Monday, September 21, 2009

Interview with Yvonne Eve Walus

Today I'm pleased to interview Yvonne Eve Walus at Cicero's Children.

Yvonne was born and raised in Poland. When she was twelve, she emigrated with her parents to South Africa, a country she calls her "second homeland". For the past ten years, she's lived in New Zealand.

Yvonne is the award-winning author of over twenty books, including MURDER @ WORK and MURDER @ PLAY from her "Murder @..." series and WITCH HUNT ON THE INTERNET, a stand-alone mystery, all of which are published by Echelon Press. Yvonne writes mysteries, poetry, and non-fiction articles under her own name and is a multi-published romance writer under the pen name Eve Summers.

Mary: Yvonne has kindly agreed to let us take a peek at her typical writing day. Before we get to that, though, I must ask about this rather extraordinary picture of you, Yvonne. I'm hoping that's what I think it is on your face.

Yvonne: Yes, Mary, that is chocolate. That's a photo of me enjoying a chocolate fountain at one of my book launches.

Mary: Hmmm. I suspect that your son's handprint on your cheek, but I'll leave it at that. Instead, why don't you tell us about your writing day.

Yvonne: Okay, you asked for it! A normal day can start like this:

“Mom! MOM!!!!!”

It’s 3 o’clock in the morning and my 4-year-old has had a bad dream. I drag myself out of my warm and cozy bed (almost as cozy as my murder mysteries) to cuddle and kiss away the nightmares.

7.20: “Honey, wake up. I’m going now.” That’s my husband on his way to work. I’m half-sitting, half-lying down, all-shivering on my son’s bed.

10.00: I managed to wash + dress + feed the kids, as well as deposit them at their school/day-care. Time to have breakfast and put in the washing.

10.15: I switch on the computer and begin my day job, which has nothing to do with writing mystery novels.

3 p.m.: Collect the kids, drive them to piano, or ballet, or swimming, or art, or a play date.

5 p.m.: Return home exhausted to an evening of homework, dinner, making costumes for the school play and other family activities.

9 p.m.: Open my Murder Mystery folder. Record as much of the day’s dialogue as I can remember, from “Mommy, why did God make bad people?” all the way to “If I knew what I was signing up for, I would never have become a father”. (You never know when those difficult snippets of life will come alive in your latest book.)

Midnight: I know I have to switch off the computer. But there are all those emails and admin and promo to deal with....

1 o’clock in the morning: The computer is off at last. I long for a soak in a hot bubble bath, but I long for sleep even more. Just a quick shower, then. Sleep....

3 o’clock in the morning: “MOM!!!!”

Mary: Whew! I wonder what a not so normal day is like for you! Okay, here's a writing question for you. Do you concentrate on one project at a time, or do you enjoy varying your writing on a daily or weekly basis?

Yvonne: I usually write two novels at the same time: a murder mystery and a mainstream women’s fiction book. That way, if I’m stuck on one, I simply move on to the other. Brainstorming with other writers also helps with writer’s block. You have to like and trust your group, but it’s heaps of fun when you get it right. Part of it is that writing can be such a lonely affair, you simply get energized when you meet other writers, but mostly it’s about fresh ideas. (And the wine is a lovely bonus.)

Mary: Tell us something about MURDER @ PLAY.

Yvonne: In short, every marriage needs a touch of mystery. Or does it?
In the new free South Africa of 1994, men are still boss, women carry handguns for self-protection, and some mistakes can change your life forever. When a body is found during their weekend away with friends, Christine Chamberlain must use her brilliant mathematical mind to prove her husband's innocence...whether he's innocent or not. When it comes to your loved ones, is it possible to know too much?

Mary: What about MURDER @ WORK?

Yvonne: Christine Chamberlain doesn't want much from life: a steady job, a baby and a Fields Medal. Her boss, however, wants money and he is willing to do anything to get his way, even if it means getting Christine involved in a project that not only jeopardises her dreams, but might also put her in danger.

When Christine complains to her colleagues, they joke about killing the boss to solve the problem. They discuss the murder by email. Almost everybody has an obvious motive to get rid of the boss from hell... and a few hidden ones they don't share.
The next day, Christine brings fennel oil to work. In itself, it's not the world's deadliest poison, and Christine would of course never dream to use it as such. Or would she?

Mary: Wow! Sounds like you have quite a series going there! Thanks for appearing on Cicero's Children, Yvonne.

If you'd like to know more about Yvonne, please check out the following links:

Blog: for Witch Hunts on the Internet for Murder @ Work and Murder @ Play