Interview with Yolanda Renée: Fall 2023 Flash Fiction Contest Runner Up

Tuesday, April 23, 2024
Yolanda’s Bio:
Yolanda Renée, author of the Detective Quaid Mystery Series, discovered her love of mysteries after earning her first library card. Now, she writes the kind of books she wants to read, including poetry, but flash fiction is an addiction she hopes has no cure. Renée has published short stories in two anthologies – Parallels: Felix Was Here and Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime. Moving from corporate accounting to give her imagination full reign, she now watches the waves break while penning her first noir and finishing book seven of the Detective Quaid Series. Read more of her work at Defending the Pen or connect with her on Facebook or X @YolandaRenee

If you haven't done so already, check out Yolanda's award-winning story "Conundrum" and then return here for a chat with the author. 

WOW: Congratulations on placing in the Fall 2023 Flash Fiction Contest! What excited you most about writing this story? 

Yolanda: I wanted to explore friendship and our expectations of how our lives will play out. 

WOW: What did you learn about yourself or your writing while crafting this piece? 

Yolanda: I worked hard to stick to the title, “Conundrum.” I could see myself in this piece and lived something similar. But many who’ve read the story wanted a more descriptive ending like the drink in the face. I agree I could have gone a step further. But instead of the drink in the face, or a whispered response such as, “Ted wanted full custody. I say, why not. The boys obviously love you.” I can attest to the fact that the whispered response wouldn’t have ended any better than the drink in the face. What I’ve learned is that there is no easy answer in life or fiction. 

WOW: I agree. Your ending is more understated yet much more complex than a drink in the face. Please tell us more about your love for mystery stories and mystery writing! What interests you most about the genre? Are you writing any mystery stories right now? 

Yolanda: I grew up fascinated with mysteries since reading Nancy Drew and Judy Bolton via my first library card in the fourth grade. And then reading the mystery writers of the past two centuries. I loved learning that Edgar Allan Poe is considered the founder of detective fiction. He’s a particular favorite of mine since he also wrote poetry, horror, and mystery, and like me, combines all three. I love crafting a good tale and especially keeping my readers clueless. It’s as much fun as solving the plots of other mystery crafters. My interest is always the motivation behind the crime. The antagonist and their background are as important in my stories as the protagonists. I’m currently working on a noir and finishing the 7th book in my Detective Quaid Mystery Series set in Alaska. 

WOW: Your description makes the genre sound so exciting, and I can see why you’re drawn to it. Enjoy the process of writing the 7th book in your mystery series! What are you reading right now, and why did you choose to read it? 

Yolanda: I enjoy reading stories based on history or biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs. I’m currently reading Myrna Loy’s memoir Being and Becoming. I love black and white movies, and she’s a favorite, along with William Powell from The Thin Man Movies. I also read and review scripts for Zoodiker, and I’m a developmental editor for some of my favorite authors. 

WOW: If you could give your younger self one piece of writing advice, what would it be and why? 

Yolanda: I wish I’d heard this quote when younger: “Believe in yourself, and your dreams will dance towards you!” Low self-confidence has always haunted me. Believing I could accomplish anything was more a test of will than a true belief in self. I’m glad to say I’ve turned that around, although stubbornness will forever be part of who I am. 

WOW: I like that image of dreams dancing towards you. That’s a mantra to live by! Anything else you’d like to add? 

Yolanda: WOW is an asset to writers, and I’m super proud to have had a story place in the top ten. Thank you. 

WOW: Thank you for sharing your story and your inspiring responses with us. Happy writing! 

 Interviewed by Anne Greenawalt, founder and editor-in-chief of Sport Stories Press, which publishes sports books by, for, and about sportswomen and amateur athletes and offers developmental editing and ghostwriting services to partially fund the press. Connect on Twitter @greenmachine459.


Yolanda Renée said...

Thanks again, Ann. It was a pleasure to participate and an honor to place.

Elephant's Child said...

Thanks for this insightful interview - to both of you. And congratulations Renee.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Yolanda and Ann - well done for an interesting interview, and for being runner- up ... Conundrum - sounds intriguing - cheers Hilary

Kelly Steel said...

Congratulations Renee! Awesome interview.

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