Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Colin Cotterill

Colin Cotterill is the author of The Coroner’s Lunch, Thirty-Three Teeth, Disco for the Departed, and Anarchy and Old Dogs, featuring seventy-three year old Dr. Siri Paiboun, national coroner of Laos.

Killed at the Whim of a Hat, which kicks off a new series, is due out in the US in July 2011.

From his Q & A with LJ Hurst at Shots:

Colin Cotterill, thanks for talking to Shots. Killed At The Whim Of A Hat to be published in March 2011 by Quercus in the UK begins a new series. Previously you’ve had the elderly male coroner, Dr Siri Paiboun as your protagonist but now you’ve reversed things, with Jimm Juree, a feisty young female reporter. And you’ve changed your scene from Laos to Thailand. Why have you made those changes?

A change is as good as a rest. I always thought I’d coined that phase but I saw footage of Benjamin Disraeli using it on YouTube. Yet it still holds true in this millennium. Dr Siri and his team write their own stories these days and they often don’t let me get a word in. You can know characters too well to the point that writing them gives you fewer challenges. You know how they’re going to react and you’ve got the Dr. Siri fan club members who know how they’re going to react. So trying something new just pisses people off. I needed a break from 1970s Laos and a new challenge. Four years ago we moved to the south of Thailand to a little fishing village in the middle of nowhere. ‘Ha Ha’, I thought. ‘Now there’s a challenge. I’ll set my new series here in a place that’s so dull the local police station doesn’t have a cell. I’ll make it contemporary so I can do all my research on-line and I’ll make the protagonist a feisty young female reporter who happens to be the same age and nationality as my wife. I’ll throw in my dogs and my neighbours and cast them into turmoil by inventing heinous crimes that turn their lives upside down. All being well I might not even need to get out of bed at all.

I was pleased to meet Jimm Juree with her confidence and optimism. Your Quercus list-mate Adrian Hyland, with his Emily Tempest mysteries set in Australia, has a similar heroine. Do you think there is something in the air that rejects the old tropes of “women in peril” that have been kept alive by Nikki French and others? If so, why is it that male authors are writing about these women?

To be perfectly honest I’m afraid of women. To be more specific I’m afraid of...[read on]
Visit Colin Cotterill's website and his Crimespace page.

The Page 69 Test: Anarchy and Old Dogs.

My Book, The Movie: Curse of the Pogo Stick.

--Marshal Zeringue