Monday, March 18, 2013
Interviewing Bernadine Fagan
Today I interview my friend and fellow mystery writer, Bernadine Fagan, who recently published her new book, Murder in the Maine Woods.
1. Very briefly, tell us where you grew up and the kind of work you did before writing novels. I grew up on Long Island. I was a science teacher for several years, but also taught English.
2. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
Favorite pastime: reading. I used to like indoor “gardening,” but I got tired of killing perfectly good plants so I gave that up and am now into plastic/fabric plants in a big way.
3. What made you decide to write mysteries?
I was a failure as a romance writer, so I decided to write the way I think, which is mysterious. I also tend to see the humor in many situations so that pops out in my writing.
4. How did that turn out?
I got fed up with the “usual” route to publication. It takes so long, too long.
5. Why do you set your mysteries in Maine when you live on Long Island?
I’ve been to Maine. I love it. I have family there.
6. Tell us about the role that humor plays in your mysteries.
Humor plays a big part in my work. Before I wrote Murder by the Old Maine Stream, before I came up with much of a plot, I was thinking about funny scenes. They are the MOST fun to write.
7. Give us a brief summary of your new book.
Detective work is rarely easy, but if you’re a New York City woman who loves fancy clothes, who fears most members of the animal kingdom, whose field of expertise is computers, and who is in the woods of Maine on the trail of a murderer, rarely easy doesn’t begin to cover it. As Nora Lassiter faces mishaps and misadventures, a trio of lovable aunts provides moral support, and one rugged and handsome sheriff, Nick Renzo, sets the air crackling between Nora and himself.
8. What advice would you give new writers?
(1) Read a lot (2) don’t force your characters to do something illogical just to get the plot to go the way you want it to. (3) Easy on the adjectives.
9. What do you plan to write next?
A sequel to Murder in the Maine Woods.
10. Who are some of your favorite mystery writers?
Harlan Coben, Lee Childs.
11. These days writers are expected to market and handle PR for their books. What do you find is the best way to get out the word about your books?
I do not know the answer to this one. I’m not a Tweeter or a Facebook person. I tried both for a few months and decided they was not for me. I have not tried any other forms of social media.
12. In what other genre would you consider writing?
I’d consider writing for children.