Interview with Deborah Plummer Bussey

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I was a very active girl scout when I was in elementary school and my scout leader, Mrs. Ford, brought a gift of a notebook for me to one of the meetings.  When she handed it to me she said, "This is for you, Debbie.  I noticed that you like to write."  I was flabergasted that she knew that. I wondered what it was that she noticed about my actions that made her believe that I was a writer.  I often think back to her words when I am writing and especially when I have published something. She defined for me a direction that, up until that time, was not in my full awareness.

What genre do you write and why?
The Sister Nun cozy mystery series were inspired by my family, my former life as a nun, and my life as a psychologist after I left the convent.  In Sister Nun psycho-social mysteries, psychologist and former nun, Kathy Carpenter always finds out something in her clinical practice that she must bring to light without breaking confidentiality.  Her gregarious sister, Tina, helps her to uncover the truth. Together these amateur sister sleuths uncover suicides and accidental deaths as murders.

The Sister Nun psycho-social mysteries include a great deal of pop culture. Pop culture provides the context for what influences the characters in the story. As a psychologist, understanding the psyche and motivations of the characters is important to me as a writer; thus, the stories have more background and character development than typical mysteries that are more driven by plot. Sister Nun series are cozy mysteries. In cozy mysteries violence and sex are downplayed or treated humorously. I am squeamish about blood and gut stuff and I can’t imagine crime scenes let alone write about them realistically.  As you can imagine being a former nun, writing great sex scenes would not be my strong suit; although, who knows, I may make that a stretch goal as a writer.

Tell us about your latest book.
In They Still Call Me Sister, former nun and practicing psychologist, Kathy Carpenter, knows something is off when a patient is found dead and it's claimed a suicide. Enlisting the help of her gregarious sister, Tina, they set out to prove her patient was murdered.   But with the only suspect a shadowy fiqure known to them by a nickname, the answers seem well out of reach. As Kathy gets closer to the truth, political intrique begins to surround her and her own life becomes in danger.

The Family That Stays Together will be released in Spring 2013 with some of the same characters.  When Atlanta TV celebrity, Jessica Davis , becomes the main suspect in the murder of her ex-fiance, Don Davenport, Kathy and Tina rally to support their long-time family friend.  Support takes on new meaning as Kathy learns that Don is also the secret love interest of a patient she has relunctantly accepted into her practice.  Sister sleuths, Kathy and Tina get themselves in trouble with the law as they get closer to the truth.

What marketing methods are you using to promote your book 
Having had the experience of being published in a traditional manner and by self-publishing, I realized that the essential component of book sales, beyond good writing and a good story, are authors who can promote their book. I have done the tradtional book store signings, virtual book tours, radio and television interviews. So much has changed in the world of marketing books over the past five years. Using social media is  a critical component of attracting readers. 

What formats is the book available in?
Both Sister Nun Psychosocial mysteries are available in soft cover and e-book.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love to cook and enjoy great restaurants with family and friends.  I also love movies, and, of course, I am an avid reader.

Deborah Plummer Bussey
Who are your favourite authors?
I greatly appreciate the writing style of Ann Patchett. I have loved all of her books. Anna Quindlen inspires me.  I love the literary strengh of Alice Walker and Toni Morrison.  Jhumpa Lahiri is an amazing writer.  Wally Lamb is very high on the list.  My favorite new authors are Carol Rifka Brunt who wrote Tell the Wolves I'm Home, Junot Diaz author of This is How You Lose Her, and John Greene, author of The Fault in Our Stars. My favorite beach book authors are Jennifer Weiner and John Grisham.  

What advice do you have for other writers?
Read a lot, get feedback on your writing and write a lot. The more you write the better you get.

What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers?
"The singlest biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."  George Bernard Shaw  It reminds me that just because I think I am writing with intention and clarity that it means readers will get it as I have intended it.

What's the best thing about being a writer?
The ability to be able to get some of your thoughts on paper and have readers respond to them.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
They can visit and  Also twitter @sisternun and Facebook

Anything else you'd like to add?
Thank you for this opportunity to have this conversation with you and your readers. 



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