Monday, 24 July 2017

A Killer Retreat by Tracy Weber

Yogi Kate must clear her name of murder in this charming yoga mystery

When Kate Davidson gets an offer to teach yoga classes to wedding guests at the Elysian Springs resort, she jumps at the opportunity, even though it means being forced to endure the wedding ceremony of the center's two caretakers.

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 (and somewhat embarrassing) fight with Kate.

The police pick Kate as their number-one suspect, so she's forced to team up with boyfriend Michael, best friend Rene, and German shepherd sidekick Bella to find the real killer. But they'll have to solve the murder before the police arrest Kate, or her next gig may last a lifetime--behind bars."

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Tracy Weber is the author of the award-winning Downward Dog Mysteries series featuring yoga teacher Kate Davidson and her feisty German shepherd, Bella. Her first book, Murder Strikes a Pose won the Maxwell Award for Fiction and was 2015 Agatha award nominee for Best First Novel. The third book in her series, Karma's a Killer, will released January, 2016 by Midnight Ink.

Tracy and her husband 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.

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Interview with  Tracy Weber

How did your journey as a writer begin?
The idea to write a novel came to me on a rainy evening while I was in the middle of a brutal workout at my favorite health club. I was pedaling away, reading a Susan Conant novel to distract myself from the evil exercise bike, when a quote from Black Ribbon about crazy dog people made me burst out loud laughing. I knew I’d found my author soul mate. Someone who truly got me.
I went home, looked her up on the web, and stumbled across a site about cozy mysteries. As I read about hundreds of other wonderful cozy series, I began to wonder: What would happen if a yoga teacher with a crazy dog like mine got mixed up in murder? Kate Davidson and Bella popped into my head a few days later. The rest is history.

What gets your creative juices flowing?
The joys and adventures of my life, real and imagined. My work is fictional, but it is often inspired by crazy situations my dog has gotten me into. And I have a great time watching strangers and making up stories about their worlds.

What’s the best writing advice you’ve been given?
Write what you love. If you enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll be successful, regardless of whether or not you ever make the bestsellers’ lists.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
Getting to know other authors and my readers. I’ve built a network of friends in my readers, and the writing community is very giving—more so, in some ways, than the yoga community. Who would have thought that a bunch of people who spend their spare time plotting murder would be such sweethearts?

Plotter or Panster?
A little of both, actually. My stories reveal themselves to me as I write, which means I never outline before I begin working on a book. Who has time to outline when you’ve got characters like Kate and Bella harassing you to hurry up and write them?
My process has remained relatively unchanged from book to book. I write the first draft by the seat of my pants, then sit down and get serious about plot, red herrings, and consistency in the second draft.
While I write the second draft, I outline what I’ve already written and identify plot holes and inconsistencies. I try to fix those in the third draft. After that, it’s only twenty-seven more drafts until the finished product!

Which, if any, of your personality traits did you write into your characters?
My love of all animals is a deep part of Kate’s character, as is her self-deprecating sense of humor. Her best friend, Rene, is a prankster. Like her, I’ve been known to play a practical joke or two.

Tell us about the cover and how it came about.
Isn’t it wonderful! The artist is Nicole Alesi. My husband (who is also my web developer) was tasked with designing the banner for my website. I asked for bright colors, happy energy, and the Downward Dog theme. He scoured the web looking for an artist and found Nicole’s work. The banner she designed incorporated everything that I wanted: yoga, humor, mischief, a Seattle subtext, and clear affection between Kate and Bella. Midnight Ink liked her work, too, so they hired her to create the covers for the series. I couldn’t be happier.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Hanging out with my dog at Green Lake Park in Seattle. She is the light of my life!

Do you remember the first book you read?
The Dick and Jane Primers in first grade. Didn’t everyone start with “See Spot run?”

You’re stranded on a desert island and you can take three people who would they be and why?
My husband, my dog—She counts as a person, right?—and my veterinarian. Someone’s got to keep the dog healthy!

Thank you for taking time to join us for the interview, Tracy


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