Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Michelle Gagnon

From Lee Goldberg's Q & A with Michelle Gagnon about her new novel, Kidnap & Ransom:

LEE: The old adage is "write what you know," but the heroine of your books is a kick-ass FBI Special Agent. You've been everything BUT that... a dancer, model, dog walker, personal trainer, bartender, etc. Is writing about Kelly Jones purely an escapist fantasy for you?

MICHELLE: So true, I’m clearly in way over my head. The smart thing would have been to set a book in a Russian supper club starring a modern dancer and call it a day.

Here’s the thing: with THE TUNNELS, I initially set out to write a college coming of age story. But I kept stalling out after twenty or so pages. Each time I went back and tried a different approach, starting with a different scene or tweaking the characters...and each time, I got the same result.

Then one night, I had two of my characters walking through this abandoned tunnel system under the university. And I almost inadvertently killed one of them off. I sat back, re-read what I’d written, and shrugged, figuring I might as well see how it played out. A few pages later FBI agent Kelly Jones walked on to the scene, and the story was off and running. I completed a rough draft within a month.

In retrospect, even though it was entirely unintentional, I feel lucky to have stumbled upon choosing an FBI agent as one of my main characters, because...[read on]
The Page 69 Test: Michelle Gagnon's Boneyard.

--Marshal Zeringue