Thursday, 11 June 2015

From the couch - with Yolanda Renee, Dial M for Murder.

Hello everyone!

Time for another guest to recline on the couch and share with us their thoughts and musings. Today's guest needs little introduction. Yolanda writes murder series for Curiosity Quills Press--the thrilling Detective Steve Quaid stories enjoyed by many.

Let's get this interview going, Yolanda! By now you should have finished smelling the roses!

As a mystery writer, you must have a very vivid imagination. What is your most frightening childhood memory…
         I remember being afraid to go to sleep at night for fear someone would cut my head off. I was 10 when I read in the paper that three young men had been decapitated in a car accident and for some reason being beheaded, became a phobia. I would sleep with my blanket up to my neck, certain if they couldn't see the neck, they couldn't remove my head. Who were they? I have no idea. I was a kid.
Do you have a favourite movie about murder?
         The original 1954 Alfred Hitchcock movie Dial M for Murder, with Ray Milland and Grace Kelly. There was an excellent remake in 1998 with Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Paltrow called A Perfect Murder. I enjoyed the remake as much as the original!
I love both of those films too. Now do you have a favourite song about murder?
         Delilah by Tom Jones is a favourite. The antagonist kills her with a knife after she spends the night with another man. Did you know there are nine songs written about murder?
I would have thought there were more, actually. Now how about books? What's your favourite book about murder?
         The Murders in the Rue Morgue, a short story by Edgar Allan Poe published in 1841, and recognized as the first modern detective story. I found the story quite frightening at the age of twelve. This was my first introduction to murder mysteries.
Have you ever thought about how you would commit the perfect murder?
         Guns are too loud and nosy, knifes are too messy, poison is so cliché. I would find a way to make the death appear as an accident. Maybe place baby oil in the shower. Baby oil is a great way to moisten the skin, but can make a bathtub a very dangerous place.
Remind me never to take a shower at your place! How did you choose this genre?
         It was always my favourite genre. I wanted to write a mystery with several suspects and the reason for the murder had to be unique. I think I achieved that with my first book. Murder, Madness & Love is the very first book I ever wrote. They say don't count on getting your first book published, but don't believe everything you hear.
That's encouraging. Plenty of writers will be pleased to hear that. What is your latest project/s?
         I just recently finished the third book in my murder trilogy.
Due to hit the shelves in March of 2016 – Murder & Obsession
Tagline: Flames burn between a hard-boiled cop and a gifted artist but soon extinguish as another man’s obsession ignites into a towering inferno of desire, driving him to destroy the object of his madness…Sarah.
I also have a book of short stories and flash fiction coming out in June titled When Zombies Attack. I enjoy the horror genre too; Stephen King has always been a favourite author. I admire his imagination.
In August, I should have a prequel to the murder trilogy ready for publication. The Snowman is a short story about Steven Quaid's first case as detective.
Moving from fiction to real life, have you ever known anyone who was murdered?
         Yes, my sister's ex-husband was stabbed once in the heart outside a bar. He died instantly. I originally had one of my victims die the same way, but an editor claimed it wasn't possible. Even though she was wrong, I changed the story.
Have you ever met a murderer?
         I've read that during our lifetime most all of us will have been in the same vicinity as murderer, at least 36 times. Crazy fact isn't it? I do think I met a man who could have been. I've never had a similar reaction to an individual as I did this man. He scared the crap out of me and my reaction bothered me greatly. I had an instantaneous dislike and couldn't figure out why, but I knew I did not want to get to know or be in the same room with him. He was a very unassuming looking man, but there was just something about him that had all my warning bells going off.
Will you create a new detective or stay with Steven Quaid?
         Steven keeps popping up in my head regarding the next mystery I'm formulating. So, I think he'll be around for at least one other book.
Would you consider doing a female detective?
         I've been mulling it over for some time. And if I write a fourth Steven Quaid mystery, then yes. I'd like a new series with a female detective.

Available Now:
             Murder, Madness & Love - After a gritty detective becomes involved with a beautiful widow suspected of murder, rumour and obsession obstruct his quest for justice.
             Memories of Murder - World damnation is a psychotic man’s goal, but two obstacles stand in his way, greed and a dedicated detective.
Coming Soon:
Murder & Obsession - Flames burn between a hardboiled cop and a gifted artist but soon extinguish as another man’s obsession ignites into a towering inferno of desire, driving him to destroy the object of his madness…Sarah.

 Love is never easy, but for Detective Steve Quaid and his fiancée, Sarah, their road to happiness is laden with minefields.
 Steven’s countless hours reconverting his grandfather’s cabin into the perfect honeymoon retreat for Sarah soon becomes a bloody crime scene detailing her death. Accused, Steven escapes into the Alaskan mountains, biding his time to find the truth…
 Who killed his beloved?
 A seasoned woodsman, he outsmarts even the cleverest of trackers. All but one…
 Mauled by a grizzly, a half-dead Steven barely escapes.
 But will he live to bring the true murderer to Justice?


Although she grew up in Pennsylvania, Yolanda Renee has an adventurous spirit that has taken her to Alaska where she hiked the Brooks Range, travelled from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, and learned to sleep under the midnight sun. The time she spent in Alaska greatly influenced her writing. Her favourite genres – mysteries, with a touch of romance and horror - describe the murder trilogy she's just completed.
Yolanda's bucket list includes drumming lessons, driving a race car and owning her very own fire-breathing dragon!
After all, anything is possible!

 You connect with Yolanda Renée here:

Cafe Writer presents:
The best iced coffee in the world
@Baked Poetry Cafe
Peregian Beach
  • Thanks for coming by and learning more about Yolanda.
  • Do you like murder mysteries? Have you read any of Yolanda's?
  • Yolanda maintains a blog, as well as many other social media platforms. Here is a link to a great post by Anne R Allen's latest advice to author-bloggers. Remember, you will be googled!


Yolanda Renée said...

Thanks Denise, you did a beautiful job with the interview. I found a new flash fiction challenge, check it out. I posted about it today, and of course, I wrote about murder. Silly muse is just evil! ;)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Awesome the third book will be out next year!
Scary you know someone who was murdered.
I also plan to stay away from your showers,

Yolanda Renée said...

:) you're a smart man, Alex! LOL I think it's even scarier that we've all been next to a murderer, at least once, but 36 times?

Jo said...

I remember someone I knew being murdered a long, long time ago. Actually your books scare the crap out of me Yolanda. Good interview Denise.

Denise Covey said...

Already saw it on your blog Yolanda. I was driving, lol, so couldn't comment. Seriously, I was being driven!
Lovely to have you coming in the door! :D

Yolanda Renée said...

Thanks, Jo, I appreciate that, and sorry, hope it didn't cause nightmares. I read my first zombie book by Jonathan Maberry and had horrid nightmares. I was interviewing him for a radio show, but I then began writing horror. I guess as a way not to be so frightened. It hasn't worked. I still get nightmares, but use it in my writing. A blessing and a curse. :)

Jo said...

Nope, they didn't give me nightmares thank goodness. I got over that kind of response many years ago by reading a favourite author, Dennis Wheatley (forgotten today) who filled his stories with black magic and zombies way before the current craze.

Yolanda Renée said...

I'm so glad. I do want folks to enjoy the reading, as I always have. Stephen King scares the crap out of me, but I love his imagination. So while nightmares are a curse - I use them them well, so my blessing in disguise.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Great interview Denise, as usual. Yolanda how scary to think we each have bumped into murderers unknowingly! And three people decapitated in one accident? That's so crazy horrifying.
I am planning to avoid the showers anywhere in your vicinity too :~)

Unknown said...

Yolanda is so busy and so prolific. She's a wonder! I'm sorry about her ex-brother-in-law, but we all have to get story ideas and details from somewhere. If I ever murdered anyone, I think I'd use a rifle, sniper style. (Though I don't have a rifle and might miss even if I did!) I'm sure if I greased up the shower the victim would probably just break their hip. Luckily, I'm not planning on murdering anyone...not in the near future anyway :)

Unknown said...

Here's a familiar author, at a fave blogger's place. Hi Denise and Yolanda :). I enjoyed the interview-- and especially that bit about using baby oil as a murder weapon!!

Yolanda Renée said...

Hi Nila, I find that fact weird too, wish I could go back in time and view those around me to verify the statement. That accident affected everyone in town. Showers can be a very dangerous place. :)

Yolanda Renée said...

Long distance is a good idea, I like that one, but it helps if your proficient. You'er probably right about the hip, then you'd be a caregiver and would have to resort to poison or a rifle! LOL Thanks Lexa!

Yolanda Renée said...

I do like the uniqueness of it, but realistically I think Lexa is right, a broken hip, and caregiver! :)

Denise Covey said...

One of my students died when he fell in a shower. So tragic. Yes and can be dangerous. :-(

Yolanda Renée said...

I'm sorry Denise, the loss of the young is truly where nightmares originate. Too horrible, but statistics will verify home accidents have high numbers for fatal accidents.

Chrys Fey said...

I love Yolanda!!!! :D I never really thought of murder songs before but now that I consider it there are quite a few. Especially rock songs.

Baby oil...interesting murder weapon.

Yolanda Renée said...

Hey Chrys, the feelings are mutual! I hadn't either but there are a few, funny how we don't even consider the meaning of the lyrics if the tune catches our attention. Yeah, baby oil, I'll have to write that one. :)

VR Barkowski said...

Great interview, ladies. Since I usually write about crime, Yolanda’s stories are right up my dark alley. Not to mention, the covers are Gorgeous. :)

Like Chrys, I never gave much thought to murder tunes. There’s quite a selection, but I think Frankie and Johnny has to be my favorite. “Three times she pulled a trigger on a forty-four gun. The gun went root-toot-toot. She'd nailed her man who'd done her wrong.” Root-toot-toot? Guns must have been much quieter in the early part of the last century.

VR Barkowski

klahanie said...

G'day Denise and hey Yolanda,

First of all, yes I know, where the heck has that Gary been? Well, I've been feeling like crap, but the crap seems to be leaving.

What an insightful interview. Lovely to see the delightful, adorable Yolanda get featured on your delightful, adorable site, Denise. "Delilah", by Tom Jones, is a song sung by Stoke City football fans. How about that for trivia, eh!

"Murder and Obsession", coming soon and that's totally awesome news, Yolanda. And Yolanda, stay remarkable and as always, you have my discreet support cheering you on in the background.

Consider this post shared!

Take good care, both of you lovely ladies.

Gary :)

dolorah said...

Hi Yolanda. King is my favorite horror author too. So versatile. I watched both Dial M and A perfect Murder, and loved them both. Are you still afraid of decapitations, lol? I'm with Denise, I would think there are a lot of songs about murder. A natural inclination to think of.

Hi Denise; hope you are enjoying sunny days at the beach.

Yolanda Renée said...

I'm sure there are many, many more songs about murder. King's always been a favorite, and yes, I'll always be afraid of decapitation. Something too horrid about it. Someone once told me I was probably beheaded in another life. If that's true, maybe once is enough - please!!! :)

Yolanda Renée said...

You are so very wonderful Mr. Gary, the best friend of all bloggers, and human caretaker of Penny, the internet superstar. Thank you, your support is always appreciated. Thanks for adding to the Delilah story did not know that.

Sending hugs and wishes for continuing good health!

Yolanda Renée said...

Wonderful to meet another mystery writer, and I'd forgotten all about Frankie and Johnny - that takes my list to ten, more research to be done. Funny, I'll bet not quieter, but the sound less known - that can't be said today!

Yolanda Renée said...

Added the link to the new blog. Sorry about that, I really should have been sleeping, but, well, you know how that is. Thanks again for this, even my sister saw it!

Michelle Wallace said...

Hi Yolanda and Denise!
Great interview!
I LOVE suspense/thriller stories and Yolanda's books sound right up my alley.
When I think of songs about murder, Lola,Tony & Rico come to mind, especially the lines: "there was blood and a single gunshot but just who shot who?" Copacabana is the perfect mystery/murder song.

Yolanda Renée said...

Hi Michelle, I do hope you find time to read them. Another song of murder, hmm, maybe it's really a trend? :)

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Funny about sleeping with the blanket up to your chin -- doubly so for me since vampire movies scared me as a boy -- so I would sleep with a sock over my throat with the child's assurance that vampire's fangs couldn't pierce a sock -- at least without me noticing it and waking me up so I could run!!

Yolanda Renée said...

Made me smile Roland, so I wasn't the only one with silly ideas of protection. I didn't know vampires even existed at that age, if I had, I'm sure it would've added to the phobia. Although I was terribly frightened of the flying monkey's from The Wizard of Oz, still am. :) Every rag seemed to have stories of children being carried away by something that would swoop in and all they find was footprints in the snow. Fear followed me everywhere, especially at night. If I had to travel outside alone, I was always looking up. And don't get me started on the basement stairs! LOL Maybe we should do a blog hop where we each detail our individual stories of childhood fears. What fun!?

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Yolanda, I liked Dial M for Murder, too. One of the all time great movies (although I didn't see the remake). Your childhood fear of being decapitated made me remember that I was always afraid of dangling my arm over the edge of the bed. I was sure something under the bed would grab it and pull me . . . who knows where? But it would be ghastly for sure.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

PS: This was a good interview. Denise, you ask some interesting questions, for sure!

Yolanda Renée said...

Hi Elizabeth, I was always afraid of the monsters under the bed too! I still am, I'll leave a foot out for temperature regulation, but not dangle it over the edge of the bed. And I'm talking about now. LOL Thanks for stopping by!

Denise Covey said...

Thanks Elizabeth. Great that you stopped by.

Denise Covey said...

Afraid the beach was a washout Donna but that gave me more writing Te so all good.

Nas said...

Hi Yolanda, Hello Denise!

I love reading mysteries. This was a great interview, ladies. Thanks for sharing. Congratulations on the new release Yolanda!

Denise Covey said...

Hi Nas! We all like some mystery, that's for sure! Yolanda does it so well!

Yolanda Renée said...

Hey Nas, thanks. I do enjoy them!

Rhonda Albom said...

Wonderful interview, although that statistic about meeting murderers is a bit disturbing.

Denise Covey said...

It is, isn't it Rhonda.

Vagabonde said...

I am catching up after being away. I enjoyed your past posts – from that dialogue with the taxi driver, to the interview with Ann and all the other interviews which were great fun to read.

A café writer – that is a good name and it follows after all the expatriate writers in Paris in the 1920s who wrote in cafes too. As for mindfulness – it is a precept of Buddhism. When I joined Buddhism in the 1960s when I lived in San Francisco I learned about living in the moment - that was a long time ago, when it was not well known, or fashionable. The Buddha said “As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise you will miss most of your life.”

I hope you will have pictures about New Caledonia. I have always wished to go there. My daughter’s last au-pair came from there and she talked a lot about it. New Caledonia has a special status of autonomy with France, different from the other overseas communities. An upcoming referendum is expected which will give it sovereign powers and access to international status. New Caledonia will have a choice for its future – a state associated with France, independence, autonomy within the French Republic, etc. This is expected before 2018. It will be interesting to follow. It may not be written up in the Anglophone media but, thankfully, I can follow it on the French web.