Thursday, September 16, 2010

Not your Normal Interview

Robin Spano's first book, Dead Politician Society, was  released  Sept. 1 in hardcover   from ECW Press. She has been visiting blogs recently to introduce people to her work and today let her central character ask her a few questions. Enjoy....

Clare Vengel: Why would you want to write books all day? Don’t you get bored?

Robin Spano: Are you kidding? I love writing. Sometimes it frustrates me and I want to scream, but I’m almost never bored.

Clare: I’d go mental. I’d rather be out in the world doing things. Want a cigarette?

Robin: I’d love one. But I quit years ago.

Clare: At least have a beer.

Robin:  Gladly.

Clare:  So…you ride a motorcycle. At least you haven’t given that up in your old age. Do you do your own repairs?

Robin: I wish. I tried to at first. But I’m a lousy mechanic.

Clare: You need focus to be a mechanic. And you need to groove with your machine.

Robin: Yeah. I can’t do it. I can focus and groove with my writing, though.

Clare: Okay, I kind of get why you wouldn’t be bored. Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Robin : I think so, but I’ve spent most of my life trying to do everything but write.

Clare: Why?

Robin: I think I was afraid of it. Of not succeeding. Then not having the dream anymore.

Clare: That’s stupid.

Robin: I agree.

Clare: How did you get over that?

Robin: It was my husband. He couldn’t understand why I would possibly NOT spend my life doing what I love. His favourite saying is that life is not a dress rehearsal, and one day I understood what he meant.

Clare: Why crime fiction? Is it because you live such a boring life, you need to spice it up with some adventure?

Robin: That’s not it. I used to have a lot of trouble with plot. With a mystery, you’re forced to spend a lot of time crafting the plot. So I couldn’t run away from my main weakness as a writer.

Clare: Okay, that’s boring. I don’t care about writing technicalities. Why did you write about dead politicians? Do you follow politics in real life?

Robin: Politics entertain me. Sometimes I get riled up about an issue, but mostly it just cracks me up how these grown men and woman happily sling mud around while they’re supposed to be making the world a better place.

Clare: Why did you set your book at a university?

Robin: Because it’s such a great age. People in their late teens/early twenties reason like adults but are ruled by their emotions and ideals. They still see a lot of the world in black and white, but they’re starting to understand that gray might have some merit. For the political murders and their motives, I needed a group of intelligent characters at that stage in life.

Clare: So what’s my job?

Robin: You’re undercover as a student. You have to befriend the suspects, try to get into the secret society, and find the killer if you can.

Clare: But I don’t know anything about politics. Or university.

Robin: The politics don’t matter. This is all about the people.

Clare: Will I do a good job?

Robin: You’ll have your moments.

Clare: Will I end up solving the case?

Robin: How would I know? You have to go in and do the best job you can. That’s all we can ever do.

Robin Spano grew up in Toronto, studied physics in New Brunswick, then dropped out to travel North America on her motorcycle. She met her husband, Keith, while working as a waitress, and helped him run his Toronto pool room until they moved to Vancouver. She unwinds by snowboarding, boating, or arguing about politics.

Robin's  Web site 


Mary said...

A fun interview. Thank you Maryann, Robin and Clare.
I think this covers it for a lot of writers:
Robin: I think I was afraid of it. Of not succeeding. Then not having the dream anymore.

Maryann Miller said...

You're right Mary, I know a lot of writers, myself included, who have struggled with this.

Robin Spano said...

Thanks for this topic, Maryann! I loved writing it. Mary, you sound like a writer, too - I'm glad you can relate (though I wish this business wasn't such a tricky confidence game)!

Maryann Miller said...

Glad you had fun with this blog post, Robin.

AlexOngNYC said...

Wow, great interview. I too have spent most of my life afraid of my own writing, and now, I'm doing the thing I'm most afraid of, writing a mystery!

Breakfast Every Hour

Terry Odell said...

Excellent! Thanks for this twist. I've held 'auditions' for my characters, but they've never interviewed me.

Terry's Place
Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

Maryann Miller said...

Thanks for stopping by for the interview everyone.

Alex, have fun writing your book. Don't think of the after, just enjoy the process.

Terry, the interview twist was Robin's idea and I really liked it. I've seen it a few times on some other blogs and it is always a fun interview.

Robin Spano said...

Ha ha. I've been giving Maryann credit for the twist! Maybe we just had twisted communications.

Helen Ginger said...

Cute interview. We find out about the character and the author, at the same time!

Maryann Miller said...

Robin, you are right, we sure have had twisted communications. But I really don't care who gets credit for the idea. LOL

Robin Spano said...

Yeah, me neither. But it was YOUR idea. LOL, I just had to go back and check, SO, quoting you from an old email:

"Robin, something that is always fun for the readers is when a central character interviews the author. I have seen that done on some other blogs and it works well."

But you can accuse me of doctoring that all you like...I do spend all day contemplating the criminal mind.