Please welcome LynDee Walker, author of the Headlines in Heels mysteries!
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
Getting up early and taking my little ones to breakfast with Winnie the Pooh at Magic Kingdom, then riding rides, eating pineapple ice cream, and watching fireworks. On a day when we’re not at Disney World, though, I’d say snuggling my littles in bed in the morning, cooking, games, writing, and some alone time with my wonderful husband.
Do you have a signature accessory, color, fragrance, phrase, or meal?
Fragrance! I am a perfume loyalist, and for the last three years running I’ve worn Dior’s Cherie. It’s the perfect combination of floral and spice, and I adore it.
Excluding family, name three people who either inspired you or influenced your creativity.
My high school journalism teacher, Lynnda Roselle, had faith in my ability to be a good reporter long before I did, and her encouragement inspired me to chase my dream.
Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote novels when it was nearly unheard of for a woman to be an author, and the Little House books are still on my keeper shelf. I bought my daughter her own set last year because mine are so worn from being read over and over. Not only was Laura a gifted storyteller, she was a strong woman, and I’ve admired her since childhood.
Laura Levine has been one of my favorite authors for years, and I grew up watching the TV shows she wrote before she started the Jaine Austen Mysteries. She was a big influence on my creativity, and I was thrilled when she agreed to read Front Page Fatality, and more thrilled when she said lovely things about it.
Do you listen to music when you write?
I do! And it has to be 90s rock. I have no earthly idea why, since I listen to country almost exclusively the rest of the time, but I can’t write to anything except Pandora’s 90s station.
If your latest book were chocolate, what kind would it be and why?
Oooh, I like that question! Hmmmm. I’ll say white chocolate with a hint of spice, because Nichelle is pretty easy going and has an uncomplicated life until she starts digging around in this story.
What made you interested in writing this particular story?
I was desperate to get back to writing anything at all, and I also really missed the newsroom. It’s funny how the mind works—this story took care of all that in one neat package.
What themes do you regularly (re)visit in your writing?
Wow, I had to think hard about that one. And my list looks like it belongs in a comic book: truth, justice, and a search for love. While Nichelle’s stories are definitely mysteries, she wouldn’t mind having the right guy around (if she could find him), and my other projects have similar story elements.
Tell us about your main character’s psyche or personality. What led her (or him) to be the person s/he is today?
Nichelle is a good person, with a big heart. Coming from a single-parent family with a strong, spunky mother, Nichelle is fiercely independent, determined, and ambitious. She’s a hard worker, and she likes to help people. Once she’s in your corner, she is loyal to a fault. Having been hurt a few times, she’s not interested in leaping into a relationship, preferring to get to know a guy first. She’s the kind of woman it’d be fun to have on speed dial for girls’ night.
Describe your protagonist as a mash-up of three famous people or characters.
Lois Lane (y’all knew that was coming, right?), Rory Gilmore, and Imelda Marcos.
If you could host a mystery-author dinner party, who are the six writers (living or otherwise) you’d include?
Laura Levine, because I would like to hug her and tell her thank you for her kind words about Nichelle (and me!) and how much I admire her work. Agatha Christie, because who could have a mystery author dinner party without her? Kathy Reichs, because I just bet she’d be the most fascinating person to talk with. Harley Jane Kozak, because I think she’s delightfully funny and would be the life of the party. John Grisham, because attorneys are great for dinner party conversation, and I am a huge fan of his work. And Edgar Allan Poe, because my oldest daughter is probably his youngest avid fan, and she’d never speak to me again if I didn’t.
What’s next for you?
I’ve just finished Nichelle’s second adventure, which I’m thrilled to say (for the first time, so the Mysteristas have the scoop!) will be available from Henery Press in October 2013! This week, I’m starting on a novella (also starring Nichelle) for a fantastically fun anthology with Terri L. Austin and Larissa Reinhart. It will be out in December 2013.
LynDee Walker grew up in the land of stifling heat and amazing food most people call Texas, and wanted to be Lois Lane pretty much from the time she could say the words “press conference.” An award-winning journalist, she traded cops and deadlines for burp cloths and onesies when her oldest child was born. Writing the Headlines in Heels mysteries gives her the best of both worlds. When not writing or reading, LynDee is usually wrangling children, eating barbecue or enchiladas, or trying to walk off said barbecue and enchiladas. She and her family live in Richmond, Virginia. You can visit her online at http://www.lyndeewalker.com.