Described as a “1900s high society mystery thriller” by Jacksonville author Deborah DR Kralich, “Murder as the Organist Plays” may be her second book, but it was the first manuscript she ever penned ... 30 years ago.
“It was a book that, actually, I wrote the first draft of in 1984,” she said. “Of course, that was long before it was really easy to get published, with (options available for) self-publication right now. I had just kind of put that (manuscript) away.”
The book was released March 2 on Kindle and is available in ebook and paperback format, she said
Kralick is a native Texan, born and raised in Houston, albeit with East Texas roots – her mother was originally from Neches, and Kralich moved to East Texas in 1999.
The murder mystery is set in East Texas at the turn of the last century, a period she said loaned itself rather well to her plot.
“In one way, the characters and setting were very well-suited to that time period because there was a certain lack of communication in that era that was pretty much needed for the plot,’ she said, explaining that “these people couldn’t just turn on the television to see what was going on, so they spent a lot of time trying to find out what exactly happened.”
Kralich said she loves history – “my favorite part is the World War I era, and this is the period leading up to that, and so I find it to be a fascinating period.”
The challenge is to keep the writing faithful to the era, she said.
“It takes a lot of research, and you have to make sure you don’t come up with something that hasn’t been invented yet,” she said, adding that editing a manuscript also poses its challenges. “It’s very time-consuming, and you have to have time to do it.”
Her first published manuscript, “The Mystery of the Missing Persons,” is set in the mid-1960s, and is about “a family that includes a gifted grade-schooler who writes fiction,” according to the author's website www.deborahdrk.com. It was published in December 2014.
A new work, “An Innovative Murder for the Season,” set in 1982 in the Houston-Galveston area, “will be the first in a series of mysteries,” she said.
Set to launch later this spring, the main character of the series – as it progresses – will “come full circle and eventually move to the fictional town in East Texas created in the 'Organist' book set in the 1900s,” Kralich said.
Her love of writing is shared by her children, Carl S. Kralich – who writes science fiction action adventure for the teenage/young adult market – and Johanna KD Cryer, who writes fantasy targeted toward young teens.
The trio often gets together to critique each other's work, Kralich said.
“They're mostly science fiction/fantasy readers, so this was a change for them,” she said of sharing the 30-year-old “Organist” manuscript she asked to have critiqued.
Kralich also is a member of the East Texas Writers Guild, as are her children, and she is part of the Chandelier's Critique Group.
To learn more, visit her website, www. DeborahDRK.com, or follow her on Twitter, @DeborahDRK.