A Q&A with R.M Greenaway

A Q&A with R.M Greenaway

Posted on March 31 by Kyle in Interview
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What do you think is the overarching theme of your work, and compelled you to explore it?

Having never been a good team player myself - by no means antisocial, just shy -- I stood aside and admired people who could work together toward a common goal. Working in the court system - taking down everything that's said - meshed nicely with my love of mystery novels. I wanted to capture the dance of conflict and cooperation, along with the abiding humour, of everyday lives, and put together a form of entertainment within my introverted reach: the novel. I guess really I just wanted to create my own team. 


Did you have a specific readership in mind when you wrote Cold Girl?

When I began Cold Girl I never imagined it would go further than the readership of me. I found I did a fairly good job of entertaining me, and by the end thought maybe I could entertain others as well, so began to submit. Eventually I did get the incredible news that I'd passed go. Still, I'm not sure who will enjoy my series into the future. My anxiety-hobgoblin says it will only appeal to odd types, but fortunately most people are odd in one way or another, so I'm hoping these BC Blues crime novels will appeal to all sorts of great readers. 

What was the hardest part of the writing process?

The hardest part was sharing for the first time, and that's ongoing. Here I am sharing my own character, but maybe more alarmingly, the dear characters I've created, and praying they will be accepted. Just like when you send your kid to school, you pray they fit in, make friends. I was disappointed to hear the fear doesn't go away. I've heard Louise Penny comment on how she tries not to read the Amazon reviews, and how she wishes she had a thicker skin, and that's Louise Penny! So there's that. But everything else about writing - the new friends and being part of the world - makes up for the darkest days.   

What's the best advice you've ever received as a writer?

Having been writing away for some years on my own, I took on a sort of who-cares attitude. I think this armour served its purpose though -- it propelled me through the rejections and prevented me from giving up. But then I attended my first live workshop and heard crime writer Deryn Collier say "You're writing for the reader". How obvious is that? Yet I didn't quite get it till that moment. This most elementary piece of advice has shifted me in a better direction, I do believe. The adventure of writing seems to require that, those slight but consequential adjustments to trajectory.

Do you have a new project coming?

Yes, I'm very excited about my new project, but don't want to say much about it, as it's in the works and evolving. Even putting these words down I fear is a jinx. I'll just say the tension continues in a new milieu -- though still in the blues of BC, now ocean-side -- and trouble abounds for everyone!