Meet The Author Monday – Tracee De Hahn

Hello my Gentle Readers. Today we are going to catch up with Tracee De Hahn, who has a new mystery coming out on February 6th called “A Well-Timed Murder”. You can see my previous interview with her HERE. As usual my questions/comments will be BLUE and Tracee will be GREEN.

TraceedeHahn_web copy.jpg

Welcome back, Tracee. It’s been almost a year since we talked last. How has your book, Swiss Vendetta been doing?

It’s doing well, and I’ve enjoyed seeing the various editions come out. I didn’t give them much – or any – thought so the arrival of each one felt like a delightful surprise. I confess that listening to the audiobook was a surreal experience. Cat Gould is an amazing narrator, but hearing my words coming from someone else was… unsettling? Maybe that’s the right word. I didn’t expect that at all. Although perhaps I should have, since one of my sister’s said she had a hard time reading the book since my name flung itself at her every time she turned a page! And a close friend from college said he could hear my voice in every word he read and it took him a few pages to not hear ‘me’ and hear the book instead. That’s how I felt with the audio version. Large print and now the paperback have rounded out my year. And there’s been a nice uptick in sales with the paperback out! Always a good feeling.

I can imagine that you’ve read those words so many times you had your own cadence that no one else would match. And now you’re back with a new book. Does this one pick up where the last left off or is it a complete standalone?

This is where I have flashbacks to days of nail-biting uncertainty. When you begin a series this is a big decision. I’m not saying that the time between books is set in stone, but most writers establish a tradition within their books. After the nail-biting was over, I chose to begin A Well-Timed Murder a few weeks after the end of Swiss Vendetta. The new book works as a stand-alone – however, if you read the first one, you would know why Agnes is limping, and why she is returning to work from medical leave. I want a returning reader (and perhaps a new to the series binge reader) to feel the continuity in Agnes’s life. I also want to develop the personal connections in her life – specifically with Julien Vallotton – and not pick them up months or a year later. Let’s see how Agnes and Julien handle the start of a relationship – maybe they don’t make it through book two! On the professional front, going forward I plan to have a case from Agnes’s former role in in financial crimes stay with her. The elusive criminal who will continue to cross paths with her current work. 

Nail biting uncertainty. I like that imagery for the feeling I think all of us writers feel. For those who haven’t read your first book, can you give us a little spoiler-free short biography on Agnes?

Agnes is in her mid-30s, recently widowed (before the first book), with three sons. She was born in Switzerland to American parents, which gives her the advantage of seeing Swiss customs through the lens of both an insider and an outsider. This has influenced her desire to embrace all things Swiss and was partly what attracted her to her husband – his family’s perfect traditional Swiss chalet. Although the mother-in-law that came with the chalet was probably not exactly what she hoped for. Agnes was a successful member of the cantonal (state) police in the Financial Crimes division, but after her husband’s death decided a change of situation would ease her return to work. She started Book One new to the Violent Crimes division and let’s just say that it was quick immersion. 

That had to be quite a shock going from more sophisticated criminals to the more brutal. How does Julien enter her life and where does he come from?

Julien Vallotton came into Agnes’s life in Swiss Vendetta when a woman was found murdered on the grounds of his family home, Chateau Vallotton. He is completely Swiss – his family have been there longer than it’s been a country, beginning construction on their stronghold in the 11th century. At the same time, his wealth and personality make him a cosmopolitan figure. He was part of the complicated situation Agnes found herself in during her first murder case. You’re right, it is a disturbing event to come up against your first killer. Add to that the nature of the crime scene – Agnes and her colleagues were trapped by a snowstorm, forced to sleep in the very chateau where the murder occurred. With the power out and cold descending it would be a difficult situation for any police officer, more difficult for Agnes heading up her first murder investigation. Julien Vallotton wasn’t a suspect in the crime due to the timing of his arrival, therefore he was a logical ally. That’s where their story starts.
Sounds like a great recipe for a relationship to start. Now Agnes has one case under her belt. What can we expect from her return to action?
Agnes delves into the world of luxury watches after a renowned watchmaker, Guy Chavanon, dies under suspicious circumstances while attending a reception at his son’s boarding school. Watchmaking is a precise business but nothing about this case seems precise and when strange things happen at the boarding school Agnes has to wonder if Chavanon was the intended victim. Ultimately, timing is the key to catching the killer, and perhaps toward finding love.
I guess we’ll have to watch and see how her case goes this time. Run down the details for us. When can we get our hands on your new book?
well-timed murder final cover.jpg
You can pre-order now anywhere books are sold: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indie Bound, Apple and Books-A-Million. A Well-Timed Murder releases in stores and electronically February 6th, when I also visit stores in Little Rock, AR, Madisonville, Louisville and Lexington, KY, Chattanooga and Knoxville, TN, Atlanta (Woodstock), GA, Houston, TX, and Christiansburg and Roanoke, VA. The details are on my website. One of the great pleasures of writing a book is meeting the people who read it!  
Thanks so much for stopping by and keeping us informed about your progress. I wish you all the best with your new adventure and hope we will hear back from you with your next one.

well-timed murder final cover.jpg


Meet The Author Monday – Tracee de Hahn

Today on Meet The Author Monday, we have Tracee de Hahn, who launched the first of her Agnes Luthi Mysteries books, Swiss Vendetta,  on February 7th, 2017. As usual, we will put my comments/questions in BLUE and Tracee will be in GREEN.
Swiss Vendetta cover final  copy.jpg
Thanks for stopping by Tracee. I hope your book launch is going well. I understand your love affair with reading has an interesting start.
My mother taught me to read at a very early age (probably because I rolled off a changing table and she started the flash cards to counter the imagined brain damage!). I truly can’t remember not being able to read…. from the time I was in pre-school I had my nose in a book.

Watch for ink on the nose that way. What genre usually pulls you in?
Mystery first (expand it to suspense….). Then historical fiction. Third would probably be some of the classics (Jane Austin, Tolstoy)

Mother got you reading, but I understand it was your father who inspired you to write?
My father had the idea for a screen play and since I loved to read he asked me about it. We taught ourselves and moved on to write a few thrillers together. I was practicing architecture and my father is a physician so we had to learn together. It was a lot of fun. I kept writing and shifted to mystery – as my first love!

I suppose it is pretty easy to guess your chosen genre to write then, isn’t it?

I had guessed that would be your answer. Ho was your journey from idea to publishing that first mystery?
I had a friend read a manuscript and insist I had to submit it. I realized she wouldn’t let it go, so I went to the Alkongian Writers Conference in NY – the pitch fest. That was a wonderful in to the world of writers and publishing. I met my agent there (Paula Munier of Talcott Notch) and very quickly I signed with St Martins/Minotaur for a two book deal. I’ve found that conferences are an amazing way to meet fellow writers and also learn about the profession.

Congratulations again on the signing. That’s amazing. Aside from writing, tell my readers a little bit about your personal life? Do you have a day job, and what other hobbies do you pursue?
Writing is my day job right now (lucky me!). I have too many hobbies – painting (portraits are my favorite but that doesn’t mean I’m any good. Dogs are better than people in terms of results….), travel (Europe and India right now), cooking (I’m a follow the recipes person mainly! My husband is the truly creative cook).
My husband is Swiss, and living there for several years is the inspiration for my book. Lastly we have two Jack Russell Terriers, and one Flemish Giant Rabbit (that came with the house)!

Painting and writing, quite the creative. Suppose you had to leave something for your husband to be the experimental one with, huh? It’s been a pleasure getting to know you Tracee and I wish you continued success with your books. Maybe stop back by when book two is ready for publication and we can update everyone.

For those looking for more information or to follow up on Tracee’s work, you can find her at the following links.

Twitter: @LuthiMysteries


And if any authors out there reading this want to be featured on Meet The Author Monday, You can CLICK HERE for more information.