Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Interview with Barbara Ross

What is the title of your newest book? How many books have you published?
My newest book is Steamed Open, the seventh novel in the Maine Clambake Mystery series and my
eighth published book overall. There are also two novellas in the series. They are in the holiday anthologies Eggnog Murder and Yule Log Murder.

How did you develop your character and choose your location?
The location was a natural. My husband and I have owned a Victorian house at the head of the harbor in Boothbay Harbor, Maine for many years. It’s such a natural location for a cozy mystery series. The character of Julia Snowden came from the location. I wanted her to be both an insider and a outsider, so she became the daughter of marriage between a summer person and a local, as well as someone who’d been sent to boarding school for high school and just kept going.

What is a day in the life of an author like? Do you write a certain number of words, do you write in the morning or evening?
When I’m writing a first draft I try to write 1500 words a day. Late afternoon is my most productive time. I try to do “the business of writing,” —answering emails, blog posts, etc., in the morning.

Do you model your character after yourself or any one you know?
Julia Snowden is half my age, so in the beginning I thought a lot about how she would think and talk. My daughter pointed out the character was a lot like my niece, Julia. Now, Julia’s voice comes pretty naturally to me.

If your books were made into a movie, who would you want to play the lead character?
I always say Anna Kendrick as the answer to this question because she’s a Mainer and she’s small and also I love her work. She doesn’t look like he Julia in my head, but that’s okay.

Who is your favorite author?
Such a hard question. Living author, I would say Louise Penny. Of course, I am in the middle of The Kingdom of the Blind, which I am loving.

If you could invite five people – living or dead – to a dinner party, who would they be?
Let’s have a mystery author party. I would invite PD James, Ruth Rendell, Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie and Louise Penny. It might be a little tense at first. Ruth has said some not nice things about Agatha’s work. But then I think we would all settle in for a great discussion.

If you could not be an author, what would like to do as a career?
I’ve already had another career, as a Chief Operating Officer in three successful software companies. At this point, if I wasn’t an author, I’d be enjoying my retirement.

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