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Nora DeLoach

1940 - 2001

It is with sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Georgia Writers member, author Nora DeLoach.

Nora died unexpectedly of leukemia on Tuesday, June 19, only a short time after she was diagnosed with the illness.

In Memoriam



Nora DeLoach is a native of Orlando, Florida, presently living in Decatur, Georgia. She is married, the mother of three children, and grandmother of two very handsome boys. Nora started writing in 1991. Her novels, Silas, Mama Solves a Murder, Mama Traps a Killer, Mama Saves a Victim, and Mama is Accused, were published by Holloway House Publishing Company, a mid-sized publishing company that specializes in Afro-American books. In late 1995, she changed agents. Her new agent promptly signed her to a four-book contract with Bantam.

Mama Stalks the Past, the first of the Bantam books, was released in hardcover in December, 1997, and will be released in paperback in October, 1998. Grace Covington, nicknamed Candi because of a golden brown complexion that looks like candied sweet potatoes, is a case manager for the county's welfare department. She is also an exceptional cook. Her stories are narrated by Simone, her adult daughter who lives and works in Atlanta. Candi's real passion, however, is sleuthing. She believes that if she gets to the truth of a matter, she's contributed something to mankind. In Mama Stalks the Past, Simone helps "Mama" uncover a secret buried for decades beneath greed, family betrayal, and murder. It behooves Candi and Simone to quickly find this killer when Mama becomes the target.



Page ONE
"Tell me about your writing career
and when and where it all started. Who were your first Literary inspirations?"


"The "Mama" series
emerged out of the chaos of a collision between my menopause and my daughter's adolescence. When the dust cleared, my daughter had become a woman and I, a more tolerant woman. And we were friends. Mysteries, particularly Agatha Christie's, had always been my favorite read. I loved Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. I loved Sherlock Homes and Watson."


Page ONE
"How difficult was it
for you to get your first book published?"

"My first book was not a "Mama" book
. It was entitled, "Silas," and was picked up by Holloway House Publishing Company a year after it was written. It was difficult in that Holloway House contracted it after fifteen rejections from other publishing companies."


Page ONE
"Your main character is Grace Covington
known as 'Candi' and mama. Tell us about this lady and how did her character transpire? Where did mama's recipe for sweet potato pie come from?"

"Grace Covington is a combination of all
the elements of the mysteries I've read and loved over the years. However, "The Imperial Woman," a book written by Pearl S. Buck, is the inspiration behind the "Mama" character. That book is the story of a woman who has fulfilled her duty as a mother and wife and spends her later years doing what she really wants to do, developing her soul and mind.

The sweet potato pie is a staple in the Africian-American diet, especially when there is a large gathering. The movie, "Soul Food," highlighted how important food is to the African American family. My family gets together about six times a year and there is plenty of food. The sweet potato recipe is a family favorite."


Page ONE
"In your books the story
is told from the point of view of mama's daughter Simone. Why did you not choose to tell the stories from mama's point of view? Will there ever be a 'Mama's novel' told from the point of view of mama?"

"I liked Sherlock Holmes stories
as told from Watson's point of view and I liked Nero Wolfe as told from Archie's point of view. Both allowed idiosyncrasies to be told about their protagonist, things that add charm and personality to their protagonist. I don't plan to change the point of view of the "Mama" series."



Page ONE
"Plot and character;
which do you feel is the most important and why?"

"I started developing the characters
of my book. However, the more I write mysteries the more I understand that "mystery readers" desire a puzzle. So, while an unusual character will get your a specific audience, you have to give that audience a plot puzzle that satisfies."


Page ONE
"Tell us a little
about your last novel and it's theme."

"Mama Rocks the Empty Cradle,"
is a story of guilt, incest, revenge and babies."


Page ONE
"Any advice
for beginning mystery novelists?"

"Writing is rewriting.
Even after you've gotten an agent and an editor, you'll have to rewrite. If you fall in love with the vision you want of your work and not your words, the rewriting will become easier."





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