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An Excuse For Murder Blog Tour: My Interview with Author Vanessa Westerman

Happy Saturday Everyone!

So I had the amazing honor of not only reviewing an ARC copy of An Excuse for Murder by the amazing Vanessa Westerman, but I also was further honored when she asked me to be apart of her blog tour! My review of An Excuse for Murder can be found here

For the blog tour, I had the honor to interview Vanessa and I am so excited to share it with you all! I absolutely loved the book, and enjoyed asking Vanessa questions about her and her writing.

Let’s get the interview started!

1. How did you come up with the idea for An Excuse For Murder?

I wanted to write a village mystery, but touch upon the themes of guilt and loss. And I wanted to write about a tormented male protagonist, who you might find walking the moors with Heathcliff or sharing a whiskey in a rundown bar with Sam Spade.

2. When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?

I’ve always loved reading and writing. Even before I could spell, I would fill in the words I couldn’t sound out with pictures. When I was eleven, I told my mom as we were browsing a bookstore together that one day, my book would be on the shelves. Dream big and you never know what will happen!

3. Do you find that you could relate to Kate in anyway?

Kate and I share quite a few similarities. We’re both stubborn and curious, drink too much tea and love reading crime fiction.

4. When you knew you wanted to write a book, what steps did you take to make the story and characters come to life?

I keep a notebook, filled with ideas. Sentences, pictures that inspire me, and notes on characters – their likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses.

5. Why did you choose to write a crime/thriller novel?

I’ve always loved reading mysteries, starting with Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew to Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh. In crime novels, the sleuth (normally) finds the answers to questions, solves problems and puts the world back in order. There’s something wonderful in that.

6. How long did it take for you to write An Excuse For Murder?

I wrote the first draft in about a year and a half. It then took six more years before I sold the book to a publisher, and a lot of editing in between!

7. What would you say is your most interesting writer quirk, when you are writing?

I listen to music as I write, and try to choose music that suits either the tone or the character. For example, I listened to classic ‘70s rock, by bands such as Thin Lizzy and Blue Öyster Cult, while writing from Gary’s point of view.

8. What was the hardest scene for you to write?

The truth is, if the scene was hard to write, it probably didn’t end up in the final draft. I’ve learned that, if I’m having trouble with a scene, I’m trying to make a character do something that doesn’t suit their personality, or the scene is taking place at the wrong point in the book. I know that if I’m having a lot of difficulties writing a section, I need to change my approach and try again.

9. What do you hope people will remember about An Excuse For Murder?

I hope people will remember my characters. By the last page, I hope they’ll feel like old friends.

10. Lastly, what advice would you give to people, who are thinking about writing their own book?

Read as much as you can. When you love a book, try to figure out why. What did the author do that had you hooked and how can you learn from it?

Vanessa’s book An Excuse for Murder is currently available to read, and I highly suggest that everyone gets a copy as soon as possible. This is one mystery thrill ride that you don’t want to miss!

I want to say a huge thank you to Vanessa for giving me the opportunity to read her amazing book, and for giving me the honor to interview her! I have become a fan of hers and hope you will be too! I can’t wait for the sequal!!

The link to get this book on Amazon is:

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