Q&A and Giveaway with Author Vicki Tyley

Today’s featured author is Vicki Tyley, author of  Brittle Shadows! Read below to discover more about Vicki and her writing… and enter the giveaway!

 

5 Frugal eReaders will win a free gifted Kindle copy of Vicki’s novel, Brittle Shadows!

*PLUS* 3 Frugal eReaders will win an Advanced Review Copy of her upcoming novel, Bitter Nothings!

See how to enter the giveaway after the Q&A!

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Thank you for spending some time with us Frugal eReaders! Can you please tell us a little about yourself?

A New Zealander by birth, I’m now a proud Australian and have lived here for most of my adult life. Australia is a big country and, together with my husband, I’ve lived in and explored the central business districts of large cities, suburbia, idyllic seaside locations, rural areas, bushland, and remote desert mining camps. We currently live on a farm in North Central Victoria.

I’ve worked in a multitude of different industries including banking, stockbroking, importing and wholesaling, human resources, mining, hospitality, civil engineering, and toys in predominantly accounting, IT and management roles. I’m now a fulltime writer, but I also do a bit of freelance web design work on the side.

Outside of writing and reading, my main interests are photography and nature, hobbies that come together on my Eucalypt Habitat photoblog.

When did you first know that you wanted to write? What inspired you to start?

I’ve wanted to write for as long as I can remember. I’ve always loved reading and was the bookworm of the family – writing was a natural progression.

When I was in primary school, I won a children’s short story competition for a national magazine. But it wasn’t until my fortieth birthday loomed that I got serious. I decided then that if I didn’t follow my dream, I would never do it. It was the best decision I ever made. With a wealth of life experiences behind me, I feel I am a much better writer now than I could have ever been in my twenties or even thirties.

How would you describe the style of your writing?

My writing tends to be lean – as some reviewers have noted, I don’t spoon-feed the reader – and easy reading. The stories themselves are plot-driven murder mysteries (versus thrillers), complete with twists, suspense, and a dash of humor.

How would you describe Brittle Shadows to someone who has not read any of your previous novels?

A contemporary murder mystery set in Melbourne, Australia, Brittle Shadows is a fast-paced, easy read with red herrings, twists and turns galore. Despite the naked man hanging in the wardrobe in the prologue, there is no explicit sex or gore.

As I have a strong relationship with my sister, I am always intrigued by novels with sister relationships as part of the premise. How did you come up with the premise for Brittle Shadows?

Family dynamics fascinate me. I have three sisters and two brothers, so have plenty to draw on when it comes to exploring those relationships in my stories. The idea for Brittle Shadows, though, was sparked by a high-profile murder case in the news. Of course, by the time, I applied my usual series of what-ifs even those directly involved would be hard pushed to recognize it as the same case… a case that included no mention of a sister.

What was your creative process for determining the final title and cover for your novel?

My books are standalone novels, but I wanted to brand them in some way as Vicki Tyley novels. One way I could do this was through cover design. I also realized that what looked great on a trade paperback might not translate to thumbnail size. My covers needed to be simple yet distinctive. The final template/design was the result of a lot of trial and error with fonts, color palette, images.

Title: It needed to be a two-word title in keeping with my other books. Sometimes a title will just come to me, but more often it’s drawing up lists of words that are pertinent to the story and mulling on those until a title jumps out at me.

What were the challenges of writing this novel? Your favorite part of writing Brittle Shadows?

The biggest challenge I faced was silencing my inner editor. With each novel I write, she pushes me just that much further. Sometimes I just want to tell her to shut up.

Favorite part of writing Brittle Shadows? Typing END? No, the best part was probably getting inside my characters’ heads – an escapism of sorts. I’m glad no one can see me writing, because I often act out scenes. Not a good look.

Any advice to those who hold the dream of becoming an author?

Be a sponge. Read writing, editing and publishing blogs. (Not so many that you spend all day online.) Read the how-to books and take out of them what you need. Write a book you would enjoy reading. But more importantly, read. I can’t stress that enough. You can’t expect to be a writer if you’re not a reader.

But the biggest thing is perseverance. You’re going to need it by the truckload. That and a bit of luck.

A cautionary note: Be discerning whom you take your advice from. Some of the “advice” I’ve seen meted out online to unsuspecting new writers is downright scary. Look to those who’ve proven themselves.

Are you working on anything new that you’d like to share?

Prompted by a reader who’d heard that I’d consigned my first two novels to the bottom drawer, I’m now rewriting the book I wrote before Thin Blood, applying skills I didn’t have back then. An interesting challenge, to say the least.

I’m yet to come up with a new two-word title for it. All title suggestions most welcome – original title Dinner for Twelve.

My most recently completed novel, Bitter Nothings, is currently with my agent.

What is one of your favorite passages from Brittle Shadows?

This is a hard one, but I think I’ll have to opt for the opening scene:

One foot inside the apartment, the smell hit her. Sour, like cat pee. Except they didn’t own a cat.

“Sean?” she called, her voice cracking. She cleared her throat. “Sean, honey, are you home?” Louder this time.

Not a sound. Only that putrid smell.

She dumped her heavy satchel on the floor, kicked the door closed, and surveyed the room.

The late afternoon sun streamed through the balcony-facing floor-to-ceiling windows. Long shadows from the life-sized, headless bronze nudes standing sentry sliced the living area. The Age newspaper lay open at the business section in the middle of the narrow glass-topped dining table, Sean’s mobile phone next to it. Apart from one of the eight chairs sitting askew from the table, she could have stepped into the pages of Home Beautiful.

She crossed the carpet toward the short hall that led to the bedrooms and stuck her head into the apartment’s galley-style kitchen. Tomatoes, red onions and a cling-wrapped tray of meat – the makings of what looked to be one of her fiancé’s specialties, Spanish steak – sat on the stainless steel drainer next to the sink. Further down the bench, she spotted a bottle of red wine together with two wine glasses, one of which was already poured. She sniffed the air and moved on.

Usually wide open, the door to the guest bedroom was half-closed. Hoping Sean hadn’t offered a bed to one of his boozy mates, she hesitated for a moment and then gave the door a sharp shove.

The door swung in, releasing a rush of sour air. Pinching her nostrils together, she leaned into the room, ready to beat a hasty retreat if anyone was in there. Her gaze went first to the queen-sized bed. Although the quilt looked rumpled, the bed itself didn’t appear to have been slept in.

Breathing out through her mouth, she glanced across the bedroom to where sunlight, filtered through the window’s upward angled Venetians, striped the ceiling.

She took another step into the room and turned around. The leather strap of her handbag slid from her shoulder. She didn’t try to stop it, couldn’t stop it. Unable to move, all she could do was gape at the open wardrobe, her eyes bulging almost as much as the vacant ones staring back at her.

A silent scream blocked her throat. She couldn’t breathe in; she couldn’t breathe out. Her lungs wanted to burst. The purple, bloated face of the naked man hanging from the wardrobe’s steel rail on a belt, his swollen tongue protruding from his mouth, was almost unrecognizable. Almost.

She stumbled backwards, snaring her handbag as she landed in a heap next to the bed. She scrambled in the bottom of her bag, her mobile phone eluding her like wet soap in the bathtub. When she did manage to get hold of it, she struggled to still her shaking hands. Her fingers felt fat and clumsy, the buttons on her phone tinier than she remembered.

“Emergency. What service do you require? Police, Fire, Ambulance?”

She opened her mouth to answer, but a magazine page stuck to her leg now had her attention instead. She peeled it off, dangling the magazine at arm’s length as if it were a dirty sock. She had never seen anything quite like it. Naked flesh. Entwined bodies. Explicit sex scenes.

If she had thought things couldn’t get any worse, she had thought wrong. She shook her head, unable to come to terms with what she was seeing. Her fiancé, her lover, her partner was dead; dead and surrounded with hard-core homosexual pornography.

Thank you so much for taking the time to let us learn more about you and your book! I wish you the best!

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Brittle Shadows

“Tyley is a master at weaving a complex, multilayered plot.” ~BigAl’s Books and Pals

When soon-to-be-wed Tanya Clark is confronted with her fiancé’s naked corpse hanging from a wardrobe rail in the upmarket Melbourne apartment they share, her life is torn apart. Two months later, distraught and unable to cope, she drowns her sorrows in a lethal cocktail of alcohol and prescription drugs.

On the other side of Australia, a grieving Jemma Dalton struggles to come to terms with the suicide of her only sibling. Despite there being no evidence to the contrary, Jemma refuses to accept Tanya had intended to kill herself. Not her sister. Then the coroner’s report reveals that at the time of her death she had been six weeks pregnant. The will, too, raises more questions than it answers. How did a young woman on a personal assistant’s wage amass shares worth in excess of $1,000,000?

In a desperate bid to uncover the truth, Jemma puts her own life at risk and starts to probe the shadows of her sister’s life. But shadows, like bones, grow brittle with age. The consequences can be deadly.

Click here to read more about and purchase Brittle Shadows from Amazon for $3.99

Connect with Vicki:

Website: www.vickityley.com
Blog: vickityley.blogspot.com

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How to enter the Brittle Shadows Giveaway:

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Comments

  1. Simon Royle says:

    Great interview :), lot of good advice in there.

  2. This is a great book! You can’t go wrong with Vicki Tyley.

    Scott

  3. Vicki says:

    Thanks, guys. :)

  4. Susan says:

    Vicki’s stories never fail to grab you from the start – hang on to you for the duration and stay with you when they’re finished.

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