Where’s that letter you mention in Beyond Reach/Skin Privilege?
Well, there are two web-exclusive pieces that I mention in Beyond Reach — there’s the Spoiler Letter (which is here, but, please read it only if you’ve read the book first!). There’s also the Bonus Chapter, which is here.
- I can’t find a printed version of Busted and Snatched, why are they in e-version only?
These are novellas — long short stories, if you will. there is no good way to print and distribute a single novella in print. Busted is available in the paperback version of Unseen, and Snatched is reprinted in the paperback version of Criminal.
When is the next book out and what is it called?
Pretty Girls is my most recent. It came out in 2015. I will be returning to Will and Sara in my 2016 book.
What are the books in the series and should I read them in order?
See the book order and series listing here. You can start the series with any of them. I’m a stickler for order, so it’s in my nature as a reader to want to begin at the beginning, but you could easily start with Indelible, which takes place mostly in the past, and then go back to Blindsighted — or any of the books, for that matter.
What are you working on now?
I’ve read all of your books. Is there anything else you’ve written that maybe I’m not aware of?
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.
Is Grant County an actual place?
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!
Why is there so much violence in your books?
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 does Lena curse so much?
This question always surprises me, because no one takes Jeffrey to task for cursing. It’s definitely a double standard, and looking at it that way, you can understand why Lena is pissed off. Most of her potty mouth came about as a way of adapting to her job. For a long time, she was the only female cop on an all-male force. Like many women in a testosterone-soaked workplace, she picked up rough language to make her seem like one of the boys. On a personal note, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with women expressing themselves however they darn well please.
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.
Which is your favorite book?
Again, it’s hard to say. Usually it’s the one I’m going to be working on next.The most difficult book to write was Kisscut, because it’s about such dark subject matter. I had to be very careful about showing just enough to give the reader an idea what was going on but not so much that it was off-putting or — worse — titillating. This was a very hard line to walk, but I think I pulled it off. I think I also showed a side of that life that is seldom talked about, even though it’s been going on since the beginning of time.
Why do you always victimize women in your stories?
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.
You made a gun mistake in Kisscut. Are you ignorant or just plain stupid?
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.
Can I send you my books to be signed? Could I have a signed photo of you?
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.