Victoria Houston: A Biographical Sketch
She is the author of the Loon Lake Mystery Series -- DEAD ANGLER, DEAD CREEK, DEAD WATER, DEAD FRENZY, DEAD HOT MAMA, DEAD JITTERBUG, DEAD BOOGIE, DEAD MADONNA, DEAD HOT SHOT, DEAD RENEGADE. DEAD DECEIVER, DEAD TEASE and DEAD INSIDER, thirteenth in the series, will be published in June 2013 in hardcover, trade paperback and as an eBook from Tyrus Books. The mysteries are set in the Northwoods of Wisconsin against a background of fishing – fly fishing as well as fishing for muskie, bass, bluegill and walleyes.
Houston’s mystery series was featured in a story on the front page of The Wall Street Journal (January 20, 2004) and on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation with Neal Conan” (February 2, 2006). Both can be seen/heard on the website: www.victoriahouston.com.
She has also written six non-fiction books. An award-winning author specializing in family issues, Houston’s non-fiction books include the highly recommended ALONE AFTER SCHOOL: A Self-Care Guide for Latchkey Children and Their Parents (Prentice Hall, 1985); the national bestseller, LOVING A YOUNGER MAN: How Women Are Finding and Enjoying a Better Relationship (Contemporary Books (1987); Pocket Books (1988); MAKING IT WORK: Finding the Time and Energy For Your Career, Marriage, Children and Self (Contemporary Books, 1990) -- which was published by Simon & Schuster's Fireside imprint in August 1991 as a trade paperback titled MAKING IT WORK: Creative Solutions For Balancing Your Career, Marriage, Children And Personal Life. Houston co-authored RESTORE YOURSELF: A Woman’s Guide to Reviving Her Libido and Passion for Life (The Berkley Publishing Group/2001) with Dr. James Simon, a Past President of the North American Menopause Society.
A few words from the author:
I was born and raised in Rhinelander, WI, in the heart of the fishing culture that backgrounds my mysteries. I grew up fishing for walleye and bluegills and muskie – and when I turned fifty, I learned to fly fish!
I’ve always had an aptitude for writing (not singing, for sure as the nuns at St. Mary’s told me to "just move your lips") and won a full scholarship to Bennington College in Vermont. Went on to have three children, marry and divorce twice. My second husband was 9 years younger, hence my non-fiction book, LOVING A YOUNGER MAN, which I wrote 25 years ago. We broke up for reasons that had nothing to do with the age difference.
After a decade of magazine and newspaper feature writing – the source of my non-fiction books -- I directed promotion and publicity for Andrews & McMeel/Universal Press Syndicate during which time I had the privilege of working with outstanding writers and cartoonists such as Abigail Van Buren, Gary Larson, Erma Bombeck and Garry Trudeau. Later I joined Jane Mobley Associates, a public relations firm based in Kansas City.
I moved back to Rhinelander in 1996 (having been gone for over 30 years) where I now hunt, fish and write mysteries. Over the years, I have published 23 books – a fact that surprises the hell out of me as I never finished college. I am just starting my 14th Loon Lake Mystery.
My influences are the happenings in the world around me and I continue to be a fanatic newspaper reader devouring The New York Times and Wall Street Journal daily. My favorite authors are Willa Cather, Edith Wharton (Rhinelander is named after her uncle who brought the railroad through in late 1800s), early Hemingway and early John Updike, Raymond Chandler and Ross Thomas. Growing up I was an avid Nancy Drew/Agatha Christie fan. Oh, and G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown series, too. I also enjoy biographies such as the one about Steve Jobs. And poetry! I don’t think I could get through the day without some Mary Oliver and Billy Collins to name a few.
I love movies -- Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, Silver Linings Playbook, The Descendants, Pulp Fiction and Gone With the Wind – and music. I’m currently listening to Calexico, Avett Brothers and Sea Wolf. Other favorites range from Elvis, the Beach Boys, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan and the Beatles to Adele, Emmy Lou Harris and Aimee Mann. Classical music and jazz round out my listening.
When it comes to the books, I have always worked on a Mac and just treated myself to an iPad. When not writing, I run, play tennis and do Pilates. Oh, and I fish!!
Frequently Asked Questions from Readers:
What is the working title of your next book? Dead Lil’ Hustler
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Based on crimes occurring in the national forests across the country. Too soon to say more. The title comes from a fishing lure.
What genre does your book fall under? Mystery: police procedural.
What is the one sentence synopsis for the book? Murder, mayhem and fishing in northern Wisconsin.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I am published by Tyrus Books, the crime fiction imprint of F&W Publishing/Adams Media.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? A book always takes me a full year from notes to final draft as I revise every scene as I go along.
Who or what inspired you to write this book? Fear. As in the need to make a living.
Seriously, my books are drawn from the memories I have growing up in this wonderful, gorgeous country – the lakes, the pines, the eagles and the wolves.
What else about the book might pique the reader's interest? I make my books easy to read and great escapes from the everyday world.