Thursday, September 4, 2008

Interview, Redux

by G.M. Malliet

They say recycling is good, so in the current time crunch I'm reprinting here one interview I gave recently. Pamela did a good job of getting me to summarize my thinking on this whole writing business.

Actually, there are a lot of interviews at this site you may want to see:

Here is my interview with Pamela:

What type of writing schedule do you have?

Actually, I find it essential first to spend at least an hour checking my email, reading news sites and blogs, and ordering stuff online. This may look like procrastination to the outside world, but believe me, it’s all necessary as a warm-up exercise. Besides, if I don’t order that hair product right now they might discontinue it. Seriously, this is the reason I take myself off to a coffee shop as much as possible, without a laptop. It’s the only way I’d ever get anything written.

Tell us about the best part of writing your books.

Sometimes, it all just hums along, and I can’t write fast enough to keep up with my thoughts. The characters just chatter away, the setting comes into focus, and I’m pretty much only there to write it all down—quickly. That is the very best part, but you never know when that kind of inspiration is going to strike. So you just keep slogging until it does.

How did you come up with the idea for DEATH OF A COZY WRITER?

Death of a Cozy Writer is very much an homage to Robert Barnard’s work—all of it. When he is in full flow he is one of the wittiest and most elegant writers around. But since Barnard had already written Death of a Mystery Writer, I decided to try to ring some changes on the theme of a “cozy” writer who is anything but cozy…who is in fact a mean, tight-fisted bully whose family regards him with fear and loathing.

Do you have a couple of favorite books or series that you like to read?

This is the type of question that always puts me in danger of forgetting someone who is an all-time favorite, so forgive me if I take a pass. I read widely in mystery, although quite slowly, rather like a third-grader, so I’m not a good person to go to for recommendations on current books. I’m still working on the TBR pile of five years ago. I wish it were otherwise, believe me. I recently sat near a woman on a transatlantic flight and watched her go through two and one-half books before we landed. It was amazing.

Tell us about GM the woman, the author, the friend?

Without sounding too pompous here, I try to be an authentic person. That’s the best any of us can do in terms of friendship, isn’t it?—be someone who doesn’t shift with the tides. The GM author person…well, she’s having a whale of a time just now. Writing fiction is my dream job and to finally have made it is just great. It’s not always easy, and a few things have had to be sacrificed on that altar, but I really can’t complain.

Okay, now let's talk about your publisher and your cover?

Death of a Cozy Writer actually went through two covers before the people in marketing settled on the current one, the one with the pen. I really love this cover, especially the little gargoyle/grotesque at top (my idea, so of course I love that bit). The cover for my second book, Death and the Lit Chick, just came out yesterday (it’s on pre-order at Amazon, which was quite a surprise—the book is not actually available until April 2009). It looks like a chick lit book, all pinks and reds, but it’s not – it’s a gentle send-up of the chick lit mystery genre and of the publishing industry itself. I seriously hope I am not drummed out of town by the publishing world following its release.

Who gave you the best advice on writing?

The best advice I ever read was to sit down at your desk and not get up until you’ve either written four pages or four hours have passed. I’m sorry to say I’ve forgotten who said this, but I believe it was advice he got from his writer father. Since I don’t count pages, I follow the four-hour rule…five hours minus that essential cruising around the Web as described above.

Now it's your turn.....what writing advice do you have for anyone who wants to write a cozy mystery?

My advice would be to write a thriller, since I keep hearing they are “hot” right now. I am kidding, of course. You have to write what you love, and write the kind of book you love reading…whether that book is a cozy, a suspense-thriller, a paranormal--whatever. If you have a favorite book by a favorite author, try to figure out why you love that book so much. Then go and try to do likewise.

Now for the fun questions. What is your favorite food, place to vacation and dessert?

Favorite food: Lobster.
Favorite vacation: Provence.
Dessert: Ladyfingers.

Leave us with how readers may contact you? Your website address?

I welcome all visitors to, where there’s a sample chapter of Death of a Cozy Writer along with book club questions.

Lastly what would you like to say to your readers.

Thank you. Thank you for loving this genre as much as I do.


Paul Lamb said...

I'm going to read Barnard first. And then I'm going to read yours!

G.M. Malliet said...

Paul thank you!

You can't go wrong with Barnard. His early books are very funny; his later books are a little darker.