This past week. I took part in a mystery authors’ panel discussion at the Ames Free Library in North Easton, MA. It was a lot of fun. I enjoyed having the opportunity to spend time with fellow mystery authors Debi Graham-Leard and Ray Anderson, as well as to meet some very nice local mystery fans. It’s always nice to connect with people.
In the past few weeks, two separate men, both of them radio talk show hosts, have asked me to kill them in a book. Odd coincidence, interesting challenge. I’ve figured out where and when to kill Tom Foie, but not how. I’m not yet sure how I’ll do in Jordan Rich.
I just taped an interview with Patti Abbate and Tom Foie for WATD 95.9 FM. This will air on Sunday September 8 at 7:00 PM.
The day my article was featured in the local newspaper, I went to the 7-11 to buy several copies. A group of men having their morning coffee looked at me and asked if I was indeed the Woman of Mystery on the front page. When I said yes, I was greeted with a round of applause. Fun!
Listen to the interview I did with WATD-FM 95.9.
1. Tell me a little bit about who you are and where you live. – I taught high school French in the 1970s then worked for 30 years in the insurance industry. I grew up in Abington MA and now live in North Easton MA, a charming little town with an interesting history. I’ve been writing since I was 5 years old. I’m retired and recently widowed.
2. Are there any favorite local spots you like to visit, ones that inspire your creativity? – If we’re talking truly local, I’d have to say my back deck. It looks out onto a quiet side street and a lot of trees. If one could be paid for deck-sitting, I’d be extremely wealthy. If we can expand local to include a larger portion of the planet, then my answer would be Paris, Key West and Woods Hole.
3. Wow us with shock value. Is there anything about you that would surprise readers? – I was once a card-carrying member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. Tip O’Neill once took me to dinner. I attended Star Fleet Academy.
4. What interested you to become a writer rather than something else such as neurosurgeon? – It truly wasn’t much of a choice. Basically, the Universe chose me and to me I had to write. Anything else I did was really just to pay the bills.
5. If you could spend a day with any author, living or dead – who would it be and why? – I know I should probably say Edgar Allen Poe or Agatha Christie, bit I have to go with Jeremiah Healy. Besides being a wonderful mystery writer, he was also a good friend. We met when I worked in Cambridge in the 1980s and used to handle his insurance. Once I learned what he did, I picked his brain on a regular basis. We became friends and remained so even after he moved to Florida. He was always happy to look over a manuscript for me and make helpful suggestions. He killed himself a few years ago. I miss him.
6. Does the area in which you live provide influence in your writing? How so? – All of my books (4 to date, though 3 still in the development stage) are set in places I know well and generally love – So far, I’ve got Key West, Paris, Woods Hole and Dorchester (which I don’t actually love, but it can get interesting).
7. What is the most critical piece of advice you would give to new authors? – Never give up. Some people will love your work, others will hate it, but it doesn’t matter. Accept criticism, critique and feedback for what it is and always keep on writing.
8. Coming up with a title can be difficult. Tell me how you came up with yours. – My first title, Dead Drop, just came to me naturally (that is my second book, coming out some time next year). For some unknown reason, I decided at that time that I liked two-word titles with the letter D in them, hence Deep Secrets, Direct Elimination and Sweet Dreams, Sweet Death (which is not 4 words; it’s 2 words repeated.
9. Are there more books coming from you in the future? Do tell! – There are indeed. Dead Drop is in the final editing stage. Deep Secrets is undergoing some major rewrites and Direct Elimination was recently plotted and outlined. Should keep me busy for a while.
10. Where can people find more information on you and your projects? – I am on Facebook at P K Norton. My website is PKNorton.com.