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Tornado Alley Mystery Writers

Author: Tornado Alley Mystery Writers

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Interviews with regional mystery writers from south central states, such as Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kansas
35 Episodes
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Best-selling author, Lou Berney, has won the Edgar, Hammett, Anthony, and Oklahoma Book awards, and he’s a three-time finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize. He also teaches at Oklahoma City University. Author of November Road, The Long and Faraway Gone, Whiplash River, and Gutshot Straight, Lou reads from his latest novel, Dark Ride. He also discusses his take on genre, his writing process, and future projects. Tune in to hear his encouraging words for writers.
Amy Lillard, the award-winning, best-selling author of over sixty books and novellas in a variety of genres, reads from her latest cozy mystery, Murder for the Sages (2024). Amy, well known for her cozy mysteries and her series featuring the Amish community, discusses her field research and how to write respectfully about another culture. You can find out more about her work on her websites: Amy Writes Romance and Amy Writes Mysteries.
When Peggy Doviak’s mother got taken to the cleaners by an unscrupulous stockbroker, Peggy got mad. She was so angry that she changed careers from corporate training to financial planning.Now a best-selling personal finance author, syndicated radio host of “Ask Peggy About Your Finances,” and host of the podcast, “Ask Peggy About Your Money,” Peggy Doviak is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM practitioner and financial consumer advocate. Her first cozy mystery, You Can’t Cheat Death, featur...
Oklahoma speculative fiction writer, LMG Swain, reads an abridged version of “Superstition,” a story from his collection, Feary Tales, Vomit I: Twisted Tales of Terror. Come for an eerie tale, and stay for great tips on writing and the structure of fiction.Swain’s novel, Anatomy of Terror, in his Universal Monsters series was nominated as the Young Adult horror novel of the year by the Horror Writers of America. He has taught literature, mythology, and writing in secondary schools all over th...
Vivian Zabel, who lives in Hydro, Oklahoma, taught English and writing for thirty years, but she has written herself since a child. In this touching and inspirational interview, Vivian reads from her latest book, Burnt Offering, and shares her passion for the safety and welfare of children. She is a tireless helper of other writers and promoter of the value of reading and writing. Vivian, a member of Tornado Alley Sisters in Crime, has been a member of OWFI since 2002...
Susan Cogan, author of more than a dozen books and hundreds of articles and blog posts, reads from her Great Depression era novel, The Man Who Needed Killing, a finalist in Amazon.com’s Breakthrough Novel Contest. Susan likes to write in all genres, but she keeps circling back to mystery. Listen to her discuss her novel in progress, her inspirations for writing, and her encouraging advice on process.
Rilla Askew, best known for her American Book Award-winning novel about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, Fire in Beulah, reads from that novel and discusses American crime and racial violence. Rilla, the author of four other novels, a book of stories, and a collection of creative nonfiction talks about being a PEN/Faulkner finalist and what that meant to her as an author. For her advice to readers and authors and a discussion of her latest novel, Prize for the Fire, tun...
Kathleen Park, a veteran, freelance writer and award-winning novelist, talks about her career and her motivation to become a fiction writer. She reads from her novel, Code Talkers (2020), and discusses her time teaching on the Navajo Reservation. She also discusses the mysterious process of finding wounded characters and receiving a vision of their lives. In her new novel, soon to be completed, “Promises to Keep,” she chooses a male point of view, based on growing up among brothers, and she e...
Betsey Kulakowski is a federally trained investigator with a degree in emergency management and thirty-plus years of experience as an occupational safety specialist. She served on disaster response teams at the Murrah Federal Building Bombing, the World Trade Center, and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Betsey wrote her first book at age six. She says being a writer wasn't something she chose. It chose her. She is the author of the award-winning, paranormal thriller, The Veritas Codex, and ...
Enid, Oklahoma writer, Peggy Chambers, reads from the latest novel in her Keystone Lake series, Blooming Greed, a suspense thriller, full of multifaceted characters. She also discusses her love of water and how different bodies of water figure as characters in her writing. Peggy's use of genre is as fluid as her settings. She writes suspense for adults, fantasy for children, and pulp fiction. She is currently working on adapting her novel, Flat Iron Death Grip, into a graphic novel, comi...
Carol Nichols from El Reno, Oklahoma, talks about her mystery/romance series and how her life story influenced her to become a writer. She draws on her legal background and her Oklahoma roots for her settings, characters, and plots. Already a painter, Carol did not begin writing until after her husband died and she decided to join a local writers group. Now, well into the fourth novel of her series, she discusses her inspirations and grounding in what she knows.Before becoming a novelis...
Poet, journalist, and past OWFI president, Sharon Edge Martin discusses writing her new YA mystery novel in verse, Accordion Girl. How do you know when your story is a mystery? How does a novel in verse work? These questions and others are answered in her reading and commentary on the novel.Sharon also runs a monthly poetry reading in Drumright, Oklahoma, attended by poets from all over the region. Learn more about Oklahoma's vibrant poetry community and where to find other reading...
Edmond, Oklahoma author, Cary Herwig, reads from her award-winning YA novel, The Ghost's Daughter, a story about a girl facing the adult world of the past and the present on an army base during the Cold War. This is the first book in her new series, The Army Brat Hauntings. As an army brat herself, Cary discusses living all over the United States and what led her to writing. She traces her literary journey from horror short stories to science fiction novels and explains how her care...
Jude Bayton, a Londoner and world traveler, now living in Tulsa, Oklahoma, reads from her historical mystery novel, The Secret of Pendragon Island, and discusses the importance of her readers' responses to her writing.Jude also shares her tips for writing while working a full-time job and raising children. She encourages women over 50 to claim their voices and show the world that their lived experience counts as they move on to the next phase of their lives after retirement or after thei...
Acclaimed AP journalist, Jocelyn Pedersen from Blanchard, Oklahoma, reads from her new novel, An Eye for an Eye, published by Wild Rose Press. This is the first book in her new thriller series, The Izzy O Crime Files. Jocelyn also discusses her career as an award-winning feature writer, writing teacher, and competitive weightlifter. Don't miss her tips for emerging writers. Her enthusiasm for writing and life are contagious.
Listen to Oklahoma thriller/suspense writer, Victoria Patton, read from her Damien Kane series' opener, Innocence Taken. She describes her novels as "dark, edgy mashups of CSI, Motive, and Criminal Minds." To craft the perfect murders, Victoria uses her time in the Coast Guard and her Forensic Chemistry degree. But since she is averse to wearing orange and being in prison, she keeps her murderous sprees between the pages of her books. Inspired by her cat Pumpkin's ...
Mary Anna Evans, recently nominated for both an Edgar and an Agatha award for The Bloomsbury Handbook to Agatha Christie, teaches mystery writing at the University of Oklahoma. In addition to a Master of Arts in creative writing, she holds degrees in physics and engineering, a background that is ideal for writing her new historical mystery novel, The Physicists' Daughter, set in WWII-era New Orleans. Listen to Mary Anna's interview to hear her perspecti...
Lori Altebaumer from Stephenville, Texas, was a 2021 finalist for the fiction award from Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Fiction Writers for her romantic suspense novel, A Firm Place to Stand. This novel is the first in her new series in which ordinary people from a small community do extraordinary things. Lori describes herself as a grandmother who loves to write and teach others what she has learned about writing. In this interview, Lori discusses her process for creating a community an...
Shelley Levisay, an attorney, author, and musician living in Shawnee, Oklahoma, candidly discusses women's issues connected with domestic violence, a major theme in her novel, Sooner Secrets (2022). Having worked on both sides of the criminal justice system as both a prosecutor and a criminal defense lawyer, she writes true crime, crime fiction, and legal thrillers. She established her own law firm in 2014, but when she isn't writing books, legal motions, or briefs, she spends her time playin...
Oklahoma City writer, Kat Lewis, reads from her novel, Rogue Defender, the first book in her Lethal Nannies romance-thriller series. Her heroine, Serena Black, is the lethal nanny. As Kat explains, "Most nannies are focused on getting their charges to school on time, but Homeland Security has trained Serena to keep her clients alive at all costs." Kat also shares moments from her home-schooled, classical education and discusses what she sees as a way forward for people of color and her f...
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