Wednesday, April 16, 2008

New Feature!

Take 3...with Meg Gardiner

A few posts ago I was gushing about how good a read Meg Gardiner's first novel, China Lake, was. In addition to being a terrific writer, Meg--it turns out--is a track star, lives near London, England, a former lawyer, mother of 3, and a Jeopardy winner. All that and beautiful, too? Dang it! Thanks to Meg, who took time out of her busy schedule to talk shop.

1. Some people say that a writer's book is about her own life. How much of you is in Evan Delaney?

MG: Evan is me with the brakes off. She says and does things I would never have the chutzpah to say or do myself. We share a background as lawyers, Californians, and tomboys. And we share a sense of humor, though hers is darker than mine. However, I live a calm life compared to Evan. I've never had to defend myself with a ferret.

2. Now that you've lived in the UK for a while, how has the European mind-set and sense of humor--so different from American sensibilities--impacted your work?

MG: It's helped me look at the world from a broader perspective. It's also opened my eyes to how exotic California seems to most of the world. So I write as a California native, but take care to explain American quirks to an international audience. And of course, I play up all California's glorious eccentricities, because it's so entertaining.

3. What was your inspiration for Jesse [Blackburn]'s character?

MG: Several years ago I heard Jonathan Kellerman talk about his writing. He spoke about the power of a character who's an outsider. That got me thinking. And I wanted to create a storyline where crime has had a permanent impact on the characters' lives. Jesse is someone who had the world at his feet. Young, handsome, smart, a world-class athlete... and then he was nearly killed by a hit-and-run driver. He lost everything in one savage moment and afterward had to face life from a very different perspective. His resilience and black humor reflect the way I've seen some tough people face tragedy. And of course, I realized that if Evan was going to be a feisty, snarky kind of gal, she needed a guy who could give as good as he got.
Check out Meg Gardiner's blog, Lying for a Living, to find out what she asked me.
Photo--as large as it'll go--used by permission.

1 comment:

Fern J. Hill said...

Hey, Mel, enjoyed the article and read the "other" half, too. Good stuff. Found the no-no's helpful.

Fern J. Hill

Author of the soon to be released, Charley's Choice:
The Life and Times of Charley Parkhurst
A fictional biography about a stagecoach driver during the
California gold rush era who, upon death, was found to be
a woman.
F. J. Hill Letterwright
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