Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Trish Esden

Trish Esden loves museums, gardens, wilderness, dogs and birds, in various order depending on the day. She lives in Northern Vermont where she deals antiques with her husband, a profession she’s been involved with since her teens. Don’t ask what her favorite type of antique is. She loves hunting down old bottles and rusty barn junk as much as she enjoys fine art and furnishings.

Esden's new novel is A Wealth of Deception.

My Q&A with the author:

How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

The title of A Wealth of Deception pulls a lot of weight as far as telling readers what to expect from the book. For one thing, it’s the second novel in the Scandal Mountain Antiques Mystery series. As such, the title has a similar word structure and physical appearance to the title of the previous book in the series, The Art of the Decoy. Along with the series title and dark tone of the cover image, A Wealth of Deception’s title is intended to tell readers that the book is a traditional mystery with a slightly ominous tone and a rural setting. The word ‘deception’ hints at the crime which a reader can expect to encounter. ‘Wealth’ is a word that has more than one meaning—and all apply in this case. In truth, the title is intended as a word puzzle for the reader to untangle as they read the novel and solve the story’s central mystery.

What's in a name?

My husband doesn’t read my novels while I’m working on them or even afterwards, but he does help me brainstorm sometimes. When I told him I needed an old fashion New England name for a twenty-something character that was smart and strong-willed, he immediately suggested Edie Brown, the name of his very independent and down-to-earth grandmother. As soon as he said it, I knew the name was perfect for the character.

How surprised would your teenage reader self be by your novel?

Teenage me wouldn’t be shocked in the least. Well, maybe she might be surprised that the romance in the novel doesn’t play a larger role. In my teens, I was reading gothic romance novels and writing them in my room at night by candlelight. I also first started buying and selling antiques in my teens (a business that I now do fulltime). Antiques, art, and writing have always played a large part in my life.

Do you find it harder to write beginnings or endings? Which do you change more?

I actually write the beginning and the end of novels at the same time, and any changes I make to one is immediately reflected by revisions to the other. Let me explain, one of the things that makes a novel feel satisfying to me is when the end mirrors the beginning in one or more ways—setting, tone, emotion, repeated words, or images…. At the same time, the end needs to show how the main character has changed due to the events she’s been through. A Wealth of Deception is my eighth traditionally published novel and I’ve used this technique for each and every one of them.
Visit Trish Esden's website.

--Marshal Zeringue