Monday, August 18, 2008

Interview with S. Dionne Moore

1. Where did you get the idea for your main character LaTisha Barnhart?
I had an agent tell me she loved my spunky, mature women characters. I decided to base a story around such a character and since Barbour was starting a new mystery line and I just happen to love mysteries, I gave it a shot. LaTisha’s height is based on one of my close friends, with Hardy’s based on her husband—they make quite the couple, just like Hardy and LaTisha.

2. What gave you the idea for the plot?
I love history. Old ghost towns and treasure hunts. . .pirates and cops and robbers. . .well, my imagination got so stirred up I decided to use a modern town whose businesses occupied old buildings. Then I spiked that with the town legend of the assayer stealing gold from Maple Gap citizens and getting shot for his deed.

3. Who chose the clever title?
Originally, LaTisha’s story was called Get Off My Bunions, but when it became a mystery, my editor and I decided Murder on the Ol’ Bunions would be a better fit.

4. What was the most difficult thing about writing this story?
Ugh, making sure all the clues tied in and that no thread of the plot had been dropped. Writing a mystery is TIGHT writing.

5. What was the most fun?
I love doing the scenes between Hardy and LaTisha. They are so much fun and so real to me. Hardy is LaTisha’s conscience when she gets carried away, and his softness plays well against her tough gal demeanor. Of course, LaTisha is really a teddy bear inside too.

6. What advice would you give to those desiring to write mystery?
Start with something else. Writing a mystery is much more difficult than writing a romance where there are only two main characters. Mysteries involve so many clues and red herrings, twists and turns. . .it’s pure craziness trying to keep everything straight.

7. What is your favorite thing about writing?
Doing the writing is my favorite part. I hate editing. Hate it. Hate it. Hate it. Once I’ve finished a story, I want to take a break from it. A LONG break, but I seldom get that opportunity since content edits and line edits are a reality of signing a contract.
8. Any words of wisdom for new writers?
Try your hand at writing in a completely different genre than you imagined. So many get stuck writing in one genre that they never stretch themselves. I wrote historicals for years. Murder on the Ol’ Bunions was my first try at a mystery. Can you believe that? If I hadn’t taken the plunge I would have never known I could do it.

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