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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
17 Episodes
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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 playing the piano and singing. Listen to a busy attorney and writer talk about finding balance and doing what she loves.
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 fiction.  Listen to Kat's insight into how writers can view their creative muse as a prism.
Author and editor Staci Mauney reads from her book, Death by Dice, the first novel in her Bunco Club Mystery series. Set in a small town in Texas, the story's amateur detective, Bridgette Olsen, stumbles on a murder as she opens the door at work one morning. Staci also discusses her career as a freelance writer, blogger, editor, and devotional writer. Three of Staci's passions unite in her novel, the spiritual quests of everyday living,  the thrill of mystery novels, and the love of a faithful pet. If you are looking for a cozy mystery or a proofreader or developmental editor, you will enjoy listening to Staci's success story as a writer and as an editor for Prestige Prose, her professional online editing and writing company. 
Amy Shojai, a certified animal behavior consultant and award-winning author of thirty-five pet books, reads from Lost and Found, the first volume in the September Day and Shadow Thriller series. September, the detective character, and her German Shepherd pup, Shadow, encounter danger and mystery against the North Texas backdrop of the novel. Despite her dramatization of animal point of view, be assured this is an exciting adult thriller.Amy also writes and consults for the pet industry. Her mission is to create an entertaining venue for pet lovers to help them make informed decisions about their animals. If you love animals and stories that include pets or you are looking for tips on how to include animal characters in the your fiction , you will want to tune in.
Diane McCartney, an award-winning writer and speaker from Cañon City, Colorado, opens a window on the world of her characters in her Elijah Black Trilogy.  A contest judge herself, she talks about her journey from riding instructor to thriller/suspense novelist and offers tips on how to attract the attention of publishers. Enjoy her contagious enthusiasm for all genres of writing.
Jennifer Latham of Tulsa, Oklahoma, reads from her young adult novel, Dreamland Burning (2017), based on the Tulsa race massacre of 1921. In this excerpt one of her young dual narrators depicts Tulsa now and one hundred years ago. Jennifer loves talking to secondary school students who have read her book. She subscribes to the theory that if a subject is too difficult for adults, write about it for children.  Based on her experience as a published author, she encourages other writers to learn their craft, adapt, and keep going. Enjoy listening to candid revelations from an accomplished writer.
Joe Moore from Edmond, Oklahoma, a veteran and a lover of knowledge and the English language, speaks about writing military action thrillers. In this interview, he discusses his views on how he translates the experience of veterans returning to civilian life into fiction. He also reads the suspenseful opening from Ghost Crew, the first of a new novel series. In a preview of other upcoming work, he considers his fictional take on zombies as an evolutionary, rather than a supernatural, phenomena. CONTENT WARNING: Violence
Oklahoma native Kris Lackey, author of the Bill Maytubby and Hannah Bond Mystery series, reads from his latest novel. He also discusses how he captures contemporary diction from his young friends, the baristas at the coffee shops where he likes to write. Listen to the interview for an insight into his style and the characters from his first three volumes: Nails Crossing (2017), Greasy Bend (2019), and Butcher Pen Road  (2021). 
Jennifer Oakley Denslow reads from the first book in her new cozy mystery series, Rapier Wit, in which high school drama teacher Regina Murphy must investigate a backstage murder. Jennifer discusses how her love of teaching intersects with her creative process, contemporary trends in cozies, and Oklahoma as a reflection of broader American issues. She also shares tips on how to launch a novel on Facebook, find the right editor, and design an effective book cover. Don't miss episode six!
Award-winning mystery writer from Durant, Oklahoma, Marion Hill reads from Bookmarked for Murder, the first book in her successful Scrappy Librarian detective series. Her Deadly Past books, mysteries based on how the American Founding Fathers affect the present, comprise her second series. Marion tells amusing stories about her travels to American historical sites, and she discusses her inspiration for her non-stereotypical librarian detective. While Marion found herself present at the genesis of the Sisters in Crime organization, her current interests span many critical issues that concern Oklahomans and Americans today. Listen to her practical advice and engaging stories.
Mary Coley reads from the new novel in her Oklahoma mystery series, Blood on the Mother Road, and shares her writing journey from starting as a reporter and a single parent to becoming an award-winning novelist with two detective series. She also relates an exciting event in her career: her latest novel, set on historic Route 66, will become the theme for a new escape room in Tulsa, which will open in 2022. Tune in for helpful tips on finding writing communities.
Welcome to the second episode of Tornado Alley Mystery Writers!Sponsored by the new Tornado Alley chapter of Sisters/Siblings in Crime [all genders welcome], a national organization dedicated to the education and promotion of mystery writers.Retired attorney and award winning author Lisbeth McCarty shares her thoughts on murder, victims, and punishment that fits the crime.  Lisbeth discusses her design for Mental States of Murderesses, a true crime work of historical murders by women, one from each state.  Although she has a degree in professional writing from the University of Oklahoma, she points out that one does not have to have a special degree to be a writer.Retired from the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System, Lisbeth , a witty and engaging writer, has won awards for her legal analysis, her stories, and her fiction. 
Welcome to the first episode of Tornado Alley Mystery Writers!Sponsored by the new Tornado Alley chapter of Sisters/Siblings in Crime [all genders welcome], a national organization dedicated to the education and promotion of mystery writers. Edmond, Oklahoma writer Marcia Preston discusses and reads from her latest novel, The Spiderling.  Her new novel about a mother and child's fraught relationship is more a mystery of the heart than a traditional mystery, but the engaging characters and action sequences make it a real page-turner. Marcia also discusses her childhood love of books and her journey as a writer, which includes winning the Mary Higgins Award and Oklahoma Book Award for Fiction for Song of the Bones, a novel in her Chantalene mystery series. 
Glenda talks about her interest in women's lives and how journaling and poetry help them find their authentic voices. She reads from her autoethnography and her poetry.
Ellen Withers, a Pushcart Prize nominee for short fiction, talks about how her career as a freelance writer and retired insurance fraud investigator led her to create a novel series. A professional writer since graduating from college, Ellen describes her journey from technical writing to novelist through local workshops, mentorship, and contest entries. Her mystery/dual-time series, Show Me Mysteries from Scrivenings Press, will debut in May of 2023.
Andrea Foster, a veteran of forty-three years in the book business, reads from her young adult novel, "Helena and the Haunted Hospital," based on an actual haunted hospital in Houston. She discusses her careers in journalism, marketing, and teaching. She also speaks about her passion for helping others to tell their stories and to get them into print. Learn about her class "How to Write, Publish, and Market your Book" and her online writers' group, Creative Quills.
In this episode, Wampus Reynolds, Norman, Oklahoma comedian, cheese connoisseur, and mystery writer, talks about writing comedy and fiction. He also reads from his first novel Way  I See It, which came out in 2020. In addition to being a free lance writer, Wampus performed nightly as a standup comedian at Opolis on North Crawford in Norman and hosted a live talk show there. He also ran the cheese counter at Forward Foods, now operating online and at a pop-up venue during Covid. His blend of humor, action, mystery, and storytelling connect him with readers worldwide.
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