids for a variety of publishers. Her book, MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR CHILD’S TEACHABLE MOMENTS, published by Moody Press went through several printings and brought her a lot of attention and respect as a writer. However, she put her writing career on hold shortly thereafter to become a teacher.
Danny’s interest in writing was fostered by his wife’s love of the craft. He wrote articles for various publications, a newspaper column, and eventually three non-fiction books. Traditional publisher CrossLink released three of the four Davis Morgan Mysteries co-authored by the couple, as well as the first two books in the Adairsville Heritage Mystery series. A NIGHT TO REMEMBER is #2 in the Adairsville Heritage series.
The Pelfreys live in their little Cape Cod cottage in their small north Georgia hometown of Adairsville, Georgia which serves as the setting for their mysteries with a message. They enjoy a life that is often centered around their five grandchildren and their love for putting words on paper.