Emmy® Award-winning talk show host Tamron Hall is the host and executive producer of the popular nationally syndicated talk show “Tamron Hall.” Formerly of the “Today Show,” she has also hosted six seasons of “Deadline: Crime” on Investigation Discovery. While at NBC, she was a recipient of the Edward R. Murrow Award for her report on domestic abuse. Tamron currently serves as an advocate for domestic violence awareness.
In this post, Tamron discusses how her decades as a reporter led to writing her new thriller novel, As the Wicked Watch, the most surprising aspect of the process, and more!
Name: Tamron Hall
Book title: As the Wicked Watch
Publisher: William Morrow
Release date: August 2, 2022 (paperback)
Elevator pitch for the book: The first in a thrilling new series from Emmy Award-winning TV Host and Journalist Tamron Hall, As The Wicked Watch follows a reporter as she unravels the disturbing mystery around the deaths of two young Black women, the work of a serial killer terrorizing Chicago.
What prompted you to write this book?
Honestly, the desire to write the novel was years in the making. I’ve long wanted to share what it’s like to cover the unimaginable crime of murder from the view of a reporter. While I wanted to tap into my own personal experience, I didn’t want to write a memoir retracing my own steps. During the lockdown I had time to process how I would finally be able to tell the story and who I would use as the messenger. Jordan Manning was “born.”
How long did it take to go from idea to publication? And did the idea change during the process?
The process took about two years. I was overwhelmed by the positive response from publishers. Especially given the character is someone new for readers. A Black female reporter who solves crimes while her race is of course a major part of her experience. I wanted her gender, her background, and so much more to be layered into the story. There were very few changes. The biggest decision was whether it would be a series and that too was quickly answered.
Were there any surprises in the writing process for this book?
A few surprises. Most related to time and technology. It was hard to reset my mind to a time before the iPhone and Google. All the resources we have now were not available for Jordan. I was surprised how much I’d forgotten about the research process back when I started as a reporter. I think the biggest surprise for me was how much spilled out with ease. I guess I’d bottled up more than I thought over the past 20 years of reporting. It was all ready to come out. I didn’t know it.
What do you hope readers will get out of your book?
I hope readers get a glimpse of a real-life experience through the eyes of Jordan. I also hope people will fall in love with her and respect the passion she conveys. Much like I felt reading the adventures of Nancy Drew I hope each book leaves the reader wanting her to keep seeking the truth.
If you could share one piece of advice with other writers, what would it be?
It’s never too late. I’m 51 years old. I’ve had many new and upcoming chapters. Writing this novel was the ultimate “step out of your comfort zone” moment for me. Push yourself and your writing past fear.