Today I have the privilege of interviewing Aya Walksfar, the author of “Dead Men and Cats”. This was a very well-written book, one which I reviewed earlier (https://kathyree.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/review-of-dead-men-and-cats-by-aya-walksfar/).
So, without further ado, let us proceed.
I ask this of everyone, since it helps put a background to the story: What influenced you to write your book?
There were multiple reasons I wrote this specific book. The first, and always the foremost reason I write a book, is to tell a compelling tale. Three elements came together for the creation of this book which I felt would produce a compelling tale.
The first element was the timeliness of the subject: hate crimes against gays and lesbians. The second element was how young people deal with their orientation in a conflicted environment where some people accept them, and others, sometimes, violently reject them. The third element, and this one is present in all of my work, was strong women and how they handle difficult situations. Blame that one on my mom and grandma. They were both extraordinary women.
I like strong female characters–never have been a shrinking violet myself. Janie and Megan never back down, and I admire that. They’re my favorite; do you have a favorite character?
Dan Uley was one of my favorite characters in this book. I really like gentle men who are self-confident yet able to display a more sensitive side.
Nice attributes to have.
Do you have any other books in progress, or that you plan to write?
(Big smile) Oh, yes. Coming out in July is the second edition of my literary-coming-of-age novel, Good Intentions. Then in August, Sketch of a Murder, the first book of a three-book series on the Special Crimes Team, comes out. I am working on the second book of that series which is titled Street Harvest. The third book of the series is titled Old Woman Gone. I have the third draft of that one finished.
I’d call that fairly busy. (!!!)
I’ve always loved a good mystery, especially a murder mystery. It fascinates me as to how someone comes up with the right weaving of the story. When writing “Dead Men and Cats”, did you already have the culprit in mind, or did that come along as you wrote?
I don’t work from outlines, or summaries, when writing. In fact, everything I write develops as it is being written. Characters are very important in my writing, so frequently as the characters take shape, they in turn shape the direction and development of the story.
Interesting where they take you sometimes, isn’t it?
For this particular book, did you have to do a lot of research?
Not an awful lot for this book. Good Intentions entailed a great deal of research and Sketch of a Murder entailed a moderate amount of research.
It seems to me that mystery is one of the hardest genres to write. Is it difficult to come up with the twists and turns, the logic behind the sleuth’s thinking, and trying to keep your audience guessing until the end?
That is one of the questions, among a million others about the craft of writing, that I have not given a lot of thought to and I believe that is due to the fact that my novels are character driven. The twists and turns of the story are completely predicated on my character’s personalities. There are times when this is quite difficult.
Has to be–the author has to come up with enough details and clues to take the audience along and keep them interested, and still come to a believable conclusion. You did that admirably well. I’m looking forward to the rest of your creations when they come out.
Thanks, Aya, for granting me this interview. As for my readers–please visit Aya on her links, check out her book, and leave a comment or question here if you like.
To order a copy of Dead Men and Cats, visit my author’s page at Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/author/ayawalksfar
People can learn more about me, and my work, on my blog: http://www.ayawalksfar.com
Or come chat with me on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ayawalksfar
They can also check out my author’s page: http://www.facebook.com/AyaWalksfarAuthor
I love to get tweets @ayawalksfar
And I do enjoy hearing from people via email: firstname.lastname@example.org