Monday, September 23, 2013

An Interview with Crime Writer Yolanda Renee

I'm excited to have the wonderful Yolanda Renee here today. She's the author of MURDER, MADNESS & LOVE, a fantastic tale of crime. Her next book in the series, MEMORIES OF MURDER comes out in a few weeks, and you can win an e-copy! Continue reading to find out how.

1. Your newest book, MEMORIES OF MURDER will be released in just over a week on October 4th. In three sentences or less, get us hooked!

World damnation is a psychotic man’s goal, but two obstacles stand in his way: greed and a dedicated detective.

2. How would you commit the perfect murder?

Believe it or not I've thought about this, probably too much, oh dear, did I just say that as if I've been planning to kill someone. NO! I'm not, but I have thought about it, because I write it. I own books on it, and I've Goggled the hell out of it, so I'll be the first suspect if anyone one close to me dies.

However, if all that weren't the case – I'd most likely choose the typical female weapon – poison. Poison is less messy, if you choose the right one. And I'd try to do it so that the individual dies with the help of poison but during an accident and hopefully forgo the autopsy. I'd also make the poison atypical, so if there is an autopsy the poison won't be easily found. Did I mention I have a Book of Poisons?

3. What three words best describe your protagonist, Detective Steven Quaid?

Passionate, honorable, determined.

4. Are there any real or fictional people who inspired Steven Quaid?

Of all the characters I've created Steven Quaid was an enigma – I had no idea where he came from and just recently figured it out. My first movie star crush was for Steve McQueen when I was a young girl – he had the most beautiful blue eyes, loved motorcycles and fast cars, and was just so cool. Detective Steven Quaid, also has blue eyes, owns a motorcycle and is damn cool. Although, Quaid looks nothing like McQueen, the essence of the real man (or the actor) is there!

5. Why crime stories?

I've always loved murder mysteries along with the great romances so it was a natural progression. Also, I'm very analytical and like to understand the why of things, especially murder.
6. What is the most interesting thing you've learned while researching for your books?

In Memories of Murder, I researched Satanism, and found a plethora of information on cults, believers and their temples. I was amazed by the religion, not to mention the mythology surrounding Lucifer and Lilith. Did you know there are over 40 names for the Devil?

Although the most shocking thing I discovered were the number of people named Lucifer. But then again, Lilith is a popular name too. My own grandmother was named Lilly. It is just a name, right?

I didn't want to insult anyone, or their beliefs, so I created my own Satanic religion based on my characters beliefs in a book I called Dominion, it's referenced in my book as a book that Lucifer, the antagonist, has written. Dominion details his beliefs, ceremonies, and prayers. I created a calendar of Blood Sabbaths, rituals and ceremonies, a full wedding ceremony, and the Summons Prayer.

7. Writing crime, you have characters that lie. Are you a good liar?

I'd like to think so, but my husband says I'm not. He's wrong. See how good I am, he believes he's right!
8. What's the biggest challenge to writing about murder?

The biggest challenge is creating empathy, while making the act realistic, without being too graphic.

9. What was your favorite childhood game? Your favorite game now?

I was always very competitive, and as a child loved playing cards, and board games, especially Monopoly. We didn't have video games and watching TV was for the adults except Saturday mornings. We would explore the universe pretending the tree was our spaceship, or fight in the old west with the garage serving as Tombstone. Oh dear, there I go aging myself again.

Today, I'm unbeatable at Monopoly, but my husband is the better card player, he counts cards, the cheater!

10. People always describe a writer's style as a flavor. If your books were a flavor, what would they taste like?

My books would be the flavor of dark chocolate, sensual and sweet without being excessive, and sinful yet good for you!

Thanks Christine, for the opportunity to discuss my newest release.

It was a pleasure to chat with you, Yolanda. I can't wait to read your new book!

Decades ago, the seeds were planted …

Today, dark, fathomless eyes rake the image before him. One final task and the transformation is complete. Steady fingers screw intricately carved horns on each side of a stiff brow, and a gargoyle suitable for Notre Dame scowls from the smokey mirror in satisfaction.

A jagged smile rips through his smooth, hairless face, and inked, reptilian scales caress his naked body.

A laugh of hideous resonance emanates from his gut as the demons of hell welcome Lucifer into their fold.

In a dungeon-like chamber, his Lilith awaits. The kidnapped daughter of a nun, groomed to fit the final piece in the complex puzzle for world domination. Will Lucifer marry his bride, on the summer solstice?

Only two things stand in his way ...

His greed ...

And ...

Detective Steven Quaid.

An adventurous spirit took Yolanda Renee to Alaska where she hiked the Brooks Range, traveled from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, and learned to sleep under the midnight sun.

She claims her vivid imagination as a blessing, a habit, a hobby, a calling and sometimes a curse.

She now resides in Central Pennsylvania with her husband, two sons, and Boston terrier, Patches.

You can stalk Yolanda at these places: Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest 

You can enter to win a copy of MURDER, MADNESS & LOVE on Yolanda's blog, but I'm also giving away an e-copy of MEMORIES OF MURDER to one random commenter! You have until the end of the week to comment. Then I'll pick someone through Don't miss out on this chance to win a great crime story.


  1. Great interview! You asked so many fun questions, Christine. I like the idea of books flavored like dark chocolate! :P

  2. What a great interview and you asked some brilliant questions. I will definitely be adding it to my, to read list.

  3. Creating your own Satanic religion must've been interesting.
    Women are often good liars - won't argue with that.

  4. This one sounds great! I love a good whodunnit.

  5. Late to my own party. LOL Thanks Christine, appreciate the support! The questions were lots of fun.

    Heather - dark chocolate, yay, and it's healthy too!

    Joss - Thanks do hope you get a chance to read MM or MML. Christine's questions were great!

    Alex - yeah, we all lie, at least a little!

    Catherine - me too. A whodunnit is always fun!

  6. I love Monopoly, too. And Uno. But no one will play with me anymore. Apparently, I am too competitive.

    Loved the Google search thing...I think most writers would be in trouble if their search histories were ever looked at. Or at least I would be.

  7. Yolanda, your thoughtful reply on a method of murder both impresses and terrifies. :-) From reading your first book, "Murder, Madness, and Love" I can say you do a great job of conveying sympathy for the victim about to meet her doom. That very first one, I almost felt I was in her shoes as it happened! Brava, and looking forward to the sequel!

    PS: I can't lie to save my life, though I might be able to swing it to save another's. :-)

  8. I smiled during the poison discussion. Reminds me of that song, Earl Had to Die.
    Good luck with the new book.

  9. Thank you for the wonderful interview, Yolanda. It was so much fun! Can't wait to visit your blog next month.

  10. M. J. - I'd play with you - I still love board games - anything that means not having to sit in front of the boob tube - plus a room full of folks laughing and playing - nothing better in the world! And my Google history - oh dear - am I in trouble!

    Mina, you're too sweet, Thanks for your continued support! MM fits the horror genre more than MML did, Lucifer is is an extreme psychotic. Me - I'm looking forward to That Fatal Kiss!

    Susan - LOL - sometimes Earl does, just need to die!

    Christine - you are one awesome lady - I can't wait to post your answers! Thanks again!

  11. Yikes, some of the things writers research ;)
    Great interview

  12. Great interview ladies!
    I love dark chocolate and my great grandmother's name was Lillian. This could explain a few things!

    Yolanda I loved your childhood-makes me think we might be the same age ;D

  13. Loved your answers.... I think poison is the right way to go:)

  14. Lynda, so true - we do look up the most obscure things. I say dump your drives in acid - I mean if you don't want others to discover your writer appetites. LOL

    Ella, I think we are sisters to tell you the truth!

    T F - Thanks! Didn't want to be a girl about it, but seems the smartest way to go especially if size and strength matters. LOL

  15. The research on Lucifer and Lilith must have be fascinating. Fantastic interview Yolanda. Yep, that on sentence hook reeled me in :)

    Hello Christine. Hope you are both having a good week.


  16. Good in depth look at Yolanda. Who knew? I'm all for a book that tastes like dark chocolate.

    Tossing It Out

  17. Hey Donna, Thanks for stopping by, yep, lots of info out there on those two.

    Lee, yes, dark chocolate! Yum!

  18. What a great interview! I cracked up about your husband thinking you're not a good liar LOL.
    I just love that Memories of Murder blurb. :)

  19. Hi, Christine, Hi, Yolanda.

    Such great questions Christine...

    Yolanda,... Loved your answers. Like you I grew up on board games and cards...

    Loved your answer for the flavor. Dark chocolate is my absolute fav!

    Hope the tour is going well! I'll be posting for you on the 4th with a fantabulous intro... I hope.. lol.


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