Today, I had the privilege of interviewing suspense author V.B. Tenery. V.B.'s novel, Dead Ringer, has recently released. V.B. is sharing with us about her hybrid publication journey, her next release, and her favorite suspense authors (hint: we share a fave CBA suspense author!).~Heather Day Gilbert
|Author V.B. Tenery|
Author V. B. Tenery lives with her family in East Texas. Not content to stay in one genre, her novels range from contemporary suspense and supernatural suspense, to an upcoming historical suspense set in WWII England. When not writing she enjoys reading, hiking, and tube-floating down rivers in the Texas Hill Country.
Interview with V. B. Tenery
HG: V. B., Dead Ringer is your second novel, following your indie-published Works of Darkness. Tell me a little about your path to publication.
VBT: I love the mystery/suspense genre, and I found that secular novels had grown too violent for me to enjoy them. And I thought there must be other readers out there like me. Great writers make writing look so easy, I decided “I can do that.” Wrong. It took me years to learn the craft. It all came together for me about eight years into the process and I started to look for an agent and/or publisher. We all know how hard that can be, but I found a publisher last year, The Pelican Group, who bought two of my novels. Dead Ringer is the first release under their banner. The Watchman, a contemporary supernatural suspense is the second.
HG: The plot of Dead Ringer sounds very high-octane, in which the main character, Mercy Lawrence, is mistaken for a star, and then whisked to a private island...where she runs into spies, assassins, and the like. Do you have to spend a lot of time researching these elements? And would you categorize your writing as suspense, mystery, thriller, or somewhere in-between?
VBT: I spent a lot of time researching the locals in this novel and the CIA details. I consider myself a suspense writer although there are elements of mystery. I have to say, despite the research involved, this novel flowed smoothly from beginning to end. I finished it in nine months. Works of Darkness was my first novel and it was a learning process for me and took years of rewrites.
HG: What made you think of a doppelganger twist in your story? I used to be a huge Ringer fan, which was a show about twin sisters. Definitely kept the stakes high and unpredictable.
VBT: I never know exactly where my story ideas come, but when I thought of this I saw its tremendous potential for tension and intrigue. I have about a dozen novels running around in my brain that I may never live long enough to write. That’s the downside of starting a writing career late in life. I’m not a fast writer and am in awe of writers who can turn out 3-4 books a year.
HG: Have you found the hybrid author experience to be rewarding, and if so, in what ways? What was harder about it than you expected?
VBT: I decided to become a hybrid author just to test the water, so to speak. Works of Darkness was my first Indie novel. I’ve love the freedom of Indie publishing. There are no walls between you and your reader. There is no wait while your novel is put into queue to be published which can take a year or more, and I loved having control of the editing process. I published Works of Darkness in two months after the novel was completed and most of that time was waiting on various functions to be completed. The most difficult part was assembling a great cover artist, editor, and a good formatting service. But you only have to do that once. I made some mistakes but it was a learning process. Reviews have been great, which has made all the hard work worth while. I hope the same will hold true for Dead Ringer.
HG: Please tell us a little about your next book. Are you developing a series?
VBT: Dead Ringer is a stand alone as is The Watchman which comes out in October. Works of Darkness, my first Indie, is an ongoing series featuring Police Chief, Matt Foley and Sara Bradford, the developing love interest. The next book in the series is Then There Were None will also be an Indie novel and comes out in late August. These are characters dear to my heart and they have been great fun to write. The first three chapters of all four books are available on my website at: www.vbtenery.com
HG: And finally, who is your favorite author in the suspense genre? I like knowing authors' fave authors because generally we admire what we want to become!
VBT: In the Christian market my favorite is Sibella Giorello. She weaves a great suspense novel with vibrant locals and the spiritual elements are so seamless they never interrupt the flow of the story. On the secular side, I love Michael Connelly. His iconic Harry Bosch character is flawlessly flawed, and you can’t help but root for him through his many trials.
HG: Oh, I love Sibella, as well, and will have to read Connelly! All the best with your novels and thank you for visiting today, V.B.!
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Bermuda airport facial recognition software has identified her as missing runway star, Traci Wallace. Despite Mercy’s protests, Traci’s husband, ex-