Friday, September 17, 2010
Welcome Maryann Miller and Sarah Kingsley
Sarah Kingsley, one of the lead characters in Maryann Miller’s latest mystery, Open Season, a police procedural.set in Dallas, has offered to interview the author for this blog. Sarah said she was a little nervous because she’s never done this kind of interview before. So give her a big welcome and help to make her feel comfortable here.
Sarah: Where were you last Tuesday at 8pm?
Maryann: Wait. This isn’t an interrogation. It’s an interview. Like for a newspaper story.
Sarah: I’m a cop. Not a reporter. This is what I know. I don’t know how to act like a reporter.
Maryann: Okay. Just pretend we are two women talking over a cup of coffee. Ask me anything you want to know about the book or the characters.
Sarah: Ah,,,, so, tell me Maryann, what is your problem with language. You keep telling me to put a lid on it. What are you? Some kind of prude?
Maryann: Of course not, Sarah. It’s just that there’s a limit to what people should be exposed to. And there are places where you should zip it. Remember what happened at the Review Board.
Sarah. Okay. You made your point. Something else I’ve been wondering is why you partnered me with a woman like Angel who has a huge chip on her shoulder.
Maryann: Cause it’s fun. You guys really rub each other the wrong way.
Sarah: You’re telling me. Just when I think things might be thawing between us you throw another problem at us. Why can’t you just let us get along?
Maryann: It’s called conflict, Sarah. That’s what keeps people reading a story. If that issue was resolved people wouldn’t have a reason to keep reading.
Sarah: What about the mystery? Isn’t this a mystery?
Maryann: Of course. But readers want to know more about the characters than how good they are at the job. What do you think kept NYPD Blues popular for so long? Sure, people checked in every week to see what kind of sleaze balls the detectives were going to be up against in this episode, but they also kept coming back to see what was happening on the home front with Sipowitz.
Maryann: Never mind. It was before your time. So, what else do you want to know?
Sarah: Am I your favorite character??
Maryann: Not fair. That’s like asking a mother who is her favorite child. I have worked with a lot of characters and each has been special in her or his own way.
Sarah: So you like Angel, too?
Maryann: Sure. She is as complicated as you, even though she is so different. After spending most of two years with the two of you and the rest of the characters while writing Open Season, I feel close to each of you. I guess that’s why I thought of doing this Season’s series.
Sarah: Does that mean we’re coming back?
Maryann: I hope so. I mean, I’ve been working on the second book and hoping that the publisher will accept it.
Sarah: Cool! I get to kick more---
Maryann: Zip. Zip Zip.
Sarah: Right. No bad words. What will it take to get the second book accepted?
Maryann: Sales. Good reviews of this first book and sales numbers. It’s all about the bottom line.
Sarah: Well, that stinks.
Maryann: Yeah. But that’s the way it is in the business now. So we suck it up, do what we can to promote, and concentrate on writing the next book and make it the best we can.
Sarah: What do you mean ‘we’? Did someone else help you write this book?
Maryann: No. I was speaking in general terms about all authors.
Sarah: What made you want to write this story of Open Season?
Maryann: Partly to explore the issues of racial tensions and the deadly force controversy that went on in Dallas in the late 1980’s. I had several friends who were officers and the problems were impacting them. Then I got this crazy idea of murders in shopping malls. I used to go mall-walking with a friend for exercise and when we went into dark corridors I wondered aloud whether someone could hide down there and kill people. My friend was so thrilled when I brought that up.
Sarah: That’s pretty good. You think like a cop.
Maryann: Thanks. That’s quite a compliment coming from you. Now lets get back to the next book and figure out how you are going to catch the killer.