Interview with mystery author Wendy Tyson

Mystery
author Wendy Tyson is here today and we’re
going to chat about her new cozy novel, Seeds
of Revenge: A Greenhouse Mystery.
Bio:
Wendy Tyson’s
background in law and psychology has provided inspiration for her mysteries and
thrillers. Originally from the Philadelphia area, Wendy has returned to her
roots and lives on a micro-farm with her husband, sons, and two dogs. Wendy’s
short fiction has appeared in literary journals, and she’s a contributing
editor and columnist for The Big Thrill
and The Thrill Begins, International Thriller
Writers’ online magazines. Wendy is the author of the Allison Campbell Mystery
Series and the Greenhouse Mystery Series.
Tell us about your new release.
Megan Sawyer
is determined to farm year-round. So much so that she braves a December
snowstorm to pitch her fresh greenhouse greens to Philadelphia chefs. And then
she sees a stranger stranded on the side of the road. It’s Becca Fox, and she’s
headed to her aunt’s house to sell her love potions at holiday events. Or so
Becca thinks.
Her sneaky
aunt only invited Becca home to reunite her with her estranged father. It
sounds noble and kind-hearted, until the man ends up dead. Megan soon finds
herself in the middle. She realizes Becca’s not the only one getting iced over.
Megan’s own aunt, the famous mystery author, is dragged into the drama. Her
novels implicate her and she’s in trouble.
Now it’s
personal. Megan must follow a cryptic trail of literary clues, all while
sifting through the victim’s sordid past. She gets closer to the truth as the
murderer gets closer to her.
What inspired you to write this book?
My husband
and I are passionate organic gardeners. A few years ago, we started our own
small vegetable farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania with the intention of
developing it into an organic CSA (community supported agriculture).
Unfortunately, things fell through with the land we were leasing and the farm
never made it past its first season. During a book signing in a small town in
North Carolina about a year later, I was moved by the interactions I witnessed
between the shop owners, their children, and the townspeople. It dawned on me
that a version of our small farm could live on in a fictional small town.
Thereafter, Washington Acres Farm and the fictional town of Winsome,
Pennsylvania were born.
Excerpt from Seeds of Revenge:
Merry
Chance’s statuesque four square was alit with white Christmas lights—Colonial
candles in the windows, braids of lights outlining the window sills and
doorways, blinking lights woven into wreaths, and miniscule bulbs incorporated
into a doe and two fawns that adorned the front lawn. As Megan pulled up
alongside the road in front of the home, she saw with relief that Merry was
home. In fact, she was standing on her porch talking with a man.
Becca gave
Megan a quick hug. “Thank you,” she sang. “You saved me quite a trek.”
Megan climbed
out of the truck and pulled Becca’s suitcase from the bed while Becca unloaded
her boxes of love potions. Merry had noticed them, and she turned her attention
toward her niece.
“Aunt
Merry!” Becca called. “Hello!”
She hurried
toward her aunt and stopped short just feet from the landing, Megan trailing
behind. The man had turned to look at them so that his face was visible. He was
older, mid- to late-sixties, but his resemblance to Becca was unmistakable.
Strong features: a square chin, a broad nose, unnaturally black hair receding
ever-so-slightly into his scalp line. He wore a tailored coat and carried an
expensive bag. His bearing screamed money and privilege.
The man
regarded Becca with an evenness that seemed unnerving, while Becca’s whole body
shook with emotion.
No one
acknowledged Megan. She watched the scene unfold the way a bystander witnesses
a car crash. Helpless and transfixed.
“No! Why is
he here? Aunt Merry, why the hell is he here?” To him, “I told you I never want
to see you again. Never. Do you know what that means? You brought him here on
purpose.”
“Rebecca,
calm down,” Merry snapped. “You’re jumping to conclusions.”
“He’s
here, I’m here. What conclusions am I jumping to?”
The man
said, “Actually, I was just leaving.”
“That might
be best, Paul.” Merry glanced at her niece, lips pursed into a frown. “Let’s
give Becca some time to calm down.”
Paul nodded
curtly. “Very well. Thank you, Merry. You know where I’ll be.” He walked down
the steps, past Becca, without so much as another glance in her direction.
Becca placed her bags on the ground. With a sudden rush, she darted toward the
man in the slippery snow, hands outstretched. She would have pushed him had he
not reacted with laser speed. He grabbed her wrists and held them out in front
of her. Merry took a step forward. Megan dropped the suitcase, ready to
intervene.
But Paul and
Becca just stood there, staring at one another. Finally, Becca said, “You’re
hurting me.”
He looked
down at his hands, wrapped like bindings around her wrists, and let go. “I’m
sorry.” He backed away, his eyes unwavering in their focus on Becca’s face.
He climbed
into his car—a silver Mercedes—and Becca spat at the ground near his tire. She
rubbed her wrists, shoulders hunched.
Becca watched
as he pulled away, his rear tires slipping in the deep snow. “Why would you
invite him here, Aunt Merry?”
“I
wasn’t expecting you until tomorrow.”
“He’s
staying here. He made that pretty clear.”
“He
wanted to see you. He wants to make amends.”
“I will
never forgive him. You of all people should understand that.”
Merry
regarded her niece with a long, sad stare. Finally she said, “Megan, I assume
Becca’s car had some difficulty in the snow?” When Megan nodded, she said,
“Thank you for bringing her.”
It was a
dismissal, at odds with Merry’s normally saccharine insistence on hospitality.
Megan placed Becca’s suitcase on her porch and and returned to her truck. She
watched as Becca followed her aunt obediently inside. With the front door shut,
the visage of the house returned to its festive façade.
A façade,
indeed, Megan thought as she pulled away. That was all it seemed to be. She
wondered what conversation was going on inside.
What exciting story are you working on
next?
The fourth
Greenhouse mystery, Rooted in Deceit,
comes out September 4, 2018, and I’m developing the storyline for the fifth
book in that series now. I love writing this series. Right now, I’m under
contract for six books. It’s my hope that Megan and the townsfolk of Winsome
will appear in many books to come.
In addition,
I’m honored to have a story (“Soap”) in a fantastic new fiction anthology, Betrayed, which was released on October
16. Betrayed is the brain child
of Pam Stack from Authors on Air and features a novella from Allison
Brennan and stories from some of today’s bestselling crime authors. Every
author has donated her/his time and fiction, and profits from Betrayed are being donated to programs
and organizations that help victims of domestic violence reclaim their lives.
I also have a
story coming out in another fiction anthology, The Night of the Flood, on March 5, 2018. This anthology is sort of
a novel in short stories, and a majority of the authors are my fellow
Murderers’ Row columnists for ITW’s online magazine, THE THRILL BEGINS. An
incredibly fun project.
When did you first consider yourself a
writer?
Oh,
wow—that’s a tough question. I still pinch myself; it all feels so surreal. I
suppose I’m just starting to feel like a writer now. I’m about to release my
eighth book—I guess it’s about time!
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 don’t write
full-time; I work full-time as a legal consultant for a mutual fund company
(I’m an ERISA attorney). I also have three kids and two dogs and a husband, so
my schedule is tight.
I try to
write every morning for at least an hour. I created the habit of writing first
thing when I wrote my first novel, more than a decade ago. As my writing
commitments have increased, I’ve needed to expand that time, and now I take
vacation days to write and/or I write on weekends. I know when my books are
due, so I try to schedule down time in the weeks before a deadline.
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
I tend to be
a binge writer. I do a lot of prep in my head and through freewriting and daily
writing practice, sometimes over the course of months or years, but when I
finally sit down to finish a book, I prefer to do it for hours at a time, as
though I’m recording the movie in my head.
As a child, what did you want to be when
you grew up?
A
veterinarian. A writer. A dolphin trainer. An archeologist. A cliff diver. The
one constant was a writer, though—I always knew I would write.
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
I write
another mystery series, The Allison Campbell Mystery Series, also from Henery
Press. It stars Allison Campbell, a Philadelphia Main Line image consultant who
is a dissertation shy of a PhD in psychology. Allison helps people reinvent
themselves—when she’s not busy solving crimes.
Links:
Buy links:

Thanks for being here today, Wendy!

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