Vered Ehsani has been a writer since she could hold pen to paper, which is a lot longer than she cares to admit. She lives in Kenya with her family and various other animals. When she isn’t writing or running a radio show, she pretends to work as an environmental consultant. Visit Vered and her world of African paranormal thrillers and get a free book.
What is your current release and (without spoilers) tell us about the new book or series.
My most recent novel is the second in a series concerning dead husbands, African legends and the search for a perfect spot of tea. I wrote it for those readers who adore “Pride & Prejudice” and would love to experience “The Parasol Protectorate” set in colonial Africa. So basically I wrote it for myself.
In Book 2 The Automaton’s Wife Beatrice Knight has enough to contend with: a zebra is dead on her lawn, her horse is possessed and a gentleman has arrived with the temerity to propose to her. To top it off, her dead husband Gideon has absconded with an automaton, threatening to return for his wife. The wife in question however soon has other issues, for a killer has moved into town with a nasty habit of carving up the victims. As luck should dictate, who should be the next target but Mrs Knight herself?
The first in the series is Ghosts of Tsavo it introduces paranormal investigator Beatrice Knight as she travels to colonial Kenya and lands herself in the middle of a mystery involving man-eating lions and other inconveniences. Armed with Victorian etiquette, a fully loaded walking stick and a dead husband, Mrs Knight is desperate for a pot of tea. What she ends up with are the machinations of her best friend’s dashing godfather and the efforts of her safari guide to feed her to the lions.
What is the usual process for your writing? Are you a plotter or a panther?
Oh my, such a personal question! I’m a bit of both. I do sketch out the overall flow of the story, the major plot points, characters, important directions, that sort of thing. But in the writing process, some intriguing little detours pop up, and often I didn’t see them coming. For example, I had no idea Mrs Knight felt that way about a certain person whose name shall go unmentioned.
Once you have an idea that sparks your imagination do you research your idea or do any world-building exercises, or do you just begin to write and see where the Muse takes you?
For this series, there was quite a bit of research. I needed to study not only the historical facts around Kenya of the time, but also Victorian dress and conduct, East African culture and myths, the general events of the time that may have impacted on decisions and attitudes etc.
It depends. I’m a consultant, which means I’m either overworked or unemployed. When I’m unemployed, I write full time. When I have a contract, not so much.
I love writing, but I also love being out in the world, so I don’t imagine I’d want to be a full time writer.
What is your daily writing time like?
My schedule, when I’m not working on a contract, is not much different than if I do go to work elsewhere. In other words, I treat this as a business, so I sit down and do the work for several hours.
Mostly Indie, although I have a couple books through small publishers (one in Europe, the other in India). I love being independent and controlling what my book looks like, when it will be released etc.
Everyone likes to know where an author gets their ideas from, but what I want to know is what is the strangest thing to inspire one of your stories?
A cup of tea. Tea is very important to me, and it is to Mrs. Knight as well. It also inspired my first Indie book – Diary of a Part Time Ghost – which is all about the Boston Tea Party (the historical event, not the political party).
Can you tell us about some of your other writing (fiction or nonfiction) and any appearances or signings that you have planned?
My other books have for the most part also been in the paranormal sphere (apart from a brief dabble into Sci-Fi, but it still had a bit of the unworldly involved).
If you come visit me in Kenya, I’d gladly sign a book for you!
Keep writing! Also a book I’d recommend highly is “Write. Publish. Repeat.” Practical and to the point.
Who is your favorite author? Tell us what makes this author stand out in your mind and what book would you recommend to someone new to that author?
One of my favorite books is Pride & Prejudice, and one of my favorite authors is Elise Stokes. Her Cassidy Jones series is awesome. But quite honestly, I have so many books and authors that I enjoy.