Q&A With Wendy Whitman
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Q&A With Wendy Whitman
Today I have the pleasure of doing a Q&A with a very interesting woman Wendy Whitman. Not only has Whitman written the crime novel Premonition, she has also worked for fifteen years at Court TV and worked several more years at HLN for the Nancy Grace show. That is quite the impressive list.
Q: So Wendy, would you say your time on both Court TV and HLN inspired the writing behind your novel Premonition?
A: Absolutely! After working in crime journalism for nearly twenty years and seeing so many horrendous murder cases I always felt I had a book in me. I had always assumed I would write a nonfiction book based on maybe a case we had covered or my take on the legal system and its failings – something like that. But one night I realized how I could do everything I wanted to do in a fictitious crime thriller. I stayed up all night and didn’t stop writing. And that was the beginning of Premonition. I consider it in many ways my tribute to murder victims. I tried to convey what it’s like to be murdered as well as the effect covering heinous murder cases has on the producers. I definitely drew on my experiences at both Court TV and Nancy’s show to create the novel. Additionally, I wove twenty true cases throughout the book through the protagonist’s thoughts which I think is pretty unique for a fictitious crime thriller. I really put my heart and soul into Premonition and hope readers appreciate what I was trying to do and why I wrote it.
Q: In your Instagram bio I see that your sequel to Premonition comes out in 2023. What’s the title of the sequel and if you can tell us without spoilers what can fans expect in the sequel?
A: The sequel is titled Retribution and it picks up where the first book left off. It is filled with twists and turns and I think anyone who enjoyed Premonition will be riveted by Retribution. I wrote it mainly from the killer’s point of view which I think worked really well. In my experience, readers are fascinated by the way a killer thinks and love getting into the mind of a psychopath. Like I did in Premonition, I included some real cases in the narrative to give the novel a touch of realism. Many of the same characters are in the sequel and further developed. There are some important new additions as well. I love the way it came out and think people will love the book, especially the ending. As soon as pre orders are live I will let you know, but the book should be released late June or July 2023.
Q: Is Premonition, and its sequel going to be a series, a trilogy or a duology?
A: As of now I’m not entirely sure. I actually wrote the first page of what would be the third book as soon as I finished Retribution. But over the past month or so I thought about it and could either write it as a trilogy or end the series with Retribution. Both options would work so I’ll give it some more thought over the coming months and make a decision. I have some great ideas for a new book with different characters so it will be a difficult decision but it might be fun to try something different.
Q: What was it like working at Court TV and then HLN for Nancy Grace? From the times I saw Nancy Grace on tv she seems like a tough no nonsense lady which I like.
A: The time I spent at both Court TV and on Nancy’s show were the best, most rewarding professional years of my career. We really cared about how we covered murder cases and were very sensitive to the people involved such as the victims’ families and friends. We also felt we were doing a great service by educating people about how the legal system works. We prided ourselves on getting things right and presenting cases compassionately and fairly. Nancy is a very good friend of mine and my guardian angel. We have a very special relationship and I can’t say enough good things about her. She has also been very supportive about my writing and I have to say she means the world to me. During my time on her show I was on air for many important cases such as Casey Anthony and the Jodi Arias trial. I think we did a great job covering those and many other murder trials.
Q: What is your advice to anyone who wants to write in the same genre as you do?
A: People always say write what you know and I think that is crucial to a finished product the author will be happy with. I found that as I wrote Premonition and then Retribution, you continually draw on your experiences, thoughts, and the people who have impacted your life. There is really no way to write and not do that. But the most important piece of advice I would give any aspiring author is to write about something you are passionate about. Then the words will flow.
Q: What’s your advice to anyone who wants to work for news stations like Court TV and HLN?
A: I absolutely loved working at Court TV and HLN and my advice would be that you have to be committed and very dedicated to work in TV journalism in general. To specifically cover murder cases and crime you need to be sensitive to the impact the coverage has on people involved in the actual cases such as the families etc. And you need to be willing to work very long hours and be a team player. The end result will be your reward for all your hard work.