Long before the first book in my Downward Dog Mystery series arrived at your local bookstore, my mother received a personal laser-printed copy of Murder Strikes a Pose. Of course she told me she liked it. What self-respecting mother wouldn’t? One of her comments caught me off guard, however.
“I’m not very far into the book yet. I just reached the part where you found the body.”
“Mom,” I replied, a little concerned about her sudden decline in mental health. “You do know this is fiction, right?”
Let me assure you, I have never found a body near Whole Life Yoga—or anywhere else for that matter. And although a part of me exists in every character, my books aren’t autobiographical. Still, people often tell me that they see me in my yoga teacher sleuth, Kate Davidson. So, for the record, here are some ways Kate and I are similar—and different.
1. We both own yoga studios in Seattle.
Kate and I both teach yoga in the Viniyoga tradition, and we both prefer it to other, more strenuous, types of yoga. Although we both own small neighborhood yoga studios, mine (Whole Life Yoga) is dedicated to the Viniyoga lineage. Kate’s (Serenity Yoga) offers a mixture of yoga classes and styles.
2. Kate and I both have body image issues.
Kate and I are both short, and we both have “normal” body types (whatever that means). But when we look in the mirror, we see the “before” image in a Jenny Craig commercial. We’re working on that.
3. Kate and I both live with a horse-sized German shepherd.
Kate fosters Bella, the German shepherd in the series; I am owned by a German shepherd named Tasha. Both of our dogs have Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency, will weigh over 100 pounds when full grown, and have, shall we say, “quirky” personalities. But in spite of their issues, Kate and I would be lost without them.
4. Neither Kate nor I are perfect yogis, but we keep trying.
Occasionally a reader tells me that Kate isn’t believable as a yoga teacher. She’s not thin enough, emotionally well-balanced enough, or flexible enough. I’m not a typical yoga teacher, either. Kate can’t do advanced yoga poses; neither can I. Kate wants to live according to yoga philosophy but often fails. So do I. If Kate’s not a realistic yoga teacher, then I’m not either. Hopefully my yoga students won’t figure that out any time soon.
Here’s Where We’re Different:
1. I’m not afraid of commitment.
Kate has what she terms “relationship ADD,” meaning she can’t stick with a relationship for more than a date or two. I, on the other hand, seek commitment. Just ask my husband. I pestered and goaded and hounded him for three years before he finally gave in and asked me to marry him. (Frankly, I think he proposed just so I’d shut up about it.)
2. Kate and I had different childhoods.
Kate was raised as the only child of a single-parent Seattle cop. I grew up with both of my parents on a dairy farm in Billings, Montana. Kate’s a city girl through and through. I’m a farm girl who has taken root in the city.
3. My neuroses are different than Kate’s.
I’m as neurotic is the next yoga teacher, but I’m neutral to facial hair. Kate has a very real phobia called pogonophobia. Being near a man with a beard makes her feel anxious, itchy, and subtly nauseated, which really sucks for her since she has a crush on Michael, the bearded owner of Pete’s Pets, the pet store near her studio.
4. I adore dogs to a fault.
Kate likes animals, but she never wanted one of her own. I, on the other hand, yearned and planned and plotted for over ten years before my husband gave in and agreed to adopt our German shepherd. And unlike Kate, I knew that cute little fur ball would be the love of my life the moment I laid eyes on her.
To be honest, personality-wise, I’m think I’m closer to Rene, Kate’s best friend: a plotter, a jokester, a prankster, a conniver. Unlike Kate, I don’t throw coffee mugs at the heads of little old ladies, and it’s pretty rare for me to yell at anyone.
I’m too busy plotting murder.
Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and check out Tracy Weber’s author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series. A KILLER RETREAT is available for preorder now from Whole Life Yoga. MURDER STRIKES A POSE is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and book sellers everywhere!