Madeline (M.M.) Gornell has published four mystery novels, including the Public Safety Writer Award-winners Uncle Si’s Secret and Lies of Convenience. Reticence of Ravens was a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Fiction Award, the da Vinci Eye Award and Montaigne Medalist Award. Madeline is also a potter with a fondness for stoneware and reduction firing. She lives with her husband and assorted canines in the Mojave Desert in a town on internationally revered Route 66. To find out more about Madeline and her books, visit her blog at this link.
What characters in the mystery/suspense genre inspired you?
I’ve gone on and on before about how much I like P.D. James, but not always said why. Her series character Adam Dagleish is number one on my list because he’s thoughtful, complicated, rather morose and has a true heart. Through Adam not only does P.D. weave a marvelous story, but also draws her reader in using complex sentences, challenging words (yes, she sends me to the dictionary occasionally), judiciously placed and sometimes lengthy descriptive passages, and most sentences are longer than eight words. Basically, writing that does not talk down, but inspires upward.
Foremost, never give up. And to paraphrase P.D. James: Increase your word power, read widely and with discrimination, write what you need to write, and waste nothing that happens to you—however happy, however tragic.
What book makes you say, 'Damn, I wish I'd written that'?
Actually, one that my book club has just finished called The Tragedy of Arthur by Arthur Phillips.
Leave a comment below for your chance to win a copy of Lies of Convenience or another M.M. Gornell novel of your choice. Winners will be chosen on Dec. 11. And be sure to visit Joyce Lavene's blog at this link for my guest post about choosing at setting for The Venus Trilogy.