Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Interview with mystery writer Yolanda Renee

Today is the sixth interview in a series with the authors of

Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

About the anthology:
The clock is ticking...

Can a dead child’s cross-stitch pendant find a missing nun? Is revenge possible in just 48 minutes? Can a killer be stopped before the rescuers are engulfed by a city ablaze? Who killed what the tide brought in? Can a soliloquizing gumshoe stay out of jail?

Exploring the facets of time, eleven authors delve into mysteries and crimes that linger in both dark corners and plain sight. Featuring the talents of Gwen Gardner, Rebecca M. Douglass, Tara Tyler, S. R. Betler, C.D. Gallant-King, Jemi Fraser, J. R. Ferguson, Yolanda Renée, C. Lee McKenzie, Christine Clemetson, and Mary Aalgaard.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these eleven tales will take you on a thrilling ride into jeopardy and secrecy. Trail along, find the clues, and stay out of danger. Time is wasting...

“Each story is fast paced, grabbing the reader from the beginning.”
- Readers' Favorite, 5 stars

Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter.

So far, we’ve had C.D. Gallant-King (on April 19), Gwen Gardner (on April 26), Jemi Fraser (on May 2), Christine Clemetson (on May 11), Rebecca M. Douglass (on May 15) and now Yolanda Renee is here to chat about her mystery short story called “Cypress, Like the Tree.”

Looking for a new adventure, Renée moved to Myrtle Beach South Carolina. A storyteller from a very early age, an avid reader, and with an education and background in business and accounting, becoming a writer only made sense. And writing mysteries pure logic.

That some of her stories mirror her life, only coincidence. Honest!
Welcome, Yolanda. What do you enjoy most about writing short stories?
The speed at which the story can be told. I’m a flash fiction junkie and to tell a complete story in a few words is an exciting challenge.

Can you give us a little insight into a few of your short stories – perhaps some of your favorites?
In “Cypress, Like the Tree,” I wrote of an incident in my own life. I turned it on its head by asking the question, “what if a murder had happened instead’? In the first IWSG Anthology, Parallels Felix Was and in my story Ever-Ton, I wrote the story around a scene from a dream. Several of my recent short stories were written around current events, again using the ‘what if’ writing technique. Many of my stories are based on dreams, nightmares, and scenes from my own life.

What genre are you inspired to write the most? Why?
I love mysteries, romance, and horror. I like combining all three. Why? Because it’s what I want to read.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m working on the draft of the 5th book in my Detective Quaid series, Murder, Just Because, about a serial killer who sees murder as his artistic expression. Stowy Jenkins, the antagonist, appears in the Prequel to the Detective Quaid Series, The Snowman. He is arrested and sentenced to life, but in Murder, Just Because, he escapes and vengeance is his motive.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
After a poem was published in a newsletter. It was an unbelievable feeling of accomplishment. I was hooked.

How do you research markets for your work, perhaps as some advice for writers?
My advice is simple, stay on top of what’s selling and pay attention to what the literary agents and publishers are looking for. Writer’s conferences are one of the best places to get the skinny on the market.

Marketing is my most significant failing especially as I write what I want to read. But maybe mixing romance, mystery, and horror is asking a lot from the readers. I know I’m not the only one out there that blends the genres, just that some do it more successfully than others. Who knows maybe someday, I’ll be mainstream…

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
My desk, room, even my life must all be organized before I can concentrate on a new book project. Chaos throws off my muse.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a history teacher but pursued accounting because I also wanted to run my own business. I’ve done all it, even teaching, but hands down, writing is the most satisfying.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Just how important it is to leave a review. One sentence is enough, and the author appreciates it beyond measure, and yes, even the negative ones. Happy reading everyone!

Thanks for being here today, Yolanda!

Tick Tock links:

Purchase links:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iTunes


Gwen Gardner said...

Mixing three genres sounds like fun! But, heh, heh, I'd scare myself. It's the horror part. LOL.

Great interview, Yolanda!

Thanks for hosting, Lisa!

Mary Aalgaard said...

Great interview. I admire all your success. Mix away at the genres. It leaves room for the unexpected.

Yolanda Renée said...

Thanks, Lisa!

These interviews are such fun.

Thanks, Gwen and Mary - love the whole process! Thanks for being part of an amazing team, and, wow, didn't we produce a great anthology! :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Great interview!
I'm so glad my muse isn't afraid of the chaos that surrounds me in my world! :)

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

Another great interview! I like what you say about needing to contain the chaos--in your space and your life--before the writing will work. I have a strong tendency to chaos, but I think you're right--I work much better when it's all under control, and I don't have a mess in front of me.