About the books
Where’s that letter you mention in Beyond Reach/Skin Privilege?
I can’t find a printed version of Busted and Snatched, why are they in e-version only?
When is the next book out and what is it called?
What are the books in the series and should I read them in order?
What are you working on now?
Snatched and Busted are novellas featuring Will Trent. A short story called Thorn in My Side, to benefit libraries. Some other stories here and there, collected into The Unremarkable Heart. I’ve also done two stories in a serial novel called Like a Charm. In 2008, I wrote a novella called Martin Misunderstood for the entire country of Holland. It’s published in France, England and Germany, and is an audio book (read by Seinfeld’s Wayne Knight) in the US.
I’ve read all of your books. Is there anything else you’ve written that maybe I’m not aware of?
I totally made it up, though I have to admit that it’s an amalgamation of the small towns of my childhood. I grew up in South Georgia, in a college town much like Grant, so I know the types of characters you’ll find in this sort of community. The town is fictional because I didn’t want people to write letters saying, “you can’t turn left on Main Street!” but of course I still get letters saying that. I even had someone write to me to say that I’d used the wrong interstate to get to Grant County from Atlanta!
Is Grant County an actual place?
I adore Mary Higgins Clark and have been known to enjoy a Janet Evanovich or two, but in my writing, I want to show violence for what it is. For so long, women weren’t expected to talk about these crimes, even though we were more likely to be the victims. I think it’s time we started talking about rape and violence against women. When I was growing up, these subjects were “boys only” territory in fiction, so I find it refreshing to see authors like Mo Hayder and Denise Mina really opening up the conversation about abuse and sexual assault. This isn’t to say that men are not capable of writing about these topics, only that women authors bring a different perspective.
Why is there so much violence in your books?
Who is your favorite character?
This is like asking parents which is their favorite child. For my parents, it was easy (me) but when folks ask me to choose among my characters, my answer usually depends on who I am writing or thinking about at the time. Lena is the most challenging, by far, but I love Sara for her strength and intelligence. Jeffrey always surprises me. I’ll do the diplomatic thing and say that I love all of them.
That’s a bit like asking a parent who their favorite child is. For my parents, of course, it was easy because they had me, but with the books, it really depends on the character I am writing at the moment. Will is a perennial favorite just because he is hard not to love. I’ve always had a soft spot for Sara since she’s been in all but a few of the novels. Lena is fun to write because she makes really horrible mistakes. Angie is fun because she doesn’t mind who she hurts so long as she survives. Faith has a really hard life in a lot of ways, but I love her relationship with her mother. Then of course there’s Amanda. I had so much fun writing her in Criminal; it was really my way of finding out why she’s such a ballbreaker.
What is your favorite book?
I don’t, actually. Lots of men have been maimed or killed in the series, and lots of women have turned out to be horrible people. I think the focus is on women being victimized because that’s what people expect. The truth is that the sorts of crimes you find in thrillers are generally crimes against women. What I try to do is use violence as a way to open up a dialogue about this sort of violence and why it’s happening. Perhaps if we understand it, we can help prevent it.
Why do you always victimize women in your stories?
Though I’m not pleased by those limited choices — yes, I did make a mistake. I’ve probably made many more that I’m not even aware of. These books are works of fiction, which means I make it up as I go along. I am sorry that the gun mistake took you out of the story, but please know that I try my best to keep things as accurate as possible. Subsequent editions of Kisscut have been corrected. As an aside, I once did an author panel with a writer who used to be one of the leading fire-arms experts with the FBI, and he said he’s made gun mistakes in his novels.
You made a gun mistake in Kisscut. Are you ignorant or just plain stupid?
Sorry, but I can no longer accept books for signatures except through bookstores or signing events. The Poisoned Pen will have signed copies of my books year-round, or Eagle Eye Book Shop in Decatur, GA, will arrange to have me sign books when I am in town. Both stores will send books internationally. I am no longer offering bookplates to my readers at this time, and I do not send out photos or autographs to people requesting them online.
Can I send you my books to be signed? Could I have a signed photo of you?
Why do you write standalones? Why can’t you just stick to Will and Sara?
As much as I love writing Will and Sara stories, it’s always good to take a break and work on something new. I really loved writing about the seventies in Cop Town, and Pretty Girls was a way for me to write a story about crime told from the point of view of the victims as opposed to the cops trying to figure things out. I always wanted to write about lawyers, so the Good Daughter was my chance to do that. But don’t worry, I will certainly go back to Will and Sara. They feel like home to me. It’s nice to get away sometimes, but that’s where your cats live and if you stay away too long they will destroy everything and never talk to you again.
Will there be a sequel to Cop Town?
Absolutely! Watch this space.
Why don’t you ever tour in my country?
I probably have been! If you live in or near one of these countries, why didn’t you come see me?
United Arab Emirates
United States of America