Thursday, June 11, 2009
Welcome, I’m so glad to have this opportunity to chat with you. Can you share with my readers the essence of the story you’ve penned?
At its essence Gold Digger is about a strong woman attempting to survive in a man’s world. Fiona MacGillivray is a woman with a past (which will be revealed slowly as the series progresses) and not much interest in being respectable. She, along with her 12 year old son, Angus, travelled to the Klondike to take part in the gold rush, and using the money from the sale of some stolen jewllery she goes into business as the proprietor of the Savoy Dance Hall. Her business, and the life she has made for Angus and herself, is threatened when a thourougly disreputable journalist is murdered on the stage of the Savoy. Gold Digger is the first in a series, and it is intended to be fairly lighthearted.
You’ve chosen a very interesting title. What inspired the title? What inspired the book?
Gold Digger came to me as the title almost from the beginning. It’s a double entenre. Gold Digger, as in a participant of the gold rush, but also as in the sense of a person out to make money. It was said that the dance hall owners, bar tenders, shop owers were ‘mining the miners’. The book was inspired when I was on a canoe trip some years ago with a group of people from Europe. I said something about how our anscestors would have thought we were fools to spend good money, and our valuable vacation time, doing what they considered hardship. Then I started telling my friends the story of the Klondike gold rush, and thought… that would make an interesting setting for a book!
What makes this book special to you?
I love that time period. In many ways, not just in terms of the date, it stands at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. The roles of women were changing, Canada was being formed into a country, technology was improving day by day. People were hugely optomistic about the future, and it was that optomism that drove them to head off into the wilderness looking for gold. There was so much hope and promise, yet, as we all know, in many ways the 20th century didn’t turn out so well.
What makes this a book that people MUST read and WHY?
Anyone interested in Canadian history should read it – a lot of our mythology comes from that time, particularly regarding the North West Mounted Police (precursors to the RCMP). Dawson was truly a wild-west town with the stamp of ‘peace order and good government’. I think of it as Dodge run by the Mounties. It’s a fun romp in an interesting time and with interesting people.
What sparks your creativity? Any tips to help others spark their own creativity?
Reading. I read a great deal, and I truly believe that anyone who wants to write should be reading as much as they have time for. Don’t have time to read? Turn off the TV.
What has been the biggest stumbling block in your writing? Can you share some tips to help others get past similar problems?
Time. Time. Time. When I started to think about writing, I had three kids and a full time job. It was only once the kids got older, and I had some time to myself, that I became what I call a “Sunday Writer”, i.e. could snatch a bit of time on a Sunday afternoon to write. Then they got older and independent and eventually grew up and moved out. My advice to anyone who wants to write but really doesn’t have the time because of family and work and other commitements, is to hold onto that dream – jot down your ideas, write in the snatches of time you do have, read a lot, and wait it out. Your time will come.
Tell me about the most unusual things you have done to promote your book?
I bought a gorgeous hat, very much 19th century. I wear it to all my events for Gold Digger. I stand out, to say the least. Otherwise, I don’t do anything ‘unusual’. I go to bookstores, conferences, do book tours. I have a web page (www.vickidelany.com) and am part of a group blog (http://typem4murder.blogspot.com).
Each author is different in the way they create a work of fiction. Please describe for us how you plan or plot a story.
I always began with the setting. Setting is very important to me in my writing. After setting comes characters and then the plot has to fit in. This is the same for the Klondike series as with my police procedural series set in a small town in the Interior of British Columbia. (Valley of the Lost, In the Shadow of the Glacier). I usually do a rough outline, in that I know who did ‘it’ and why, and have an idea of where the plot will go. But not always – for the forthcoming Winter of Secrets (November, 2009 - the third Constable Molly Smith book) I had the first scene in my mind and wrote it down and carried on. I was almost finished the book before I knew what had happened and who was responsible. It was a very interesting exercise.
Authors are very unique in the way they write, the tools they use, when they write, etc. Please describe a typical writing day for you? How do you organize your day?
I write 100% on the computer. When I was working full time, I wrote every day when I got home from work, but now that I’m retired, I write in the morning. Get up, put the coffee pot on, read e-mail and the headlines in the paper, and start in. I usually write for 3 or four hours. Seven days a week, when I’m home. Not a word if I’m travelling. In the evening I do the ‘business’ part of the writing career – such as this interview.
What is your current work in progress?
I am working on the first draft of Constable Molly Smith #4, as yet unnamed. The next in the Klondike series, Gold Fever, is finished and at the publishers and will probably be released in Spring/summer 2010.
Can you tell us where to find more information about you and your books and how readers can reach you?
My web page is www.vickidelany.com and I blog at Type M for Murder (http://typem4murder.blogspot.com). Most of my promotion for Gold Digger will be in Ontario – there is a link from my web page to my tour schedule. Keep an eye on the blog in the fall, because there will be a contest to win a copy of Winter of Secrets.
What would you like our readers to know about you and your writing?
I love to write and I love to read, and I really love to get e-mails!