Wendy and I are both scheduled to be panelists at next month’s Malice Domestic conference. We’ll be chatting about paranormal mysteries together, so it made sense to me to reach out – spiritually, as well as literally – to a sister “woo woo” author!

How does a book start for you?

Each of my books has started with the location. The first three books in my Cali May mysteries series are set in Arizona, where my husband and I lived for 23 years, up to 2017. In each case, I chose a place in the Sonoran Desert with a landmark, and researched the history, culture, and environment. Each book revolves around an event, decision or urban myth in the past that has led to a murder in the present. There are so many interesting facts about Arizona, from water rights, to Native American culture, to the amazingly diverse range of wildflowers and desert animals that I plenty of material for storytelling.

Who in your latest book has surprised you most – and why?

My latest published book, Magnolia Murders, takes place in Sedona, AZ. None of the characters are who they claim or appear to be. Usually I have the murderer all figured out, but in this book the characters decided it was someone else. So I’d have to say the murderer. 

When and/or where is your latest book set and is there a story behind that setting?

The setting plays a large part in Magnolia Murders. Cali May and Daniel Silvertree travel to Sedona to enjoy a relaxing and romantic honeymoon. The story takes place in a Sears kit house called the Magnolia House Bed and Breakfast. In the 1920s it was Sears’ largest floorpan, a ten room colonial, and when it was built in the story, it represented wealth, privilege, and upper class. This become important when Cali realizes this impressive historic home harbors a sobbing spirit, a child missing since the 1930’s, and more than one dead body.

What are you working on now?

I’ve just finished the fourth Cali May mystery, set in Florida, entitled Evil in the Water. In 2017 my husband and I moved to Fort Myers Beach, Florida on the Gulf Coast. In the meantime, Cali May researched her genealogy and discovered a long lost cousin living on one of the many Gulf islands. While visiting her new found cousin, she literally trips over a dead body, is confronted by the spirits of several Spanish settlers, and witchcraft. Evil in the Water will be published in 2019. 

Which question didn’t I ask you that I should have?

The Cali May mysteries series includes a paranormal element. Why?I believe everyone has a superpower unique to them, i.e. writing, art, singing, knitting, etc. I decided I wanted Cali to have a super power she didn’t know about until she’s faced with the most difficult time of her life. When her first husband dies from cancer after 35 years of wedded bliss, she grieves so hard and long that she begins to see things. In the beginning as she learns more about her newly-discovered, controversial talent, she realizes she’s seeing the spirits of murder victims.

By day Wendy Fallon is a technical writer, and by night and on weekends she’s an artist and author of paranormal murder mysteries to stay sane. Having written non-fiction for the Healthcare industry for several years, Fallon joined the National and Desert Sleuths Chapters of Sisters in Crime in 2015 to explore her dark side. In 2018 she launched her series, Cali May Mysteries, and has written three books in the series, published by Short on Time Books. 

In 2017, Fallon, her husband, and miniature dachshund moved from Arizona to the Gulf Coast of Florida. Although Fallon’s fourth book in the series will be published in 2019 and is set in Florida, her character, Cali May, was not impressed, and has elected, except for brief visits elsewhere, to continue to live in Arizona.