Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sheila Connolly

From Julia Buckley's interview with Sheila Connolly, author of One Bad Apple:

Your book One Bad Apple, [now out] from Berkley Prime Crime. In it a woman takes on a “crumbling colonial house and an orchard,” which become the backdrop of the mystery. Is the setting based on personal experience?

In more ways than one. My husband and I spent fifteen years working on an abused Victorian, and I don’t think there was any part of the house that we didn’t repair or restore. Our current Victorian is less needy, but there’s always something going wrong. I’ve never worked on a colonial, but the house in One Bad Apple is very real-—it was built by my seventh great-grandfather, in western Massachusetts, and I’ve been able to stay there more than once. The house remained in the family for over two hundred years, and somehow that suggested to me a way to link a sense of belonging in a community, and the changes that any community must make if it’s going to survive.

My brother owned an orchard for years, until he and his wife both developed back problems from the endless pruning. Do you discuss some of the realities of orchard life in One Bad Apple?

Absolutely. Apples trees require a lot of work. In fact, in the second book of the series, Rotten to the Core (July 2009), I tackle the question of organic purity vs. chemical spraying. Consumers want perfect, large, shiny apples, but you don’t get that in nature.
Read the complete Q & A.

--Marshal Zeringue