Awesome Romance Author Zia Westfield writes romantic suspense. Maybe that’s why she loves to put dead bodies in her books.
Take it away Zia…
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m Zia Westfield. I’m a mom, a teacher and a romantic suspense author. I live in Tokyo, Japan, which is its own adventure. Living in another country requires a dose of humor, considerable patience and a willingness to learn.
What was the most interesting place you ever visited?
I’ve been fortunate to be able to do quite a lot of traveling overseas, though once the kids came along, it’s been mostly trips back to California. While I’ve seen a lot of Japan, there are many more places I want to see, like Hiroshima and Okinawa.
I also lived four years in London, not far from Sherlock Holmes’ flat! As an avid Regency fan, especially of Georgette Heyer, I loved being able to walk down streets and visit parks and places mentioned in her novels. While there, I even got to attend talks by Philippa Gregory and Colin Dexter (Inspector Morse). Best of all, London is great jumping off point to visit Europe. It wasn’t always easy to travel with a baby (and later two), I visited family in Italy a few times, went to Paris on the Eurostar, and hopped over to Dublin for a long weekend.
When did you start writing and when did you finish your first novel?
I’ve always been involved in writing, such as working on my school newspaper. Writing articles dealt with facts. Authors, on the other hand, created magic. I never thought I could be one. But I had a lot of time in London on my own, and I began trying to write short stories.
When we returned to Tokyo, I decided to write my first novel, a romantic suspense. After my kids were in bed, I’d type. It took a long time, but eventually I reached the end. I sent that manuscript off to Harlequin where it was rejected despite my belief that it was the best novel ever! I was crushed. But I had a choice—give up, or keep writing. I kept writing. It took 6 years to reach that publishing goal, but I did it.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
I like dead bodies. Seriously. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration. Let’s say, I like my stories to contain dead bodies. I’ve been popping mysteries like breath mints since the second grade. It’s the challenge of the puzzles that always get me. I didn’t discover romance until college. Then my mom brought home a Harlequin Intrigue and I fell in love. Mystery and romance all together. It’s better than chocolate!
What other genres of novel would you love to write?
I actually will be republishing a paranormal romance series. I wrote this series with another awesome writer. We published under the pen name Gabriella Hewitt. It’s a paranormal series based on Aztec mythology. We had a lot of fun with the stories and are excited to be able to put them out once again. Together we are planning to publish new stories.
What project are you working on now or what will you publish next?
I just hit The End on my next romantic suspense, Killer Lies. It’s set in the same fictional upstate New York city of Carville. It features another of the detectives who makes an appearance in Killer Secrets. Next on my list is to tackle a free read based on this same story world.
With bills to pay, an orphaned niece to raise and her job on the line, Gemma Fitzgibbons needs a front-page story in order to keep her job. A serial killer and a corrupt detective, whose father was accused of corruption, offer headline possibilities, but when she confronts Jack Donahue, the detective is nothing like she expected.
Jack considers reporters to be bottom-feeders, and deep into the investigation of a series of murders in which the victim is posed with a wedding veil, he doesn’t have the time or inclination to delve into the scandal that ruined his father’s career. But Gemma won’t take no for an answer. Neither will she stop investigating the Wedding Veil Killer. When she attracts the attention of the killer, Jack is assigned to keep her safe. But Gemma isn’t about to hide away. She intends to use the leads she’s developed to help him track down the person responsible for the gruesome murders.
Torn between his dislike of reporters and his admiration for the smart, sexy, reporter he’s drawn deeper into the scandal in his father’s past–a scandal that someone will kill to keep hidden.
But, when Gemma uncovers secrets about the scandal, and her life is threatened, Jack is determined to protect her. It’s also time to make a choice–keep the past stay buried or fight for the future.