Sorry, but none. I had written other things before I switched to mysteries and several publishers wanted my first Constable Evans mystery.
--> Have you ever thrown away a book that you just couldn't make work?
Again, no. I have come up with ideas that I couldn't excite my agent about and so some half finished manuscripts sit on my computer, but I've actually rescued the good bits to use in current mysteries.
--> Is it still exciting to publish a new book even after all this time?
Oh yes. I still get a thrill from seeing my books on a shelf. I still get a thrill from nice fan letters and waiting to see how the book is selling and whether it might make the NYT list (it did) is so exciting.
--> Do you get ideas for new books all the time and you keep them written down, or does one come to mind when you need one?
Oh yes. I always have more ideas than I have time to write so I keep a file on possible Georgie ideas and possible Molly ideas. I know a year ahead what I plan to write but then sometimes I change my mind at the last minute (as I did with the Twelve Clues of Christmas that just hit me out of the blue. I pitched it to publisher. They loved it)
--> Do you have entire story arcs mapped out when you begin a trilogy or a series of related books?
Goodness, that sounds way too organized for me. I have no idea where a story in a particular book might lead me, let alone where a whole series arc might go. Obviously if my characters have a love interest, which they do, one would want them to be together finally, but they are my children and nobody can guarantee how one's child might grow up.
--> Do you know how a book/series is going to end when you begin it?
Sometimes I know who the murderer will be. That's when the actual killing and motivation for it is important to me and I want to build sympathy for my murderer. I'm always interested in what might make an ordinary person be pushed so far into a corner that they might kill.
--> Do you have to enter a different mind-set to write different stories for different names/characters?
I find that writing my stories in the first person immediately takes me into the world of my narrators. And I take a little time between books to get one scenario out of my head. But I hear their voices so clearly that it's not hard for me.
--> Is there any kind of book you would like to write but haven't?
Harry Potter??? Actually I'd love to have created that world (even apart from the money). But I would really love to write some kind of lasting legacy, so that in the future someone might say "Rhys Bowen--didn't she write x?"
--> If you could change anything about your writing career, what would it be?
Maybe to have switched to mysteries earlier, but I think I needed my years writing other things to refine my writing skills. I wish that maybe I hadn't used such cute puns as the titles for the Constable Evans books because they made the books sound cozier than they were. (when I got an Edgar nomination for one of them I was so thrilled that a committee recongized them as good, meaty, multi-level books.)
--> What’s the most interesting question you’ve ever been asked about your writings, and what was your answer?
The strangest question is the number of people who ask me to write their life-stories, as if that might be a treat for me. And they are usually boring people too (and they don't expect to pay me). When a woman I know quite well kept bugging me to write her life story I finally said, "You can't afford me."
--> If you could have written any single work – novel, screenplay, stage play, poem, history, biography – that you most admire and adore, what would it be?
The Lord of the Rings (or Harry Potter). I read the Lord of the Rings every six months of my life for many years. It had everything a story should have--real, believable characters, a great quest, amazing scenery, terror and joy. It was perfect.
--> Anything you’ve always wanted to be asked about your writing but no one ever has?
Don't think so. I'm not a shy violet and if I wanted to be asked something, I'd make sure it came out!
Thanks for asking good questions.