If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

October Interviews
10/2 Debra H. Goldstein, Two Bites To Many
10/10 Connie Berry, A Legacy of Murder
10/17 Lida Sideris, Double Murder or Nothing
10/23 Toni L. P. Kelner writing as Leigh Perry, The Skeleton Stuffs A Stocking
10/30 Jennifer David Hesse, Autumn Alibi

Saturday Guest Bloggers:
10/5 Ang Pompano
10/12 Eyes of Texas Anthology Writers
10/19 Neil Plakcy

WWK Bloggers: 10/26 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Lyrical Press will publish Kaye George's Vintage Sweets mystery series. The first book, Revenge Is Sweet, will be released in March. Look for the interview here on 3/11.

Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.

KM Rockwood's "Frozen Daiquiris" appears in The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, edited by Judy Penz Sheluk. The anthology was released on June 18th.

Fishy Business anthology authors include KM Rockwood, Debra Goldstein, and James M. Jackson. This volume was edited by Linda Rodriguez.

Please read Margaret S. Hamilton and Debra Goldstein's short stories (don't ask about their modus operandi) in a new anthology, Cooked To Death Vol. IV: Cold Cut Files.

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

An Interview With Vickie Fee

by Grace Topping

It’s Your Party, Die If You Want To
by Vickie Fee

Between a riverboat gambler-theme engagement party and a murder mystery dinner for charity, Dixie, Tennessee, party planner Liv McKay is far too frenzied to feel festive. Add to the mix her duties at the annual businesswomen’s retreat and the antics of a celebrity ghost-hunting diva, and Liv’s schedule is turning out to be the scariest thing about this Halloween—especially when the ladies stumble across a dead body in a cemetery…

Morgan Robison was a party girl with a penchant for married men and stirring up a cauldron of drama. Any number of scorned wives or frightened philanderers could be behind her death. As Liv and her best friend, Di, set out to dig up the truth, they’ll face the unexpected and find their efforts hampered by a killer with one seriously haunting vendetta…  

Vickie Fee’s main character Liv McKay is a master at planning parties with unusual themes, and she makes it sound so easy. I love parties, but they are a lot of work—it’s far easier and more fun reading about them. Vickie Fee in her Liv and Di in Dixie series really delivers a fun time for everyone--well, almost everyone. As much fun as these parties sound, you may not want to be one of her invited guests. You could end up dead.

Welcome, Vickie, to Writers Who Kill.

It’s Your Party, Die If You Want To is the second book in your Liv and Di in Dixie series. How was it writing book two?  Easier or more challenging 

Vickie Fee

Both! I had the advantage of knowing I could actually write a publishable novel, because I’d done it before. It was also harder because this time around I had a real deadline.

What’s the most valuable lesson you learned going into Book 2?

Trust the characters, not the outline.

Liv’s party planning business is integral to your story. Why party planning? Did you have experience in this area before you started your series?

Party planning added the opportunity for some fun and funny stuff. I didn’t really have party planning experience in any formal sense. However, through the local Jaycees I was privy to the planning and details for some large community events. With my background as a newspaper reporter I’m good at research. And as a fiction writer I’m good at making stuff up. So I do a bit of research and let my imagination take it from there.

Liv’s clients are into some rather unusual party themes, such as the riverboat gambler engagement party. Have you actually seen any of these party themes used before? Do fans of your books send you party ideas?

I had seen casino type parties staged by non-profits as fundraisers. I like to add a Southern dimension or some local flavor to the parties Liv plans whenever I can, so the casino party took on a riverboat gambler theme. So far I’ve only had a couple of party suggestions sent in by readers, but I’d love to hear more!

Does writing about parties inspire you to throw some unusual ones of your own?

Mostly my husband and I just have friends over for dinner now and then. As far as parties, a couple of the “themed” ones we’ve done over the years included two Hawaii 5-0 parties for friends when they turned fifty—think fake leis, cheesy decorations, fruity drinks with little umbrellas, ham with pineapple, and something with coconut!

We also threw an X-Files party for the season premiere of that TV show one year for some of our friends who were as geeky about Mulder and Scully as we were. We put a big masking tape “X” on the front window with a lamp behind it, played trivia, and gave out candy cigarettes and little flashlights as party favors. Obviously, these parties were not quite up to Liv’s standards.

You give lots of good tips for throwing successful parties. What do you think is the most important thing for a successful function?

When you throw a party, relax and have fun. If the host is stressed out/not having fun, the guests won’t have a good time either. Even with Liv’s meticulous planning, surprises happen—and often those moments turn out to be the best part of the party.

Di is keeping a secret hidden from her on-again, off-again boyfriend, which hinders her relationship with him. Are we going to have to wait awhile for the secret to be revealed to him?

If readers can hang on until Book 3 (which comes out May 30), there’s a major development in that area!

In the first book in your series, Death Crashes the Party, Liv is already married. What does having her married offer your storyline?

Liv deals with a variety of crazy people and situations, so I think it’s healthy for her to have a stable relationship at home. As a married woman, I also refuse to believe single people are having all the fun! I think relationships between spouses, even long-married ones, can still be romantic and even sexy. Di’s relationship with Sheriff Dave offers plenty of complications, And, in this book, Liv and Di even dabble in a bit of matchmaking!

This book features a hometown native who returns home a TV sensation—but not a very likeable one. Tell us about her and what it says about how some people handle success?

Lucinda was a friend and college roommate to the very unlikable murder victim. Following college, Lucinda starts a ghost tour enterprise in Oxford, Mississippi, and lands her own ghost-hunting show on cable television. Celebrity goes straight to her head and she develops a reputation as a diva. But we learn Lucinda lost both her parents in an accident when she was quite young, and she seems, at least, grieved by her friend’s death. I think both of these things give the reader a bit of sympathy for an otherwise fairly unlikable character.

How is it going having to balance writing and promoting your books? Do you enjoy the promotion aspects?

Sitting at a computer writing and messing about on Facebook comes naturally to me as a nerd/introvert. Promoting my books was terrifying at first. But now I actually enjoy much of the promotional process. I think that’s in large part thanks to the kindness of other mystery authors, who are so generous. Those who host me on their blogs, like the gracious Grace Topping here on Writers Who Kill, those who answer my questions and offer advice, including the members of the Guppy Chapter of Sisters in Crime. And those like talented and delightful fellow author Peg Cochran, who is doing a joint signing with me at Barnes and Noble on her home turf in Grand Rapids in a couple of weeks. At my first library event I was crazy nervous, but the readers who turned out treated me like a celebrity! Experiences like these have made promoting the books less daunting for this awkward author.

Now that you have two books out, what have you learned that could help writers starting out?

Don’t worry about your process. There’s no wrong way to write a novel as long as the finished product is good. It’s okay to wonder/ask about the writing process of other authors. Just understand it’s not going to be your process.

What’s next for Liv and Di?

One Fete in the Grave, the third entry in the Liv and Di in Dixie series, will be released the end of May 2017 but is available now for pre-order.

Thank you, Vickie, for joining us at Writers Who Kill.

To learn more about Vickie Fee and her books visit www.vickiefee.com.  Check your favorite bookseller for It’s Your Party, Die If You Want To and Death Crashes the Party.

The next book in Vickie’s series, Liv and Di in Dixie, is available now on Amazon.com for pre-order. Below is a description of what we can look forward to.

One Fete in the Grave

Party planner Liv McKay has outdone herself this time. She’s put together an unforgettable Fourth of July celebration for the town of Dixie, Tennessee—including breathtaking fireworks and an exciting Miss Dixie Beauty Pageant. Maybe a little too exciting.

As the party is winding down, Liv’s sense of triumph fizzles when the body of town councilman Bubba Rowland is discovered on the festival grounds. And now the prime suspect in his murder is Liv’s mother’s fiancé, Earl, who had a flare-up recently with Bubba. To clear Earl’s name, Liv and her best friend Di burst into action to smoke out the real killer before another life is extinguished…


Margaret Turkevich said...

Congratulations on your new book. Looking forward to reading it.

Art Taylor said...

Enjoyed this interview--and sounds like a fun series. Congrats, Vickie! And thanks, Grace. :-)

E. B. Davis said...

Ah--now I have the information I need. I've heard of this series, in fact, I read a excerpt and was enticed. But I forgot the author's name. Thanks for interviewing with Grace, Vickie--you were on my TBR pile--I just didn't know it!

Gloria Alden said...

Vickie, this sounds like a fun and interesting series. I'm always looking for new series to read so I'm putting it on my list of books to order.

Kait said...

Fun interview, and I love your advice, trust your characters, not your outline. So true. Thank you for visiting.

Warren Bull said...

Thanks for sharing on WWK.

Vickie Fee said...

Thanks again for the interview, Grace. It was great fun!

Vickie Fee said...

Thanks, Margaret and Art -- I can honestly say being published is just as exciting with the second book!

Vickie Fee said...

Thanks, E.B. and Gloria -- I'm always thrilled to hear I've made it onto someone's TBR pile!

Vickie Fee said...

Thanks, Kait! And Warren, it's always a pleasure visiting Writers Who Kill!

KM Rockwood said...

What fun! An event planner who solves murders. Lots of room here for your protagonist to move among various people and places.

I love your "Trust the characters, not the outline" advice. I often have character who just absolutely refuse to follow an outline.

Vickie Fee said...

Thanks, KM! The parties are a lot of fun to write. And my characters tend to run the show when I'm writing -- so I may as well trust them!