Dee Pipes and Charlie Yates write together as Dee Wilbur, a combination of their middle names. Using first names, Beatrice Charles, sounded too much like a blues singer. Last names, Yates Pipes sounded like either a plumbing store or a tobacconist.
Because we write together does NOT mean we agree, so you get double the answers with each of us giving you an answer.
What is the genre?
Dee: cozy murder; beach read; fun, small town messes.
Charlie: reality series for my small home town.
What inspired you to write this book?
Charlie: My wife told me to quit re-arranging the spices in her kitchen, and it was too cold to plant my garden so she told me to go write another book.
Dee: We had set the earlier books in the series in Richmond, Texas, Charlie’s home town and it seemed that my home town, Liberty, Texas needed some coverage. My husband, Bryan, has always said that the Patrick Henry quote, “Give me Liberty or give me death,” was about Liberty, Texas. And, he jokes that Mr. Henry thought that the two choices were identical, living in Liberty is about the same as being dead. I say that Liberty is a great place to be from.
Will this book be a standalone or part of a series?
Dee: The third book of the Richmond Series that includes in order: A Jealous God; Justice Perverted; A Foolish Plucking; and Ravening Wolves.
Charlie: This book, while part of a series, can stand alone. The Richmond series is a continuing story of a couple moving into a small town with an established hierarchy of society. It gives clear insight into how things are done in small town Texas.
What message would you like to convey with this book?
Charlie: My home town is probably no different from your home town. We may be a little more open in our weirdness.
Dee: I hope that our readers will take a new look at many of the relationships around them; wonder what lies beneath the surface of the public social interactions.
What books are similar to this one?
Charlie: We were once compared to Nicolas Sparks. If only we had his readership.
Dee: I’m thinking that we are a cross between Dorothy Sayers and Carolyn Hart, and her Death on Demand series.
Where can readers find your book?
Can you tell us some about the writer behind the book?
Charlie: I am a retired radiologist, married to the same lovely wife for fifty years, have four sons and eight grand kids, and have a nice vegetable garden. If I’d known how great the grand kids are, I’d have skipped the children part. I was reared a Methodist but changed to the Episcopal Church when I married. Then switched back to the Methodist Church for thirty years. Then changed back to the Episcopal Church until the Rector ran me off. Now I go to a nice Episcopal Church in Richmond.
Tell us one thing about you we wouldn’t know?
Charlie: I have more than 30 varieties of Tomatoes and more than 20 varieties of peppers in my garden because I have my wonderful wife Sally as spice for my life and variety in my diet.
Dee: After struggling with the Rosetta Stone’s Spanish and not being able to pronounce anything to their satisfaction, I downloaded the sample for American English. I began to believe I might have an accent when I couldn’t pronounce English words to their specifications either. So when you hear our radio interviews, be prepared.
What has been the best moment in your writing career?
Charlie: Having Dee agree to write with me.
Dee: Isn’t he sweet? A great time for me was at Bouchercon in Albany, NY when I was introduced with my Dee Wilbur penname to another attendee and she said, “Oh, yes, I’ve read your first novel.” How wonderful.
How do you come up with the titles of your book?
Charlie: We write the story and then find the appropriate Bible verse to serve as inspiration for the title.
Dee: When we are looking for the Bible verse, I try to keep in mind the pivotal point of the book and the flaw of the characters. And, we search through many different versions and translations of the Bible, which is always fun.
How long does it take you to finish a novel?
Dee: It takes me almost a year to complete my part. I start working after Charlie finishes the long outline or summary piece.
Charlie: It takes me about thirty minutes to come up with the nucleus of the plot and then about a week to finish a seventy or eighty page version. It takes a day or two to find the proper bible verse for the title.
How can readers connect with you?
Dee: They can go to our web page, DeeWilbur.com and use the contact key there. We’d love to hear from you! Send us ideas about what should happen to Diego next, what you want Jon and Sandy to do, or anything else.
What are you working on now?
Charlie: We have many unfinished projects. We have a trilogy set on the Mississippi coast ready for Dee to finish her part in the third volume. We have a novella ready within days to go up as a Kindle only. The novella is set in Richmond and continues the series. We are a third of the way finished with another book in the Richmond series. I have done all my part on yet another story in the Richmond series. One of these days we will finish something.
Dee: We are very excited about the Mississippi series, but it is taking a lot of work to make the trilogy come together as a set. We’ve had fun naming them, with the current working titles being: Kitten’s Play, Pelican’s Prey, and Ménage á Trey. The novella, currently entitled Righteousness Stands at a Distance, is almost ready to start through the publishing process. We hope to have it out soon, as Charlie says.
Do you have any other books already released?
Dee: A Jealous God, Justice Perverted, A Foolish Plucking, and Ravening Wolves. All available on Amazon and in Kindle format. I have listed them in order. This one, A Foolish Plucking, has our favorite cover, just so you know.
Thanks for letting us interview you!
Dee: Thanks for asking!