Interview: D.M. Pulley

Let’s get to know D.M. Pulley, author of No One’s Home!

How did you get started writing?

Working as an engineer, I specialized in the assessment and rehabilitation of old buildings. In 2000, my work led me to a vacant bank in downtown Cleveland with an abandoned safe deposit vault in the basement. The mystery of the vault and all the artifacts left behind in the office tower inspired me to write The Dead Key. It took almost fifteen years of false starts, research, and failed drafts to get the book out into the world. The novel ended up winning the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award in 2014.

What themes do you regularly (re)visit in your writing? 

Given my work with old buildings and the sort of Gothic suspense I grew up reading, I’m driven to uncover the buried past and reveal how history haunts the present. Stories of greed, corruption, and murder allow me to explore the darker side of human nature and how ordinary people confront the powerful. I’ve lived in Cleveland, Ohio for the last twenty-five years, and I find the city’s history of organized crime, political corruption, industrial decline, and redemption endlessly inspiring.  

Tell us a bit about your new book.

No One’s Home takes the reader deep inside a mansion haunted by a legacy of secrets, lies, and murder. Foreclosed and badly vandalized, Rawlingswood sits beneath its old-growth trees waiting for new owners to come along and give it a second chance. Margot and Myron Spielman think they’re getting the deal of a lifetime when they buy the house for pennies on the dollar. They move in hoping for a fresh start but soon find the shadows of their past following them as they begin to unravel the dark history of the house.

What inspired you to write it?

I toured a beautiful old home while house hunting in Shaker Heights back in 2008. The place had been robbed of its radiators and copper pipes. It was covered in graffiti, and evidence of squatters littered the floor. Bloodstains in a second-floor bedroom hinted at a homicide. I didn’t end up buying the place, but I always wondered what might have happened if I did.

What’s next for you?

My fifth historical thriller follows an unlikely cast of characters from a murder in 1968 to the present day. Inspired by true events, this take on modern noir examines the ripple effects of one senseless act of violence across three generations. The working title is A Boy Named Evil, and the novel is currently under review with my agent.


D.M. Pulley is the author of No One’s Home (September 1, 2019; Thomas & Mercer),a Gothic thriller inspired by a vandalized house she toured. Her previous books are The Unclaimed Victim, The Buried Book, and The Dead Key (winner of the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award). Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked as a Professional Engineer rehabbing historic structures and conducting forensic investigations of building failures. She lives in northeast Ohio with her husband, two kids, and a dog named Hobo. You can find her online at and @DMPulleyAuthor.

6 thoughts on “Interview: D.M. Pulley”

  1. As a kid I remember loving those Gothic suspense novels. A creepy old house on the cover usually guaranteed I’d love the story. It seems like a good time to revisit that sub-genre! Continued success to you, Ms. Pulley.


  2. No One’s Home sounds like a fabulous book an is on my TBR. I too was a huge fan of the gothic novel.

    I admit, I have to ask, did you discover whose blood may have been in the Shaker Heights house?


  3. That is spooky and cool! I am a bit dismayed that your new historical thriller is set when I was alive, though. Shouldn’t “historical” be so much older than I am?? ;-D

    Continued good luck to you!


  4. Welcome, D.M.,and congrats on the award! How wonderful!! I absolutely loved reading about the events that inspired this book. It sounds like a great read and is going on my TBR posthaste! (Any mention of Gothic makes me want to use words like “posthaste.”)

    Liked by 1 person

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