Today, I’m interviewing Thomas Spencer, a lawyer at Meredith and Jenkins, LLP. He and his wife, Tess, have been married for just about two years now and live in the small town of Buckneck, West Virginia. Tess is spending a lot of time sleuthing these days, and I wanted to check in with Thomas about it. To give you a visual on Thomas, he arrived for our outdoor interview in an older-model Volvo. His blond hair looked slightly messy and touched his collar, and his dark brown eyes conveyed seriousness as he spoke. He was tall, slim yet muscular in his fitted cobalt-color dress shirt and striped tie. His movements and speech projected maturity and confidence. He sipped a black coffee as I asked him these questions:
1) Thomas, you’re married to Tess Spencer, who, as I understand, is currently involved in sniffing out a murderer from forty years ago. How do you feel about that?
To be frank, I’m not happy with it. I’ve lately realized that although my wife thinks she can take care of herself, she’s putting herself right in the path of some maniac. She’s also expecting our first child, so she doesn’t need to be digging around in others’ affairs.
2) You’re a small-town lawyer and Tess is…well, a housewife, right now. How does that work for you?
It’s working out fine, although I think Tess would like to find a job. We might not have all kinds of income, but we are able to live in my parents’ cottage, and that saves money. Tess keeps busy visiting her elderly friend, Miranda, who lives in The Haven assisted living home. My mom and dad are always nearby in case Tess needs anything, as my dad is now retired.
3) Speaking of nearby parents…does Tess get along with your folks?
I’m not sure where you’re going with that question, but yes, she does. They’re like her own parents…her own parents are actually not very involved in her life at this time. That’s all I have to share on that subject.
4) I sense you are protecting your wife’s privacy, so we’ll move on. Tell us a little about what drew you to marry Tess.
Well, first of all, she’s so beautiful you can’t miss her. I love her striking combination of blue eyes, fair skin, and dark hair. Of course, she’s pretty unaware of how lovely she is, and she has what I would call an inferiority complex. She thinks because I was born into a more affluent family and she was born into a trailer park, she’s not worthy of me or something. And yet I would describe her as very headstrong and impulsive, which is sort of the opposite of me. But I think what drew me to her most was her compassion for others and her ability to relate to people. She is very easy to love.
5) What drew you to live in the small town of Buckneck, West Virginia? I know you are a University of Virginia graduate. I would think you would have moved to a larger city.
It’s something I really can’t explain, even to myself. Rural as it is, my family is here in Buckneck and everyone in town knows me. Shoot, the town is named because of something one of my relatives did…anyway, our friends were excited I was coming home to practice law. Yes, I had to join a law firm I’m not really enjoying much, but eventually I will probably move into another law job. Tess was happy to move to this part of the state, and I think she feels settled here.
6) Now for a few get-to-know-you questions. What is your favorite thing to do?
I enjoy shooting at our “range” out in the woods. I plan to take Tess along with my Dad and brothers next time. She knows how to use a gun, but I want her to get more practice.
7) What’s the wackiest, most risk-taking thing you’ve done?
I don’t like taking risks. And I don’t think anyone would describe me as “wacky.”
8) Who do you despise?
That is an interesting question. I generally like people, even though I do run into some despicable law-breakers in my line of work. But right now, I’m not too fond of this big German florist who keeps eyeballing my wife. Yes—you heard me right. He’s a big German florist.
Thank you again for visiting with us today, Thomas! And congratulations on the little Spencer baby-to-be!
About the Author/Interviewer:
HEATHER DAY GILBERT enjoys writing stories about authentic, believable marriages. Seventeen years of marriage to her sweet Yankee husband have given her some perspective, as well as eleven years spent homeschooling. Heather regularly posts on Novel Rocket about self-publishing.
You can find Heather at her website, Heather Day Gilbert–Author, and at her Facebook Author Page, as well as Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Goodreads. Her Viking novel, God’s Daughter, is an Amazon bestseller. You can find it on Amazon and Audible.com. Her Appalachian mystery, Miranda Warning, released June 20th and you can find it here.
Child of the Appalachian mountains, Tess Spencer has experienced more than her share of heartache. The Glock-wielding, knife-carrying housewife knows how to survive whatever life throws at her.
But when an anonymous warning note shows up in her best friend Miranda’s mailbox—a note written in a dead woman’s handwriting—Tess quickly discovers that ghosts are alive and well in Buckneck, West Virginia. Hot on a cold trail, she must use limited clues and her keen insight into human nature to unmask the killer…or the next victim might be Tess herself.
Tinged with the supernatural and overshadowed by the mountains’ lush, protective presence, this twisting psychological mystery is the first in A Murder in the Mountains series.
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