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Writing Crime

Q&A: Matty Dalrymple, THE FALCON AND THE OWL
By Kathryn Gandek-Tighe
Posted: 2020-11-19T04:14:00Z
Matty Dalrymple's third Ann Kinnear Book, THE FALCON AND THE OWL, is out. She answers our questions about her aviation loving detective and her writing process.

Writers usually hate writing book summaries. Will you share with us your real book blurb or one you wish you could have used?

Book summaries are difficult to write because they require a completely different style than we use for any other writing. I find that it's easiest to write the description when I'm starting the book, rather than when the book is complete, because it allows me to focus on the high level themes rather than on plot details.

Here's the description for The Falcon and the Owl:

A small plane crashes in the Pennsylvania Wilds and only Ann Kinnear has the ability to discover the force that brought it down. Will the secret the victims carried die with them, or come back to haunt her?

Ann Kinnear is indulging her love of aviation by working toward her pilot’s license at Avondale Airport—and protecting her privacy by discouraging the attentions of a filmmaker intent on documenting her spirit-sensing abilities.

Little does she know that a fiery plane crash in the Pennsylvania Wilds will embroil her in a race to track down a contract on which two rivals are banking their futures. And when airshow pilot Gwen Burridge launches a smear campaign against Ann, she is even more determined to uncover the truth.

Ann travels to the crash site and learns what brought the plane down—but it’s only part of the story. Will Ann land safely, or be the latest victim of a secret someone is willing to kill to keep?

'Tis unnatural,
Even like the deed that's done. On Tuesday last,
A falcon, towering in her pride of place,
Was by a mousing owl hawk'd at and kill'd.
            — William Shakespeare, "Macbeth"

Is there a setting in your book that you would like to visit?

I made a research trip to Clinton County, Pennsylvania, which is where  Ann hikes to the site of a small plane crash and camps overnight. I had originally planned to return to Clinton County for a camping trip of my own, but COVID made that problematic. I was fortunate to find several readers who had camped in that area who could provide authentic details for those scenes.

What was the most interesting thing you learned writing the book?

The plot of The Falcon and the Owl involves an aerobatic performer and air racer named Gwen Burridge, and I was thrilled to be able to hold several extensive conversations with aerobatic performer Matt Chapman and air racing pilot Vicky Benzing about their experiences. It was fascinating to get a behind-the-scenes look at those professions.

What meal and drink do you think would pair well with your book?

Gin and tonics with cucumber and shrimp crackers : ) (Ann's brother Mike is experimenting with cocktail and hors d’oeuvres pairings, and that's one of his offerings.)

Were there indispensable people without whom you couldn’t have written the book?

My husband, Wade Walton, is always an indispensable source of support and encouragement, but for The Falcon and the Owl I also relied on his experience as a general aviation pilot.

Matty Dalrymple is the author of the Ann Kinnear Suspense Novels and Suspense Shorts and the Lizzy Ballard Thrillers. She also podcasts, writes, and speaks on the writing craft and the publishing voyage as The Indy Author. She lives in Chester County, Pennsylvania with her husband and their three dogs.

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