Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Elly Griffiths

Elly Griffiths's books include the crime novels The Crossing Places and The Janus Stone. From her Q & A about the book with Amy Myers at Shots:

Q. I enjoyed The Crossing Places greatly, so my first question is an obvious one: after reading the novel, I’m very glad you turned to the crime field, but what influenced you into doing so?

I’ve wanted to write a crime novel for some time. I love crime fiction, particularly Victorian novels like The Moonstone or The Murders in the Rue Morgue where the detective was just starting to emerge as a literary figure. In my last ‘non-crime’ novel I had a mystery sub-plot which eventually threatened to engulf the whole book. When I was thinking about what to write next I realised that what I really wanted to do was write a ‘proper’ crime novel – dead bodies, detectives and all.

Q. Ruth Galloway was inspired by your husband decision to give up a city job to train as an archaeologist. However you write very naturally about the tools, methods, aims and the excitement of archaeology, yet without forcing information on to the reader, which is a frequent pitfall of writing in an area that one doesn’t experience at first hand. Do you go on digs with your husband, and have you done so in Norfolk?

He never lets me come on digs because I’m far too lazy! Digging is incredibly hard work and I would want a cappuccino break after about ten minutes. However he has been very helpful with the details and I do think living with an archaeologist has helped me understand a little of what it’s all about. I love the idea that you can read a landscape, make deductions based on the colour of the grass or the shape of the hills. It feels very magical to me though I do know that it involves hard physical work (and a lot of mud).

Q. Another theme of this novel is folklore and prehistoric ritual, and they are central to its mood and plot. Is this is a general interest of yours, or is it specific to the area you are writing about so skilfully? Is there one particular myth or ritual that you always link with the marshes?

Yes, one...[read on]
Visit Elly Griffiths' website.

The Page 69 Test: The Crossing Places.

--Marshal Zeringue