Tracy Weber is the author of the award-winning Downward Dog Mysteries series. The first book in the series, Murder Strikes a Pose, won the Maxwell Award for Fiction and was nominated for the Agatha award for Best First Novel.
A certified yoga therapist, Tracy is the owner of Whole Life Yoga, a Seattle yoga studio, as well as the creator and director of Whole Life Yoga’s teacher training program. She loves sharing her passion for yoga and animals in any way possible.
Tracy and her husband Marc live in Seattle with their challenging yet amazing German shepherd, Tasha. When she’s not writing, Tracy spends her time teaching yoga, walking Tasha, and sipping Blackthorn cider at her favorite ale house.
Karma’s a Killer is her third novel. For more information on Tracy and the Downward Dog Mysteries, visit her author website: http://TracyWeberAuthor.com/
About Karma’s a Killer:
When Seattle yoga instructor Kate Davidson agrees to teach doga—yoga for dogs—at a fundraiser for Dogma, a local animal rescue, she believes the only real damage will be to her reputation. But when an animal rights protest at the event leads to a suspicious fire and a drowning, a few downward-facing dogs will be the least of Kate’s problems…
The police arrest Dharma, a woman claiming to be Kate’s estranged mother, and charge her with murder. To prove Dharma’s innocence, Kate, her boyfriend Michael, and her German shepherd sidekick Bella dive deeply into the worlds of animal activism, organizational politics, and the dangerous obsessions that drive them.
And if solving a murder weren’t complicated enough, Kate will also have to decide whether or not to reconcile with the estranged mother who abandoned her over thirty years ago. Not to mention having to contend with an almost-bankrupt animal rescue, a cantankerous crow, an unwanted pigeon houseguest, and a rabbit in a doga class. What could possibly go wrong?
Why don’t you begin by telling us a little about your writing background?
Karma’s a Killer is the third installment in my Downward Dog Mystery Series, and I’ve been a yoga blogger since 2011. Before that, I had virtually no writing background. The idea to write a mystery series came to me on a rainy evening about five years ago, while in the middle of a brutal workout at my favorite health club. I was pedaling away, reading a Susan Conant novel to distract myself from the evil exercise bike, when a quote in Black Ribbon about crazy dog people made me burst out loud laughing. I knew I’d found my author soul mate. Someone who truly got me.
I went home, looked her up online, and stumbled across a site about cozy mysteries. As I read about hundreds of other wonderful cozy series, I began to wonder: What would happen if a yoga teacher with a crazy dog like mine got mixed up in murder? Kate Davidson and Bella popped into my head a few days later. The rest is history.
Tell us about your other job besides writing?
Absolutely! I own a yoga studio, Whole Life Yoga, in Seattle, and I am the director and primary instructor of Whole Life Yoga’s Yoga Alliance-certified teacher training program. Teaching therapeutic yoga and training yoga teachers has been my primary profession for the past fifteen years.
I did both. The first draft was pure stream-of-consciousness, with the occasional pit stop for research. Who has time to write an outline when you’ve got characters like Kate and Bella harassing you to hurry up and write their story? While I wrote the second draft, I outlined what I’d already written to identify plot holes and inconsistencies, which I fixed in the third draft. After that, it was only twenty-seven more drafts until the finished product!
Did your book require a lot of research?
One of the pivotal characters in Karma’s a Killer is a crow named Blackie. I have been fascinated by crows since my dog befriended one a few years ago. The two animals look for each other, follow each other, and hang out together on our daily walks. I did quite a bit of research on corvid behavior when writing Karma’s a Killer. As a result, I’ve become even more fascinated by these astounding, intelligent, highly social creatures. I also researched wildlife rehabilitation, which plays a significant role in the book.
Agatha Christie got her best ideas while eating green apples in the bathtub. Steven Spielberg says he gets his best ideas while driving on the highway. When do you get your best ideas and why do you think this is?
I get my most creative ideas outdoors while I’m walking or playing with my German shepherd, Tasha. I suspect the combination of fresh air, exercise, and being with the love of my life all conspire to get my creative juices flowing. Besides, you meet a lot of crazy people when you’re attached to the leash of an unruly, hundred-pound German shepherd. Sometimes, you just want to kill them.
So I do. 🙂
Describe your working environment.
Most of my writing takes place in the disaster I call my office or late at night in bed. I create through chaos, which means that I spend half of my time writing, the other half trying to locate what I’ve already written. For example, I outlined my notes for this interview lying in bed two nights ago. It took me over an hour to find them today. By the time I unearthed those notes, I’d misplaced an article I’d written earlier this morning. I still haven’t found that.
I often wonder how much I could accomplish if I were only a little more organized…
When it comes to writing, are you an early bird, or a night owl?
I’m a total night owl. I generally hit my creative stride after my hubby goes to bed at eleven, and I can easily write until three or four in the morning, which totally sucks when it’s time to get up the next day. Luckily, I make my own hours, so I can work any sixteen hours a day that I want. 😉
Do you have a website/blog where readers may learn more about you and your work?
I have both. My author website is all about the Downward Dog Mystery series, author events, and other book-related news. You can find it at http://tracyweberauthor.com/. My weekly blog, http://www.wholelifeyoga.com/blog/ combines my three life passions: dogs, yoga, and writing.
Yoga, dogs, and mystery. What could be more fun!
As an author, what is your greatest reward?
Getting to know my readers. If it weren’t for their support and encouragement, I’d never have made it past the first book.
Anything else you’d like to say about yourself or your work?
Haven’t I already prattled on enough? I guess the only other thing I’d say is that Karma’s a Killer is a feel-good, crime-solving, human-animal love story. How can it get better than that? I hope you and your readers give it a try and love it!
Thanks so much for having me here today!