Thursday, December 17, 2015

Triss Stein

Triss Stein is a small-town girl who has spent most of her adult life living and working in New York City. This gives her the useful double vision of a stranger and a resident which she uses to write mysteries about Brooklyn, her ever-fascinating, ever-changing, ever-challenging adopted home. Brooklyn Graves is the second Erica Donato mystery, following Brooklyn Bones.

Stein's latest novel is Brooklyn Secrets, the third Erica Donato Mystery.

From her Q & A with Lori Rader-Day:

Your Brooklyn series has an obvious locational focus and a feisty protagonist in Erica Donato. Tell us about Erica and what she has in common with Triss?

When I started this series, I wanted a character who was not me but had a more complicated, richer life than the heroine of an earlier short-lived series. She needed to be younger than me, so she would be dealing with the complications of building her life. (Now she’s a lot younger, as it took a long time to get it right. She hasn’t aged a bit but I sure have.) I wanted her to be a native, old time Brooklynite (not me) but with extra perspective (me, a little bit). Her current life, in a gentrifying part of town and a Ph.D. program in urban history, is a long way from the blue-collar neighborhood where she grew up. (Aha! A source of conflict, which all mysteries need!) I added a little—no, a lot!—more conflict by giving her a teen-aged daughter. (Nope, I didn’t have them when I started the book. Mine were all grown up, another way I have perspective she doesn’t.) Her life has not given her much sophistication but it has given her a lot of what used to be called moxie. (Do I have that? Not really.) She is a single mom, whose young husband died in an accident. (I’ve been married a lot of decades.)

And yet. Because I wanted to write about being a mother, she is one. Because I wanted to write about Brooklyn’s varied, fascinating and often mythologized past, she is a historian whose work takes her into some dark stories, both old and new. So though she is not me, in some ways she is me.

There was one more thing I needed. I could make long lists of all the protagonist qualities that would help to tell my stories, but...[read on]
Visit Triss Stein's website.

The Page 69 Test: Brooklyn Secrets.

My Book, The Movie: Brooklyn Secrets.

Writers Read: Triss Stein.

--Marshal Zeringue