This week: Merry JonesI've always admired authors who could write mystery and suspense. For me, I would definitely give away the plot way too quickly to keep up the suspense. Which is why it's always interesting to pick the brain of local suspense writer - Merry Jones. Also, do you know what sculling is? Find out below -it's neat!
For suspense novels, I find it in my own fears and dreads, in imagined worst case scenarios, in worry. If I can feel the mood I want to build, a plot and characters will emerge.
Which character in literature do you associate yourself with the most?
For sure, Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh.
Which piece of your writing was the most entertaining/enjoyable to write? Why?
Oh dear. All were very fun for different reasons. Eg THE RIVER KILLINGS, an early book, was fun because it took place on and around the Schuylkill River, where I scull, and it allowed me to write the murder of a coach I didn't much like. ELECTIVE PROCEDURES was fun because I traveled to Mexico to do the research--just as OUTSIDE EDEN involved a trip to Israel. THE TROUBLE WITH CHARLIE was a blast because it involved the murder of an ex-first-husband and allowed vicarious satisfaction.
Was the first novel you published the first you ever wrote? What was?
Yes. THE NANNY MURDERS was both my first novel and first published novel. But I'd published non-fiction and humor prior to fiction, so my first novel was my eighth book.
When I’m not writing I’m usually…
Thinking about writing. Or, depending on the weather, if it's warm and calm enough, I'm on the river, sculling. Or spending time with my family. But, for better or worse, writing is never far from my thoughts, no matter what I'm doing. Is that obsessive? For me, it's just normal.
If you could tell or ask any character in literature or film anything, what would it be?
That's a pretty broad list of possibilities. Maybe I'd ask Rhett Butler (Gone with the Wind) if he'd like to join me for a drink. Or Abe Lincoln (Lincoln in the Bardot) how he would deal with the politics of today.
If you had lived a different life, made different choices, what would you be doing now?
Again, there are a lot of possibilities. Being a woman during this period of history (late 50's thru now) has been strange in terms of choices. I grew up on the cusp, right between when most middle class women were housewives and when they began to have careers. So I didn't plan for a career. I fell into one. If I'd have known as a child/teen that I'd be working, I might have planned to become a shrink. Or anthropologist. Or veterinarian Something that involves observation and analysis and living beings other than plants, which I kill no matter how I try not to.
What are five things you couldn’t do without?
My husband and family. Open sky. Peaceful time to chill. Being near water regularly. Conversations with friends (which obviously involve vodka martinis, up, with olives).
What do few people know about you?
Hmm. I don't like to put my head under water. Does that count? And I hate basements, even ones that are fixed up and decorated. Being underground or underwater? Nope. Thanks. I'll pass.
Are you working on any current projects?
Always. Among them: I'm republishing an out-of-print series, completing a new novel, pitching a recently finished one.
What work of fiction made you want to be a writer?
Doesn't apply. I "wrote" before I could read, in that I held books and babbled my own made up stories. I wanted to write books as far back as I can remember.
What tools do you use for writing, organization, marketing?
For writing, I use my computer and Microsoft Word. I use nothing for organization except lists and notes-to-self on small pieces of paper which are everywhere in my office and kitchen and bedroom. And car. And pocketbook. For marketing, I use whatever I can. In no special order, I use Goodreads giveaways, my newsletter and website, blog tours, live signings, panels and presentations, podcasts, online interviews, reviews, Facebook and Twitter, readings, and whatever else I can find.