Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I have always loved romantic suspense and mysteries. As I child I wanted to be a private detective and solve crime when I grew up. But of course that didn’t happen. However, for the last twenty years I have been able to play at being a detective on paper.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
The day I married William, my wonderful husband. I often say that he is the second greatest man that ever lived, the first of course, Christ Jesus.
How has being published changed your life?
Having been a background sort of person most of my life, it has been a bit of a challenge to be upfront and personal with others. But, I have found that in order to sell my books, I must sell myself, which is hard for me. Nevertheless, I love meeting others and making new friends at various book signings and speaking engagements. But, after all, it isn’t really about me. My main purpose is to be that light on the hill Christ speaks about in the Bible. Also, I find that in aiding the marketing process of my first book A Legacy of Love has taken time away from my writing and it’s a struggle to find time to just write. And, of course, as a partner in our trucking firm, I still have that day job.
What are you reading right now?
Actually, I’m in between books right now. I’ve been recovering from cataract surgery, but plan to start a new novel by Brandilyn Collins soon.
What is your current work in progress?
I’m working on a book entitled Forbidden Garden, in which the main character, Mackenzie Adams, stumbles into a murder mystery while on a quest to find peace from the results of a tragic decision she’d made a few months earlier.
What would be your dream vacation?
I’ve always thought it would be fun to tour
Europe, not in the regular tourist locations, but travel
the back roads and stay in small inns and meet the people of the countryside
who make up the backbone of the countries.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
Thus far in my writings I have chosen settings in places I am familiar with or have visited. I take lots of pictures wherever I travel. I have just returned from a ten-day visit to
with a tour group from my
church. Already, I can see a possible mystery plot emerging from that
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I would love to sit down with Mary Higgins Clark and ask her dozens of questions about her writing techniques. She is a “master plotter” and able to slowly draw out the tension in her books while making the reader believe all the possible characters are guilty of the crime.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I enjoy knitting, crocheting, and quilting. However, since the debut of A Legacy of Love and with my current novel Bittersweet Justice now in print, it will be some time before I will be able to pick up yarn or thread.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
The plot of a book will be moving along nicely and all of a sudden, I develop a mental block. When that happens it is best to leave the computer for a while, maybe even until the next day. And, I find that prayer is the key that opens the door to creativity. When I return to the manuscript, somehow the words begin to flow again.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Hone your craft as much as possible with writing courses, writing conferences, by reading books in your genre, and pray for guidance. As a Christian writer, I find there is nothing impossible with God. He is the creator; I am but the vessel through whom his inspiration can flow.
Tell us about the featured book.
Bittersweet Justice is about Colin Lambert who hopes to reopen the case of his murdered grandfather when he returns to his boyhood home to attend his great-uncle’s funeral. In Colin’s childhood his father was convicted of the murder but has maintained his innocence while serving his life sentence. Now Colin’s father has terminal cancer. With little time to spare, Colin determines to track down all involved in the twenty-five-year-old cold case and prove his father’s innocence. Colin moves into Briarwood, the family estate, with his great-aunt Beatrice, whom he affectionately refers to as the Duchess. Suffering from Alzheimer’s, she often confuses Colin for his father Stuart. But her moments of clarity allow Colin to speak openly with her about the misunderstandings of the past as he deals with his anger toward the past and his mother, who moved him to another state the day after his father’s conviction; and of his grandfather’s conflicts leading up to his murder.
After meeting the melancholy reporter Julie Lonetree who voices her interest in his father’s case, Colin invites her to join him in the investigation. Aided by Julie and her connections, he discovers key evidence that was overlooked at the trial. But Colin soon discovers that there are those who don’t want him sifting through the past. Danger increases when someone shoots at Colin and later sets fire to the barn on the estate. When the Duchess is threatened, Colin questions his priorities. Can he free his father in time and if so, will the cost of Bittersweet Justice be too high? This heart-wrenching tale of murder, intrigue, and romance will keep you turning pages.
Please give us the first page of the book.
“Son, listen to me! Haven’t you suffered enough from the past? How can you consider returning to that horrid place? You’re just asking for more heartbreak.”
Colin Lambert darted a glance toward his upper arm, his mother’s touch like the singe of a hot iron. He pulled away from her grip. “Mother, you may have forgotten Dad’s words after the trial, but I haven’t. He said he didn’t kill Grandfather Lambert. I’ve never known him to lie.”
Eileen Lambert Hemphill stood motionless, her crisp blue eyes wide with shock and disbelief at her son’s reaction. Regaining her composure, she glanced at her arm, which she held suspended in the air. Straightening, Elaine rested both hands on her hips, digging her heels into the carpet, like a soldier settling into a trench armed and ready for battle.
“Fairy tales are for children.”
Pulling himself to his full height of six feet, two inches, Colin’s eyes narrowed. “Yes, I was only a boy at the time. But I remember how truth blazed in Dad’s eyes. I vowed to find Grandfather’s killer someday.” Colin shook his head. “I can’t believe the jury convicted Dad. No one will ever convince me that Dad murdered his own father. I’ve always believed the true assassin is stashed away in
‘black gold’ country. Although his identity has remained anonymous for more
than a quarter of a century, I’m determined to unearth the scoundrel.” Oklahoma
How can readers find you on the Internet?You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Goodreads, and my Website at http://victoriaburks.tateauthor.com.
Thank you, Victoria, for visiting with us again.
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