Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Claire Booth

Formerly a crime reporter for daily newspapers such as the Miami Herald and Philadelphia Inquirer, Claire Booth is the author of the Sheriff Hank Worth Mysteries: The Branson Beauty, Another Man's Ground, A Deadly Turn, and the newly released Fatal Divisions.

From my Q&A with the author:

How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

I think that titles play a really important part of bringing readers into the story. I hope that Fatal Divisions does that. The book is about families—the ones you’re related to and the ones you form with friends—and the actions that can tear those families apart. It was a tough title to come up with, because the natural phrases that come to mind are so overused—“Family Ties,” “Blood Kin,” etc. My editor and I batted around many combinations before we settled on Fatal Divisions, and I’m quite happy with it.

What's in a name?

Since this is a series, most of my character names were decided long ago. I do have one very important new one in Fatal Divisions, however. Finella McCleary Lancaster. She’s the sister of Duncan McCleary, who is the father-in-law of my main character, Sheriff Hank Worth. Duncan is a character with a proud Scottish heritage, and I needed his sister to be the same. I thought her name would be a perfect way to reflect that. I turned to my favorite name resource, a book of global baby names, and found “Finella.” It’s not often the absolute perfect name pops out at you, but it did for me this time.

How surprised would your teenage reader self be by your new novel?

My teenage self wouldn’t be surprised at all! I’ve loved mysteries since I could read, speeding through things like Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. And I spent my teenage years devouring Agatha Christie. So writing my own mysteries would be something my teenage self would see as a natural next step.

Do you find it harder to write beginnings or endings? Which do you change more?

I actually find the middle to be the most difficult. I always know where I want to start, and I usually know where I want to end up, but it’s how to get there that gives me the most trouble. In this book, I start with a missing person and a suspicion that someone close to my main character, Hank Worth, is a killer. I won’t tell you how he sorts out those problems, but it took me many twists and turns to get where I knew I had to end.
Visit Claire Booth's website.

My Book, The Movie: Fatal Divisions.

The Page 69 Test: Fatal Divisions.

--Marshal Zeringue