About Trudy, Deeply Madly . . .
Human lie detector Charmaine Digby is having a bad year. After eating her way through a divorce, she's out of work and up to her eyeballs in debt. In need of a life makeover Char comes home to the senior citizen haven of Port Merritt, Washington, and is ecstatic when she parlays her eye for lies into a job as the County Coroner's new assistant. But her joy is short-lived when a hunky doctor at the hospital reports the suspicious death of Trudy, Port Merritt's beloved Story Lady. Even more stunning, Trudy isn't the only recent patient whose heart mysteriously stopped.
Is it mad to think that dear old Trudy could be the latest victim of a serial killer?
With no physical evidence of foul play, Char's on the case, much to the irritation of Detective Steve Sixkiller, who doesn't want her to stick her pretty nose for trouble in his investigation. But she's a woman on a mission to uncover the truth, and she'd better keep her eyes open or the next body on the way to the morgue could be hers....
Now, let's learn about Wendy Delaney!
DONNELL: Hi Wendy, welcome to Get Lost in a Story. (Great picture) Wow, I can’t pass up a blurb like that. I’ve already added Trudy, Madly, Deeply to my to be read pile! A human lie detector. Wouldn’t that be something? Tell us what that entails. And how did you work it into your character?
WENDY: Thanks for inviting me to join you today, Donnell! Your reaction to the idea of a protagonist who is a “human lie detector” is exactly the same as mine when I “met” someone online with this ability. I thought then just as I do now, what an asset this would be in relationships, in business, and because I was an emerging mystery author, how fun it would be to give my naturally curious sleuth this ability. My research soon led me to a study project led by Paul Ekman and Maureen O’Sullivan in which they found only 50 out of the 20,000 subjects they tested had this unique ability—many of them from non-law enforcement backgrounds, just like my protagonist, Charmaine.
I knew I wanted to place Charmaine in a non-technical working environment, and I thought a rural county coroner’s office would be a perfect fit. I had hoped to find a small-town setting not too far away from where I lived in Seattle, so when my research led me to Jefferson County in Washington State, where the population and the budget of the county is so small that there isn’t a full-time coroner, I thought I was really on to something. Then, when I discovered that one elected official served as both the County Prosecuting Attorney AND the County Coroner, I felt like shouting, “BINGO!” This was even more true after I interviewed the Jefferson County Prosecutor/Coroner, told her about my fictional human lie detector and asked if she would hire my story person if the right job opened up. When I heard a resounding “yes,” I knew I had the green light for my mystery series.
DONNELL: Your protagonist is a coroner’s assistant, did you do research to write this character? Am I looking at the next Kathy Reichs or Patricia Cornwell?
WENDY: Yes and no. My research included a couple of site visits to Jefferson County. In addition to meeting the Prosecutor/Coroner and her staff, I took a tour of the mortuary that serves as the morgue, just like in Trudy, Madly, Deeply. I needed to invest the time to soak in sufficient sights and sounds to make my characters believable in their fictitious settings, but like Charmaine says in Trudy, Madly, Deeply, “my skill set requires working with people who are still breathing.” Truly, she’s the kind of “low man on the totem pole” type of assistant who doesn’t want to see any dead bodies and, as a former pastry chef, knows about the science of baking instead of forensics, so you’re definitely not looking at the next Kathy Reichs!
DONNELL: Complete this sentence. When I’m not hard at work writing, you’ll find me at a) the bowling alley, b) Mount Rainier, c) doing dishes.
WENDY: Since I’m often trying out new pie recipes that I can feature in an upcoming book (for pie happy hour, a daily event at the local diner) as well as my website, you’d probably find me either c) doing dishes to clean up the mess I made, or d) on my treadmill to work off some of the calories I’d just consumed!
DONNELL: (I'm afraid to ask.) What’s in your refrigerator right now?
WENDY: A big jar of pickles, three heads of lettuce, cucumbers, spicy brown mustard, turkey, eggs—aka diet food. All that pie tasting wasn’t kind to my hips! There’s also a bottle of diet chocolate syrup. It was an ingredient in a diet chocolate mousse recipe I found, and not one that I’m recommending. Thanks for the reminder to clean out my fridge, Donnell!
DONNELL: (you're welcome!) If you could live anywhere, where would it be, and why?
WENDY: It’s hard to beat the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, where I live, but I freely admit that the gray, rainy winters get old. I’d love to split my time between Seattle and Kauai, the Garden Island of Hawaii. I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon, but as I like to remind my husband, I can write anywhere!
DONNELL: You write mystery, therefore you must be brave. Name the bravest thing you’ve ever done.
WENDY: No, my characters are brave. Me—not so much. The bravest thing I’ve ever was probably singing in a talent show back in junior high. I was accompanying someone who was much braver and more talented than me, and no, we didn’t win.
DONNELL: If you could meet anyone, past or present, who would it be, and why?
WENDY: This is a tough one. Honestly, I’ve often thought it would be fascinating to have the opportunity to meet my grandfather when he was young. He’s been gone for many years, but he used to tell stories about working for the US Forest Service during WWI and flying reconnaissance with one of the Wright Brothers. How amazing it would be to see him take off in that airplane, and how I’d love to talk to them both after they’d landed and know him as a vibrant man who played a small role in my nation’s history, not just as my sweet old granddad.
DONNELL: Finally, Wendy, it’s your turn to ask readers a question.
WENDY DELANEY: Readers, besides your Kindle or iPad (or good old-fashioned book), what’s the one thing you can’t do without when you travel on vacation or business?
Please let us know if you’ll do a book giveaway.Yes! One ebook copy of Trudy, Madly, Deeply.
Wendy's contact information:
***Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only. If an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.