Interview with Tonya Mitchell, Author of The Arsenic Eater’s Wife

13 Feb 2024

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write The Arsenic Eater’s Wife?

The book is inspired by a real case from 1889 I’d never heard of before, and I knew it needed to be told. It had all the hallmarks of a gripping mystery: death, addiction, lies, twists, revenge, love… and poison.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of The Arsenic Eater’s Wife, what would they be?

Definitely Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” for the main character, Constance, to her arsenic eater husband, William: “Did you think we’d be fine/ Still got scars on my back from your knife…/ Now did you think it all through?/ All these things will catch up to you.”

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I love all mysteries, but historical ones have a special place in my heart, probably because I write historical fiction. Bonus points for anything Gothic, creepy, and dark.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

T. Kingfisher’s What Moves the Dead and The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

Probably the one in which Constance sees something that completely destroys her marriage and sets the course for the remainder of her life.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

I drink Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea. Like, A LOT.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

“Proceed as if success is inevitable.” It’s what gets me through lousy writing days.


Tonya Mitchell is the author of the new book The Arsenic Eater’s Wife

Connect with Tonya Mitchell

Author Site



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