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Vicki Lane

In a Dark Season

PRESENTING:Spooked!: Saturday, 2/28, 12:40 p.m. - 1:30 p.m., Lexington B


Vicki Lane is the author of the Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries as well as the forthcoming standalone The Day of Small Things, all from Bantam Dell. A descendant of pioneer Floridians and Alabama farmers, Vicki was raised in Tampa and holds a MA in English from the University of South Florida. She married her high school sweetheart in 1963 and taught high school English at a prep school in Tampa. They should have been happy.

But in 1975, seduced by The Whole Earth Catalogue and Mother Earth News, Vicki, her husband, two dogs, and their three year old son moved to a mountain farm in MadisonCounty, North Carolina where they learned how to milk cows, butcher pigs, plow with mules, and raise tobacco. Twenty five years later and still on the same farm with the same husband, one more son, and many more dogs, Vicki remembered that she was an English major and decided to try her hand at a mystery novel.

Working from the premise ‘Write what you know’ she chose a middle-aged woman on a mountain farm as her protagonist and started writing. Five years later, Vicki’s novel was published by a major New York house. (Making her an inspiration to middle-aged women everywhere, she says, tongue firmly in cheek.)

The world of Elizabeth Goodweather derives from Vicki’s long time fascination with the mountain culture – old and new -- of western North Carolina. From snake-handling believers to avant-garde artists, New-Age cultists to Cherokee woodcarvers, street people to wealthy dowagers, Vicki Lane’s Elizabeth Goodweather encounters them all with "open-minded fascination." Small wonder Publishers Weekly calls Elizabeth Goodweather "a wonderful character: plucky, hip, and wise."

A stranger in a strange and evolving land, Elizabeth is a 'transplant' from Florida who has sunk her roots deep in the mountains of western North Carolina, tending her herb and flower farm and learning the ways of her adopted home while retaining her own idiosyncratic world view.

The mysteries (SIGNS IN THE BLOOD, ART'S BLOOD, OLD WOUNDS and IN A DARK SEASON) are dark-edged psychological suspense, set in the present day Appalachians where old ways and newcomers are caught in an intricate and sometimes deadly dance. Woven into each novel is a historical subplot, linking past and present with a timeless bond.

Lane's work has been praised for authentic dialogue, evocative detail, and rich, clear, intelligent writing that captures the essence of the Carolina mountains and their people. The first two books have been translated into French and will see publication in France in 2009. The third book, OLD WOUNDS, was a Book Sense Notable and a nominee for the SIBA (Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance) Book Award for Fiction. The fourth book, IN A DARK SEASON, hit the SIBA bestseller list on the week of its release.

But the praise Vicki finds sweetest is that of her neighbors who tell her she ‘got it right’ in her dialect and description and even go so far as to say, “We’re glad you moved here.”

GENRE(S): Fiction Novel Mystery