The murmur of voices grows louder. My mind barely understands. "Murder" rises above all others. And then, an invisible steely blade rips through my heart.
Put them together and you get...
Murder and Obsession often goes hand-in-hand, just like "Cat and mouse" mysteries. My talented friend, Yolanda Renee, has woven both aspects into the final book of her amazing Detective Quad mysteries.
AND, today I have the honor of featuring her as my guest.
I wanted this interview to be on a more personal note. Yolanda's novels speak for themselves, but we know very little about the woman behind them...
We all love your adventurous soul, Renee… it’s quite obvious in your spectacular writing with mystery, horror, and intrigue… but your story began in humble beginnings…tell us about it. When did you know your life would take you to the snow covered, crystalline state? The Alaska so little of us know about…"
Yolanda:"I lived in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, attended college in Steubenville, Ohio, and worked as a receptionist for a Steel Company in Follansbee, WV. During that exciting time, I met a young genius. A microbiologist headed to the University of Alaska, Fairbanks for his graduate work. When my vacation came due, I was on the first plane. I knew immediately that Alaska was my future, and even though I no longer reside there, writing about it proves I was right. The funny thing is everyone who knew I was flying to Alaska described it almost as you did – only they referred to Alaska as an iceberg. Alaska was anything but – lush, green, and wild. An adventure waiting for an adventurer."
Michael: "Amazing. It sounds incredible.
Almost every writer is asked these questions, but I think they’re so interesting to give us a true feel for the writer. When did you start writing seriously? Did you always write as a child? Or, did one day something clicked in your head?"
Yolanda: "I excelled at composition (story telling), and while my grammar was atrocious, my teachers gave me a pass because I could write a winning paper. I wrote and produced my first play in the 6th grade. Won third place in a writing contest in the 10th grade, and was told by my college English teacher that one day I would write a book. Letters to friends about my adventures in Alaska brought praise, and writing classes convinced me to pursue the impossible. Numerous rejections almost convinced me otherwise but meeting a writer made my goals achievable."
Michael: "It's not surprising that another writer can really help put things in perspective.
At Denise Covey’s blog… one of the first stops of your tour, I was blown away by a true horror in your life. Many of us have had situations thrust upon us unwillingly, and it’s how we react in these situations, that show us what we can endure and how to survive. What impressed me most was how strong a woman you are. To face your fears and conquer them and turn this horrific situation into a positive. At what point did you say, ENOUGH? I am a survivor and I will move on and grow from this..."
Yolanda: "Honestly, that lesson came at a very early age. An abusive childhood made me a survivor; being thrown out on my ear at the age of seventeen made me a fighter. But the rape, in Fairbanks, Alaska was almost my Waterloo. I think that's why I completely suppressed the event. After everything I'd already come through – I simply couldn't deal.
Even though I didn't recall the event, I immediately made changes to my employment. I took a job on the North Slope, and in doing so went from the pot into the frying pan. By that, I mean a good percentage of the men who worked there were subhuman. When I got off the plane and on the bus to camp, the naked pictures of women from Hustler magazine greeted me. That was proceeded by crude comments and obscene suggestions. Staying took courage, and I'm proud to say, I found mine. Although, it took one hell of a conversation with myself to achieve. The tradeoff was the ability to hike the Brooks Range. So while I found heaven, it meant a serious walk through hell to get to it."
Michael: "Thank heavens you had that to pull you through. You found your inner strength...
I am thankful to have the great fortune to know you on a more personal level than most of our blogger buddies. I know your writing well and have the pleasure of creating the blurbs, taglines, and even your bio for your amazing series. What I read in your bio pages that I wish to share with our friends is your bucket list. Please tell us yours… I found it fascinating~"