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Character Interview: Darrell Henshaw from Randy Overbeck’s mystery/ghost novel ‘Blood on the Chesapeake’

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character interviews logo We’re thrilled to have here today Darrell Henshaw from Randy Overbeck’s new ghost story/mystery, Blood on the Chesapeake.  Darrell is a 25-year-old high school teacher and coach originally from the Midwest, but currently living in Oxford, Maryland.

It is a pleasure to have Darrell with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Darrell.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

Overall, the answer is yes. Dr. Overbeck seemed to capture me fairly well, though Dr. Overbeck could have gone with a little less about my OCD. I mean everyone has quirks, right? But that doesn’t mean, you have to expose them. Also, my life is more than ghost hunting, though I get it, that was what the story was about. I’m pleased Overbeck did a solid job of portraying my work with students, which is important to me. After all, I’m dedicating my life to serving them. Oh, and I really liked his description of my girl, Erin Caveny. He hit it out of the park with her.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently? Pretty much, I would answer yes. You notice, in the book, he didn’t describe me as one thing. I mean, after all, I’m a high school teacher and coach, though still a bit of a nerd. I’m also a ghost whisperer (I think I read one reviewer described me that way and I like the sound of it), even though that only gets me in trouble. I’m looking to mend a broken heart and fall in love with Erin. And, oh yeah, injustice really bothers me. I think Overbeck was able to capture these several facets of my life—okay, along with my OCD issues.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

Readers might think it was my ghost hunting ability. I mean, how many people can see ghosts, much less have them communicate with you? But I think my best trait is that I care about the kids I serve, as a teacher and coach and beyond. As the story unfolded and I discovered what had happened to that poor student, Hank, my heart went out to him—even if he was already dead. Of course, I was out of my depth, but I felt compelled to do something to bring about justice for him and see that the people who had murdered him were punished.

Worse trait?

Without a doubt, my OCD. It’s always there but seems to flares up when I get nervous or overwhelmed. Sometimes—though I don’t admit this to many people—it can be so extreme that I’m paralyzed, sure that anything I do will lead to catastrophe. Early on, it got in the way of my dating Erin and, if I’m not careful, it can even leak into my work as a teacher and coach. I work on it all the time, and I’m proud of the progress I’ve made so far.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

I don’t really like this question because it’s always hard to decide who could play me. I mean, will he get my OCD right and not go over the top with it? Can he convey my love of teaching and concern for the students correctly? With all that said, I think perhaps Logan Lehman or Nicolas Hoult could do me justice. Maybe, I can get Darrell to have the director hire me as a consultant.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Most certainly, though I didn’t expect to. Before I came to Oxford for the new job, I had been dumped at the altar, kinda. (You’ll have to read the book for the details.) Anyway, I’d sworn off women, but then I met Erin and this stunning redhead with emerald eyes knocked my socks off. Not only is she beautiful, but she’s smart as a whip and brave. It’s a good thing too, because I needed her by my side as I worked my way through the mystery. I don’t think I would have made it without her. Scratch that, I definitely would not have made it without her.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

That’s easy. When I was friggin’ dumped overboard in rough seas in the middle of Chesapeake Bay and thought for sure I was going to drown, I definitely thought it was all over. Then…well, the readers will just have to see for themselves.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

Of course, that would have to be one of the antagonists, or in plain speak, the villains. Probably I’d least like to switch places with Williams. He represents most of what I can’t stand—privileged, moneyed (well, I could tolerate the money) and arrogant individual who believes he is superior to others around him. A person who believes his money and position even allows him to use those around him. I’d be incredibly uncomfortable inside his skin.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

I couldn’t have written it better myself. The bad guys get what they deserve and I get the girl. Oh, wait, that’s a spoiler, isn’t it? Can you delete that?

What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?

I already know Dr. Overbeck is planning more adventures for me—he’s talked with me about them—so here goes. Give me a chance to enjoy teaching and coaching the kids I like to work with. Don’t overdo the OCD; I’m not some kind of geek. And if you have to include another ghost, could you make it a beautiful girl, instead of a huge, scary guy? I’m just saying.

Thank you for this interview, Darrell.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

I’ve learned from Dr. Overbeck that he plans to include me in at least two more novels in the series he’s calling The Haunted Shores Series. (At least, I get to travel to these great resorts on the water.) For this next one, Overbeck has me headed to Cape May, New Jersey—which happens to be the most haunted town on the Eastern seaboard. Yikes. Then, there’s some talk about a trip for Erin and me to the Caribbean. I like the sound of that. After then that, well after that, he says it depends on what the readers want.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Dr. Randy Overbeck is a veteran educator who has served children for more than three decades as a teacher and school leader. Over that time, he has worked many of the roles depicted in his writing, with responsibilities ranging from coach and yearbook advisor to principal and superintendent. An accomplished writer, he has been published in trade journals, professional texts and newspapers. His first novel, Leave No Child Behind, won the 2011 Silver Award for Thriller of the Year from ReadersFavorite.com. His new novel, Blood on the Chesapeake, is the first in the new Haunted Shores Mysteries series. Dr. Overbeck is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and an active member of the literary community. You can follow him on Twitter @OverbeckRandy, friend him on Facebook at Author Randy Overbeck or check out his webpage, www.authorrandyoverbeck.com.

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ABOUT THE BOOK

After being dumped by his fiancé, Darrell Henshaw, a young teacher and coach, strikes out for new pastures and lands a job on the Chesapeake Bay. He can’t believe his good fortune as Wilshire, a quiet, scenic and charming resort town on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay offers him his dream job—teaching high school history and coaching football and basketball—and, as it turns out, a second chance at love. Except no one told him that a student was murdered at the school and that the kid’s ghost haunts the hallways.

You see, Darrell sees ghosts, though he’s not happy about it. His first encounter with the spirit world did not go well and he has the OCD scars to prove it. But, after he’s hounded by the terrifying ghost, he decides to look into the murder, aided by his new love, Erin Caveny. Together, they follow a trail that leads back to the civil rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and even the Klu Klux Klan. Then, after two locals who try to help are murdered and Erin’s life is threatened, Darrell is forced to decide if he’s willing to risk his life—and the life of the woman he loves—to expose the killers of a young man he never knew. Find out more at: https://www.authorrandyoverbeck.com/books

 


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