Introducing Author Vicki Tyley

This morning, I'd like to welcome Australian author Vicki Tyley to my blog. If you love mystery novels, I urge you to look for Vicki's books. I highly recommend them.

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Two of the most common questions I’m asked as a writer are:
Vicki Tyley, bestselling author of mystery and suspense

1. Where do you get your ideas?

2. Do you base your characters on real people? 

The answer to the first question is quite simple: the news. Each of my stories is inspired by a real murder case, the more unusual the better. After I’ve applied a series of what-ifs to it, the original true crime is so bent out of shape, it’s unlikely anyone would recognize the case that sparked it.

The germ of the idea for my most recent mystery, Bitter Nothings, came after hearing about the tragic murder of a young family. A murder with no apparent motive. What would drive someone to slay a whole family?

Bitter Nothings is a psychological whodunnit with a dysfunctional extended Australian family at its core. There’s no violence or gore in the book and the children’s deaths are only touched upon.

Talking of family brings us back to the second question: Do you base your characters on real people?

My characters are not usually based on specific people but rather grow from my observations of people over the years. Empathy is a good trait for a writer to possess. It makes getting inside your characters’ heads much easier. I’m glad no one can see me writing, because I often act out the scene. Not a good look.

Details drawn from real people and real life experiences help make fictional characters come alive, but it wasn’t until Bitter Nothings that I delved into my own family. And that’s probably because enough years have passed that I can now talk openly about it. In Bitter Nothings, the protagonist’s mother had committed suicide on what would’ve been her and her estranged husband’s thirtieth wedding anniversary. In one of those truth-is-stranger-than-fiction twists, my mother committed suicide on my parents’ twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Obviously the details and motives are different and my parents were still married, but the emotion and questions are still the same. 

The two brothers in Bitter Nothings are loosely modeled on my own two brothers (except my brothers can tolerate each other even less than the brothers in the story can). However, that’s as far as the similarities go to my own situation. Dervla, the sister in the story, is nothing like myself or any of my three sisters.

Want to say hello or ask a question, email Vicki at


Eucalypt Habitat – Living in rural Australia photoblog:

Find Bitter Nothings:


Vicki said...

Thanks for having me, Donna. :)

Alice said...

Hello Ms. Tyley,

Just dropping in to say that I am a mystery/crime/suspense reader and I have read all 6 of your stories and will be reading them again for sure. I love that you don't need to add any gore, blood and guts or overly sexual parts.

Your stories are stories that we as a reader can associate with in true life situations and you are able to draw out different emotions from us throughout your stories and you make us feel like we are part of the story. Plus you have the ability at preventing a reader from guessing the correct perpetrator until the very end of your books which is amazing.

You stated above that you act out the scenes while writing a story, I would actually love to see an author go through those acts. That tells me that you are a perfectionist for sure.

I highly recommend all of your book's. I also have the "author alert" site that alerts readers the minute a new book is out and you are at the tippity top of my list.

Donna Fasano congratulations on achieving your awards and having your dream come true !! 97 % of my reading is devoted to reading new authors and I am thrilled when I weed through many books and can catch a "gem" of a new writer and I want their dream to come true as you have achieved.

Vicki said...

Hi Alice,

I'm thrilled you enjoy my books so much. I'm honored to have a reader like you and touched that you’ve taken the time to explain why my books appeal to you. It means more than I can say.

Thanks again.