Hello. This is Detective Gerald Ives—Ald for short and Hives instead of Ives, if you’re headstrong (bolshie) Reynalda Fonne-Werde. I’m sure I’ll hear about that one. <LMAO> Anyway, the gals from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency are enjoying a spa day (another one, must be nice) and asked, begged, me—given I ask a lot of questions for a living—to conduct an interview with The Boss today. Evidently, their big B would like some practice. I’m happy to oblige and it will only cost the threesome a dinner at a five-star restaurant, with a great bottle of wine.
Why do you write mysteries? Genre of preference?
Very much so. I’ve mentioned this previously, but I was a huge fan of Nancy Drew when I was kid. I loved solving mysteries, putting together puzzles. Hence, the desire to write them—my genre of definite and delightful preference.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I was probably six or seven. As an only child, I had to entertain myself. Writing and drawing were two regular means. I loved creating stories as much as I enjoyed crayoning and painting. When I was around twelve, the “writing bug” really grabbed hold . . . and never let go.
What was your first book-length story and was it published?
The first manuscript was a historical romance with a western theme set in Texas. Beautiful feisty heroine meets—clashes with—hunky aggressive hero. It was never published, but I do believe I still have it in a storage box somewhere. Maybe, one day, I’ll dig it out. It would be interesting to compare my writing style back then to present day, and see how I’ve developed.
Describe your present-day writing style.
In a word: narrative. I tell a story and provide descriptions and details that convey conflict and tension, action, humor, a beginning and an end. Do I have a distinctive or unique voice? I believe so, but I’d never be able to “describe” it. It’s simply . . . me.
It’s said some writers have muses. Do you?
Wouldn’t know a muse if it bit me on the butt—but power to those that have a guiding spirit or source of inspiration. Maybe I could borrow one for a day or two . . . ?
Do you draft a plot and outline before you write a book or let an idea take you where it may?
I always have an idea re a Triple Threat Investigation Agency case—for example, have P.I.s JJ, Rey, and Linda find a body by the canal (which is how the fifth book starts). I’ll have determined who placed the body there, but not necessarily why. In fact, the “reason” doesn’t usually present itself until a good 200+ pages have been written. You could unequivocally say, I go with the flow.
What sort of research do you do for your books?
I do a lot—anything from local food to drinks, weapons to wounds. But it’s on an on-going, what-do-I-need-to-know basis. More than half the research isn’t used, but it’s quite helpful for painting pictures and assembling puzzle pieces, and providing a knowledge base.
As a writer, what is success to you? How do you measure it?
One type of success is the accomplishment of having completed a project (in my case a book). It’s an awesome feeling. The second is the traditional type, if we could call it that, the one most people would claim is having a fruitful and/or prosperous career. Fellow writers might say: success is having achieved substantial sales and/or become a recognizable name. Ultimately, however, it’s being able to do what you love . . . and if it pays well, too, that’s doubly fantastic.
So you’re feeling good about having finished “Forever Poi”?
It’s taken forever to complete, so it feels amazing that it’s finally done. The marketing and promotional components come into play now, as do getting the front and back covers done, the e-book actually uploaded, and all those little [but numerous] “tasks” that go with the completion of a project. This part of the project tends to lean towards stressful for me, but it’s all—ultimately—good.
If any of your books were to be adapted into a movie, which one would it be?
The Connecticut Corpse Caper was initially written as a one-off, and is near and dear to my heart, so I’d like to see that made into a movie. An homage to B&W mysteries, it’s campy enough—I believe—to transcend well onto the screen. In all honesty, though, I confess that I’d love to see the Triple Threat Investigation Agency books developed into a weekly mystery series. <LOL> Hey, we’re entitled to our dreams, and that’s [one of] mine.
What are your other dreams?
To move to Hawaii, of course. To [finally] find contentment and tranquility. To give back. To become a better person/Christian. To become an American, which I’ve wanted with all my heart and soul since I was five; I cry when I hear the anthem . . . cried when I heard it last night. Allow me to share an astounding YouTube vid featuring seven-year-old Malea.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Despite what may sometimes seem like insurmountable odds, never give up, and constantly keep the faith. It’s not always easy. In fact, it can be incredibly [excruciatingly] difficult, but it can be done. Just believe.
And there you have it, folks. My first un-work-related interview with the Triple Threat Investigation Agency private eyes’ boss. You know? I could get to like this. . . . Maybe I’ll set up a blog of my own.