Thursday, March 25, 2010

9mm: An interview with Paddy Richardson

As I noted last week, I have now launched a new series feature for the Crime Watch blog - 9mm: quickfire interview will consist of the same nine quesions (9 MurderMystery questions) put to an ongoing series of New Zealand and international crime, thriller, and mystery authors.

The series kickstarted with an international flavour on Monday, with the very first 9mm interview being with international thriller writing mega star Lee Child, who is touring the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and the USA over the next couple of months, in support of his 14th and latest Jack Reacher novel, 61 HOURS. You can read that first 9mm interview here.

For the second in what is intended to be a regular series of interesting author interviews, I put the 9mm questions to Dunedin-based crime writer Paddy Richardson, author of the psychological thrillers A YEAR TO LEARN A WOMAN, and the recently released #1 bestseller HUNTING BLIND. I've covered Richardson and her work a bit on Crime Watch, especially lately with the release and success of HUNTING BLIND, and have written reviews of her thriller for Good Reading magazine, but this was the first time I'd actually interviewed her.

So without further ado, here is the first 9mm interview with a Kiwi crime or thriller writer (I will be trying to bring you a great mix of local and international authors over the coming weeks and months).

Who is your favourite recurring crime fiction hero/detective?
Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brodie

What was the very first book you remember reading and really loving, and why?
BLACK BEAUTY. Maybe it was because I was going through an 'I want a horse' phase but I remember being drawn totally into the story and crying over it!

Before your debut crime novel, what else had you written (if anything) - unpublished manuscripts, short stories, articles?
A few poems, some short stories (read on National radio and published in journals and two collections, CHOICES and IF I WERE LEBANESE). And a novel THE COMPANY OF A DAUGHTER.

Outside of writing, and touring and promotional commitments, what do you really like to do, leisure and activity-wise?
Swimming, gardening, cooking, travelling, reading, going to concerts, films, plays, listening to music.

What is one thing that visitors to your hometown should do, that isn't in the tourist brochures, or perhaps they wouldn’t initially consider?
Driving slowly around the Otago Peninsula, walking tracks, visiting beaches with a picnic lunch in the car.

If your life was a movie, which actor could you see playing you?
Helen Mirren

Of your books, which is your favourite, and why?
A YEAR TO LEARN A WOMAN. Because I learned a lot from it in terms of moving a plot along and creating character over the duration of a novel.

What was your initial reaction, and how did you celebrate, when you were first accepted for publication? Or when you first saw your debut story in book form on a bookseller’s shelf?
My first ever publication was a poem in Landfall. I started by writing poetry because I had small children at the time and I didn't ever have much longer than a few minutes to get down the odd line. I remember staring at the acceptance letter in stunned and amazed silence. I've had lots of celebrations with wine and friends since then but I remember that vividly because it gave me the confidence to keep going.

What is the strangest or most unusual experience you have had at a book signing, author event, or literary festival?
The most awful was when I was doing a short story reading and found out half -way through that I was missing one of the pages. The best was when a stranger rushed up, threw her arms around me and told me she'd loved my book.


Thank you Paddy Richardson. We appreciate you taking the time to talk with Crime Watch.

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So what do you think of the 9mm format? Of Paddy Richardson's answers? Have you read any of her thrillers? If so, what did you think? Feedback, thoughts, and comments greatly appreciated.

1 comment:

  1. Craig - Thanks for this interview. I'm really enjoying the chance to compare the answers that different authors give; I think that's really interesting. I didn't know that Paddy Richardson had also done short stories and poetry, so it was also very interesting to learn those things about her. That, I think, is another thing I like about this format; one gets to learn new things about authors.

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