I’m happy to have Trish Esden from northwestern Vermont here to speak about her writing and her lastest mystery, The Art of Decoy. Trish also writes contemporary fantasy that is a touch dark and a bit sexy under the name Pat Esden.
Hi, Trish. How long have you been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.
THE ART OF THE DECOY, a Scandal Mountain Antiques Mystery, is my debut mystery. It will be released on April 5th of this year by Crooked Lane Books. A second book in the series will be published in spring 2023.
My first contemporary fantasy series, Dark Heart, was published by Kensington Books starting in 2016. In 2018 my second fantasy series, The Northern Circle Coven, was released by Kensington.
Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?
My goal is to continue to write and promote the Scandal Mountain Antiques Mystery series. The first two novels are under contract with Crooked Lane Books. I’m currently writing a third book which isn’t under contract yet. I’m also working on a short mystery story that isn’t related to the series. My hope is that publishing short fiction will fill in the gap between novel releases. I’m also taking a marketing class with Laurie Cooper of Ask Pub Craft, so I can keep up to date in that area.
Nice. I also write Cobble Cove mystery stories in between the series books.
What type of reader are you hoping to attract? Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?
I think my novels would be perfect for readers who enjoy mysteries by authors such as of Jane K. Cleland and Connie Berry. They’d also be great for mystery book clubs since they feature a large cast of characters and bring up a variety potential discussion topics related to the antique and art world.
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
Hang in there and strive to give your story all the time and work it needs before attempting to get it published.
What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?
I have always enjoyed writing, but it wasn’t until I was in my late forties that I began writing with the goal of being published. My main challenge was to raise my writing skills up to a professional level. I did this by taking a ton of writing classes online and by joining professional organizations such as Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.
I’m also a member of Sisters in Crime. It’s a great group. I started publishing late, too, but I’ve also been writing all my life.
Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?
I don’t belong to any formal in person writing groups. However, I do go on writing retreats with author friends. Plus, I belong to writing groups attached to the organizations I mentioned previously—MWA and SINC. I also attend writing meeting sponsored by the League of Vermont Writers.
I’m sure your participation in those is helpful.
What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?
In real life, I’m an antique dealer which keeps me busy. I love going to museums, flea markets, and yard sales. I also enjoy traveling whenever the chance comes along. I birdwatch, garden and create painted folk art furniture. I also spend as much quality time as possible with my husband and Haley, our Golden retriever.
Nice hobbies, and your antique experience supports your writing. I have cats, but there’s a golden retriever in my Cobble Cove series. I think they’re beautiful dogs.
What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
The toughest challenge and least enjoyable part of being an author is the waiting and not knowing when or if writing related things are going to happen. This occurs at all stages of being an author and throughout the career. First you wait to hear back from critique partners, then you wait for responses from agents…Even after the novel goes on submission and is bought by a publisher, the schedule when things happen is most often up in the air. This is somewhat more control able if you self-publish, but even thing there are long wait times.
What I like most is when I get a review where the reader enjoyed the novel, and really got the heart of what I intended.
The waiting is tough, but good reviews do make it worthwhile.
What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?
I love dreaming up characters and mystery plots, and then finding the perfect way to twist the story so it surprises the reader and yet feels inevitable.
Yes. That can be a challenge, but I enjoy it, too.
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you or your books?
I love to have aspiring authors as well as readers follow me on social media. Be sure to also signup for my newsletter on my website. You’ll find a contact email there. Feel free to use it if you have any questions about writing or my series. I enjoy staying in touch and answering questions.
That’s so nice. Thanks for the interview, Trish. I’m also sharing the blog tour and giveaway for your new release.
The Art of the Decoy (A Scandal Mountain Antiques Mystery)
by Trish Esden
About The Art of the Decoy
The Art of the Decoy (A Scandal Mountain Antiques Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – Vermont
Crooked Lane Books (April 5, 2022)
Hardcover : 336 pages
ISBN-10 : 1643859641
ISBN-13 : 978-1643859644
Digital ASIN : B098PXZNDF
Perfect for fans of Jane K. Cleland and Connie Berry, Tricia Esden’s series debut is sure to please.
After her mother is sent to prison for art forgery, Edie Brown returns to Northern Vermont to rebuild her family’s fine art and antiques business. She’s certain she can do it now that her mother is gone. After all, butting heads with her mom over bad business practices was what drove Edie away three years ago, including a screwup that landed Edie on probation for selling stolen property.
When Edie scores a job appraising a waterfowl decoy collection at a hoarder’s farmhouse, she’s determined to take advantage of the situation to rebuild the business’s tarnished reputation and dwindling coffers. In lieu of payment, Edie intends to cherry-pick an exceptional decoy carved by the client’s renowned Quebecoise folk artist ancestors. Only the tables turn when the collection vanishes.
Accused of the theft, Edie’s terrified that the fallout will destroy the business and land her in prison next to her mom. Desperate, she digs into the underbelly of the local antiques and art world. When Edie uncovers a possible link between the decoy theft and a deadly robbery at a Quebec museum, she longs to ask her ex-probation officer, and ex-lover, for help. But she suspects his recent interest in rekindling their romance may hide a darker motive.
With the help of her eccentric uncle Tuck and Kala, their enigmatic new employee, Edie must risk all she holds dear to expose the thieves and recover the decoys before the FBI’s Art Crime Team or the ruthless thieves themselves catch up with her.
About Trish Esden
Trish Esden loves museums, gardens, wilderness, dogs, and birds, in various orders depending on the day. She lives in northern Vermont where she deals antiques with her husband, a profession she’s been involved with since her teens. Don’t ask what her favorite type of antique is. She loves hunting down old bottles and rusty barn junk as much as she enjoys fine art and furnishings.
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