Heather Weidner’s short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series and 50 Shades of Cabernet. She is a member of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia, Guppies, Lethal Ladies Write, and James River Writers. The Tulip Shirt Murders is her second novel in her Delanie Fitzgerald series.
Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.
Heather earned her BA in English from Virginia Wesleyan College and her MA in American literature from the University of Richmond. Through the years, she has been a technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager. She blogs regularly with the Pens, Paws, and Claws authors.



Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  When did you come up with the idea to write your book?

The Tulip Shirt Murders is the second in my Delanie Fitzgerald series. When I was writing the first book, Secret Lives and Private Eyes, I was looking for an occupation for my sleuth that would give her plenty of time to do research and follow up on clues. I’m a member of a mystery writers’ group, Sisters in Crime, and our local Central Virginia chapter had a guest private investigator. After she did her talk about her job and what it entailed, I realized that was the perfect job for Delanie Fitzgerald. She owns her own business and has freedom from a traditional nine-to-five job.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Writing is work. And it takes a lot of persistence if you’re interested in being published. The first draft is the easy part. But there is a lot of time and effort spent on editing and revisions. I can usually create the first draft in three or four months, but it does take me longer on the edits and revisions. I want to make sure that the clues are right and that the story flows correctly.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I’ve had four books published with Koehler Books. I was involved with a Sisters in Crime anthology, and they were the publishing firm. Anthologies offer new or pre-published writers opportunities to get published, and that’s how I got my start with short stories.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

When I was younger, I thought I would write books and get royalty checks. That sounded like the perfect job. I didn’t realize how much marketing and social media authors have to do to promote their work.

Q: What other books are you working on and when will they be published?

I’m working on a dog mystery novella that will be published next year. My Sisters in Crime chapter is also going to put out a new mystery anthology next year, so I’m working on a short story for that. I have a new cozy mystery series that I’m working on, and I have to finish the third book in the Delanie Fitzgerald series.

Q: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

A lot of folks have asked about the title. They wanted to know what a “Tulip Shirt” is. It’s a clue hiding in plain sight. I’d be interested to hear from readers if they figured it out before the big reveal.

Q: Finally, what message are you trying to get across with your book?

I have loved mysteries since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew, and writing them became the perfect fit for me. The Delanie Fitzgerald books are fast-paced mysteries that appeal to readers who like a strong female sleuth with a knack for getting herself in and out of humorous situations such as larping and trading elbow jabs with roller derby queens.

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Thank you so much for letting me visit and share The Tulip Shirt Murders with your readers.

About the Book:

Author: Heather Weidner
Publisher: Sandpiper Productions
Pages: 264
Genre: Mystery – Female Sleuth

Private investigator Delanie Fitzgerald, and her computer hacker partner, Duncan Reynolds, are back for more sleuthing in The Tulip Shirt Murders. When a local music producer hires the duo to find out who is bootlegging his artists’ CDs, Delanie uncovers more than just copyright thieves. And if chasing bootleggers isn’t bad enough, local strip club owner and resident sleaze, Chaz Smith, pops back into Delanie’s life with more requests. The police have their man in a gruesome murder, but the loud-mouthed strip club owner thinks there is more to the open and shut case. Delanie and Duncan link a series of killings with no common threads. And they must put the rest of the missing pieces together before someone else is murdered.

The Tulip Shirt Murders is a fast-paced mystery that appeals to readers who like a strong female sleuth with a knack for getting herself in and out of humorous situations such as larping and trading elbow jabs with roller derby queens.


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