Interview with mystery author Heather Weidner

My special
guest today is mystery author Heather
Weidner
. We’re chatting about her new traditional mystery, Secret Lives and Private Eyes.



During her
virtual book tour, Heather will be
awarding one (1) set of 4 Nancy Drew Wine Charms (US addresses only). To be
entered for a chance to win, use the
form below.
To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her
other tour stops and enter there, too.




Bio:
Heather
Weidner’s short stories appear in Virginia is for
Mysteries and Virginia is for Mysteries Volume II. Currently, she is
President of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia, and a member of Guppies and
Lethal Ladies Write. 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.

Welcome, Heather. Please share a little
bit about your current release.
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 will appeal to readers who
like a strong, female sleuth with a knack for getting herself in and out of
humorous situations.

What inspired you to write this book?
I have been
a fan of mysteries since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew. I wanted story to have a
strong, female sleuth. Delanie Fitzgerald is sassy and fearless, and she gets
herself in and out of humorous situations. And she gets into way more trouble
than I do.

Excerpt from Secret Lives and Private Eyes:

“Hey, do you want another drink?” slurred the man on
the barstool next to Delanie Fitzgerald.
            Delanie
leaned in closer. “No, but I’d like to go somewhere and get to know you better.
What do you think about that?” she asked, winking at the fifty-something
sitting next to her. She tossed her long red curls to one side and tilted her
head toward him. She hoped the black dress showed enough cleavage to do the
trick.
            He
smiled. He looked like he was expecting her to kiss him. When she didn’t, he
waved to the bartender for the tab.
            The
man placed two twenties on the bar next to his glass. Delanie slid off the
barstool, careful not to cause her micro-dress to creep any higher. Flipping
her shiny purse strap over her shoulder, she made her way out through the
crowd. Delanie felt his ragged breaths on the back of her neck, huffing and
puffing like he’d run three or four laps. He reached out and touched her
shoulder, trying to steady himself.
            When
they arrived at the parking lot, she said, “I’m over there. I’ll follow you.
Where to?
            “I
dunno. I’m not from this part of town.”
            “We
could go to your place,” she suggested.
            “Uh,
no. Too far. It wouldn’t be any fun.”
            “Well,
I’m all about fun. Okay, where then?” She shivered and wished she had brought a
jacket, but it would have ruined the effect.
            “Uh, I
dunno,” he stammered. “I think they’re some places over near the interstate a
couple of blocks from here.”
            “Okay.
I want somewhere nice with a Jacuzzi.”
            “I
didn’t bring a swimsuit.”
            “Neither
did I,” she said.
            He
leered at Delanie, taking in her long legs and short skirt, while fishing
through his pockets for his keys.
             “I’m in the beige Corolla down there,” he
said.
            She
climbed in her black Mustang and watched him stagger to his car.
            Delanie
felt a tinge of guilt for letting him drive drunk, but she needed to get him at
a motel. She started the engine. He still hadn’t made it to his car. After
turning on the lights and the radio, she kicked off the four-inch heels that
pinched her feet and made her calves burn. She threw them in the backseat and
settled in to watch what he would do next.
            He
finally backed out, and Delanie followed behind him until he pulled into a
small motel at the entrance ramp to I-95. The sign under the neon vacancy
advertised Jacuzzis and free breakfast.
            He
parked and walked over to her car. Rolling down the window a crack, she waited.
He leaned forward but didn’t say anything.
            “Why
don’t you get us a room?” she asked. “I’ll pull around back and wait for you to
get everything ready.”
            “Okay,”
he smiled again and wandered off in the direction of the office. It was twelve
thirty-five according to the radio display.


What exciting story are you working on
next?

I am working on the sequel to Secret
Lives and Private Eyes
. I also have a short story, “Par for the Course”
coming out in March of 2017 in a wine-themed, mystery anthology called 50 Shades of Cabernet.

When did you first consider yourself a
writer?

I’ve been a
writer for a long time. My first full-time job was a technical writer. I think
I thought of myself a mystery writer when I had my first short story, “Washed
up,” published in Virginia is for
Mysteries
.

Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?

I try to
write every day, but I do work full-time. I am an IT QA Manager by day. I write
in the mornings, at lunch, in the evenings, and on my days off. It’s busy, but
it’s a lot of fun.

What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?

I binge
write. I try to write every day, but life gets in the way sometimes. I am also
a plotter, one who likes to outline and plan. Then I start writing, and often
the story takes on a life of its own. By the end of the book, I’m a pantser,
one who writes by the seat of her pants.

As a child, what did you want to be when
you grew up?
It changed frequently. Usually it was actress, ballerina, teacher, or
astronaut.

Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?

I share my
home with my husband and two crazy Jack Russells. They’re great writing
company. I bounce ideas and dialog off the JRTs frequently.
Links:

Thank you for being a guest on my blog!



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