Friday, October 15, 2010

author interview: rosemary harris

Rosemary Harris, the author of the A Dirty Business Mystery series, stopped by to answer some questions about the series!

The star of your mystery series seems to have quite a bit in common with you (used to work in television, enjoys gardening). How much of you went into Paula?

More than a little in the first book. I guess that's typical with new writers, but Paula's come into her own in the last two books. In addition to a story arc, there's a series or character arc. Conventional wisdom says that your character should change - at least somewhat - by the end of the book and Paula's doing that.

Did you intend to create a series when you started writing Pushing Up Daisies?

Nope. I didn't even really think about getting published, I just wanted to see if I could put down on paper the story that was in my head. When my agent asked if it was a series I said, Absolutely!

Elsewhere you’ve stated that you write each book in pencil first. What’s your reason for doing so?

It's not easy to tell friends that you're writing a book. The reactions can be anything from a polite smile (they think you're delusional) to "cool, are they going to make a movie out of it" (you think they're delusional.) One friend walked me to an art supply store and presented me with a bag of pencils - Faber-Castell 5Bs. And now every time I start a book, I go to the same store and buy the pencils. I like the fact that it forces me to slow down. I also buy erasers.

What book (your own or someone else’s) has had the most impact on your life?

There are a lot of books that have been important to me at various stages of my life from Harold and the Purple Crayon to Small Changes by Marge Piercy to Easter Parade by Richard Yates to The Golden Bowl by Henry James to Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen. (And lots I've forgotten!) One that always stand out is The Razor's Edge by Somerset Maugham. It's about an extraordinary young man who...I don't want to tell you if you haven't read it. He just changes his life and the lives of those around him.

Any more adventures for Paula planned?

Next spring Paula heads to a New York and gets drawn into a murder investigation involving blackmail, sabotage, and horticultural homicide at a legendary flower show. The book is called SLUGFEST and it will be out next April.

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