Interview with Wendy Lyn Watson



A Perennial Wallflower…

When Mira Fitzhenry’s guardian arranges her engagement to one of the most scandalous lords to ever grace the peerage, all of society is abuzz. After all, the man has left a trio of dead young women in his wake, including his first fiancée. But Mira doesn’t see a killer in Nicholas’s moonlight eyes, and she resolves to find the real murderer before the wedding.

A Gothic Villain…

Expecting to scare the chit away within five minutes of meeting him, scarred and brooding Nicholas, the Viscount Ashfield, is intrigued by Mira’s tenacious resolve to prove his innocence. She’s not put off by his imposing appearance, but his family’s dark secrets mean he cannot let her get close.

As the wedding approaches, Nicholas and Mira grow ever closer, yet so does the danger.Will the truth bring Nicholas and Mira together or tear their love apart?

 About the Author:

Wendy Lyn Watson writes mysteries of all types: contemporary, historical, and cozy. Whatever the time or the tone, her mysteries always feature a dose of humor and a dollop of romance. Her first cozy series, the Mysteries a la Mode, feature the owner of an ice cream parlor in a small Texas town.Watson-PubPhono-Color-200x300

Once Upon a Wallflower, due to be released in August of 2013, is a Regency-set romantic mystery. While Wendy does not commit (or solve) mysteries in real life, she can kill a pint of ice cream in nothing flat. She also enjoys 80s music, Asian horror films, quilting, and vegetarian cooking.

While she was born in Ohio and has called half a dozen states home, she currently lives in a college town in North Texas along with her husband and their three cats (Iphy, Squeak-a-Doodle, and Todd Baryshnikov).

She loves to hear from readers, so find her on Facebook at @wendylynwatsonauthor.


Tell us about your publishing journey…
I found an my agent, Kim Lionetti, through an RWA contest.  She is the one who suggested my voice was right for cozy mysteries, and I sold my first cozy proposal for the Mysteries a la Mode. I never gave up my love for historical romance, though, so it made sense for me to try my hand at historical romantic mystery.  It combines everything I love in one package.  Working with Entangled on this project has been great.  They have given me the freedom to cross genre boundaries in a way a traditional publisher could not.
Who is your favorite mystery writer and why?
No fair! I have so many.  If I had to pick a favorite, though, I would choose Denise Mina. “Deception” is one of my favorite novels of all time.
If you were casting Once Upon a Wallflower,  who would you put in the leads?
Hugh Jackman would make a wonderful Nicholas … his face has character, and he’s got that dazzling crooked smile.  For Mira, I’d cast Isla Fisher.  I love her ability to play ernest, innocent characters.
If you could have dinner with any gothic villain from either literature, movie or real life, who would it be and why?
I know I’m playing fast and loose with the term “gothic,” and I know I should probably pick a guy, but I would love to have dinner with Eli from “Let the Right One In.”  I think she’s a fascinating character, trapped forever in a child’s body, relying on her ability to woo others in order to survive.  Perhaps it’s because the movie focuses so much on the practicalities of being a vampire, but she seems more emotionally complex than most.  I would love to have dinner with her, but I’d be worried that I might become the dinner.
If you had the chance to solve a famous mystery, which would you choose?
I  would love to solve the Zodiac murders. Such a fantastic puzzle, and the letters make it seem like the answer is tantalizingly close.
How do you plot a mystery? Is it different from other novels?
As with other novels, plotting a mystery requires thinking about the narrative arc, the key turning points in the plot and in the journey of the main character.  I personally find it easiest to plot backward. Where do I want to end up?  How do I get there?  Perhaps the biggest difference between plotting a mystery and plotting other novels is the need to plant clues.  True mysteries abide by a rule of “fair play”: the author has to give the reader all the information to solve the mystery on her own . . . without coming right out and spilling the beans.  That means weaving clues into the narrative, a process that requires a great deal of rewriting and editing.
What part of the writing process do you enjoy the most?
I love a first chapter.  It’s a little terrifying, but coming up with that perfect first line, setting the scene for the rest of the story, and simply having that whole universe of possibility in front of you is also exhilarating.
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m really late to the party, but I’m reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Don’t compare yourself to others.  I find this advice difficult to follow, but I know that a lot of the tension and frustration in my life comes from trying to measure myself and my success against the accomplishments of other people.  Success comes in many forms, and you have to find the form that fits you, not someone else.
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