Thursday, May 21, 2009
Pickle Me This interviews Terry Griggs
There's an excellent interview with Terry Griggs over at Kerry Clare's Pickle Me This. I really want to thank Kerry for this, and her support of terry's books this Spring. She also reviewed both Dead and Quickening here.
The whole interview is fab, so check out the whole thing (just follow the Pickle Me This link above.)
And I'd like to take a second to wish Kerry the best in the coming weeks, as she's about to become a new mom. And to Stuart as well, of course. Best to you both.
Here's a taste of the interview:
I: What has been your experience of crime fiction? Prior to Thought You Were Dead, were you an avid reader of it? What writers and books are you most familiar with? What are your thoughts on the genre?
TG: Very little experience, really. Before starting research for Thought You Were Dead, I’d read maybe two or three mysteries. But at some point I became interested in the form and intrigued with its popularity, especially among readers who would not otherwise read genre fiction. I’m an Eng Lit grad, so for the longest time the only kind of work I read was literary. Not a lit-snob, just didn’t know any better, thought that’s where the good stuff was. And it is, of course, but certainly not all. I still think of literature as being in two categories, although for me it’s no longer the literary/ popular fiction divide, but basically what appeals and what doesn’t. Some books fulfill my reading needs and desires and others don’t—it’s as simple as that. I find this a satisfying re-arrangement of priorities and one that opens up the field.
As for books: I discovered Ian Rankin’s Rebus series early on and followed along —to think that his publishers had wanted to dump him at one point before he hit the big time! I’ve read all of P.D. James and Martha Grimes, most of Elizabeth George, and sampled many others.
Kate Atkinson I’ve always liked, and she’s written some mysteries of late (although I believe she doesn’t call them that). Haven’t delved much into the oldie-goldies yet, I confess, although Dan Wells, my publisher has just sent me a copy of Chandler’s The Little Sister.
I: What did you learn about crime fiction while writing this novel? Though you've constructed a send-up of the genre, you're still working within the formula. How was this experience different from your previous writing?
TG: I feel that I’ve always written mysteries, just not the kind that come with the sort of conventions that need to receive at least a nod as one is passing through. And literary does have its own formulas, perhaps less obvious ones. I found the genre to be a fair bit of fun, the form flexible enough to sustain a bit of larky handling. Although this book comes out as a send-up, it’s really just creative play and me inhabiting the genre in my particular, albeit subversive, way, making it my own, leaving my thumb print (evidence!). Plot is perhaps more easily traceable in Thought You Were Dead than in some of my other works, although I’ve never considered it a lesser element. I want to be a good storyteller.