Q: What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
A: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Marquez is jaw-droppingly good. I really enjoy Jack Benton’s series of Slim Hardy Mysteries, and the second book, The Clockmaker’s Secret, is masterful. Two of my favorite books are mysteries masquerading as literary fiction: Paul Auster’s Leviathan and Siri Hustvedt’s What I Loved. To end this list, I’ll pick The Silent Madonna by Michelle Damiani, another sophomore entry in a book series. The Silent Madonna reminds me of One Hundred Years of Solitude—not just because of the magical realism elements, but also because the town itself is a character in the book. And, of course, the ending that wraps up the many plots and character arcs.
Q: What scene from The Watchful Coroner was your favorite to write?
A: As I was finishing the last few chapters of the first draft—I write linearly, from Chapter 1 to Chapter 27—I had a great idea for the last scene of the book, and a great idea for a last line. I was giddy with anticipation when I wrote those last few pages. I often struggle with first lines and last lines, but with this book, the last line came easily. Building up the tension and following the “camera” through that last scene was crazily enjoyable, and when I typed that final sentence—followed by “The End”—I was euphoric in a way I hadn’t been since my first novel was published.