Today I'm welcoming Sandra Parshall to my place. She has been a role model for me ever since I got serious about mystery writing. Her series sleuth is Rachel Goddard, a veterinarian in
love for animals is no secret and she champions their cause whenever she can.
She's the reason I wasted--I mean spent --so many hours on the National Zoo
Panda Cam when Tai Shan was a baby. Virginia
Her first mystery, THE HEAT OF THE MOON (which absolutely blew me away), develops Rachel's memories of her past and established her as a heroine to be admired. In the second, DISTURBING THE DEAD, Rachel leaves the DC area and ventures far into
, where she will
remain and practice. This book introduced me to Melungeons. In BROKEN PLACES, a
past love of Rachel's beau turns up, along with a dead body, of course. UNDER
THE DOG STAR, has, as one of its themes, a feral dog pack. These summaries are
overly simplified and don't do the books any sort of justice. If you haven't
discovered Parshall, I recommend remedying that quickly and delving into her
work. Her books are available in print, ebook, and audio. She has a brand new
mystery coming out in this month, called BLEEDING THROUGH. I can't wait to read
BIO: Sandra Parshall’s first paying job as a writer was that of obituary columnist for her hometown newspaper in
Within a few months she moved up to writing feature stories. She worked on
newspapers in South Carolina
and on the Baltimore Evening Sun before moving to the West Virginia ,
area with her journalist husband. They still live there, with their two cats,
Emma and Gabriel. Washington, DC
is a former member of the Sisters in Crime national board and remains active in
SinC as manager of the members-only listserve. Sandy
, have you ever worked for a vet? If
not, why make your main character one? Wasn't that harder than choosing a profession
you know? Sandy
ME: I've learned so much about writing from reading your prose. For instance, I remember remarking, awhile ago, about how you know just when to begin and end scenes. Your dialog is natural, your settings are alive. And you tackle serious issues in your books. How did you learn to write so well?
ME: You are one of my mentors, with your rich, literary writing. I'm never disappointed when I delve into one of your complex, satisfying books. Can you name some of your mentors?
ME: You're an expert at coming up with evocative titles. How do you do this?
ME: How long did you write before you were published? Do you have unpublished books sitting around and, if so, do you ever plan to rework and publish them?
ME: Do you have plans to write books outside your series? (Not that I don't want waaay more Rachel books!)
ME: You've been putting out about a book a year. Are you comfortable with this pace? How do you manage your writing time? Are you disciplined about it?
ME: I know that writers involved in traditional publishing are frequently finished with the next and writing the one beyond that when a book comes out. How many do you have lined up? Can you tell us a bit about them?
ME: Anything else you'd like my readers to know?
Thanks for being here today, Sandy, and best of luck with the new book!