Author Interview: Dee Wilbur with A Jealous God (Mystery)

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Dee Pipes and Charlie Yates write as Dee Wilbur (a combination of their middle names).

In your own words, describe A Jealous God…

Dee: A Jealous God is a contemporary cozy mystery set in the small town of Richmond, Texas that we hope offers an interesting story. It’s a look at how different people deal with unexpected truth; you may derive your own meaning. We aimed for a story of about 200 pages, a length you might comfortably read on an airline trip. We wanted to be entertaining, funny, and a bit sarcastic. We hoped that the ending came as a surprise, an unexpected twist. We wanted to introduce characters that you might want to visit again, in another book.

Charlie: In literature classes we always had to find the author’s hidden message. This was hard for me because a dove was always a bird, not a symbol of God. But here goes . . . This novel asks the question, do we have free will? Are the sins of the father transmitted to the children via their DNA. The entwined lives of a group of people set in a small Texas town raise this question. Are they responsible for their sins? Or did they inherit them? I was afraid that the title would give the ending away. I shouldn’t have worried. Apparently no one is familiar with the Bible any more.

What is the genre?

Charlie: A Jealous God is a contemporary, cozy mystery with somewhat of a medical theme—the somewhat of a medical theme is my area.

Dee: For people who aren’t into mystery ‘lingo’ that means that it is NOT a historical mystery and it is not lots of blood and cuts (cozy). For people who are into mystery ‘lingo,’ it is also an urban mystery.

What inspired you to write this book?

Dee:  For me, I was eager to complete a full-length novel.  Working with Charlie kept me going when I might have gotten tired, discouraged, or just depressed.  I guess that the old wives’ tale about starting exercise with a partner to keep you going really works—or it did for me.  I enjoyed and was energized by the ability to see how different personalities (different people or characters) react to similar circumstances.  And, it was fun to watch them not see some things.  Writing this novel also gave me lots of opportunity for introspection or maybe even awakened me to how many things I don’t always see. 

Charlie:  I had retired, and my wife didn’t want me in her kitchen. Seriously, growing up I had seen the plant down in the Thompson’s bottoms and always wondered what was going on there. The interplay between folks in a small town where everyone knows everything about everybody’s business is fascinating. I have known five generations of the same family and have seen traits, both good and bad, flow through the generations. I tried to catch some of that interplay and the fascination with that mysterious plant in this story.

Will this book be a standalone or part of a series?

Dee and Charlie: This started out as a single, standalone, but it soon took on a life of its own. It decided to be the first book in a series, sub-titled The Richmond Saga. The series follows the life and times of Jon Miller, a laid-back country lawyer, and Sandy, who starts out as his girlfriend and subsequently becomes his wife. At present there are four books in the series, A Jealous God, Justice Perverted, A Foolish Plucking, and Ravening Wolves. Each book describes a case that Jon reluctantly enters and solves. Two more stories are in the works, a fifth novel, A Scarlet Thread, and a novella, tentatively titled Righteousness Stands at a Distance.

What message would you like to convey with A Jealous God?

Charlie: We are all captives of our DNA.

Dee: Consequences are like gravity—very hard to escape or ignore. What you think you see and know might just be what you think.

What books are similar to this one?

Dee: Maybe a little bit like the Jeff Abbott, Jordan Poteet Mysteries. I think that you should ask your readers who we are like. It must take more self-awareness or introspection or something than we have to answer this. I want to say “If you like Catherine Coulter, you’ll like our books,” but readers pick out different aspects as the key element of style for an author.

Charlie: Someone kindly compared our novels with those of Nicholas Sparks. If only we had his readership. It is a book about personal relationships in small towns.

Where can readers find your books?

Dee and Charlie: On Amazon and each of the references has the link for Amazon as a hyperlink.

Can you tell us something about the writers behind the book?

Dee: I love to read: mysteries, biographies, physics (there is a delightful book about Einstein’s theories on the eve of the 100th anniversary: Relativity: The Special and General Theory), the Texas Parks and Wildlife Annual (the book they give you when you get a Texas hunting or fishing license), and almost anything else. Writing gave me another dimension of appreciation for what I was reading. I’m younger than Charlie without being too specific. I’ve been married to the love of my life for almost thirty-five years. When we married, I thought, “Let the adventure begin,” and it did.

Charlie: I am a 73 year-old retired radiologist, married to the same delightful, patient woman for almost fifty years. I was her lab instructor in college, and she said that she would do anything to pass the course. I received a B.A. degree and a Ph.D. degree in Biology from Rice University and an M.D. degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. We have four adult sons. There are no current felony warrants out for any of the boys, and they are all gainfully employed and not living at home. The older three boys are married to lovely young ladies. We have eight grandchildren, four boys and four girls. All the grandchildren are brilliant and extremely good-looking. I now tend my garden in Richmond, Texas.

Tell us one thing about you we wouldn’t know…

Dee: I love to listen to Blues, Rococo and Country and Western music. I am a contraltor (a female tenor).

Charlie: If I hadn’t started writing with Dee, I wouldn’t have needed a penname. We chose to combine our middle names. So you wouldn’t have known my middle name was Wilbur.

How can readers connect with you?

Dee: I am on facebook and if you let me know you are a reader, I will friend you. We have a Dee Wilbur facebook page. And I am on Pinterest as Dee Wilbur. Click on over! Or, as Charlie says.

Charlie: Readers can connect with me at DeeWilbur.com or cyates14@Comcast.net.

What are you working on now?

Dee and Charlie: Current projects include finishing a trilogy set in Coastal Mississippi after the last big storm, The Trinity Bay Trilogy, completing the fifth book in The Richmond Saga, A Scarlet Thread, and starting a novella set in Richmond tentatively entitled Righteousness at a Distance.

Do you have any other books released? What is your next release?

Dee and Charlie: Our four published books are A Jealous God, Justice Perverted, A Foolish Plucking, and Ravening Wolves.

Charlie: I don’t know what our next release is. Dee hasn’t told me.

Dee: I’ve told him, he doesn’t always listen . . . Our next release is the audio version of A Jealous God. We are very excited about audio books, because we think that they are a good fit for our audience. We hope to have all of our books on audio in the next months.

Fantastic Indie Authors: Thanks for the wonderful interview!

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