Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Get Lost Trudy, Madly Deeply with Debut Author Wendy Delaney

Get Lost in a Story Readers, I'm very excited about today's author.  One she writes mystery, and, two, she includes humor.  What's not to love about that?  Please welcome DEBUT AUTHOR WENDY DELANEY!!   And No the header is not a typo....

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.


Wendy Delaney said...

Thank you so much for hosting "Trudy" and me today, Donnell! :)

Donnell Ann Bell said...

My pleasure, Wendy, Your book is rising rapidly up the ranks. Can't wait to read it!

May said...

Congrats! Sounds like a great book! :)

I can't live without my phone. It's got all my schedule on it!

Pamela Hargraves said...

This book was wonderful, I was fortunate enough to get an advance copy. I can't go on vacation without my phone.

kate curran said...

Fascinating stuff how this came together Wendy and such a great book. i'm really enjoying it. What's next for you?

Cecy said...

Congrats to Wendy. The book sounds wonderful and the cover is just plain hilarious. Wishing you many happy sales!

LizbethSelvig said...

Hi Wendy,
So nice to have you here on Get Lost in a Story. I just adore your book's premise--I love a book in any sub-genre that has humor in it, and your title alone give that away! Can't wait to pick it up and read it! As for what I can't live without--it's a notebook and pen. I AM dependent on technology, but I hate that I am. Always having good old-fashioned writing tools with me lets me know I can write no matter what!

Angi Morgan said...

Welcome to GLIAS, Wendy.
Love the cover. The one thing I can't do without when I travel...hmm... Since you gave us the essentials, my camera. I love to snap pictures everywhere I go. Great research.

Clover Autrey said...

In answer to your question: Aleve and bandaids. I tend to be a klutz while traveling. I don't know why.

Wendy Delaney said...

Thanks for stopping by, May! And I'm with you. I don't know that I could do without my phone.

Wendy Delaney said...

Howdy, Pam! Thanks so much for the nice feedback on TMD. Yep, ditto on the phone. That's got to be my must-have (aside from all the girly stuff I need so that I don't scare small children when I leave the house!). :)

Wendy Delaney said...

Hi Kate! I'm so glad you're enjoying TMD! Next up for me is book 2 in the Working Stiffs Mystery series, which should become available March, 2014. So, if you like book 1 in the series, I hope you'll enjoy reuniting with Char and the gang for her next sleuthing "adventure!" I know I'm enjoying writing about it! :)

Jacquie Rogers said...

Loved your book and love the cover, too!

What can't I leave home without? My camera. Who knows--I might get a shot of Wendy Delaney holding her new book! :)

Wendy Delaney said...

Thank you for stopping by, Cecy! I love how the cover turned out, big feet and all!! :)

Wendy Delaney said...

Hi Lizbeth! Nice to "see" you again! Thanks for the nice feedback about the book. Like you, I need a pen & paper. I'm constantly jotting down notes. Ask anyone who has sat down next to me in a class or workshop. I'm the notetaker! I'm also the one with the hand cramp! LOL!

Wendy Delaney said...

Thank you for the nice comment about the cover, Angi! I'm really happy with what my cover artist came up with. Can't wait to see his design for book 2! :)
Ooooh...a camera! Yep, I definitely need that. Lately, all I've been using is a camera phone--all the more reason to make sure I take my phone everywhere!

Wendy Delaney said...

Oh, Clover, you definitely aren't alone in the klutz department. On my last vacation I took a fall and ended up with a broken finger. As my son tells me, I need to be bubble-wrapped! :)

Wendy Delaney said...

Howdy, Jacquie! Thanks for stopping by!
In a few weeks you just might get a shot of me holding my new book because the print edition will be coming out! Wheeee!!! :)

Ann Charles said...

Love, love, love your cover--a real eye grabber. The book is great, too, and I can't wait for #2 in the series.
I can't travel without my iPhone. It entertains me when my plane is late, which happens way too often.

Great interview Donnell and Wendy!

Wendy Delaney said...

Hi Ann! Thanks for the cover love. I love it, too!
I agree about the phone. It keeps me connected, finds me the nearest coffee shop, and reminds me when I need to be somewhere. Hate to admit this, but how did I ever get along without it? :)
Re. book 2, it's coming! In March 2014, which reminds me. I need to give my cover dude a nudge. It's time for him to dream up another fun cover!
Thanks for visiting, Ann!

bn100 said...

Nice interview. Clean clothes

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Wendy, thanks for being our guest today. My glasses! I can't see a thing without my glasses and sun glasses. Best wishes on a fantastic debut.

Wendy Delaney said...

Thanks for stopping, BN100! And clean clothes? Yeppers, I'd call that a must have - absolutely! Good call! :)

Wendy Delaney said...

It was my great pleasure, Donnell. Thank you for being such a wonderful hostess!
Gosh, glasses or phone? I can't see what I'm doing without my glasses, so even though I'd be lost without my phone, at least I'll be able to see where I'm going! :)

Polly Iyer said...

Great interview, Donnell and Wendy. Wendy, I'm glad to see your book is doing so well. I'm sure readers are waiting for book 2.

Wendy Delaney said...

Thank you, Polly! Great to "see" you here. :)