Joan Donaldson-Yarmey likes to travel and has written seven travel books, the research for which took her throughout Alberta, B.C., the Yukon, and Alaska. She has now switched to fiction writing and Whistler's Murder is the third novel in her travelling detective series. She lives on a small acreage in the Alberni Valley on Vancouver Island. Follow her blog here:
BWL: How long have you been writing and in what genres?
JDY: My first article was published in 1987 in Western People a magazine that came out in The Western Producer, a prairie farmer's newspaper. Since then I have had articles published in Motorhome, Up Here, Life In Canada's North, seven travel books, one poem, one short story, and three mystery novels published.
BWL: Where you do get your inspiration?
JDY: I do a lot of people watching, save articles about people and events, listen to news and sometimes just have an idea pop into my head. My first and third novels ideas were from news items I had heard about; my short story and my third mystery were my own ideas.
JDY: Whistler's Murder is the third novel in what I call my Travelling Detective Series. Illegally Dead and The Only Shadow In The House were the first two. The main character is Elizabeth Oliver, a residential care aide, who spends her holidays researching places for articles for travel magazines. For some reason she gets drawn into a mystery each time. While she is solving the mystery she is also working on her article so the reader gets a glimpse of the places she is visiting. Illegally Dead is a combination of the two genres, mystery and travel. In The Only Shadow In The House I also added poetry to the mix with some of the clues being told through the poems of one of the characters. In Whistler's Mystery, Elizabeth's best friend, Sally Matthews, is also in Whistler attending a Science Fiction/ Fantasy Retreat so Science Fiction is the third genre for that novel.
BWL: What about your next book? Will it be part of a series or a stand alone? Can you give us a taste to whet our appetites?
JDY: My next novel in my Travelling Detective Series takes place in Disneyland. So far in the first three novels I have mentioned a bit about Elizabeth's family. Her father, Phil, is retired. Her mother died of breast cancer. She has fraternal twin younger siblings, Terry and Sherry. Sherry is a breast cancer survivor. In this third novel, they are all attending a family reunion with other relatives in Disneyland. Elizabeth also has identical female twin cousins, one of whom is autistic. When the non-autistic twin is murdered a lot of skeletons sneak out of the closet and a lot of dirty laundry is revealed about each and every one of her family, including her grandmother who is financing the trip.
BWL: Why did you choose to publish electronically?
JDY: I try to keep with changes in life. My grandchildren's generation is growing up in the electronic age and that is their life. Electronic books will eventually replace the paperback just like the vehicle replaced the horse and buggy. I was at Word On The Street in Vancouver last September as part of Crime Writer's Of Canada and many people came to our booth wanting to know which of our books were e-books. By downloading their books they can take twenty or fifty novels on their holiday in their device instead of twenty or fifty paperbacks that take up a lot of room. Right now 1 in 5 people are reading electronic books and that is only going to increase.
BWL: What are your hobbies and interests?
JDY: Definitely reading but I also love to paint, sew, hike, walk, travel, prospect for gold and generally have fun.
BWL: What does the future hold for you?
JDY: I am retiring soon and I have so many book ideas that hopefully I will be writing for the next twenty-thirty years, just like P.D. James.
BWL: Where can readers find you?
JDY: I have a blog at http://thetravellingdetectiveseries.blogspot.com/
BWL: Thanks Joan!