Tuesday, January 06, 2015

A Conversation with Mystery Author Tracy Weber

Omnimystery News: Author Interview with Tracy Weber
with Tracy Weber

We are delighted to welcome author Tracy Weber to Omnimystery News today.

Tracy's second mystery in her downward dog series featuring yoga instructor Kate Davidson is A Killer Retreat (Midnight Ink; January 2015 trade paperback and ebook formats) and we recently had a chance to catch up with her to talk a little more about her books.

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Omnimystery News: Introduce us to Kate Davidson and her "downward dog" companion.

Tracy Weber
Photo provided courtesy of
Tracy Weber

Tracy Weber: Kate Davidson, the yoga teacher/sleuth in my series, has a giving heart, an imperfect body, and a temperament more like a fighting rooster than the Dalai Lama. She's not a stereotypical yoga teacher, but then again, neither are any of the real-life yoga teachers I know, including me. People who teach yoga struggle with the same issues and personal demons as the rest of humanity.

Kate's struggle — that of a good-hearted person who wants to live by her values but often fails — appeals to me. She is flawed in many ways, but she's also very real.

Bella, Kate's German shepherd sidekick, is equally flawed, and in many ways exactly like Kate. Bella is likely to lash out in fear or anger, particularly when she's protecting someone she loves. She gets Kate into trouble, but she would give her life for Kate. The unwavering loyalty they have for each other is rare in this life.

OMN: Into which mystery genre would you place this series? And do you think there is any advantage to categorizing them as such?

TW: Thus far, my books can best be categorized as cozy mysteries, meaning that my grandmother could read them and still think I'm a nice girl. Swearing is at a minimum; blood and gore are off-screen; sex is behind closed doors. That said, my books do gray the cozy line a little. I'm not above throwing out a mild swear word when the occasion calls for it; Kate has "relations" with a new boyfriend on the first date; I tackle tough social issues that aren't usually part of the cozy genre.

I love cozies, so I think it's awesome that my work fits within that genre. Readers know what they're getting when they invest their time and energy into reading my work. On the flip side, belonging to a club isn't always easy, and I'm not a rule follower. Some readers see that as a plus, others as a minus.

Still, I think the advantages overall prevail, as long as readers are willing to give me a little leeway.

OMN: We know both you and your character have a common interest in yoga. Have you included any of your other personal or professional experiences in the books?

TW: I definitely draw from the experiences of my life when I write. The protagonist in my book (Kate Davidson) is a yoga teacher who lives in Seattle and has a crazy German shepherd much like my German shepherd, Tasha. People often say that they see me in Kate and hear my voice in her narration. In fact, when my mother read my first book, Murder Strikes a Pose, she called to tell me she had just read the part where I found the body. I had to remind her that the book was fiction and that I hadn't stumbled across any dead bodies recently.

However, I try not to pick on people I know in my books, meaning that I consciously don't write about my friends, family, or yoga students. It seems mean to write about people I know, because I'd eventually kill them off or make them a murder suspect. My dog can't read and no one cares if I make fun of myself, so I do write about Tasha's and my sillier exploits from time to time.

OMN: Complete this sentence for us: "I am a mystery author and thus I am also …".

TW: I am a mystery author, and thus I am also a serial killer. I am under contract to murder at least one person per year. Fortunately, most of them deserve it.

OMN: When you are selecting a book to read for pleasure, what do you look for?

TW: I'm a cozy girl through and through. Cozies, more so than other mysteries, give a glimpse into the lives and inner workings of their recurring characters. Readers see their favorite sleuths develop throughout the series, and they are treated to an inside glimpse of their quirks, passions, faults and neuroses. Even better, readers know that in the end, justice usually prevails. Cozies tend to have less on-page violence, which is also a bonus for me. Real-life gore is hard enough to deal with it. Why would I want to immerse myself in it when I'm reading for pleasure?

I definitely have favorite authors, if not specific favorite characters. Susan Conant, Laurien Berenson, Linda O. Johnston, and Sheila Boneham write four of my favorite animal-related cozy series.

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Tracy Weber and her husband Marc live in Seattle with their challenging yet amazing German shepherd Tasha. When she's not writing, Tracy spends her time teaching yoga, walking Tasha, and sipping Blackthorn cider at her favorite ale house.

For more information about the author, please visit her website at TracyWeberAuthor.com and her author page on Goodreads, or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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A Killer Retreat by Tracy Weber

A Killer Retreat
Tracy Weber
A Downward Dog Mystery

When Kate Davidson gets an offer to teach yoga classes at the Elysian Springs resort, she jumps at the opportunity — even if it means enduring the wedding ceremony of the center's two caretakers. But avoiding the M-word turns out to be the least of Kate's problems when a wedding guest is found floating face-down in the resort's hot tub, shortly after a loud, public fight with Kate.

The police pick Kate as their number-one suspect, so she teams up with her boyfriend Michael, best friend Rene, and German shepherd sidekick Bella to find the real killer. They must solve the crime before the police arrest Kate, or her next gig may last a lifetime — behind bars.

Amazon.com Print/Kindle Format(s)  BN.com Print/Nook Format(s)  Kobo eBook Format

3 comments:

  1. Hi and thanks for hosting me today on Omnimystery news! I love connecting with readers, so please feel free to leave a comment or question!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Serial killer. I suspected as much, and fyi, I am looking forward to your next murder.

    ReplyDelete

 

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