Monday, September 3, 2012

TBR welcomes Vicki Delany

TBR: Welcome to TBR, Vicki. Will you share a little bit about yourself?
Vicki Delany: First, thank you very much for having me here. I am Vicki Delany, and I am the author of 12 novels (so far) published by Poisoned Pen Press and by Dundurn Press.  I live in Canada, and all my books are set in Canada.  I’m best known for the Constable Molly Smith series, a traditional village/police procedural series set in British Columbia, which has been optioned for Canadian TV. I also write the light-hearted Klondike Gold Rush series and standalone modern gothic thrillers. A bit of a mixed bag.

TBR: Tell us about More than Sorrow and where it's available.
Vicki Delany:  Happy to: More than Sorrow got a starred review from Library Journal which called it a “splendid Gothic thriller”. It was released by Poisoned Pen Press this week. It’s a standalone novel, set on a contemporary small scale organic farm and on a Loyalist farm in 1784.  It’s available from most good independent bookstores as well as the chains.,, Chapters/Indigo, B&N.

TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Vicki Delany: Once, Hannah Manning was an internationally-renowned journalist and war correspondent. Today, she's a woman suffering from a traumatic brain injury. Unable to read, unable to concentrate, full of pain, lost and confused, haunted by her memories, Hannah goes to her sister's small-scale vegetable farm in Ontario to recover. As summer settles on the farm, she finds comfort in the soft rolling hills and neat fields as well as friendship in the company of Hila Popalzai, an Afghan woman also traumatized by war.
Hannah experiences visions of a woman, emerging from the icy cold mist. Is the woman real? Or the product of a severely damaged brain?
Which would be worse?
Then Hila disappears. When Hannah cannot account for her time, not even to herself, old enemies begin to circle.
In this modern Gothic novel of heart-wrenching suspense, past and present merge into a terrifying threat to the only thing Hannah still holds dear - her ten-year-old niece, Lily.

TBR: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Vicki Delany: After writing five Constable Molly Smith books, and three Klondike Gold Rush books, I wanted to take a break from series writing and do another standalone. I love that that traditional British gothic novel is back, and in a modern form.  The Gothic format, with a dual narrative and secret from the past, is the perfect way to explore themes such as the role of women, the impact of war on the homefront and on survivors, the eternal problem of refugees. Plus tell a good, exciting story.

TBR: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Vicki Delany: A bit of both.  I usually have a general idea of what the book is to achieve, how I want it to start, a rough idea of the ending. And the rest of it is pretty much as it comes.

TBR: How do you develop your characters?
Vicki Delany: Pretty organically. I might have a concept for them before I begin – such as I knew Hannah Manning was a top-ranked war correspondent, a woman totally dedicated to her profession.  But the complexities of her character only became revealed to me as I wrote the book.

TBR: Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share?
Vicki Delany:  Do you mean from More than Sorrow? I’m rather pleased with the first line: They tell me it was an IED hidden in a truck full of goats going to market, pulled off to the side of the road with an apparent flat tire.
But of that I have no memory.

TBR: Did any music inspire your book? Do you have a playlist?
Vicki Delany: Nope. I don’t listen to music at all when I write. It would be too distracting.

TBR: Which of your characters would you most/least like to invite to dinner, and why?
Vicki Delany: I’d most like to invite Hannah’s sister Joanne from More than Sorrow. She’s an organic farmer, so she can bring the produce and the chicken! Then we’ll have Lucky Smith, the mother of my series character Constable Molly Smith, to keep the conversation lively.  Lucky’s an old-time hippie. Still fighting the good fight while the world changes around her.

TBR: While creating your books, what was one of the most surprising things you learned?
Vicki Delany: To trust myself.

TBR: Tease us with one little thing about your fictional world that makes it different from others.
Vicki Delany: The backstory is of the original settlers on that land. They were Loyalists refugees from the American Revolution, and their story isn’t often told in fiction. I bet there are a few of my American readers that might find some surprises and learn something new.

TBR: What's next for you?
Vicki Delany: Back to Molly Smith and the town of Trafalgar, British Columbia.  A Cold White Sun, the sixth book in the series will be out in August 2013.

TBR: Any other published works?
Vicki Delany: I have a total of twelve published books – three standalones, five in a contemporary police procedural series, three in the historic Klondike gold rush series and a Rapid Reads book for adults.  Have a peek at my web page to read about them all:  I’d like to mention that the first in the Molly Smith series, In the Shadow of the Glacier, is currently FREE on Amazon for Kindle.

TBR: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Most rewarding?
Vicki Delany: The most rewarding is easy: the friends I’ve made and the people I’ve met. Being part of the wonderful close Canadian mystery community is the best part of it by far. The most challenging? That soggy middle where the ideas have dried up and the climax looks so far away. But, I’ve learned over the years to trust myself and just write it.

TBR: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books? Vicki Delany: If you mean interesting as in not nice: someone wrote to me to object to having Constable Dawn Solway, a minor character in the Molly Smith series, discuss her wedding plans with Molly. What was the problem? Solway is gay.

TBR: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Vicki Delany: I’m a big fan of the traditional British-style police procedurals. I love Peter Robinson, Susan Hill, Deborah Crombie, Barbara Fradkin in particular. Right now, I’m reading The Splendor Falls by Susanna Kearsley which is a great Gothic suspense.

TBR: Where can readers find you on the web?
Vicki Delany: .  I blog about the writing life at One Woman Crime Wave ( and on Twitter @vickidelany

TBR: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Vicki Delany: I’m always interested in what sort of books people read and why.  So let me ask them what they’re reading right now.

Can I add one more thing?  I will be touring Arizona and California in October/November with Donis Casey, author of the Alafair Tucker series. For details on where we’ll be, please check my blog:

TBR: Thanks for visiting TBR, Vicki. All the best to you.


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