Heather Weidner’s short stories appear in Virginia is for Mysteries and Virginia is for Mysteries Volume II. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia, Guppies, and Lethal Ladies Write. Secret Lives and Private Eyes is her debut novel.
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.
Through the years, she has been a technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager.
Secret Lives and Private Eyes may be found here on Amazon.
Why do you write?
Writing is an outlet for me. By day, I’m an IT manager, and writing provides me a way to be creative in a way that’s different than my day job. I enjoy plotting mysteries and building characters and settings.
What are you currently working on?
I am working on the second novel in my Delanie Fitzgerald series. The first book about this Private Investigator and her Computer Hacker partner (and his English bulldog) is Secret Lives and Private Eyes. I also have a short story, “Par for the Course,” that’s coming out in a wine-themed mystery anthology, 50 Shades of Cabernet, in March.
From where did you draw your inspiration to write your latest book?
I met a female Private Investigator at a Sisters in Crime event, and that sparked the idea for my main character. I was looking for a strong, female sleuth who could get herself out of sticky, and often humorous situations.
Which writers had the most influence on your decision to write?
I have loved mysteries since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew. I started reading Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys in elementary school, and I moved on to Agatha Christie, Alfred Conan Doyle, Edgar Allan Poe, and Alfred Hitchcock. I have two degrees in American literature, and the best college course I ever took was Dr. Magnuson’s “Literary and Detective Fiction” at Virginia Wesleyan College.
What was the last book you read?
I just finished Lee Child’s Night School. I love Jack Reacher books.
Do you suffer from writers’ block?
Not usually. My biggest obstacle is procrastination when it comes to editing and revising. It takes me quite a while on the revisions. I work full time, so I try to squeeze writing in in the mornings, at lunch, and in the evenings.
Biggest frustration as an author?
When I dreamed of getting published, I thought I would write books and get checks. I didn’t realize how much marketing is involved in the business. And the world of social media has just expanded exponentially. I work hard at balancing my time between book marketing and writing/revising.
Reviews for books are vital. Any tips on getting more reviews?
I think it’s helpful to have an active social media presence on a lot of sites, and this means you need to interact with readers, bloggers, librarians, and others. Writers can’t forget the social part of social media. The interactions and relationships are key.
Do you use social media? If so, do you like using it?
I do. My favorites are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Who is your biggest fan?
My husband is probably my biggest fan. And he’s often my driver, photographer, and beta reader. He didn’t know he was getting dragged into this writing world, but he’s a good sport and a great encourager.
Many people have a bucket list. What is #1 on yours?
I have had a penpal in New Zealand since 1975. We’ve talked on the phone (and exchanged audio tapes in the 1980s), but we’ve never met in person. I’d love to be able to go for a visit.
Any special message for your readers?
I am so excited that readers liked my sleuth and her friends. I’m wrapping up book two in the series, and I’m starting to draft book three. My sleuth gets herself in and out of some sticky and humorous situations.
Secret Lives and Private Eyes is a fast-paced mystery that will appeal to readers who like a strong, female private investigator who has a knack for getting herself in and out of humorous situations. Business has been slow for PI, Delanie Fitzgerald, but her luck seems to change when a tell-all author hires her to find rock star, Johnny Velvet. Could the singer whose life was purportedly cut short in a fiery car crash still be alive? And as if sifting through dead ends in a cold case isn’t bad enough, Chaz Wellington Smith, III, a loud-mouthed strip club owner, hires Delanie to uncover information on the mayor’s secret life. When the mayor is murdered, Chaz is the key suspect. Now Delanie must clear his name and figure out the connection between the two cases before another murder – probably her own – takes place.
Recent Amazon reviews:
Top Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars
Enjoyed every minute of this book.
ByGenilee Swope Parenteon October 13, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The mystery was very well done. Obviously well thought out. And layered enough to keep my interest , which sometimes isn’t easy to do. Anyone in the Richmond area would love this book in particular because it is filled with landmarks recognizable to even me, who does not live in Richmond, but has visited frequently . I liked Delaney and I’m looking forward to reading more about her. And I hope Johnny comes back into the picture. I think he belongs there. I also loved the frequent references to animals. Heather Weidner is obviously a lover of animals.
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome read!
ByKathleen Careyon August 3, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you enjoy a crime thriller, this book is for you. Set in Richmond, VA, you will feel like you’re right there in the heart of Virginia as Delanie Fitzgerald navigates a few complicated cases she has accepted as a Private Investigator. Eventually, she has to figure out how these seemingly different cases are connected, and fight for her life in the process. It’s a quick read and will leave you ready for Heather Weidner’s next book!
If you are starting out as a writer then I thoroughly recommend checking out ProWritingAid. It is a spell-checker, ‘grammarist’ and editor all rolled into one bundle.
It saved me a fortune. I used it to self-edit my last book so it was ready to be professionally edited. Indeed, if funds are limited it can cut out the need for a professional editor.
It’s useful too even if you don’t plan to write a book.
My #1 Tip for all indie writers – it’s essential to have a social media presence. How are readers to know about your work if you don’t tell them about it? Read this article of mine and I seriously urge you to try out my recommendation – it’s FREE to try!
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