W. A. Tyson’s background in law and psychology has provided inspiration for her mysteries and thrillers. The Seduction of Miriam Cross, to be published by E-Lit Books in November 2013, is the first in the Delilah Percy Powers mystery series. She has also authored Killer Image (Henery Press, October 2013), the first novel in the Allison Campbell mystery series. Wendy was here less than a month ago, touring with Killer Image and discussing managing her time – I guess she has mastered that skill! Once again she is touring with Great Escapes Virtual Tours. We have a giveaway today. A $25 Amazon gift card and an Advance Reader Copy of THE SEDUCTION OF MIRIAM CROSS. To enter, first leave a comment below then go HERE. And be sure to stop at the other stops on the tour. Welcome back Wendy.
Another series started. Amazing. And congratulations. A lot of my readers are also writers so let me ask you a question about the publishing. You are using a different publisher for this series. Why is that? Wouldn’t it be easier, given the daunting task of juggling two series and your life, to work with one group of people?
Yes, it probably would – but one thing I’ve discovered about myself is that I don’t do anything the easy way. I love working with Henery Press – the folks at Henery have been creative, professional and very responsive. This was largely an issue of timing. The deal for Miriam came through about the same time as the offer from Henery. My agent and I thought that Miriam might not be a good fit for Henery (at the time, their focus was more on cozies), and I signed with E-Lit Books. E-Lit Books is small and new, but they have also been terrific.
What prepared you to become a writer?
Such a great question. Interest in people, I suppose, and an absolute, head-over-heels love of books. I started reading voraciously at a very early age. In fact, my parents used to limit my reading time because otherwise I would be curled up all day with a book. About the same time, and inspired by those authors, I developed a love of language and writing. I was kind of shy as a kid, so I think writing was a way for me to communicate without feeling so exposed and vulnerable.
But beyond that, I really like and am interested in people. I was a psychology major in college (with a minor in English) and I have a graduate degree in counseling. I think fiction connects us. It allows us to get a glimpse into another world, but it also enables us to share in the very things that make us human.
What advice do you have to offer to an aspiring author?
First, write! As an aspiring writer, I spent a lot of time thinking about writing, reading about writing and talking about writing, but it wasn’t until I forced myself to sit down every day and write that I started to produce and, eventually, to publish.
Second, read. Read books in your chosen genre, read the classics, read books on writing (I love Natalie Goldberg), read short stories. Short stories are great as a learning tool – the authors have a limited space in which to develop mood, tone, character, etc., and the best short stories have a beginning, middle and end. I love Hemingway’s story “Hills Like White Elephants.” When I’m stuck, I go back to that story. He portrayed so much in so little space.
Third, have patience with yourself and the industry. It’s worth remembering that writing is a craft. There is a lot to learn beyond (but including!) grammar. And the industry is tough. There are overnight successes, but not many.
And finally, stick with it. Sooner or later, you’ll be faced with rejection. Learn from it and move on. Develop a thick skin and a good ear. Don’t let ego get in the way of good writing. And keep going. I still have to remind myself that I write because I love to write. On bad days, focus on your writing. On great days, focus on your writing. That focus will keep you grounded and your hand moving.
Where did the idea for The Seduction of Miriam Cross come from?
The idea for the book came from the title and a trip to Driggs, Idaho. I had come up with that title years ago, but I didn’t have a story to go with it (at least not one I liked). Then in the summer of 2010, we took a two-week trip to Driggs, Idaho, which is a small town on the Idaho side of the Grand Tetons, near Jackson, Wyoming. We stayed in a house located next to a ranch. The house had a sweeping view of the Tetons, but was otherwise surrounded by pasture, and the cattle would come within feet of the house. In the mornings we would awaken to a cold breeze and the sound of the cattle mooing. Absolutely amazing.
One day, we were leaving the house and found ourselves suddenly surrounded by cattle. A gate had been left open and the cattle escaped. The dirt road was blocked in every direction by these very large animals, and the sound was deafening. A cowboy on horseback calmly trotted over toward our vehicle and said that the cattle would be out of our way shortly. And indeed they were – within five minutes he had them all back in their pasture and the gate closed. I found myself wondering what it would be like to be a cowgirl living on a ranch, in an environment like that. Delilah was born that day.
The idea to marry Delilah and Miriam in a storyline was almost instant. I loved the contrast between a displaced cowgirl (Delilah) and an educated, East Coast literary author (Miriam). Two very different women, yet in her quest to find a killer, Delilah takes on Miriam’s mission after Miriam is murdered.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
The first draft took me a little less than a year to complete. The Seduction of Miriam Cross is the third book I’ve written. I’ve gotten faster!
What are you working on currently?
Right now, I’m finishing up Murderous Looks, the next book in the Allison Campbell mystery series (published by Henery Press). After that, I will be working on Dying Brand, the third Campbell mystery, and The Initiation of Carolyn Wu, the second in the Delilah series.
Who is your favorite author and why?
What a hard question! I have so many favorite authors, including Elizabeth George, Barbara Kingsolver, Orson Scott Card, Jonathan Kellerman, Sarah Dunant and Stephen King. If forced to pick one (because, say, I’m on a deserted island with only books from one author), it’d be Stephen King. To me, he is the consummate storyteller. Besides being prolific and entertaining, he has a way with characterization and setting that continues to amaze me. I recently read Duma Key. Like that, I was swept into the story. I felt like I knew those characters, that I lived on that island. I love getting lost in a book, and I’m often able to do that with King.
Now three things that have nothing to do with writing that I ask everybody.
- What is your favorite food? Indian food. My favorite dish is Paneer Tikka Masala. Yum.
- What is your favorite TV show? Big Bang Theory
- What is your favorite music? Right now it’s The Cat Empire, a ska/reggae/jazz band out of Australia.
Thank you so much for being here today Wendy, I hope you enjoy the tour and good luck with The Seduction of Miriam Cross. Before you go, is there anything else you would like to tell your readers or have them know about you?
Thanks for having me here today! I would love to thank you for your wonderful blog and readers for reading and for being loyal supporters of the book industry (both print and e-books). Writing and reading continue to be not only forms of entertainment, but a way of communicating new ideas and challenging the status quo. As long as we’re all reading, we stay connected.
A sordid sex tape.
A venture capital firm.
A secret society of women.
A Catholic nun.
Can Delilah figure out who killed Miriam Cross . . . . before she becomes the killer’s next target?
Miriam Cross, author, feminist and philanthropist, disappears from her Philadelphia home. A year later, a lonely recluse named Emily Cray is brutally murdered in her bed in a small Pennsylvania town. Miriam and Emily are one and the same.
As Delilah and her staff of female detectives – a militant homemaker, an ex-headmistress and a former stripper – delve into Miriam’s life, they become submerged in an underworld of unfathomable cruelty and greed with implications that go far beyond the gruesome death of one woman or the boundaries of one country. Eventually Miriam’s fight for justice becomes Delilah’s own …. and Delilah’s obsession with finding the truth may prove just as deadly.
This isn’t a one sitting read but I read it in one all night sitting because I couldn’t put it down. It starts with a rather dark and scary prologue. The characters are so well developed, you see them, you know them. Delilah Percy Powers, Lila, is a private investigator. A former client, Lucinda, comes to her. Her aunt, Miriam Cross, a famous but possibly bi-polar author has been murdered after living ‘hiding in plain sight’ for about a year under the name Emily Cray. Mob hedge funds, charity splinter groups, human trafficking, the police can’t be trusted. Or could it be as simple as one character repeatedly insists, ‘there’s always a beater’? If you are looking for a mystery that is more on the thriller side, you can’t go wrong with THE SEDUCTION OF MIRIAM CROSS. ♥♥♥♥♥
November 1 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review, Interview
November 2 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Guest Post
November 4 – A Blue Million Books – Interview
November 5 – THE SELF-TAUGHT COOK – Review
November 6 – readalot – Review
November 7 – Dru’s Book Musings – Guest Post
November 8 – Omnimystery – Interview
November 9 – Musings and Ramblings – Interview
November 10 – Brooke Blogs – Interview
November 11 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review
November 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review