120 episodes

The Crime Cafe has interviews with authors who write crime fiction, true crime, suspense and thrillers, as well as old radio episodes and author book readings. This podcast is released every other Sunday.

The Crime Cafe Debbi Mack

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    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

The Crime Cafe has interviews with authors who write crime fiction, true crime, suspense and thrillers, as well as old radio episodes and author book readings. This podcast is released every other Sunday.

    Interview with Crime Writer Dana Haynes: S. 6, Ep. 11

    Interview with Crime Writer Dana Haynes: S. 6, Ep. 11

    Debbi Mack interviews crime and thriller writer Dana Haynes on the Crime Cafe podcast.



    For your podcasting needs, I use and recommend Blubrry Podcasting.







    I also recommend Stitcher Premium, if you’re a fan of podcasts. If you like true crime or crime fiction, there are loads of podcasts out there for you. And with Stitcher Premium you can listen to the exclusive archives from Criminology or bonus episodes from True Crime Garage. You can also listen ad-free to episodes of your favorite podcasts.







    I’ve subscribed, and for only $4.99 a month, it’s nice to have ad-free entertainment. Just go to www.stitcher.com/premium and use the promo code, CRIMECAFE, to try it out absolutely free for a month.



    And, once again, we have a transcription of the show notes. Click here to download a copy in PDF.







    Debbi (00:02): Hello everyone. My guest today is an award winning journalist who spent more than 20 years in Oregon newsrooms. I like that. He is not only a thriller novelist, but also a screenwriter. In fact, his first screenplay, an adaptation of his first thriller novel Crashers made the Nicholl Fellowship semifinals in 2005. That's pretty impressive. It's my great pleasure to introduce thriller author, screenwriter, and Pacific Northwest native, Dana Haynes. Hi Dana. Thanks for being here.



    Dana (01:16): Hey, it's good to be here.



    Debbi (01:18): I'm so glad you're with us. Oregon is just a beautiful state and Portland's an awesome town. Do you do a lot of signings at Powell's? You know, back when you could do signings?



    Dana (01:31): Yes, we are incredibly fortunate to have many good independent bookstores in the Portland metropolitan area. We have several, so I will do one at the Powell's downtown or the Powell's in the suburbs or at Annie Bloom's. We are very, very fortunate to have this ring of independent bookstores that go from the coast up into the mountains.



    Dana (01:49): And it's one of the blessings of being in Oregon, how many independent thriving, independent bookstores we have. Quick story. My wife and I went to Powell's the other day on a Saturday and everybody stood outside six feet apart and everybody had masks on, everybody was patient and they're on the phones. You finally got to go in. The lines inside were very, very long. Nobody was kvetching, nobody's complaining. The luxury of having a bookstore, a world-class bookstore like that in the heart of downtown is something we just don't ever kvetch about.



    Debbi (02:18): I think that's awesome. That is so awesome. I love it. All of it. I'm interested in how you decided to branch out into writing thrillers from journalism to thrillers. What brought you from one to the other?



    Dana (02:33): I'm not sure it was that order because my father was a huge fan of thrillers. And so when we were growing up, Dad would read books that he thought were exciting and terrific, and he burst into your bedroom and throw them on your bed and say, "You've got to read this!" My father was a high school basketball coach. They talk like that. Quick, you got to read this. And so early on I was reading Gunga Din and Beau Geste and The Four Feathers, and I was being brought up with those stories cause my dad thought they were incredibly cool. So when I was, this is a true story. When I was in high school, I thought I was either going to have a career in journalism, which was my first love or as a novelist writing the kind of stories my dad would read, and lo and behold, I'm doing them both. I'm the most fortunate guy in the whole world.



    When I was in high school, I thought I was either going to have a career in journalism, which was my first love or as a novelist writing the kind of stories my dad would read, and lo and behold, I'm doing them both.

    • 28 min
    Interview with Crime Writer Sandra Woffington: S. 6, Ep. 10

    Interview with Crime Writer Sandra Woffington: S. 6, Ep. 10

    Debbi Mack interviews crime and suspense writer Sandra Woffington on the Crime Cafe podcast.



    For your podcasting needs, I use and recommend Blubrry Podcasting.







    I also recommend Stitcher Premium, if you’re a fan of podcasts. If you like true crime or crime fiction, there are loads of podcasts out there for you. And with Stitcher Premium you can listen to the exclusive archives from Criminology or bonus episodes from True Crime Garage. You can also listen ad-free to episodes of your favorite podcasts.







    I’ve subscribed, and for only $4.99 a month, it’s nice to have ad-free entertainment. Just go to www.stitcher.com/premium and use the promo code, CRIMECAFE, to try it out absolutely free for a month.



    And, once again, we have a transcription of the show notes. Click here to download a copy in PDF.







    Debbi (00:12): With me today is an author who, along with her Wine Valley Mystery series has written a standalone set in Saudi Arabia and a middle grade fantasy book, both of which have been shortlisted for awards. Her Wine Valley mysteries are also available in a box set that became a number one Amazon bestseller upon its release. That is amazing. I'm pleased to have with me today author Sandra Woffington. Hi, Sandra. How are you doing today?



    Sandra (02:14): Hi, Debbi. I'm good. Thank you for inviting me to the Crime Cafe. I'm happy to be here. And I wanted to tell you, I love your intro music. It really sets the mood for crime.



    Debbi (02:24): Thank you so much. Yeah, because I happened to find this music. I don't know if it was on the Mac or, or through YouTube, but I happened to find it and I thought, wow, that's just perfect.



    Sandra (02:37): It is perfect.



    Debbi (02:38): Well, thank you. Thank you very much. And thanks for being with us. At some point I'm going to sit down and figure out how many authors come on here who have traveled to interesting places because I seem to be collecting them. It was after you married that you moved to Saudi Arabia with your husband, correct?



    Sandra (03:00): Yeah, he was already there. We actually ... Wild story, but I was on a tour of Europe for a month in, I was 21 and I met him in a disco in Lucerne, Switzerland. He was there on business from Saudi Arabia, even though he was American. And then I went back to California, he went back to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and then we got to know each other through letters and met once in New York, which was about halfway and then decided to marry. And then I moved to Saudi Arabia.



    Debbi (03:32): Wow. That must've been quite a change for you. Now that first novel you worked on there. That was your first novel, and it was called Unveiling?



    Sandra (03:45): Yes. I think what travel does for you at 21, it was, it was almost ironic because one of my favorite books growing up were the stories of One Thousand and One Arabian nights with Aladdin and Sinbad and magic, and also the wit. Outsmarting each other with the characters. And I felt like I landed there. It literally, when I was there, it was during the period of the oil boom around 1979. And it was still camels in the desert. I look at Riyadh today and it's a fast paced city, but it was quickly disappearing. And I was fortunate enough to meet Safeya Binzagr, who is a renown Saudi female artist. She actually has opened a school and a museum in Jiddah, which is on the coast. And she inspired that story because she was ... In her art, she tries to capture what she saw as her traditions and culture quickly disappearing.



    Sandra (04:56): I saw that, too. There were beautiful mud, still mud houses, these fantastic mud buildings with balconies. And they were all being torn down and then European visions of beauty and marble, shiny marble were being put up.

    • 30 min
    Interview with Crime Writer A.C. Frieden: S. 6, Ep. 9

    Interview with Crime Writer A.C. Frieden: S. 6, Ep. 9

    Debbi Mack interviews crime and suspense writer A.C. Frieden on the Crime Cafe podcast.



    For your podcasting needs, I use and recommend Blubrry Podcasting.







    I also recommend Stitcher Premium, if you’re a fan of podcasts. If you like true crime or crime fiction, there are loads of podcasts out there for you. And with Stitcher Premium you can listen to the exclusive archives from Criminology or bonus episodes from True Crime Garage. You can also listen ad-free to episodes of your favorite podcasts.







    I’ve subscribed, and for only $4.99 a month, it’s nice to have ad-free entertainment. Just go to www.stitcher.com/premium and use the promo code, CRIMECAFE, to try it out absolutely free for a month.



    And, once again, we have a transcription of the show notes. Click here to download a copy in PDF.







    Debbi (00:14): Hi everyone. Today's guest has a most interesting background. A native of Switzerland, he's traveled widely. While living in the Southern US, he earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in molecular biology, two law degrees, and got his pilot's license and scuba instructor license. So I guess you could say he keeps busy, his fiction reflects much of his travel experience and his extensive research, both historical and journalistic. In addition to writing mysteries and thrillers, he's one of the country's preeminent technology lawyers. Interesting. It's a great pleasure to introduce my guest AC Frieden. Hi Andre. Thank you so much for being here.



    AC (00:14): It's a pleasure to join your podcast. I'm delighted. And as a fellow lawyer, it's always a pleasure as well to, uh, to chat. I think all our legal experience ends up creeping into our books in one way or another.



    Debbi (00:14): Isn't that the truth? I'm always amazed when practicing lawyers find the time and energy to write fiction. How do you balance your various obligations?



    AC (03:08): I would say that I balance it well, although I think pretty much everyone around me and my family would probably disagree with me. But it is a, you know, a time management challenge you write when you can Sometimes ideas come to your head and you have to write them down in some way quickly or they'll leave. So it's something that you, you learn to do it, it's never perfect. But at the end of the day, the drive is to get the book out. And I think that keeps you focused.



    Debbi (03:45): Yeah. I think that's a lot of truth in that, in what you're saying. I think that's great thoughts there. I absolutely agree getting things down when you think about them or if they're important, they'll stay there and you get them down. You know what I mean? It's like sometimes you have all these ideas, but one will kind of fixate itself in your mind? Get it down and don't worry about it being perfect.



    AC (04:14): And the thing is, you know, you can think of a schedule. You can think of, you can outline as much as you want, but you have to leave your mind open to things that pop up, you know, as you're writing your story. So things change no matter how much planning you do ahead of time, whether it's plot or character issues. Things will come up, you know, or your editor, the worst case is your editor find something wrong and you've got to do a lot of fixing, so that, that can happen, too.



    Debbi (04:47): Yeah. I agree with you completely on all of that. How many hours would you estimate you spend on research for a book versus writing it?



    AC (04:58): Well, I put research really into two buckets. So first there is you know, obviously the online part of the research to, you know, everything from looking at the history of a particular site that you're going to use or finding you know, details about a fictional character that you obviously want to be as real as possible.

    • 32 min
    Interview with Crime and Suspense Writer Wendy Hewlett: S. 6, Ep. 8

    Interview with Crime and Suspense Writer Wendy Hewlett: S. 6, Ep. 8

    Debbi Mack interviews crime and suspense writer Wendy Hewlett on the Crime Cafe podcast.



    For your podcasting needs, I use and recommend Blubrry Podcasting.







    We did it again! This week, there’s a transcription of the show notes. Click here to download a copy in PDF.







    Debbi (00:00): Hi, everyone. My guest today writes crime fiction with a hint of romance and strong female characters. So, all right. I like that. She's held a number of interesting jobs, which seems to be a trait among many writers that I know. She also has degrees in creative writing, forensic sciences, law, and security, to name a few. She has also pursued her lifelong dream of living in Edinburgh, Scotland, which is a really cool place. My guest today is crime writer, Wendy Hewlett. Hi Wendy. Thanks for being here today.



    Wendy (01:32): Hi, Debbi. Thanks for having me.



    Debbi (01:35): It's a pleasure. Believe me. You have two series as well as the book you're giving away Ailey of Skye. Is that how you pronounce it?



    Wendy (01:47): Yeah. Yeah.



    Debbi (01:49): It's short for Aileen then. Is it?



    Wendy (01:52): Yeah, it is.



    Debbi (01:53): I like that. It's my sister's middle name, and I just started the first in the Taylor Sinclair series, Saving Grace. She's a very interesting protagonist. Can you tell us more about the series and about Taylor Sinclair?



    Wendy (02:08): Sure. All of my characters that I write are very strong women and they become that way from the hardships that they have been through in their lives. And, and Taylor has been through probably more than most and, and of course that involves PTSD and, and overcoming that. So she's got a lot of issues and she spent most of her life living on the streets of Toronto and the first book in the series Saving Grace is her story of coming off the streets and the people that help her to do that who become very close friends, a close-knit group of three women.



    Debbi (03:01): Yes. Yes. What inspired you to write your first novel?



    Wendy (03:07): When I was in high school, my English teacher urged me to pursue a career in writing. So I went to school for journalism and I hated it. I quit at the end of the first year and the professor tried to talk me into staying. And I thought at the time it's because the grade average was going to go down because I had the highest marks in the class. But I learned years later that my sister worked with his wife and apparently didn't want me to leave because he thought I was very talented, which is a huge compliment. And I wish someone that time had said, you know, creative writing, try that. But I didn't. I waited until in 2009, I was laid off from General Motors. I was a security and fire supervisor at General Motors for a lot of years.



    Wendy (04:01): So when I was laid off I started doing a lot of reading and I thought, oh, I could write books like these. And that's why I started writing in 2011. And I wanted somebody that was, you know, troubled difficult just to show the strength that she gets from that. And it ended up, when people started reading my book, I started getting messages from women saying, you know, they've been through a lot of trauma in their own childhoods and how much Taylor's healing helped them to heal. And so that's become, you know, a purpose almost with my books is helping women to heal and help to empower them.



    I started getting messages from women saying, you know, they've been through a lot of trauma in their own childhoods and how much Taylor's healing helped them to heal. And so that's become, you know, a purpose almost with my books is helping women to heal and help to empower them.



    Debbi (04:45): I noticed that in your bio. I thought that was rather remarkable.

    • 23 min
    Interview with Crime Writer Tom Vater: S. 6, Ep. 7

    Interview with Crime Writer Tom Vater: S. 6, Ep. 7

    Debbi Mack interviews crime writer Tom Vater on the Crime Cafe podcast.



    For your podcasting needs, I use and recommend Blubrry Podcasting.







    I also recommend Stitcher Premium, if you’re a fan of podcasts. If you like true crime or crime fiction, there are loads of podcasts out there for you. And with Stitcher Premium you can listen to the exclusive archives from Criminology or bonus episodes from True Crime Garage. You can also listen ad-free to episodes of your favorite podcasts.







    I’ve subscribed, and for only $4.99 a month, it’s nice to have ad-free entertainment. Just go to www.stitcher.com/premium and use the promo code, CRIMECAFE, to try it out absolutely free for a month.



    We did it again! This week, there’s a transcription of the show notes. Click here to download a copy in PDF.







    I originally ran this interview on my own YouTube channel. My apologies for any variations in the sound quality.



    Debbi (01:55): I'm interviewing another crime fiction author. His name is Tom Vater and he's a journalist and author. So he is located in Bangkok and writes about that place and writes some very interesting stuff. So I would like to welcome you on, on the channel Tom. Hi.



    Tom (02:21):Thanks, Debbi. Thanks very much for having me on the show. It's wonderful to meet you on this amazing technology we're using, and it's great to talk to you. You're about six, 7,000 miles away or even more so it's amazing that we can actually do this. You at the beginning of your day and me at the end of it.



    Debbi (02:42): Yeah, I know. I think I've always been amazed at this sort of thing. So my assumption is that you started with journalism and went into crime writing? Would that be correct?



    Tom (02:56): Well, actually it sort of happened hand in hand, because the first article I ever wrote for a newspaper was in 1997, for a paper in Nepal. And while I was there, I started thinking about writing my first novel, The Devil's Road to Kathmandu, which then eventually came out in 2004. So it, it kind of happened at the same time. But but I, I would say that, you know, between the pieces of fiction, I write, there are long gaps for professional reasons. And so mostly most of the time I have a day job, I do journalism. And when I have some months off, then I can sit down and write a novel.



    Debbi (03:43): So you're primarily a journalist who also does crime writing.



    Tom (03:48): Yeah. You could say that. I also own a a small publishing house Crime Wave Press, which is a crime fiction imprint based in Hong Kong, which does mostly books. And we've published about 32 titles by all sorts of authors, many of them from the U.S. So that's, that's my other gig. So I kind of do three different things. I'm a crime fiction writer. I, I'm a very small press publisher with just one partner and I've written four crime fiction novels and a bunch of short stories.



    Debbi (04:22): I'm interested in the fact that you do so much stuff. I'm also interested in, in the notion of, of, of, of a journalist going into this sort of thing, because the tradition of journalists going into fiction writing is historically something I've always been kind of intrigued by, which is why I majored in journalism actually, because of my interest in writing and in fiction in general. What made you choose crime fiction in particular as a genre?



    [G]enre fiction kind of makes it easy to, because it's got many established rules and tropes and conventions, and, and so in that sense, it's quite conservative. So you, as a writer, there's a lot of things to hold onto when you're writing your first novel, because it has to go a certain way, if you're gonna follow crime fiction conventions.



    Tom (05:01): I think there's probably several things.

    • 22 min
    Interview with Crime Writer Jessie Chandler: S. 6, Ep. 6

    Interview with Crime Writer Jessie Chandler: S. 6, Ep. 6

    Debbi Mack interviews crime writer Jessie Chandler on the Crime Cafe podcast.



    For your podcasting needs, I use and recommend Blubrry Podcasting.







    I also recommend Stitcher Premium, if you’re a fan of podcasts. If you like true crime or crime fiction, there are loads of podcasts out there for you. And with Stitcher Premium you can listen to the exclusive archives from Criminology or bonus episodes from True Crime Garage. You can also listen ad-free to episodes of your favorite podcasts.







    I’ve subscribed, and for only $4.99 a month, it’s nice to have ad-free entertainment. Just go to www.stitcher.com/premium and use the promo code, CRIMECAFE, to try it out absolutely free for a month.



    We did it again! This week, there’s a transcription of the show notes. Click here to download a copy in PDF.







    Debbi (01:44): Hi everyone. My guest today has written seven mysteries, including five in the Shay O'Hanlon caper series. Her latest book Quest for Redemption is the first in a new series. It also recently won an award, I believe. She is also the second author in a row on this show this season to be an artist as well as a writer. I'm pleased to have with me today mystery writer, Jessie Chandler. Hi Jessie. It's great to have you on.



    Jessie (02:16): Thank you so much. Thanks for having me. This is so exciting.



    Debbi (02:19): Well, this is a thrill for me. I mean so many artists and so many writers. This is wonderful.



    Jessie (02:26): It's a good, good thing to be in. Good area to be, a good place to be.



    Debbi (02:30): I think it is. Yeah. I think that graphic arts for one thing is just a fantastic area right now for many reasons. But let's see. Before we get to your latest book, tell us a little about your caper series, which you've compared to Stephanie Plum, I believe. So are you much in that kind of Janet Evanovich sort of humor?



    I've got a cute little old lady who loves to get in trouble with her neon high tops and her little mini backpack. She calls it her whacker to take care of people. It doesn't follow a lot of the, the romancey stuff of Janet Evanovich in any way. And it's got much more of a Midwest feel.



    Jessie (02:48): Sort of, yeah, a lot of physical comedy, a lot of slapstick stuff. I've got a cute little old lady who loves to get in trouble with her neon high tops and her little mini backpack. She calls it her whacker to take care of people. It doesn't follow a lot of the, the romancey stuff of Janet Evanovich in any way. And it's got much more of a Midwest feel. The big twist is the protagonist is a lesbian, which my hope in the series and it seemed to have panned out mostly so far from the reviews I've received and people talking to me that, you know, that LGBTQ people are the same as anybody else. And we have the same ups, the same downs. We have the same challenges and just, it's just a part of who she is.



    LGBTQ people are the same as anybody else. And we have the same ups, the same downs. We have the same challenges and just, it's just a part of who she is.



    Jessie (03:46): And that's been a good part of that series for me. I love to laugh and if I can dive into a book for just a few minutes, you know, I don't have a lot of time and I can read a little bit, have a good time, and then I can come back to it. That's just, it is so good. It is so good. And I don't think, especially now we have enough laughter, enough humor in our lives. There's so much serious stuff going on. So that is what, and we'll talk about that in a little bit, I imagine. Quest For Redemption is very opposite of that. It's very much darker and it was a big challenge, but I'm really excited. The next book I write will be the sixth in the Shay O'Hanlon caper series called Shanghai Murder. It goes out to Portland,

    • 31 min

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