I am pleased to introduce you to my friend, author Mahrie G. Reid, who agreed to do a little Q&A with me today.
Can you tell us a little about your current mystery series?
The Caleb Cove Mystery Series is set where family doesn’t always have blood-ties. They have a Touched by Murder Club with rather an alarming number of members. Surviving a crime changes people and each of the heroines deals with the issues differently. However, they face death and learn that they are capable of more than they ever thought possible. And whether the murders are the results of guns, knives or poisons, the folk in the cove are front and center and ready to help.
Your titles feature the Came Home theme. Can you tell us what that means in the context of the story’s setting?
Nova Scotia, with its seafaring history has some unique terms. Came Home Dead comes from a phrase used when the body of a sailor who died at sea, or drowned, shows up on shore. He is deemed to have come home dead. Additionally, Nova Scotians refer to any where other than N. S. as “away.” So you might hear the phrase: Did you hear, Johnny Zinck came home from away for Christmas? So the came home term comes from those uses. I also learned from a police officer in the province that they serve a lot of warrants and arrest quite a few people in December. “Those Nova Scotia boys just can’t stay away at Christmas. They came home and ended up in jail.”
What motivates you to write? Caffeine, sugar, carbs, or a higher moral purpose?
On any given day, coffee starts my brain and my brain has all these ideas. I have to do something with them. On a larger scale, I dislike shopping, I found VLT’s boring and I can only clean the house so much. Given that I love to read, and I’ve been writing since I was a kid, writing my favorite type of books is a logical extension. Words do it for me. My father was a clergyman and had several Bibles in his office. But my mother’s bible (she was a writer) was the Oxford English Dictionary and it sat on the cast iron radiator beside the kitchen table. “Look it up,” she’d say. And we did. Grandpa wrote as well, so I suppose it’s almost genetic. Besides, it’s darn good fun.
A little bit of the author is written into every one of her characters. Which character are you most like? Least?
I like Uncle Lem, a man who gets things done, has a mysterious past and guides walking tours of old houses and graveyards. He’s more my age, so that might factor in. Devon and Kelsey and Emily all have a piece of me. Growing up a minister’s daughter in the 50’s and 60’s I don’t remember being me. I was his daughter, then I was someone’s wife and later someone’s mother. Life-changes had me questioning who I, as an individual, was. And in one way or another, all three of the main characters struggle with that question.
You have taught, mentored, edited, and critiqued other writers, including me when I was a noob. What part of the writing process do you enjoy most? Why?
My favorite part is developing the back story. Murders and kidnappings don’t come out of thin air, they have reasons. Knowing who can kill, who invites murder and who knows enough, or asks enough questions, to solve it requires knowing both the characters and their history. Psychology fascinates me, so making up people and understanding them works. And passing on what I know – I am so excited I’ve learned things, I just want to share them.
Please tell us a little about your next writing project.
Came Home too Late, book 3 in the Caleb Cove Mystery series will be out in a couple of weeks. I’d planned to move on to another series I’ve been brainstorming, but one of the cove’s recurring, secondary characters took me by the brain and inserted ideas for her book. Therefore, my next project (already started) will be book 4. It’s Constable Natalie Parker’s story, but as of yet it has no title. Suggestions welcome.
Thanks Makenzi, for coming up with such great questions. It’s been fun.
An avid reader from elementary school on, Mahrie often read twelve books a week. Once she’d read the Nancy Drew books, mysteries dominated her lists. Agatha Christie, Dick Frances and Dorothy Gilman, among many others, set the tone for her reading and writing. Her published books are Came Home Dead, Came Home to a Killing and the third, Came Home too Late, will be out by the end of June 2016. They are books 1 to 3 in the Caleb Cove Mystery Series.
Over the years she’s published articles, poems and short stories. She has belonged to writing groups and attended conferences and workshops and, in later years, taught in all these areas. Her stories involve ordinary people who get caught up in extraordinary situations that push them to be more, and do more, than they ever thought possible.
Mahrie is a member of Alberta Romance Writers’ Association and a graduate of Calgary’s Citizen’s Police Academy and Private Investigation 101. She lives north of Calgary, Alberta with her hubby and a cat called Kotah.
Learn more about Mahrie and her books at www.mahriegreid.com