Martha Whitehouse lives in the heart of the West in North Fort Worth, Texas. Regaled by her father with rich stories of his time working on his mother’s farm in 1920’s Fort Worth where he drove cattle to the city’s historic cattle yard, mended fences, and farmed on his mother’s land, Martha developed a love of all things western. Her search into her father’s experiences in Forth Worth and her mother’s colorful family history in old Virginia inspired her to write a mystery novel set in that state’s past. During a career spent as a development executive for a Fortune Five technology company, Martha spent her spare time writing. Vance Bibliography published three bibliographies by Martha including: The Youth Labor Experience: Expectations, training, and employment prospects, Microelectronic Technology and Automation: Employment and training issues, and Total Quality Management in American Public and Private Institutions.
Three Rivers is her first fiction book.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your hobbies and interests.
The most important thing to know about me as a writer is to know me as a reader. I am a voracious reader and I love to read. My hobby is reading and my main interest is books, especially mystery books. I'm also a fan of fairytales and folklore and I created a podcast that explores the history of fairytales.
When and why did you start writing books?
I've always been a writer and I have been writing fiction since college but I only recently decided that I wanted to be an author. For me, there is a huge difference between being a writer and being an author. Writing is something that I've always been compelled to do but sharing my voice with others really wasn't that much of a priority until recently. I believe that becoming an author means being willing to share your creative voice with other people.
What made you decide to tackle writing as a career?
"Career" is not a word I would choose to use. For me, writing is an avocation, a passion, a consuming interest in commenting on the world.
Which one of your books or characters is your favourite?
My favorite character is the sarcastic, overly educated, lazy, and well-read Sheriff Maxwell Blount. I started off trying to write a mystery that involved some elements of my mother's family's long history in Virginia, but the only narrative voice that came through loud and clear was this sarcastic sheriff, so he's my protagonist and my first-person narrator.
Which one of your books was the hardest to write and stretched you the most as a writer?
Every project stretches a writer in different ways. My earliest published works were very bland bibliographies about business issues, and those were a stretch because although I had a business background, it wasn't where my writing interests were. I loved reading the mystery genre so writing fiction was a natural extension of that.
Who is your favourite author and book?
The toughest question of all. I have so many favorites. Charles Dickens always comes to mind first because of the compelling nature of his writing and his amazing sense of humor but in the current era I love the work of Michael Connolly and his Harry Bosch books, Karin Slaughter and all of her work, and I adore Peter Swanson who rights wonderful mysteries, like Eight Perfect Murders. I've also read and loved every Sherlock Holmes story by Doyle and Agatha Christie's work with great joy.
What book are you reading right now?
Right now I'm reading, 'Before She Knew Him' by Peter Swanson.
Where do you get your inspiration for your books?
I do not really know. Stories come to me. In his book Lisey's Story, Stephen King, (another author I love) writes about an author who has found a way to enter a magical place where he literally dips himself in magical waters that feed his creativity and his vitality, and I feel like there is a well-spring of stories that most good authors find a way to tap into. My goal is to honor that pool of human creativity, the well-spring of ideas, that the best authors make accessible to their readers.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Same answer: reading.
Do you have any new books in the works?
Yes, I am writing a mystery sequel to Three Rivers featuring the same protagonist, Sheriff Maxwell Blount, and set in the same small fictional town of Three Rivers, Virginia in 1890.
Books by Martha Whitehouse
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