My guest today is the star of the Tawny Lindholm Thriller series by author Debbie Burke. A quick peek at Debbie’s bio and then we’ll see what Tawny has to share with us.
Debbie Burke is a suspense novelist, staff writer for two senior newspapers, and blogger at The Kill Zone, a popular website covering crime fiction. Her Tawny Lindholm Thriller series plunges the widowed 50-ish heroine into fast-paced twisty plots with quirky characters and snappy dialogue. As a founding member of the Authors of the Flathead, Debbie is active in the vibrant Montana writing community and helps plan the annual Flathead River Writers Conference. She enjoys speaking at book clubs and local schools, as well as mentoring young writers.
Betty: How would you describe your childhood?
Tawny: I grew up naïve and sheltered in a small Montana town where everyone knew everyone. I married young to a man 15 years older who protected me more than I realized. After he died, I learned the hard way that trusting the wrong person can be fatal.
Betty: What kind of schooling did you have? Did you enjoy it?
Tawny: Don’t ask! I hated school and was always this close to flunking out because I couldn’t read or spell. My alcoholic dad used to say, “It’s a good thing you’re pretty, honey, ’cause you sure are dumb.” Later I learned about dyslexia but that early stigma still dogs me.
Betty: What do you think is your greatest achievement? Why?
Tawny: Being a loyal friend whom people trust and feel safe confiding their secrets to. My lover and boss is Tillman Rosenbaum, a 6’7” bombastic attorney who even intimidates judges. Tillman doesn’t trust anyone but he trusts me. He always says my superpower is I can get clients to tell me what they’re too afraid to tell him. In my job as his investigator, that ability compensates for my bad spelling!
Betty: What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
Tawny: Too many to count. As a fair-skinned redhead, when I blush, everybody knows it. Happens often!
Betty: If you could change one thing from your past, what would it be and why?
Tawny: I wouldn’t have gotten into a situation where I had to kill a man in self-defense.
Betty: What’s your greatest fear? Who else knows about it?
Tawny: Letting down someone I love who depends on me.
Betty: How much of your true self do you share with others?
Tawny: Way too much. Most of the time, I’m an open book. In my job, I have to work hard to keep feelings hidden, especially in the courtroom.
Betty: Are you close to your family? Do you wish your relationship with them was different in any way? If so, how?
Tawny: I still miss my late husband. My son Neal reminds me of him: hard-working, conscientious, but also mischievous. My daughter Emma…well, I feel like a failure. She’s in her 30s going on 13, as irresponsible as Neal is responsible. She flits from one man to another, one job to another, always looking for greener grass. I love her but, oh Lord, she makes me crazy. Tillman’s three children I cherish as if I’d given birth to them. He’s a good provider but a lousy father and it’s an ongoing challenge to build a bridge across their estrangement.
Betty: What characteristics are you looking for in a potential lover/spouse?
Tawny: I tell you one thing for sure—Tillman has none of the characteristics I would have chosen. He’s confrontational, I’m conciliatory. He loves the spotlight, I shrink from it. He’s logical and rational, I’m emotional. He’s cynical, I’m too trusting. We’re yin and yang. Sometimes we balance each other, sometimes we’re totally out of whack. But you can’t help who you fall in love with. Since the day we met, it’s never been dull.
Betty: How do you like to relax? What kind of entertainment do you enjoy?
Tawny: Physical activities like hiking in the mountains, Zumba, working in my garden. Making love with Tillman. Is that TMI?
Investigator Tawny Lindholm broke Rule #1: Don’t sleep with the guy who signs your paycheck. She loves her boss, Tillman Rosenbaum, a brilliant, high-powered attorney, but his dysfunctional family scares her. After she rescues his teenage daughter from a suicide attempt, she can’t turn away from the troubled girl. Meanwhile, a drone is watching Tillman’s every move, manipulated by powerful enemies who are determined to destroy him and everyone he loves. Can Tawny protect his children and unravel the treacherous plot against him?
Thanks to Tawny for stopping by and chatting with us. I’m sure she has to get back to work in Debbie’s next book, but it’s been fun getting to know her.
It’s a brand new year and I hope it’s a peaceful, healthy, and prosperous one for you! Happy reading!
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