Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Interview With Author Elka Ray

Today I have a great interview with mystery author Elka Ray, where she talks books, suspense and a little romance. Enjoy.

Interview with Elka Ray

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

I'm Canadian, write mysteries and suspense, and live by the beach in Vietnam.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

Divorce is Murder is the first book in a new romantic mystery series set on Canada's Vancouver Island. After being bullied as a teen, Toby fled her small hometown as soon as she could. Now a successful divorce lawyer, she returns to the island to spend time with her mom, who just beat cancer. Toby thinks she's put her past in perspective until her teenage crush, Josh Barton, asks her to handle his divorce. Things get worse when Josh’s estranged wife is murdered, and he's the main suspect. As she tries to help clear him, Toby encounters all the people who made her life hell as a teen. Worst of all, one of them is a dangerous killer.

How long have you been writing, and how many books have you published to date?

My first book, a romantic mystery, Hanoi Jane, came out in 2011. A much darker thriller, Saigon Dark, was released in 2016. Divorce is Murder is somewhere in between - a fast, easy read that touches on the legacy of old traumas.

Do you have a favourite character? If so, why?

Toby's mom, Ivy, reads tarot cards for a living and is constantly trying to inflict alternative remedies on her highly skeptical daughter. I love how Toby is endlessly embarrassed (yet secretly fascinated) by her mom's rampant New Ageyness. While it'd be easy to dismiss Ivy as flakey, she's actually very astute - and funny.

Why did you decide to write in the romantic mystery genre?

Life is hard. We're all busy. We're tired. We need a break. I want stories that are smart yet easy to read - books that will entertain me without feeling like a vacuous waste of time. I read and write mysteries because they're fun yet expand my understanding of human nature.

Why did you write this book? What was your inspiration?

Like many little girls, around age six my daughter announced her desire to be an actress when she grows up. She's a natural comedian but instead of thinking 'cool, you have talent!' my first reaction was dismay. The problem? She's half Asian and all I could think of was the roles she'd land - or not. I pictured her relegated to playing "Asian" characters instead of the lead or the love-interest. While I can't change Hollywood I can write more stories starring smart, funny, and strong people who aren't all white and blond.

What did you enjoy most about writing your book?

While I consider myself a mystery/suspense author, I had a lot of fun with this story's romantic dilemma.

Do you have any amusing writing stories or anecdotes to share?

Some years back, after reading one of my books, a friend said: "Wow. Where do you get this stuff? I mean, you don't even watch TV!" I loved the implication that most mystery writers sit around lifting their material off CSI."

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

I'm psyched that my publisher has given Toby Wong and her cohorts a series. In the second book, Toby gets roped into searching for a wealthy friend of her mom's, who's gone missing after being romanced by a conman. In this book, Toby finally realizes where her heart belongs.

About the Author

Elka Ray is the Canadian author of Divorce is Murder.

Born in the UK and raised in Canada, Elka has two previous novels, Saigon Dark and Hanoi Jane; a short-story collection, What You Don't Know; and a series of children's picture books about Vietnam, where she currently lives with her family.

Elka grew up in Victoria, B.C. Canada, the setting for her latest mystery. When she's not writing, drawing, or reading, Elka is in the ocean.

Website: ElkaRay.com
Facebook: /elkaraybooks
Twitter: @ElkaRay
Instagram: @elka.ray
YouTube: Elka Ray
Goodreads: Elka Ray


A Toby Wong Novel

Toby Wong visits her quiet hometown in British Columbia, where nothing ever happens--until her old high school rival is found murdered.

Shortly after returning to her sleepy hometown on Vancouver Island, Chinese-Canadian divorce lawyer Toby Wong runs into Josh Barton, who broke her heart as a teen at summer camp. Now a wealthy entrepreneur, Josh wants to divorce Tonya, the mean girl who made Toby's life hell all those years ago. Not long after Toby takes Josh's case, Tonya is found murdered. Josh is the prime suspect.

Together with her fortune-teller mom and her pregnant best friend, Toby sets out to clear Josh, whom she still has a guilty crush on. While he seems equally smitten, can Toby trust him? The handsome cop charged with finding Tonya's killer doesn't think so. 

Since Tonya stayed in touch with everyone from that lousy summer camp, Toby keeps running into ex-campers she'd rather forget. Could one of Tonya's catty friends be her killer?

Are Toby's old insecurities making her paranoid? Only too late does she realize that she really is in danger.

 Divorce is Murder is available at Amazon


Elka said...

Thank you so much for posting about me on your fab blog! We share some of the same "influencing" authors - ie Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman & Agatha Christie... I love that you're a fellow Canadian woman author -Elka

A. F. Stewart said...

You're welcome, it was a delight to have you appear.

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