THE LAST HEIR is centered around a Napa Valley winery. I’ve heard that you have a winery of your own. How did that come about?Visit Chuck Greaves's website.
What I have is a small vineyard—just five acres of viognier and pinot noir grapes—in which I can be found most afternoons after mornings spent wrestling with my current work-in-progress. Its function is primarily therapeutic. But my love of wine goes back many years, and I’ve been a collector and general aficionado ever since I returned to California from law school in Boston in the early 1980s.
A recurring motif of the MacTaggart series involves plopping Jack—who’s a lunch pail kind of guy—among the tea party set and letting him rattle the china. I thought that a Napa Valley winery would make a perfect setting for that sort of frisson. I also liked the idea of an outwardly happy, successful wine family that’s actually riven by inter-generational jealousy and dysfunction leading, naturally, to murder, with each family member trying to manipulate Jack – this blue-collar outsider – in order to advance his or her agenda. Publishers Weekly calls it “intrigue-laden,” which I think is a good descriptor. And of course, it was an opportunity to write about a subject (wine, not family dysfunction) with which I’m both interested and familiar.
Most new authors write, in the hope of being published, while still hanging onto their day jobs so they can eat. You, on the other hand, up and left a successful law practice to “see if you could write.” Weren’t you terrified?
There were times when...[read on]
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