Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I write mysteries. Like my protagonist Sarah McKinney, I was born and raised in the UK but came to live in the US; Atlanta for nearly thirty years, and since 2006 in the Pacific Northwest. Like Sarah, I’m a lawyer, but unlike her, I’m married with two adult children and a large dog.
“A Slippery Slope” is my debut novel. The next in the series comes out this Spring.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
“A Slippery Slope” was written to escape the task of revising a World War II novel that my editor suggested needed a lot of work. I thought a mystery would be easier! The story incorporates my advocacy for conflict resolution (Sarah is a mediator) and fascination with international politics (the Arab Spring).
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Procrastination? Hmmm, maybe not so unusual. I don’t write every day, but I think about writing every day. Does that count?
What authors, or books have influenced you?
British mystery writers like PD James, Ruth Rendell, Sarah Waters, Kate Atkinson and Tana French are my icons. In the general fiction area, I love to read Ian McEwan, David Mitchell and Hilary Mantel.
What are you working on now?
“A Dangerous Descent” should be finished soon and published this Spring. It’s the second Sarah McKinney mystery, set in rural France, in which Srah confronts some personal demons in the search for the estranged daughter of her long-time friend and mentor.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’m awful at promotion. The Decatur Book Festival gave “A Slippery Slope” a boost when I was selected as an Emerging Writer in 2013. My local independent bookstore, Village Books, in Bellingham Washington, is enormously supportive of local writers.
I’m tring to get more organized on social media and now have a blog which you can reach through my website www.marianexall.com
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Find a writing group that gives honest feedback and listen to it!
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Don’t save things for a special occasion. Life is a special occasion. Publish now!
What are you reading now?
Jo Nesbo’s “The Son.” Daniel James Brown’s “The Boys in the Boat.”
What’s next for you as a writer?
I want to get back to that World War II novel, but think I have a third Sarah McKinney mystery to complete first.
What is your favorite book of all time?
“Bleak House” by Charles Dickens