Today’s Featured Author – Tyora Moody

Today my featured day is Tyora Moody. Please welcome her to my blog.  Happy birthday Tyora!!!!!!!!

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Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am an author as well as a literary entrepreneur.  I write romantic suspense and cozy mysteries. When I’m not writing, I manage a small independent publishing company (tymmpublishing.com) and also a literary services company (tywebincreations.com). I enjoy helping authors find suitable editors, coach them through the writing process, and help design the final product (book cover and interior).

I’m also an avid reader. In the past few years, I have grown to love audio books so I usually have at least one or two audiobooks going a week along with some ebooks.

Love watching movies, binge-watching tv shows and hanging out with family.

What do you do when you are not writing?

Usually reading a book. I have quite a commute to the day job so usually an audio book is going in the background while I’m driving or sometimes working at my desk.

Do you have a day job as well?

While I do have two side businesses, my main way to pay bills is via my day job in public media. I’ve been on my day job for twenty years and probably will hang around until retirement. I actually love what I do. I’ve been a web developer for about a decade and in the past decade, I’ve been a digital services project manager. I manage the corporate website and K-12 website as well. Both are very different in nature, serving different content and audiences. I continue to feel challenged each day.

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I have always been a writer, but when I officially decided to pursue writing a book was in 2006.  I started writing When Rain Falls, which eventually became my debut novel in 2012.

How did you choose the genre you write in?

I would say 75% of what I read is either a mystery, suspense or a thriller. I love reading and trying to figure out who did it or a person’s reason for being the antagonist. I decided to pursue writing mysteries and suspense because there are not a lot of books out there with people of color in this genre.

Where do you get your ideas?

I have four book series, Victory Gospel Series, Serena Manchester Series, Reed Family Series, and the Eugeena Patterson Mysteries. The Serena Manchester and Reed Family series are spin-offs of the Victory Gospel Series. As I was writing my first book, When Rain Falls and other books in this series, I started thinking of new characters.

Eugeena Patterson is a retired, school teacher. She’s over 60 and represents many of the women in my life, including my mom. Her books follow her life and the mysteries she stumbles into along the way.

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Do you ever experience writer’s block?

Sometimes, but I’m a believer that it’s not really writer’s block, but it’s about timing. When I know it’s time to work on the next writing project, ideas flow naturally.  I try not to push ideas and choose to concentrate on other projects in between writing.

Do you work with an outline, or just write?

I’m a hybrid. I start off with an outline to get started, but I do let the characters guide me as I write. I keep an outline throughout the projects to help me quickly pick back up where I left off or to see how well the mystery is progressing. Since I write mysteries it’s important to layer in red herrings and not make the culprit to obvious.

Is there any author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

There were not that many African-American mystery writers (still isn’t) so I was influenced by Nancy Drew. I enjoyed reading classics from Maya Angelou and Zora Neale Hurston.

I have a slew of romantic suspense and mystery writers I read regularly like Mary Higgins Clark, Terri Blackstock, Brandilyn Collins, Melinda Leigh, Kendra Elliot, and many more.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

I sat on my book for several years after if was written and edited. I decided in 2010 to pitch my book at a conference. I received two rejections, but also was offered a two-book contract by Urban Christian from that same conference.

Around 2013, I decided to pursue indie publishing. By then, the process for self-publishing had become a lot easier than it was say five years earlier.

If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?

No, I wouldn’t change my path. I had an opportunity to see how it was to be published traditionally which I liked except for the strict deadlines. The traditional published route helped jumpstart my career and get my books noticed by readers.

How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?

I have used all kinds of avenues, from social media, online interviews, virtual book tours to offline events at readers’ conferences.  I think a combination of all types of online and offline marketing helps.

I think what helps is consistency.  There is a lot of work to get the book released, but then there has to be creative ways to still find new readers after the book release. I have found writing book series helps because readers tend to like to go back to find book one.

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?

No. Since I write series, I have an idea of which book in a series I want to work on next.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

I’m currently working on a few anthology projects. The first one is When Women Connect. This book features 12 co-authors and will be released September 18, 2018.

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My recent book is Lemon Filled Disaster. It’s book 3 in the Eugeena Patterson Mysteries. A synopsis is below.

Retiree Eugeena Patterson has picked up some new activities which include volunteering at an afterschool program and helping her future daughter-in-law plan a wedding. Eugeena is more than thrilled to see her son, Dr. Cedric Patterson, a longtime bachelor soon wed his girlfriend, Carmen Alpine.

During wedding planning errands, Eugeena notices a man is tailing her and Carmen. When Eugeena finds out the man is Carmen’s ex-husband, this lessens her enthusiasm for the upcoming nuptials, especially since Carmen had failed to share this information about her past.

Later, when that man is found dead, Carmen becomes a suspect. As Eugeena begins to investigate Carmen’s past, she’s wondering if this wedding will ever happen.

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Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

I would say a combination. In my Victory Gospel Series, a lot of the themes of grief, forgiveness and striving for perfection are definitely ideas spawned from my own personal experiences.  Most of the mysteries are definitely from my imagination. I have not stumbled upon a murder scene, but I definitely read and watch a lot of these types of scenes.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

I’m always excited to begin the first chapter. I spend a lot of time on my first chapters and they probably are rewritten more so than any other chapters. It’s important to grab the reader in the beginning.

How did you come up with the title?

My titles come to me before I write the book. They are driven from the main character. For example, Ms. Eugeena has Diabetes II so I use titles that combine her striving to change her lifestyle and solve the mystery. The titles are Deep Fried Trouble, Oven Baked Secrets and Lemon Filled Disaster.

The Reed Family is about five siblings so each of the novellas are about situations they are currently experiencing. In Broken Heart, Detective Jo Reed-Powell is trying to solve a homicide case, but dealing with the fact her husband has been cheating on her. In Troubled Heart, the youngest sister, Toni Reed, is troubled my the appearance of a former abusive boyfriend. In Relentless Heart, the oldest sister, Asia Reed is pursuing the person who murdered her former boyfriend.

What project are you working on now?

I’m currently working on a few anthology projects. The first one is When Women Connect. This book features 12 co-authors and will be released September 18, 2018.

I’m also working on a romance anthology that includes nine authors. Love Knows My Name is scheduled to be releases February 13, 2019.

Somewhere in between these anthologies, I’m working on the second book in the Serena Manchester Series, Bittersweet Motives and a possible novella for Eugeena Patterson.

Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?

I have yet to write a stand-alone book. I have a few ideas that I may pursue in the future. I also have never written a book from a male point of view. In the future, I plan to continue the Reed Family Series with the two brothers as the main characters.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

I welcome constructive criticism so I can improve the next book in the series. I have been told that some of my earlier books were too long in a few reviews, but I think that depends on the reader.

The best compliment for me is when a reader who doesn’t usually read a mystery decides to read one of my books and they like it. I get that feedback a lot and that always encourages me, especially since most of my peers write romance or women’s fiction.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Don’t give up and keep working on your craft. It’s true, writers have to read. I’m always inspired to step up by writing after reading a really good book.

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Thank you for adding my books to your reading list. I know when I’m selecting a book to read myself, there are so many to choose from these days. I’m honored and grateful to be able share stories that readers enjoy.

Visit me online at:

 

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