Author Interview with Vicki Delany

Happy Monday to everyone! I hope you’re having wonderful weather like we are here in Southeastern Michigan! It’s unreal that

As I stated at the end of my review for We Wish You a Murderous Christmas, I’m back with an interview with Vicki Delany. Of course, life happens and it didn’t quite get up in the timely manner I meant for it, but here we go! 🙂

I was first introduced to Ms. Delany’s books through the Lighthouse Library series (written under the pen name Eva Gates). I am a librarian and I thoroughly enjoyed the books. I was rather disappointed when the publisher did not continue the series. On the positive side, that introduction has led me to Ms. Delany’s other cozy mystery series, including the Year Round Christmas series and her new series, The Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mysteries that will be coming in 2017. Many, many thanks to Ms. Delany for agreeing to do this for me. 🙂

Photo of Vicky Delany, a middle-aged caucasian woman with blond hair pulled back and bangs, wearing a black camisole & grey cardigan

Vicki Delany’s Bio:
Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers. She is the author of twenty-three published crime novels, including standalone Gothic thrillers, the Constable Molly Smith series, and the Year Round Christmas Mysteries.  Under the pen name of Eva Gates she is the author of the Lighthouse Library cozy series.

The second in Vicki’s national bestselling Year Round Christmas series, We Wish You A Murderous Christmas, was released Nov. 1 by Berkley.  The first in the Sherlock Holmes bookshop series, Elementary She Read, will be released in March 2017 by Crooked Lane Books.

Vicki lives and writes in Prince Edward County, Ontario. She is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada. Facebook:  Vicki Delany & Eva Gates (evagatesauthor) and twitter: @vickidelany and @evagatesauthor

Line of books - some with spine out, others with page edges out, mostly green, blue, brown

Question #1: Do you set aside time to write every day or do you write more sporadically? When you write, do you aim to complete a set number of pages or words? How does music/other noise affect your concentration when you’re writing?

Ms. Delany: I am a total creature of routine. I write three to five hours a day, every day of the week, every day of the year when I am home, unless I have company. I have no set goals, but I put in a few hours and then quit when the time seems right. I always listen to Mozart; anything else in the way of music or the radio would destroy my concentration.


Question #2: Do you have a favorite conference to attend? What is it?

Ms. Delany: I love Malice Domestic and Left Coast Crime. I am really looking forward to Bouchercon in Toronto next year. And – something new – I am one of the organizers of Women Killing It – a new crime writing festival in Prince Edward County, Ontario. The first festival will be held September 1-2, 2017, and I am sure it will be my favourite from then on.


Question #3: In general, how many revisions do you go through before a book is published? Do you have beta readers or is it just your editing team and their suggestions?

Ms. Delany:  I do five or six drafts. I have one good friend who reads my cozy manuscripts and provides suggestions, and another for my Rapid Reads novellas, but that’s all in the way of beta readers.

Line of books - some with spine out, others with page edges out, mostly green, blue, brown

Question #4: Have you ever turned a dream or a nightmare into a written piece?

Ms. Delany: Nope.


Question #5: Have you ever learned anything from a negative review and incorporated it into your writing?

Ms. Delany: One reviewer of my first novel, Scare the Light Away, said the sub-characters were “cartoonish”. I never forget that, and I have always tried since not to ever be accused of that again.


Question #6: Have you ever left any of your books to stew for months on end or even a year? Do/did you go back and finish them?

Ms. Delany: Not that long, no. But when time permits, I like to put aside a book for six weeks or so and then read it with new eyes. I find it really does make a difference.

Line of books - some with spine out, others with page edges out, mostly green, blue, brown

Question #7: If you’re writing about a city/country/culture you haven’t physically visited, how much research do you conduct before you start writing?

Ms. Delany: I have never written about a place I have never been to, although I have set things in historical times (which I can’t visit). Setting is very important to me in my writing, so I don’t think I could do a good job about a place I’ve never been. My Rapid Reads novellas, featuring RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) officer Ray Robertson, are set in South Sudan, Haiti, and Turks & Caicos, and yes, I have been to all those places. I traveled to the Outer Banks specifically to visit before writing my Lighthouse Library series (under the pen name of Eva Gates). Sometimes, of course, I make it all up, as in Rudolph, New York, where the Year Round Christmas Books are set.


Question #8: If you could write about anyone from any time period, who would you write about?

Ms. Delany: Not a real person, but a fictional one, and that’s Sherlock Holmes. In fact, as it happens, I sort of am writing about Sherlock in my new Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series. The main character, Gemma Doyle, has a lot of similarities to the Great Detective. The first book in that series is Elementary, She Read, and it will be released in March 2017 by Crooked Lane Books.

Elementary, She Read by Vicki Delany Cover
Elementary, She Read by Vicki Delany


Question #9: If you could spend one day with a character from your book, who would it be? And what would you do during the day?

Ms. Delany: I have two picks. For serious research, I’d spend the day following Constable Molly Smith (of the series by the same name) on the beat in Trafalgar, British Columbia. For pure fun, I’d love to have a day in Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, the store owned by Merry Wilkinson in the Year Round Christmas series. Maybe we can go to lunch at Victoria’s Bake Shoppe.


Thank you once again to Vicki Delany for being willing to answer my questions and share a little bit of her writing process and a bit of herself with us! Don’t forget to check out her newest release, We Wish You a Murderous Christmas!

We Wish You a Murderous Christmas - Year Round Christmas Mystery - Room with Christmas tree in right corner, fireplace with stockings hanging, and dog lying on the floor.