Oh Fiddle Dee Dee! My Interview with author and radio personality Terry Lynn Crane

Hello Readers,

I have always loved cookbooks.  I recently purchased a very unique cookbook entitled FIDDLE DEE DEE RECIPES: A TASTE OF “GONE WITH THE WIND.” It was written by Terry Lynn Crane, the widow of actor Fred Crane.  Fred, along with George Reeves (later known as Superman), played the Tarleton Twins in the movie, “Gone With The Wind.” Fred’s character, Brent Tarleton, is remembered for speaking the opening lines of the film. 

Fred and Terry Lynn Crane purchased and restored a Georgian Revival home which was on the National Registry for Historic places and had served as a Confederate Headquarters and hospital during The War Between the States, circa 1849. They opened Tarleton Oaks Bed and Breakfast in June of 2000.  The home also housed the Gone With The Wind Hall of Stars Museum which displayed “Gone With The Wind” memorabilia, including costumes owned and worn by Vivian Leigh, Leslie Howard, and Clark Gable;  autographed photographs and personal items belonging to many of the stars.  The bed and breakfast is no longer open, but during its tenure, the guests were treated royally to delicious breakfasts, high tea, personal tours of the house and museum as well as an evening hearing behind the scene stories by actor Fred Crane. The cookbook is filled with these special recipes and so much more.

Terry Lynn was gracious enough to allow me to interview her.  I hope you enjoy reading her fascinating story.

1. FIDDLE DEE DEE RECIPES: A TASTE OF “GONE WITH THE WIND” is not a typical cookbook.  Tell the readers what is included in addition to the recipes.  

Thank you, Kerrin, for including me and “The Baby” in your entertaining blog.  FIDDLE DEE DEE RECIPES: A TASTE OF “GONE WITH THE WIND” is filled with behind the scene stories from the filming of “Gone With The Wind,” rare photographs and information about many of the cast members, funny anecdotes that happened at Tarleton Oaks, rare autographs, scenes cut from the movie as well as some of my original artwork. 

2.  You have referred to FIDDLE DEE DEE RECIPES: A TASTE OF “GONE WITH THE WIND” as “The Baby.” What  was the process to write and publish it? 

Kerrin, yes. It took over 10 years to complete the book and the process was likening to birthing a baby! I wanted it to be special and something so different so I put a lot of thought, effort and love into every single page. To make a long story short, I had the conception for the book while Fred and I owned and operated Tarleton Oaks Bed and Breakfast. So much had been written about the movie, but, unfortunately, they contained errors; so, since Fred was a cast member and was one of the few members of the cast who was actually there and still living, we thought we could “set the record straight” and tell the true stories about the cast and behind the scene stories along with some historical recipes from that period as well as recipes we served at Tarleton Oaks Bed and Breakfast. Like the movie, there were many obstacles to overcome in getting this book published. But, in the end, the book came out exactly the way I had conceptualized it. Fred helped me from the Other Side, quite miraculously, which is a story in itself! With all the blood, sweat and tears I put into the completion of the book, it had become a part of me—like birthing a baby!

3. Fascinating! How did your late husband help you from the Other Side? 

Kerrin, I was in Danville, Kentucky mailing a wedding gift to my son and daughter-in-love. Afterwards, I was going to the grocery store for a few items when, all of a sudden, I heard my late husband’s voice just as clearly as if he was sitting right next to me. He said, “Terry Lynn, you need to go over to the little antique store on Lexington Avenue right now.” I thought I was imagining it; so, I continued driving to my destination. Again, I heard his voice again. “Terry Lynn, you need to go NOW to the little antique store on Lexington Avenue!”  He was so adamant about it and it was so strong that I dutifully drove all the way across town to the little antique store—although I didn’t need any furnishings or anything. It had been a couple of years since I had shopped there. I went inside and walked around. I really didn’t see anything that caught my eye until I almost got up to the front counter. On the floor, was a basket of books. The top book was THE ART OF GONE WITH THE WIND by Judy Cameron. It was a beautiful coffee table book. The book had been written by a friend of Fred’s and was gifted to him by the author. I had the hard bound version of it in storage back in Georgia. I picked up the book and knew it was out of print so I thought, “$4.99. I’ll buy it!” I took it up to the cashier. There were two couples there who had just paid for their goods. I laid the book on the counter and the cashier exclaimed, “Gone With The Wind! That’s my favorite book and movie!” I smiled and agreed, “That’s mine, too, but I might be a little biased. My late husband was in the motion picture!” The man, who was standing closest to me, added, “Who was your late husband?” I picked up the book and randomly open it and there was a whole page of pictures of Fred! I replied, “As a matter of fact, here he is!” The man exclaimed, “Fred Crane! Your late husband was Fred Crane?!” I replied, “Yes, Sir.” He held out his hand and said, “Let me introduce myself. My name is Deacon Steve Swope and I’m the President and CEO of Gone With The Wind Partners, LLC. We own all the literary rights to GONE WITH THE WIND.” I said, “How fortuitous! I am writing a book about “Gone With The Wind”—a cookbook which is more than a cookbook. It contains info about the cast, behind the scene stories, rare photographs and much more!” Swope said, “Well, you’ll need our Board’s permission if you want to use Gone With The Wind in the title of your book and if you want to use the character names in your book. We meet next month.” He reached into his coat pocket and handed me his business card. He wrote some additional phone numbers on it and said, “Here’s my cell phone number and my attorney’s name and number. Let!s see what we can do!” I had goose bumps the size of apples come up on my arms! I knew that Fred had sent me there. The amazing thing is that Deacon Steve Swope and his wife had been visiting friends there in Danville and were heading back home to Newnan, Georgia, right after they were leaving the antique store! There was only a very small window of time that I could have met him. I had no idea who to contact for permissions to publish my book. By the way, I also had to gain permission from Warner Brothers because they owned the movie rights and all the photographs. Deacon Swope was a Deacon for the Catholic Church in Atlanta. The property of GONE WITH THE WIND actually belongs to the Archdiocese of Atlanta—the Catholic Church!  

4. After Brent Tarleton, who is your favorite Gone With The Wind character?  

Well, it would have to be Scarlett O’Hara because I admired her tenacity. She was a survivor. 

5. What were some of Fred Crane’s favorite memories about the filming of Gone With The Wind? 

Gosh, Kerrin, there were SO many! He enjoyed visiting with Vivian Leigh who he said was so lovely and down to earth—a consummate actress. He described her complexion as having very fine hairs on it like soft, peach fuzz and had such a beautiful smile. He also had fond memories of speaking with Clark Gable, Leslie Howard, Olivia deHavilland and Hattie McDaniel. He had some great times with pals, George Reeves and Rand Brooks. I am editing another book that Fred and I wrote entitled, GONE WITH THE PEN: A JOURNEY TO THE HEART which contains a lot of his memories as well as most of our over 1,600 letters that we had written to each other during our courtship. It will be a while yet before I release it for publication, though. 

6. When you and Fred owned and operated Tarleton Oaks Bed and Breakfast, what were your guests favorite recipes?  

I believe The Tarleton Oaks Breakfast Casserole, Tarleton Oaks Breakfast Pizza and Bonnie’s Egg Blossoms were some of their favorites.  

7. You are a woman of many talents!  Besides being the author of several books, a public speaker, an artist, and a radio show host, what other things are you currently doing? 

Wow! Thank you, Kerrin! I am enjoying spending time with my family—my precious and supportive husband, Frank, my dear mother who lives with us, my animals—two dogs, a German Shepherd, Anna,,a Coton de Tulear, Mr. Snuggles, a cat, Miz Scarlett, two horses, Farrah, a Tennessee Walking Horse, and Velvet, a young Friesian, who is almost two years old and doting on my new 11 month old grand baby, Sofia Grace. I just wish she, my older son, Jim, and daughter-in-love, Angie, lived closer to us. They are living on the west coast in Washington state. I am blessed to have my younger son, Tray, not too far away from us in Lexington, Kentucky. My husband, Frank, aka my partner extraordinaire, and I also enjoy doing radio together. We own a home studio and internet radio station and have met the greatest people and listeners from around the world—USA, Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, The Netherlands, China, etc. We play music continually on our station 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and, then, we do live shows—Cruisin’ to the Oldies, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, Love Notes, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, Motown and More, Country Cruisin’ and also do live celebrity interviews. We have a lot of fun with it! Our station can be accessed via your computer, smartphone or IPad-type device by going to:

http://www.frankandterryradio.com

8. What is the best way for the readers to purchase a copy of the book?

Thank you, again, Kerrin.  FIDDLE DEE DEE RECIPES: A TASTE OF “GONE WITH THE WIND,” as well as my other books and autographed GWTW memorabilia, are available on my secure website:

Terry Lynn Crane, Author, Performer, Radio Personality 


My versions of Dolly’s Eight Layer Salad and Bonnie’s Egg Blossoms
http://www.terrylynncrane.com

In the words of Terry Lynn Crane,  “Bon appetit, y’all!”


Author Interview and A Give Away!

Hello, today I have an interview with Diane Kelly who has written several books series. If you sign up to follow my blog, you can then enter into the Rafflecopter Giveaway to win one of three autographed copies of the first book in Diane’s new series “Dead As A Door Knocker”. A reminder the contest is only open to those who follow my blog.

A former tax advisor, Diane Kelly inadvertently worked with white-collar criminals. Lest she end up in an orange jumpsuit, Diane decided self-employment would be a good idea. Her fingers hit the keyboard and thus began her “Death and Taxes” romantic mystery series. A graduate of her hometown’s Citizen Police Academy, Diane Kelly also writes the hilarious K-9 cop “Paw Enforcement” series.  In January, Diane launched her first cozy mystery series, the House Flipper series, which stars a female carpenter who fixes up flip houses in Nashville with her cousin Buck. Dead as a Door Knocker was the debut book in this new series.

1.  Describe for the readers what category or genre of books you write. 

I write humorous crime fiction, though each of my series has a slightly different flavor. So no matter what a reader’s taste might be, one of my series should satisfy it.  

My Death & Taxes series are what’s commonly known as a “procedural” mysteries, meaning the focus isn’t so much on whodunit as it is on how law enforcement is going to nail the bad guys. The crimes are white-collar crimes involving fraud, embezzlement, and tax evasion, though the criminals are by no means easy to take down. The heroine of the series, IRS Special Agent Tara Holloway, is fun and feisty, and the romantic angle with her hunky co-worker adds another fun element to the stories.

My Paw Enforcement series is a more traditional mystery series. Police Officer Megan Luz and her K-9 sidekick Brigit are tasked with sniffing out the clues, determining who committed the crimes, and bringing the lawbreakers to justice. Again, while the crimes are serious, most are not murders, which distinguishes this series from many others.

My newest series, the House Flipper series, is a cozy mystery series. Despite their benign-sounding name, cozies almost always involve murders. The killing takes place off the page, however, with the bodies being found after the fact. Cozies contain few, if any, four-letter words and limited sensuality, focusing more on the character of the amateur sleuth who finds herself inadvertently investigating the deaths.

2.   Many authors have what is called an interesting writing quirk.  Your two current book series each have intermittent chapter that are told from an animal’s perspective.  How do you feel these chapters enrich the stories? 

In so many ways! First and foremost, it’s simply entertaining to “hear” what the K-9 Brigit (from the Paw Enforcement series) and kitty-cat Sawdust (from the House Flipper series) are thinking.

In Brigit’s case, her training as a police dog makes her instrumental in finding clues, such as tracking the escape path a criminal used or sniffing out drugs that might be hidden about. Because Brigit is not human, Officer Megan Luz is often more honest and vulnerable with her than she would be with a human partner. Dogs don’t judge. I’m able to show the softer side of Megan through her relationship with Brigit.

Sawdust is a scaredy cat, but his natural curiosity makes him notice things that Whitney, his “mommy”, does not. Like her, he serves as an amateur sleuth, though he has no idea he is digging up clues. Sawdust is also Whitney’s “safe space,” allowing her to let her guard down, and his purr brings her comfort after difficult days.

Readers love the animals’ chapters, and I have to admit that they are my favorite chapters to write, too.

3.  Your first book series,  Death, Taxes was based in Dallas, and your second series in Fort Worth.  Your newest Fixer Upper Series in based in Nashville.  What things about Nashville drew you into using it as the background? 

I lived just south of Nashville from 2014 to 2016 and loved the city’s vibrant, creative vibe. I wasn’t the only one, judging from the boom that’s taking place there. The rapid population growth and people seeking homes close to the nightlife of downtown led to a lot of renovation in older neighborhoods with easy access to downtown. The fact that the town has a lot of personality, as well as the fact that a building boom is actually taking place there, made Nashville a perfect setting for the series.

4.  Your book titles are very clever.  How do you come up with them? 

I wish I could say there’s a rhyme or reason, but they’ve come from all over the place. I’ve come up with many of them myself, often based on something going on in my life at the time, such as my addictions to chocolate cannoli or sweet potato fries. My friend Angela was the first to suggest “Paw Enforcement” when my editor said my working title (“Bitches on the Beat”) was too edgy. Some titles hint at a theme in the book, such as “Paw of the Jungle” which releases this coming Thanksgiving and involves the kidnapping of animals from the zoo. My publisher suggested “Dead as a Door Knocker” for the first in my House Flipper series, finding my working title of “A House with Good Bones” to be too dark. Naming the books is usually a back-and-forth process with my editor, tossing titles around until we both agree on one.

5.  Do you ever base your characters on real life people?  

None of my characters is intended to exactly portray any particular person from real life, though I often borrow character traits from people I’ve known who have distinctive personalities. I always add my own spin, though, to make them unique.

6.  As a follow up to the previous question, do you ever plan to write a series based on a brilliant red-headed attorney whose former co-worker has become a successful writer?  If so, since the title Thelma and Louise is already taken, what would you call it? 

What a great idea! “Lawyer Ladies Letting Loose” might work . . . : )

7.  What is the best way for readers to find out more about you and your books?  

About me? Check out my website at www.DianeKelly.com, or my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DianeKellyBooks/. Or, if they happen to live near New York City, they can come chat with me at the Romance Writers of America Readers for Life book signing for literacy on Saturday, July 27th from 3:00 – 5:00 at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. Details and a full list of participating authors can be found here: https://bit.ly/2GXdzwZ

About my books? Read them, of course! Ha ha. Or visit the “Books” page on my website.

Thanks for having me on your site, Kerrin! It’s always fun to connect with book people, whether in person or online. Book people are the BEST people!

Who wants to win one of three autographed copies of Diane’s book? Please sign up to follow and my blog, then Enter my Rafflecopter giveaway here:

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