Today I’m pleased to present N.A. Grainger, who I already introduced to you earlier this year with my review of Death In a Canvas Chair
Now I have the lovely and very interesting author here with a great interview. I’m particularly excited about this as I have now signed copies of her two other books in my tbr pile, which I can’t wait to read.
Welcome to my blog and thanks for answering my questions. So here we go:
- What type of crime fiction do you write and why?
I write cozies or something close to it. There is some gore, a little sex (but mostly inferred), but I do like character development that spans a series and a setting that is a character itself. I bring characters back because I like them, both good and bad!
- Who is your favourite Detective?
This one is hard to answer because there are so many. I like Longmire (Craig Johnson) Joe Pickett (C.J. Box), Kinsey Millhone (Sue Grafton), Adam Dalgleish (P.D. James) and of course the classics – Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, Brother Cadfael.
Rhe Brewster is a complicated woman. She’s type A, smart and very organized, tends to leap before she looks (which gets her into a whole mess of problems), a loyal friend, mother who tries, an excellent nurse, and someone open to learning new things (she recently passed her police department exam). She didn’t recognize love until it knocked her on the head, she still can’t cook (much), she gets frustrated when she can’t figure things out, and she never listens to good advice when it concerns to her safety.
- Who would you cast to play the characters in a movie?
I actually posted on my blog about just this: Thanks To All my Followers and Visitors During the A-Z Challenge: Character Pictures
Some of them are:
Kevin James as Marsh Adams, the ME
David Duchovny as Bob Morgan, the editor of the Post and Sentinal
Merida from the Disney movie Brave as Nancy Ennis, Rhe’s red-headed fellow nurse
Eric Stoltz as James Manning, nefarious CEO of Sturdevant Hospital
James Cromwell as Lyle Pendergrass, the ancient guard at the rear entrance of Sturdevant Hospital
Reese Witherspoon as Paulette, Rhe’s best friend
David Hyde Pierce as Will Brewster, Rhe’s husband
You have to read the posts to see them all. I did not chose anyone for Rhe because I want the readers to form their own images.
- What is more important in your books – the plot twists or the characters?
I can’t choose between the two since I think both are very important. That being said, I’ve read some murder mysteries where the characters are not well fleshed out, but the plot twists have been enough to keep me reading. Infrequent, but it’s possible.
I love to throw in Red Herrings or McGuffins, as my critique group members like to call them. They require the writer to be clever, so they are neither too obvious nor contrived. This requires some good plotting, which is not easy when you are a pantser, like me. See the next question.
- Do you plot the entire novel and know who did it before you start, or can that change?
Except for some vague ideas floating around in my little grey cells, I do not plot out my books. Okay, I will admit it: I’m one of those pantsers. I just sit down and write. I like to see where my brain will take me – then read over what ‘ve written and ask myself: Did I do that? I have occasionally written a scene or two and placed them in the story when I came to the right place, but my first and now my fourth book were conceived without any idea of ‘who dun it’. When couldn’t figure out the why in the first book, I remember doing what I often do when I’m stuck – hit the pool and swim a lot of laps to clear my head. About lap 40, it came to me.
This approach is clearly a mental rebellion against the formulaic writing I was forced to do as a scientist. It’s so freeing to just let it all hang out.
I’m learning. There is one person in my critique group who has the unerring ability to find places for humour or ways to ramp up what is already there. As my characters have become more comfortable (with me and also with each other), the humour comes more naturally. I think it’s nice to lighten the mood now and then in a genre relying on tension.
- What do you do when you don’t write?
Read! Swim or work out; knit and embroider; cook; spend time with the family (my son is stationed in Germany and we went there in March to spend time with him when he had leave); vacation in Maine, where I do research for my books; and most recently, tutor middle school children one day a week in math, science, social studies and language arts. These children are experiencing an amazing developmental period of physical and mental growth, coupled with raging hormones, and tutoring is so much fun!
- What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/ hardcover)?
Funny you should ask that, Christoph. I’m reading yours (The Body in the Snow) on my Kindle and very much enjoying it. Because I read so much (reviews for Rosie Amber’s web site and also for my own blog), books would be pouring out the windows and doors of my house if I didn’t have a Kindle.
N.A. GRANGER is a Professor Emerita at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. After forty years of research and teaching undergraduates and medical students, she decided to turn her knowledge of human anatomy to the craft of mystery writing. In addition to the Rhe Brewster mystery series (Death in a Red Canvas Chair, Death in a Dacron Sail), she has written for Death South and Sea Level magazines and the Bella Online Literary Review. You can find more of her writing and musings on her website: saylingaway.wordpress.com. She lives with her husband, a cat who blogs, and a hyperactive dog in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and spends a portion of every summer in Maine.
My books can be found on Amazon and Amazon Kindle: