Thursday, May 21, 2009

Craig McDonald

From an interview with Craig McDonald at Hardboiled Wonderland:

You made a name for yourself in crime lit circles as a journalist and interrogator first. Which came first for you, the desire to write fiction or write about it?

Definitely to write fiction. I first tried to write a crime novel when I was nine. I wrote some short stories that verged on hardboiled crime fiction whose content concerned my third-grade teacher enough to warrant a parent-teacher conference. I actually wrote a couple of crime novels in the early 1990s, came close to getting an agent a few times with those, then got married, had children and set fiction writing aside for a few years.

About 2000, I was approached by the editor of the Australian crime fiction magazine Crime Factory to interview some American crime writers for the zine. I started with James Ellroy, and went on from there. I also began posting long-form Q&As with interview subjects on my own website, then later adapting those same online interviews for occasional newspaper articles. But my eye was always on writing novels and I was writing my own novels again while conducting all those interviews.

Does that third grade teacher still live in your fiction?

No, I’ve never used my teacher and probably never will…she’s just not going to fit comfortably into my fictional milieu.

Who would have influenced you at nine years old? [read on]
Learn more about the author and his work at Craig McDonald's website and his Crimespace page.

Craig McDonald is an award-winning journalist, editor and fiction writer. His short fiction has appeared in literary magazines, anthologies and several online crime fiction sites. His nonfiction books include Art in the Blood, a collection of interviews with 20 major crime authors, and Rogue Males: Conversations and Confrontations About the Writing Life, from Bleak House Books.

McDonald's debut novel, Head Games, was selected as a 2008 Edgar® nominee for Best First Novel by an American Author.

The Page 69 Test: Toros & Torsos.

The Page 69 Test: Head Games.

--Marshal Zeringue