Interview: Yvonne Rediger

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Yvonne Rediger who was one of last year’s Book of the Month winners here at LASR. She was born in Saskatchewan, lived and worked in northern Manitoba, Alberta, New Brunswick, and Vancouver Island, British Columbia. After a lengthy career in information technology she currently writes from her home in rural Saskatchewan. She’s been writing seriously since 2015. As of this year, she has eleven books published and is working on the next Musgrave Landing Mystery.

She’s lived all over Canada. The prairies, mountains, the far north, east coast and west coast.

“I began moving young, with my parents. I don’t actually have a hometown location; however, I do have a home province, Saskatchewan,” she explained. “This is where my football team is. I bleed green for the Riders. We moved back here a few times. Four years ago was the last time, after we retired. We live in a mid-sized small town, we know our neighbours, everyone is friendly. There is lots of community spirit and a variety of activities. We are close enough to larger centres to take advantage of them, but far enough away to enjoy a quieter lifestyle.”

Yvonne has always loved mysteries and kept getting ideas and writing them down.

“After a point, it became clear to me I was incorporating a mystery of some type in each manuscript,” she explained. “Romance, urban fantasy, it didn’t matter so I took the next step and began writing mysteries and incorporating the other elements into the mysteries. I have way more fun creating these novels.”

Her latest book, The Right Road is the second book in her Adam Norcross mysteries series with Beth Leith and Adam Norcross. As well as a mystery to solve, there is a slow burn romance between her lead characters.

“In the first book we find out about Adam Norcross’ family and where he comes from. In this new book, we discover Beth’s family and that her experience is completely different from Adam’s,” she told me. “This is merely one of their stumbling blocks, but Adam is not easily deterred. The two are growing closer, and in the next instalment, I will take the relationship a bit further.”

“What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?” I asked.

“You can’t get quality without practice, so write whenever you can. It will not be great to begin with, but over time you will improve. Also, read every day and read above yourself occasionally. What I mean is, expand your horizons once in a while to stretch yourself. Of course, read in your genre and for fun too. This is to become familiar with good characterization. Characters with stories we can understand are the basis of good writing in my mind. There must be at least on character in the story you care about and want to know what happens to them. Otherwise, what is the point?”

Yvonne told me she would describe her writing space as “cluttered organization.” She used to be an information technology solution architect and consulted for various customers.

“Paramount for an SA is a good-sized whiteboard to draw up technical sketches and suss out solutions for program integration or data flow. I now use it as my ‘Murder Board’. I have a second one with my schedule and To Do list,” she said. “I have photos on the walls, bookshelves and bookends my husband has made for me. These are for my novels and also for my collection of various authors’ books I will never part with. It’s cozy; one window over looks our giant elms and a flowerbed in the front yard. A second window is high up and allows in natural light. I am in the midst of reorganizing the space to make it more possible to add an armchair for putting my feet up while I brainstorm.”

Even though she already has some ideas for Adam Norcross Mystery book 3, it’s been put on hold until she finishes the fourth book of her Musgrave Landing mystery series, Storm Stayed.

“I have my cast of characters working at Highmere House catering to bunch of writers and their agent/publisher,” she shared. “A nasty winter gale rolls in forcing them all to stay on the island. No one can get out, not even the murderer.”

She told me that the hardest part about writing is getting the time alone to write.

“Both my husband and I are retired. He can sit still for approximately 20 minutes,” she explained. “There is little in our house, yard, or garden that needs renovation. So, we bought a track of land outside of town and he goes to build things, cut hiking trails, and hunt. I started a YouTube channel to record his adventures for our kids and grandchildren. He is truly amazing and can turn his hand to pretty much anything. Blacksmithing, carpentry, solar technology, gardening, you name it. So, on occasion I join him, but mostly I use his time away to write.”

It’s hard for Yvonne to have a set schedule to write, but she likes to concentrate on writing her first drafts between September and November. During those three months she likes to get the framework completed and tick off all the boxes in her outline.

“After that, I fill in the colour and descriptions, flesh-out the story,” she tole me. “I like to get roughly a thousand words a day down, that’s my goal. It isn’t always possible, but sometimes I can get more done too.”

When she’s not writing, she and her husband hike and visit family. She loves to bake. They also love farm markets and garage sales. They also travel somewhere every year, at least once, to some place new.

Finally, I asked, “What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?”

“Look for a writing group to join. Go through your local library, they may be able to help. You are looking for a group of people who have a range of experience. It is valuable to learn from others and make connections with new writers. Where I currently live, there is no such group close to hand, so, I’ve arranged to begin a group at my library. I’ll lead the meetings to begin with and offer short workshops so I may share what I’ve learned from others.”

Digging up the past can be murder.

Adam Norcross is interrupted by his boss for a new task. Find RCMP Sergeant Bethany Leith. Adam also wants to know how her career has gone so wrong she is suspended.

When Norcross tracks Beth to her parent’s farm in Saskatchewan they are drawn into a suspicious death investigation on her family’s land. Norcross knows it’s murder. The victim is someone Nick Leith, Beth’s father, has a troubled history with. What about the archaeologist team digging on the same property, are they involved?

Norcross will use every tool at his disposal to solve the murder and help Bethany Leith. Including navigating his way through the political intrigue surrounding the case against her.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTubeChannel

Buy the book at Amazon.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.