Friday, July 12, 2013

Book Tour - "Defending Welton" by Kelli Kretzchmar

Mystery - Detective 
Date Published:  5/9/2013

Wellton, Arizona. Population 2,864… and falling. Something - or someone - is killing the kids in town, and the Wellton Police Department is called in to investigate the untimely deaths.
Officer Trent Buckley has lived in Wellton since the day he was born, and he’s been trying to get out of the small, dead-end town ever since.  Just when he has a shot at a transfer to Tucson, a disturbing case lands in his lap, one that has him working with Yuma Sun reporter – and ex-lover – Sarah Goodwin.  Trent is forced to push aside his resentment for Wellton and settle his own personal demons to focus on keeping more kids from dying in his town.
Chief John Walker has lived in Wellton for over thirty years.  When kids start getting sick and dying, it takes all his courage to face his own past and solve the case.  With the help of his best cop, Officer Buckley, Walker is determined to stop the deaths in his town, and keep them both alive in the process.
As the pair discovers what, or who, is behind the mysterious deaths, will two small-town cops be able to stay alive long enough to put a stop to it before any more kids have to die?

Kelli Kretzschmar
Kelli Kretzschmar, author of the mystery novel Defending Wellton, researched the novel by visiting Wellton, Arizona, and interviewing several officers of the Wellton Police Department.  Kretzschmar says, “I needed to actually experience the feeling of the small town in order to capture Trent’s frustration in feeling stuck there.  And speaking with the Wellton Police Department proved invaluable and has given me a lot of material for a second book in the Wellton series.”

Kretzschmar resides in Rancho Santa Margarita, California with her husband and three children. Although this is her first published novel, she says there will be more to come.  “Writing is an exciting hobby,” says Kretzschmar. “I have lots of characters in my mind that are ready to come to life on paper.  Currently, I’m working on three more novels and expect my next to be released this winter.” When asked to describe what she enjoys most about writing, Kretzschmar states, “There's a point I get to in the process of writing when the characters just start acting things out on their own, and I'm just there to record it all on paper.”

A full-time Marketing Manager for a high-technology company, Kretzschmar finds time to write between an active schedule of work, family life, and practicing her most recent passion, Krav Maga. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Cal State Long Beach.


Trent spoke slowly, “Sarah, you can’t go to Wellton right now.  In fact, I’d really like you to wait to run this story.”  At her appalled glare, he continued, “Listen, there’s definitely something going on in town, but we need to keep this on the down-low until the hospital can figure it out.”

“Trent, I’m a reporter.  There’s never anything going on in Wellton, and now when I finally have something of interest to report on, you’re asking me not to?”

“Yes, that’s exactly what I’m asking you. It would mean a lot if you could just hold off.”

“I don’t get it.  Why does this mean so much to you?  Is there more you’re not telling me?”

Trent didn’t want to lie to her.  He couldn’t.  But he also couldn’t tell her about the child from this morning.  “The chief asked me to come, to plead with you to hold off.  You know how the town is, Sarah.  If a story broke about kids dying in Wellton, the people would go ballistic.  The hospital would be overwhelmed with concerned parents, and the hospital is not equipped to handle something like that.  I’m begging you, please hold off just until we know more.”  His voice was soft and pleading.

Sarah just stood and stared curiously at him for a minute.  Just when Trent was almost ready to give up and walk out, she said, “Fine.  I’ll hold the story.  I don’t think you’re telling me everything, and I’m still going to dig around, but I won’t run anything in the Sun.”  Then she added, “Yet.”

and now for a little interview with Kelli!

1. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else?

I always enjoyed writing.  I remember writing stories and poems when I was a kid.  As I got older, those stories became longer and more complex.  It was always a bucket-list goal of mine to publish a novel, and I’m proud of myself for doing it with
Defending Wellton.  Right now I work full time as a Marketing Manager where I get to use my writing skills in corporate communications, which I love.  I’ll continue to write novels because I love it, but I can’t see myself writing full time quite yet.  Maybe someday.2. How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
It took a year for me to write Defending Wellton.  I’m a wife and mother with a full time job and lots of things always keeping me busy.  I tried to write whenever I had spare time.  It took me eight months to write the novel and about four months of editing and re-writing.

3. How do you come up with themes for your stories?
I can pick anything to write about!  There are so many interesting people I’ve met in my life that I can write a story about.  Plus, I know what kinds of things I enjoy reading about, so I pick themes that are interesting and relatable.4. Do you have a schedule of when you write?

I don’t.  Like I mentioned, my life is extremely busy, so I try to fit in my writing whenever I have free time.  My first priority is my family, so if I feel like I’m starting to neglect them because I’m writing all the time, I’ll take a break.  When I was writing
Defending Wellton, there was a period of about a month where I didn’t write a single word.  And once I was finished writing, I didn’t start editing until another month had passed.5. How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
Writing is something I do for fun in my free time.  It relaxes me.  When I need some down time from my crazy schedule, I’ll write.  I always try to keep my priorities straight.6. What elements do you think make a great story line?

First off, there needs to be awesome characters with real traits, personalities, and problems.  There needs to be some element of suspense or conflict that carries the reader through the novel, motivating the reader to continue.  And for me, I’ve got to have a happy ending!
7. What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
The hardest thing for me was self-doubt.  I don’t outline a story before I write it.  I just wing it.  When I sit down at my laptop, I don’t know what I’m going to write until I get into my characters’ heads, and they just start acting on their own.  Trusting that process is sometimes difficult.  Believing in my characters instead of having a plan is a bit scary.8. How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite? Defending Wellton is the first book I have completed, edited, and published.  I am currently about halfway through my next novel.  It is a young adult novel that is completely different than Defending Wellton.9. Do you have a favorite character?
I really love Officer Trent Buckley.  He’s brave and an overall good man.  But this boy from my new novel might give Trent a run for his money.  Sebastian is fun, easy-going, and has some really weird quirks.  Plus, he’s gorgeous, of course.10. Where do you write?
I write at home on my laptop.  Usually at my breakfast counter.

11. When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took?

I chose self-publishing because I was not looking for fame or fortune.  I wanted to publish Defending Wellton as a personal goal and accomplishment.  Self-publishing is inexpensive and quick.  The drawback though is that I need to spend more time on marketing.  Good thing I’m a career Marketing Manager.
12. Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What do they think?
My family loves Defending Wellton. Only my husband and kids knew I was writing it.  I didn’t’ tell anyone else, because I wasn’t sure if I was even going to publish it.  But now that they have all read it, I’ve gotten great feedback.  They were all very surprised and proud of me..

13. What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?
I enjoy spending time with my family, watching a good movie, reading a good book, and going to the gym.  

14. What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing?
I would say to just go for it.  If you want to write, you have got to just get started and write.  Don’t second-guess yourself.  Don’t try to be perfect.  Just sit down at your computer and go for it.  You might surprise yourself.

16. What is your favorite book? Favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write?
I don’t have a favorite book or a favorite author.  I enjoy reading Jessica Sorensen’s work because her novels are character-focused and really draw me in.  I absolutely loved The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski and Hopeless by Colleen Hoover.17. Do you have any go-to people when writing a book that help you with your story lines as well as editing, beta reading and such?
I handle the storyline on my own.  In the process of editing Defending Wellton, I had a few beta readers and a couple of people who helped me edit.  My friend Michelle helped me the most with editing.18. Are you working on anything now?

I’m working on a young adult novel about a high school senior girl named Kendra who experiences something horrible and is forced to make some very difficult decisions.  In the meantime, she meets two boys – cousins, Nicolás and Sebastian Veneto – who each have a very different way of helping her heal.

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