Mystery Thriller week continues! Today, Heather Weidner, author of Secret Lives and Private Eyes, is joining us for an interview about her latest release and her writing.
Thank you so much for letting me visit today. I write mystery novels and short stories. Secret Lives and Private Eyes is the first in the Delanie Fitzgerald mystery series. She is a private investigator who lives in Central Virginia.
You’re welcome! Let’s get started. Secret Lives and Private Eyes features a private investigator as the heroine. Tell us what your inspiration was to write a mystery featuring a female sleuth.
I am part of a mystery writers group, Sisters in Crime. I was plotting a new mystery at the time when we had a female private investigator give a talk about her work. I thought it would be a great job for my heroine. She could be a sleuth with access to crime scenes, but not an official member of law enforcement. My sleuth, Delanie Fitzgerald, gets herself in and out of a lot of sticky, and often humorous situations. She gets into way more trouble than I do.
Describe Secret Lives and Private Eyes in 140 characters (also known as a tweet).
Shhhh! There are secrets someone doesn’t want uncovered? Is Johnny Velvet still alive? And who killed the mayor?
Secret Lives and Private Eyes want to hang with you? Perhaps more important – would you want to hang with them?
I really like my sleuth, Delanie, and her computer hacker partner, Duncan Reynolds. I think I would love to hang out with them. She likes to have adventures. We’d meet for coffee or lunch. She also drives a smoking hot Mustang. My husband and I have several now, including a 1966. Our fathers were both police officers, so we’d have a lot in common. And we’re both redheads.
What’s the most amusing thing that happened to you while writing or researching Secret Lives and Private Eyes?
My father is a retired police officer, and he’s my best law enforcement resource for research. I was an adult before I realized that not everyone talks about murder, mayhem, and crime scenes at the dinner table. He’s always available to answer questions like, what does a meth lab smell like and have you ever seen a crime scene involving a pitchfork? He also saves me from having really strange Google searches.
Tell us about your next release. And when can we expect it?
I have a short story, “Par for the Course” coming out in a wine-themed mystery anthology, 50 Shades of Cabernet, in March. I’m working on the last round of revisions before I send book two to the publisher. Hopefully, that will be out in 2017.
What’s your favorite part about the writing process?
I love the researching and writing part. I start out as a plotter who outlines the story. Then I start writing, and the characters often take me where they want to go. Revising and editing take the most time and energy.
Plotter or Pantser? Explain.
I’m a hybrid – a little bit of both. I start off as a plotter. I outline each chapter. I even color code where the clues, romance, and comedy are, so that I space it out. Then I start writing, and the characters often take over. I become a pantser (write by the seat of your pants person). And then the plotter side takes over again, and I have to update my outline.
How do you react to a bad review of your book?
Nobody likes bad reviews. They sting, but I have to remind myself that it’s someone’s opinion, and there are lots of opinions.
What are the most important attributes for remaining sane as a writer?
You need balance. When I dreamed of being a writer, I thought I would sit around and write books and get big checks. The publishing world has changed, and a lot is expected of writers. I spend a great deal of time marketing and maintaining my social media sites and platform. I blog, participate in a critique group, write my books, and work full-time. I try to stay organized and get ahead of due dates, so there isn’t a mad dash to meet deadlines. But, it’s worth it. My life is crazy busy, but I wouldn’t trade a minute of it.
Book title: Secret Lives and Private Eyes
Series: The Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries (first in the series)
Author: Heather Weidner
Published: May 2016
Business has been slow for Private Investigator, Delanie Fitzgerald, but her luck seems to change when a tell-all author hires her to find rock star, Johnny Velvet. Could the singer whose career purportedly ended in a fiery crash almost thirty years ago, still be alive?
And as though sifting through dead ends in a cold case isn’t bad enough, Chaz Wellington Smith, III, a loud-mouthed, strip club owner, also hires Delanie to uncover information about the mayor’s secret life. When the mayor is murdered, Chaz, is the key suspect. Now Delanie must clear his name and figure out why landscaper Tripp Payne, keeps popping up in her other investigation. Can the private investigator find the connection between the two cases before another murder – possibly her own – takes place?
Secret Lives and Private Eyes is a fast-paced mystery that appeals to readers who like a strong, female sleuth with a knack for getting herself in and out of humorous situations.
Grab a copy!
Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Books a Million ~ Indiebound ~ iBooks
About the Author
Heather Weidner’s short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series and 50 Shades of Cabernet (March 2017). She is a member of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia, Guppies, Lethal Ladies Write, and James River Writers.
Secret Lives and Private Eyes is her debut novel.
Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.
Heather earned her BA in English from Virginia Wesleyan College and her MA in American literature from the University of Richmond. Through the years, she has been a technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager.
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