Interview with Suzanne Kingsmill, author of Dying for Murder

Interview with Suzanne Kingsmill, author of Dying for Murder thumbnail

Interview with Suzanne Kingsmill, author of Dying for Murder

Posted on April 22 by Suzanne F. Kingsmill
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Today Suzanne Kingsmill, author of Dying for Murder tells us about her brand new book, her creative process, and the best advice that she's ever recieved as a writer.

Caitlyn: Tell us about your book

Suzanne: There’s nothing like the setting of a remote and desolate barrier island to pique the creative juices.  Throw in a ragtag bunch of biologists conducting research on the island, a hurricane and the troubling death of the director of the station and my protagonist, zoologist Cordi O’Callaghan, has a third mystery on her hands, Dying for Murder, following her other two, Forever Dead (set in the Canadian wilderness) and Innocent Murderer (set in the Canadian Arctic). To give readers more of a feel for Dying for Murder, in advance of its publication I produced my first ever 75 second book trailer complete with voiceover and murderous visuals, which was a lot of fun to make.

Caitlyn: What was the creative process like for you.

Suzanne: The creative process is often an organic one, with a mind of its own, and I am just along for the ride. It means that outlines don’t work well for me. I use just the bare bones of an idea, because my imagination goes on too many tangents over which I have no control, in that really intense and euphoric zone of heightened inspiration. One moment a blank space on the computer screen and the next a character I didn’t even know would ever exist pops into my mind and takes over. I’ve even had bit characters take over the book and the only way I could get rid of them was to give them their own book.

Caitlyn: What inspired you to write your first book.

Suzanne: Forever Dead was my first murder mystery. I was walking along the Capilano River in Vancouver. The water was really low and I was able to jump from rock to rock out into the river. As I watched the water squeezing through small boulders, creating little haystacks and miniature standing waves I pictured a tiny canoe caught by the river and thought how much fun it would be to describe a wild ride down the rapids of a wilderness river, and the adrenaline rush of surviving that. Just then I heard the whine of a chain saw off in the distance and started thinking about loggers and clear-cuts and murder and mayhem. That’s Forever Dead.

Caitlyn: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received as a writer?

Suzanne: "Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” The American Author E.L. Doctorow wrote that and it was actually very encouraging for someone who often writes blind, not knowing what’s coming down the line. You just keep moving forward one word at a time, and you’ll get there.

Caitlyn: What is your new project.

Suzanne: Crazy Dead is a new murder mystery with a new female protagonist. It is set on a psychiatric ward in Toronto, with the patients and medical staff as suspects and the protagonist a patient herself. Nothing is as it seems!