Victoria Heckman is the author of two Hawai'i mystery series: K.O.'d in Hawaii, a modern series starring Katrina Ogden, Honolulu Police Officer, and the Coconut Man Mystery series set in ancient Hawaii before European contact. She is also the author of numerous short stories and articles, as well as a stand alone mystery, Burn Out, about an animal communicator coming late fall of 2011. She is president of Sisters in Crime Central Coast Chapter. Visit her website at www.victoriaheckman.com
My interview of Victoria:
Marilyn: Tell me about your latest book.
Victoria: What would you do if you received information that could save the lives of strangers but could also get you killed?
Nomadic basket weaver Coconut Man faces this when he wanders into a village to sell his baskets and overhears a murder plot that brings war not only to this village, but to the entire island. How does a man with no status in the community change its destiny?
For those of you in the California Central Coast area, the booklaunch for Kapu is on Sunday, Nov. 7 at Coalesce Book Store and Chapel, 845 Main Street, Morrro Bay, CA. 1-3 PM. We'll have readings and a siging, food and drink and a special treat is a performance of ancient hula by a local group. So, come with us to ancient Hawai''i.
Marilyn: Tell me about your background including why you set your books in Hawaii, besides that being a cool place to do research.
Victoria: Through sheer luck and understanding parents I attended the University of Hawaii and then never left. (Until I moved here to the Central Coast!) I thought about joining HPD so did a bunch of ride alongs and became best friends with an officer who is now my source. However, she became a Sergeant, then Homicide Detective and is now retired, so her career moved along much more quickly than my HPD officer K.O. While living there, I became immersed in the culture and history and my ancient Hawai'i series brewed in my brain for years before I felt ready to write it. The book-specific research took 2 years, and then 2 more years to actually write.
Marilyn: I met you at a mystery con in Texas when your boys were in grade school. Was that your first mystery con?
Victoria: No, my first was a BCon in Monterey, but Cluefest was one of my favorites for how kind everyone was. But now those boys are all grown up. The oldest (now in college) and I laugh about the many booksiginings he's been on and how he spent a lot of time under the signing table.
Marilyn: I also know that you were single when I met you, something romantic happened after that, care to share?
Victoria: Only to say that the next book features a fire fighter husband and a cat-loving wife.
Marilyn: How do you manage to squeeze any writing in with such a busy schedule teaching school, putting on plays with your drama classes, etc.?
Victoria: I have developed a technique of trying not to freak out when I can't write, which is most of the time during the school year. I write in the summer and then the school year is for signings, editing, and the business of writing. Oh yeah, and teaching.
Marilyn: What is your favorite kind of promotion?
Victoria: Bookfests, workshops and LIBRARIES! I like hand-selling and meeting people.
Marilyn: What's up next for you as far as far as writing goes?
The new book is finished. A stand alone (or so I think right now) called "Burn Out" that features Elizabeth Murphy and her fire fighter husband, Tig. They live in a small (unnamed town) on the Central Coast of California. She is an animal communicator (not pet psychic!) who carves out a small income serving local pet owners.
However, when a teporary data entry position opens at the Fire Department, she accepts to earn a little extra money and be closer to her husband. She notices a pattern in the frequency and severity of fire fighter injuries and when Tig is hurt on the job, Elizabeth intensifies her investigation. However, her witnesses are animals and they don't have a great track record with reliable testimony on the stand.
Marilyn: That sound like a great story--bet it turns into a series.
We've had a lot of fun at conferences when we're on panels together. When do you think we'll be making people laugh again?
Victoria: We will be offending and informing folks at PSWA in July in VEGAS!!!
Marilyn: Where can we find you latest book?
Victoria: You can always e me, or check on Amazon. Kapu is hot off the presses so it should be available to all very soon thrugh the distributors or order through your local book seller...
Marilyn: Anything else you'd like to tell us about?
Victoria: For fans of K.O., my HPD officer, she is off to the Banzai Pipeline for her next adventure, "K.O.'d in the Big Surf." She is not a surfer, but her 15 year old nephew is, and poor Auntie K, in a moment of weakness, agreed to chaperone.
Of course, that's not all that happens. I'm having a lot of fun with the research and although I do surf (I am possibly the worst surfer ever) I am leaving it up to the big wave pros to fill me in. Look for that in about a year!
www.victoriaheckman.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Marilyn: Add anything else you want.
Victoria: Okay. I want a baby muskox and a box of chocolates from See's but not the icky ones with tropical fruit and a foot massage, and, well, I'll let you get started on that. xo
Marilyn: Thank you, my crazy and talented friend. I can hardly wait to read your new books.