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Journalist Carolyn Tillery Shares Her Love of a Good Mystery with Residents at The Preston

April 12 2023
A typewriter with a piece of paper next to it on a desk.
A life-long fan of mystery novels, Carolyn Tillery, an award-winning feature writer and journalist, recently visited The Preston to talk about the two Texas-based mysteries she is currently writing and her passion for the genre. As a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers—all organizations that promote and support crime fiction—she enjoys sharing her love for the craft of mystery writing. A book reviewer and interviewer of fellow mystery writers.

Tillery lives in Dallas with her husband and two black Labradors, Lizzie and Darcy. Drawing on her experience as a newspaper reporter, a public spokesperson for public safety organizations, and the wife of a retired Dallas Fire Rescue (DFR) deputy chief, Tillery has plenty of material with which to work. Set in her hometown of Dallas, one of her novels centers around what she describes as the “destructive force of arson and the firefighters and investigators who refuse to tolerate it.” Another takes place in Galveston, where she and her family have vacationed for nearly 30 years. Hampered by a traffic jam on the island’s main thoroughfare, Tillery discovered her inspiration for the book on a shortcut that passed by an old, abandoned mansion. “When I discovered it’s situated on the original settlement of pirate Jean Lafitte, my imagination ran wild, and I’ve not been able to catch it since,” says Tillery.

She ultimately decided to make her protagonist of the story a former reporter, a career she certainly knows something about. “It’s said that Galveston is the end of the road, where Interstate 45 ends—and where strange people come to do strange things,” says Tillery. “As a mystery lover, I find that irresistible.”