Loretta Wheeler is my special guest today. She is an author who lives in the South along with her Australian husband, their cat Lil’ Dickens, and their dog, Jack. Both pets are rescued fur-persons who are very much loved. Most of Loretta’s writing is set in southern locales, whether in the thriller or romance genre. She says she writes of southern things because most of her stories speak to her in a southern accent. Something she recognizes easily since her own is so strong.
The title is, Southern Breezes/The Verandah. I chose the title because I was looking for something to indicate what the story was about, what tone it set, so Southern Breezes, lets the reader know they’re in the south. And because all the books will be set in
Question: What inspired this novel? How did it come about?
I had never read cozy mysteries until a few years ago. I was ill for a period of time and wanted something that was fun, light and yet had a touch of mystery to it. So I began reading a few cozy mysteries and loved them. I found I woke with a smile on my face each morning after reading them before bed. Then I thought, I wonder if I could write these? I’m normally a darker writer, so people seldom see my humor and lighter side in my work. Then I thought, why not set them in
And because it’s set in Galveston, the first ghost walked right onto the page...but there’s one more...another one I didn’t see coming and I think if I’ve written it well enough, the reader won’t either. We’ll see.
Question: Could you tell us a little bit about the heroine and/or hero of your novel?
Oh, my. You know asking an author if they could tell you anything about any of their work, you better pull up a chair. I’ve begun to think people who don’t write, give us a wide berth at parties!
Shelby Alexander, the heroine, is a New York Times Bestselling Author. Everything in her life at this moment looks like a story out of a fairytale. Everything’s darn near perfect. She’s just gone through a bad divorce, but come out on the other side with minimal damage. She’s not only had the dream of making the New York Times list come true, but she’s just purchased a portion of the house her Aunt Sookie owned in Galveston. This is where she went every summer, along with her girlfriends, and the place where they all dreamed of living when they grew up. So, that’s her second wish come true. But fate has a few other things in mind. A gorgeous guy, Boone Dawson, shows up, and
Question: Can you tell us about some of your other published novels or work?
I’d love to. Author hat on, remember? Lol All my work can be
found on my website, www.lorettawheeler.com or on Amazon.
First of all, there’s the prequel novella to the Southern Breezes series, titled, Christmas on the Strand. It’s also set in
, and introduces you to most of the people in the town, including the clairvoyant Terence Whittaker. http://tinyurl.com/mrvmosc Galveston
Southern Breezes/The Verandah just released and it’s the first novel size book in the series following Christmas on the Strand. This is a cozy, romantic piece with a touch of paranormal. It’s based on an author who returns to
to live, with life looking almost perfect when
she does. But her life’s quickly disrupted by an architect, who’s drop dead
gorgeous, and who’s accompanied by a scruffy town dog who decides Shelby, the
author, is going to be his owner. And quick on their heels comes the eerie
sensation that something is inside the house, something that no one can see,
but is always accompanied by a sensuous fragrance. https://tinyurl.com/lg7946x Galveston
Next is Siren’s Call. This short story serves as a bridge between
Southern Breezes/The Verandah, and the next book in the series,
which I’m currently working on. Siren’s Call is highly sensual,
so a bit more spicy than the other works. This is the story of
Michael, a secondary character in the Southern Breezes series.
And it explains why he is obsessed with sculpting one particular
mermaid, over and over again. https://tinyurl.com/km9ds8r
Then I have a novella size book, titled The Pan Man.
It’s a YA Paranormal, set inMischief and Mayhem is a novella in which an author is being stalked by a killer and has chosen to live outside of town with her two cats near a derelict amusement park, rather than stay so visible in town. The cats, Mischief and Mayhem, are on high alert, and wind up coming to the author’s aid...although it costs them at least one of their nine lives. Not to worry though, even though one of the cats carries a singed smell now, they still have eight kick-ass lives remaining. http://tinyurl.com/hd8pst3
, and is the story of a young girl, heading off to college, who has a recurring dream of Pan calling to her. She eventually sees a gypsy at the local fair, who informs her the dream has great significance. This was my first YA and placed in a contest on Long and Short Reviews. goo.gl/lR2oiJ California
Dark Pleasures is a short story, originally published in a suspense anthology. It’s based on a serial killer in
who’s set his sights on a criminal psychologist
who’s been assigned to his case. This anthology placed number one (#1) on Preditors and Editors. http://tinyurl.com/gr4w2cu Houston
A Butterbean Named “A” is a children’s story that I wrote many years ago and finally published. It’s about a little girl who finds a butterbean and along with her grandmother, plants it near the fence line alongside a very talkative climbing rose bush. https://tinyurl.com/jgkh3jp
A couple of things. First, the second book in the series, Southern Breezes/The Siren’s Shop, and a couple of short stories that keep dancing through my head. Literally. There’s a strong dance scene that sets the mood.
Question: What made you start writing?
I’m not your typical author. I started late in the game. I had written a few pieces when I was in high school, but did follow that path. I was more inclined toward commercial art at the time. It was much later that I found I wanted to write. I had posted an online story and allowed others to participate, and found I had so many comments about my writing, that I decided to write it formally. I already had the outline and had been writing the piece when I opened it up online, allowing others to create their own characters, but I wanted to go back to my original story and write it. That’s how I began. When I moved back to the
Question: What advice would you offer to those who are currently writing novels?
Keep writing. Don’t worry about it if you hit a wall, or if your receive rejections. Keep writing. Find critique partners that work well with you, ones who are drawn to your writing voice and who are knowledgeable. And this next piece of advice is just my opinion; I know others who feel differently. If you need a break, take it. Some of your most well-known authors take them. It lets your Muse wander. Trust me, the Muse will always return, and never arrive empty handed. Mine always comes with even more plots and ideas. I guess that’s why I’m drawn to short stories and novellas, because my Muse lays so many tales at my feet after a vacation. There’s no way they can all be novel size.
Question: Where and when will readers be able to obtain your novel?
Southern Breezes/The Verandah is already available and can be found here, on Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/lg7946x All of my work is on Amazon or my website: www.lorettawheeler.com
And the trailer for Southern Breezes/The Verandah, can be found, here: https://youtu.be/e7F4W2U_NIs
*I want to mention that I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Christmas on the Strand and can highly recommend it.
Loretta is offering one free Kindle e-book copy to one person who comments. Please leave an e-mail address for contact if interested.
Comments and questions for Loretta are welcome here!