Today I’m interviewing Roslyn Reid. She just published her debut novel, a mystery, called A Scandal at Crystalline. Roslyn lives in Maine, one of my favorite states, and the name of her blog is Mysterious Maine Woodswoman. Gotta love it!
Roslyn lives with her corgi, Great Pyrenees, and husband in Downeast Maine, where she gardens, lifts weights, hikes, and renovates houses. She has contributed articles to Llewellyn almanacs for over a decade and written for one of the local newspapers.
Here’s the book blurb. Click here to find the book on Amazon.
Chandler Hammond’s wife says he and his hot Iranian girlfriend skipped out of their Maine town of Finderne with his company’s millions. But his sister thinks his wife murdered him and hires African-American detective James Early and his teenage son Tikki to find the truth. A Scandal at Crystalline follows them through an intriguing maze of unexpected encounters: financial shenanigans, two beautiful women who were sleeping with each other (and with Chandler Hammond), a police psychic, and a runaway kid in a remote mountain cabin. But things turn dark when their investigation forces them to consider the unimaginable—the sinister side of raku pottery.
Onto the interview!
Why did you decide to write this book?
One morning I woke up and this book was writing itself in my head. The same thing happened the next day and the next. I never considered myself good enough to write a mystery (or even a novel), so I kept trying to get it to go away. But then at some point I started listening to it and said to myself, hmm, this is pretty good. That’s when I started writing it down.
What genre is your book?
This is the first of a mystery series. They are all different subgenres within the mystery genre. My publisher calls this a “dark” mystery. I would call the next one a “paranormal” mystery.
Do you consider your book character-driven or plot-driven?
Readers might be a better judge of that than I could. I think sometimes it’s the characters and sometimes it’s the plot!
What makes your book unique?
Currently I’m researching racism in the mystery genre. There aren’t many black detectives. Also my villains are women, in the Raymond Chandler vein.
Do you plot ahead of time, or let the plot emerge as you write?
I’m definitely what they call a “pantser” – seat of the pants writer. I let the plot go where it may and then figure out how to make it work.
How do you develop the names for your characters?
This is a rather interesting insight into the creative process. The names of my detective, his son, and his best friend came out of the ether. Some characters, like George, are named after people I know. One of my favorite places for mining names is the local newspaper. The town the book is set in has the name of my real hometown, but it’s not in Maine. And Siri is probably self-explanatory!
How do you decide on the setting?
It seems like any writer who lives in Maine wants to set their books in Maine. This state has many unique aspects, and it can also be a pretty creepy place.
Do you have a writing mentor?
No, but I do have an impossible standard: Raymond Chandler.
What’s your writing schedule? Do you have a favorite place to write?
I write whenever I can. Some days I write only a few hours, other days can be 8 hours of nonstop writing. I’ve written in bed ever since I was 8. The only difference now is that it’s on my laptop.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Writing is not a cushy job! And not for the shy. Get out there and promote yourself.
Where can readers find you?
My blog on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19377242.Roslyn_Reid/blog
My LinkedIn page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/roslyn-reid-322018152/
My Twitter: https://twitter.com/the_moonshadow