Interview with Crime Writer Sandra Woffington: S. 6, Ep. 10


I have this crime kathy. Your podcasting source of rape crime. Suspense and thriller writing. I'm your host. Debbie mac before i bring on my guest. I'll just remind you that. The crime cafe has to e books for sale. The nine book box set and the short story anthropology. You can find the by links for both on my website. Deputy mac dot com under the crime. Cafe link you can also get a free copy of either book if you become a patriot supporter. You'll get that and much more if you support the podcast on patriae on along with our eternal gratitude for doing so i would also like to recommend stitcher premium. If you're a fan of podcasts. If you like true crime or crime fiction there are loads of podcasts. Out there for you. And with stitcher premium you can listen to the exclusive fives from criminology or bonus episodes from true crime garage. You can also listen ad free. Two episodes of your favorite podcasts. I've subscribed for only four ninety nine a month. It's nice to have ad free entertainment. Just go to stitcher dot com slash premium and use the promo code crime cafe. That's one word all caps to try it out absolutely free for a month with me. Today is author. Who along with her wine valley mystery series has written a standalone set in saudi arabia and the middle rape fantasy book. Both of which have been short-listed for awards. Her winedown industries are also available in a box. Set that became a number white amazon bestseller upon. Its release that is amazing. I'm pleased to have with me today. Author sandra waddington. Hi sandra how are you doing today. I debbie i'm good. Thank you from fighting me to the crime cafe. I'm happy to be here. And i wanted to tell you. I love your intro music. It really sets the mood for crying. Thank you so much. Yeah because i happened to find this music. I don't know if it was on the mac or were through youtube. But i hadn't find this. That's just perfect perfect. Well thank you. Thank you very much and thanks for being with us at some point a new sit down and figure out how many authors come on here who have traveled to interesting places because i seem to be collecting them. It was after you married the moves to saudi arabia. Was your husband correct yet. He was already there. We actually wild story. But i was on a tour of europe for a month in. I was twenty one and i met him in a disco in lucerne switzerland. He was there on business from saudi arabia. Even though he was american. And then i went back to california. He went back to riyadh saudi arabia. And then we got to know each other through letters and Met once in new york which was about halfway and then decided to marry and then i moved to saudi arabia. Mr quite a change for you First novel that you worked on there. That was your first novel and was yes. It was cold unveiling yes it was. I think what travel does for you at twenty one it was. It was almost during rhonette because one of my favorite books growing up or the stories of thousand one arabian nights with a latin in sinbad and magic. And also the wit. You know outsmart outsmarting each other with the characters and i felt like i landed there it literally when i was there during the period of the oil boom around nineteen of nine and It was still camels in the desert. I look riyadh today. And it's a fast paced city but it was quickly disappearing and I was fortunate enough to me survey of been zagre who is a renowned saudi female artist. She actually has opened a school and museum in a judah which is on the coast and she inspired that story because she was in her art she tries to capture what she saw as her traditions and culture quickly disappearing I saw that too. They were beautiful. Mutt still mud houses. Antastic mud mud buildings with balconies and They were all being torn down and then european visions of beauty and marble shiny marble. Were being put up. And when we took her out to see some ruins of that she might be interested in painting. She took off her veils and wool and she had her niece with her And it dawned on me that she's an artist and she needs her eyes and yet she lives in this world where she has to fail and That inspired my story In my mic character. Sarah is in artist and she is trying to also capture her traditions and yet she's also rebelling against them which i witness while i was there to that No matter where you go in the world it changes over time and so saudi arabia's a case in point today how now have one of the biggest women's universities in the world fascinating It interesting in chose this type of person as your protagonist reading from a different perspective at different cultural perspective. You said you did a lot of research on this How much research did you do before you wrote the book i will. I will tell you to fencing. I learned through. The writing of this book is that you can also get lost in research. I spent probably a few years. And i read. Original accounts of travelers. To richard burton was one or several others that actually traveled in arabia from the eighteen hundreds forward and of course living there helped and I was so driven to riot the story. I was terrified at the same time. Because as you mentioned to presume that i could write from the perspective and the authentic with a saudi voice. I and a story was terrifying. But i really really wanted to write it and i remember thinking to when i landed in arabia. I wanted people to see the country and the struggles of saw because it doesn't exist anymore. It's already gone so I i did after. I did lots of research i wrote it. I gutted twice. And i was prepared to throw it away. I just had to write. Maybe for me. And if i couldn't be authentic but i was very fortunate when i was finished that i looked for a reader and found lena carmody who was wonderful. She taught at the university of riyadh for years. She earned her degree in arabic Master screen arabic literature. So i could not have found a better reader and she happened to be in california not far from me so she took on the task of reading it and I was probably never more nervous about any book i've ever written. And she loved it and that was she did help me. She pointed out a few things but she was actually she. She actually said. Thank you for writing. This is not meant a lot and that would did. Come in as a Semi area honorable mention for the writers digest self published book awards. Which again was just really made my day to. that's fantastic. That's really great. You can't ask for much higher praise than that right right right. You've also written the worrier watchers saugus series about seven adolescents and each them has some kind assistance challenge. Thought that was interesting. Job of saving the world. Do they have to stop the Seven ancient gates of evil from opening and Down that book was also inspired by A real individual In teaching. I also teach middle school at a small private school montessori school. I had in my class one year. A young man who was high functioning autistic and i think changed oliver world's at year including his. He had the first birthday party. My students were so nurturing of trying to just incorporate him in everything they did. He had his first birthday party on his mom. Told me with the whole class went. But i realized i like to use the word differently abled and in all of my you know no matter it. That's what i see in the world and so not only did i want to create a book that was about diversity but also want about how everybody needs. Heroes and i don't think there are enough books out there I've read a lot of literature to i. On the different label types of books and their law. A lot about overcoming difficulties instead of about the uniqueness of individual people so in this series which is really funny twenty takes place in a different mythological underworld the first one is hades charteris. So it's the greek mythology the one. I'm just finishing now Evil here's takes place in the japanese and chinese mythological world and what's fun though is each of these characters because of their unique abilities it almost in it ends up being a bit of a superpower that it's something that they can do for example mirrors blind and in one scene. He saves the day. Because that's a skill set that That proves useful in that particular setting So that's that's that series is very dear to my heart coming from the well extensions. Sounds wonderful because you know it really emphasizes how just because you lack one ability doesn't mean you can't make up for it with others exactly. My student is still the same student. I still tutor him occasionally and he's now junior college so yes we can all. We all have roller part of the world. We all have skill sets. We can use that. So what prompted you. Drink crime novels set in the wind valley. Yes so That that I love murder mysteries for one thing. I've grown up on. You know all of agatha christian. Christie's perot midsomer murders. You name it. If there is a murderer murder she wrote. I have grown up with it and i've always loved genre and again it's interesting when you set out as an author because that was genre. I decided i wanted to write. I was still nervous. It's one thing to watch a lot of mysteries and read them. But it's another to sit down and write them so I do live in southern california. So wind valley is based upon the temecula region. Except of course it's all fictional and it's been a great locale because we have you know you have the beach not far away My two main characters. I really love. They've they just keep going with with me in our people We have detective. Max king and dr joy burton and their complete opposite. Max is launched blue eyed hunk. And they're both twenty six. When the book starts in They turned twenty seven and dr joy. Burton who is a forensic psychologist is the opposite. She's the dark noir character I like to say that. If wednesday addams grew up and became friends at psychologist she would be dr joy burton. In fact wednesday out on is her Sort of alter ego. I guess you would say and the funding thing with this series is that even though they're a standalone murder for each one which is unique there is a subplot which is that maximum joy. discover dat They are in fact fraternal twins and they have the same mother but two separate fathers. There's fun of research that really can happen. And when they were three and a half their house exploded and they were Adopted by two separate longmen David came becomes the chief of police the wind valley and his adopted by sam burton. Who was an fbi agent and when the story starts after So they grew up apart and then after the fathers die within a few months of one another joy finds clues. Lead her to max and start working together because she's the forensic psychologist in her detective and so she stays wind valley and that's so. Yeah it's it's a fun series. Now that's really interesting so each book is like a different mystery but there's this over keen um storyline between the two protagonists correct. Yes and that will eventually come to a head and all will be revealed and then and then it will go on just more as a you know more of a straight up murder mystery from that point forward Really interesting Do you have a plan in terms of how many books you'd like to write for that series. I just wanna keep reading this series So i did put the two prequels of max. Enjoy a pond on the blog. That you that you have. And then i will just keep going the next one. I'm starting on his for scotty and fratricide so it's always the name of a wine and then And then a murderer or a bona warren blood. Something like that mayor low and murder. Nah but i'll keep going so the book that i'm working on also right now for that series is another prequel and it's called grand crew and gangs that is Joys boyfriend wind valley is officer read steel and so it's his prequel that takes place in los angeles in He's a gang unit in los angeles and that book is going into a box set with eighteen other authors. That i'm. I'm really excited about of always wanted to do this. i met through Not physically met but met judith. Lucci wonderful author and she's been in sets before. I was always intrigued. So a friend and i started a authors group called dead authors. That's for dark edgy and dangerous. So there's there's no cosies and through that group we have about eighty authors now About eighteen wanted to be seventeen plus me wanted to be in the box set. And so we the trittin a new story It's going to go into called the dead silent. Ach set collection. And i think what's really fun about able to do. This is that it gives readers an opportunity for ninety nine cents. The whole set is ninety nine cents to sample a lot of different authors and maybe find a few new ones that they like And the author. Snus group fantastic. It's judith lucci. Fiona quinn. Stephen moore doubt dan. Petrous seaney Michelle mad how'd is just a. It's a fantastic group. But it is a limited edition soul may be It'll be it's out on preorder now on wide channels and then it will be ninety nine cents through the first week of release january nineteenth and then after that it goes. It'll beach exclusive to amazon for ninety nine and then after six months the whole set disappears. We all get our books back. And we distribute them separately. So it's a fantastic opportunity for readers wanting to sample a lot of authors at one time it is. That's fantastic. that's radia. Let's see you mentioned feeling terrified I know that feeling. Because i'm been reading about a female marine and i've never been marine subculture in itself. Did you too. I tried where. I could talk to people who were in the military and who had some sort of connection with the marines as much as possible. Right i i hadn't really hard time finding anybody to read stuff. I did mench get a few people who would come back with the few comments but it was never like. They didn't read the whole story and l. felt late. I don't know what i do have to you know. Take whatever i read. I read lots of books about women in the military or in the marines bones. Right it was just extrapolating from what i read what little i could gather talking to people but the good news is. You're you're doing it anyway. I think that's what inspires us we get that story and you do tell it. Tell it about the female marine which is awesome. I find with the murder mystery series. I'm always learning new things. I start with character and building characters but You know one would. But i want character is a snake melker. I didn't know anything about about that. The yugo research in you. And then you fill in the gap somehow trying to make it as real as paul possible. Exactly i mean at some point human nature to accent and you kind of understand what they might do in a situation that kind of thing exactly. I think that's where the research really pays off or or reading as you said about an actual account that does pay off i. That's why start with character in my stories until that character becomes real to me. Then i don't feel like i i can write them. I know they're dialogue for example macs joy. They they've evolved so even though they didn't weren't raised together they sometimes joke almost like there were children because they didn't have that time together and so they fall into this. You know thing with puns Going back and forth and then at other times they're they're very opposite but you're always learning more about each character's you go along too. I mean i didn't know anything about forensic psychology either. And she's a forensic psychologist so the fun thing i have been able to do is with each book She teaches one night a week as well. And so i'll try to build in a scene where she gives a lecture in always ties into the case Might be one time about serial killers or might be about interrogation techniques or something that something that ties in. Yeah yeah and How do you push pass that feeling of terror Helps you with that. I think just jumping in and writing it particularly. I can go back to unveiling a said. I get it twice and but i learned a lot. One thing was the research the next thing is to i. I should have spent probably more time on character on the specific character. That would have helped so that helps me push. Pass it when i feel like i really know who this character is. I feel that i can write them. I've gotten better with research to arrive. Was saying i got lost in it before. He spent so much time on research and i realized at one point i think was using researches and escape because i can go research more instead of writing the story but as you know at some point you have to sit down and need to going to do it. You're going to you have to write this story and finally to myself. I said you need to either do this or stop talking about it. And so. I sat down and i wrote it and I cut it and then. I rewrote it and then i get it but now i don't waste time because one thing i learned in that is the character analysis portion. You still learn things as you go. And then the other thing i've learned is research I research before. I write a book which helps if i if it's pinot noir empoisoned for example i researched poisons so that i knew what was going to be involved in the story line and that helped but now what a getting it getting in finding what i need in getting out. I don't get lost in the research. Go find what i need and say. Oh yeah that's it that's perfect and sometimes you find those lovely kernels that you can't wait to put in a book that are surprises for the reader as well and then you move forward and you just keep writing i to write three to five thousand words as a goal for each day of my writing days and so that that just helps me. Keep going forward I was fortunate. Enough longtime ago. I got into a class taught by saul stein was a private little group and i always remember. He said you have to get to the end. he said. then you can start re you writing but You you have to get to the end of the story and just write it Yet you just have to start. That's what i always tell people. It's like just start no matter how you start. Even if it's just writing in a journal to start and just turn off the editing side of the brain and just let it flow. Just let the characters talk capture the scenes therein Is love it when characters surprise me because they do something in a scene i hadn't planned that is just fun but They do they take off on their own. And that's one it becomes very real very true very very true You took some really amazing photos. I thought that the camel races in saudi everything of selling stock. He just out of curiosity. I hadn't yeah. I don i do have a few pictures from that time Yeah i mean i. I hadn't asked an interesting idea. I could put a few up. i have another one. yeah. I have another one. i took. Oh we used to. I learned how to dive in the red sea which was fabulous and we would go out at night. night diving at which which is kind of scaring. I did want see in my flashlight. Beam black tip sharks so that was a fun experience and i so i got a picture. That guy sounds like. You've done some fantastic traveling. That would make an interesting subject for for book. Have you saw about bad. You know. I think travel does come back in in my In all of the books it does come back for sure or in the words watcher saga series. Even though i think the one that doesn't take place in probably wind valley not one minutes civic locale but With teaching every year one thing. I liked that my school has has always done is to try to plan a in urine trip for the children. This year was different but they fundraise all year long because we want them to be empowered. We want we don't want a hand them things. We want them to be empowered to learn that the world is they can go anywhere they can go see the world and we encourage that so it's one thing to teach the students about the rainforest and then to take them on a trip to costa rica where their zip lining through the canopy and learning about it firsthand so yet travel. I haven't thought about travel writing per se. But i do find that exotic locales do come into into the warriors watcher saga series and different diverse cultures as well one book will play take place in india for example. So that's the books move around and fantastic. Rabble had didn't travel this year. But i still love to travel. There are a couple of places. I'd like to still see in the world a me too for sure. Let's see and addition dish into the project. You have going in terms of the Is it sent yet at the outset. What advice working on now. I am working on just finishing the editing for here which is the second book in the mythological fantasy series and then i have already outlined. Done my character studies for for scotty in fratricide which will be number. Eleven in wind valley mystery series. Now they just chamblee already. It seems like every time i turn around. I've gotta get a few more titles and book covers. Which is my gosh. Wow you're prolific. That's great working on it. that's fantastic. That's a good thing. Is there anything else you'd like to say before we finish up. Oh no. I can't think of anything just i just again want to say. Thank you for providing this show. I am a fan of mystery. Cafe the the crime cafe and love. The i've been listening myself to all the different authors. I learn a lot. I think that's one thing that is an author where always learning to from other from other authors and people. I totally agree with you there totally. I've learned so much just for doing this. Show seriously. i really appreciate your being here today. Sandra thanks so much. it don't forget everyone. Sandra has a book giveaway. Three kindles. happy's of books went through four of a wine valley mysteries in boxed sets. So there you go Winner will be selected on december twentieth. So check my guest blog. Post check Guest on my blog for details. And if you're a fan outcast please consider leading review and checking out our perks caitriona on for supporters. Just good my website. Be mac dot com for details. Thank you so much for your time and attention and in two weeks our guests will be dana. Hanes stay sates and happy

Coming up next