Why do you write historical mystery books?
It is, I think, a curious part of being human that we always assume we’ve missed out on something during its heyday. We look back at the past with rose colored glasses and think the times we live in now are but a pale shadow of those days. People were harder working, movies were better, music more listenable, children better behaved and the things we valued actually meant something. This is what made me want to delve into the past – to see if the times in which I am living were really inferior to those experienced by my parents and grandparents and, by extension, if the people in the here and now are somehow not as good. What I suspected, of course, is what is the reality: no matter the when, people are similar. We have the same hopes and dreams, we make the same mistakes. There are heroes in every era. And there are villains too.
You've probably done a lot of research for the series - did you find anything that really intrigued you?
I think the thing that always surprises me is how prevalent crime has always been. We think we live in more violent times, but the truth is sex, drugs, violence – they’ve always been part of our society, including part of youth culture.
If you could write a novel that is not mystery nor historical, what would it be and why?
A really dark, twisty contemporary thriller. I love reading them and I think I would really enjoy the challenge of trying to write one.
If you could go to the story world of your books, The Girl is Murder and The Girl is Trouble, what would you do? Why?
I think I’d pal around with Iris and Pearl and offer them quiet assurances that life is eventually going to get a lot better for them. I remember all too well being that age and, let’s face it, it sucks. And I’d be a tourist, witnessing for myself what life during the 1940s was like, tasting the food, seeing the sites, breathing in the life on NY streets.
Does your being an actor help you when it comes to writing? In what way?
|From DIY Musician|
Absolutely. I think the biggest thing is helping to teach me how people talk and how what you don’t say is often more important than what you do. It’s also given me a ready toolbox of tricks to use to help (hopefully) accurately render emotion in a scene, remember to use all my senses, etc. I really think all writers would do well to take an acting course or two.
Thank you for your time, Kathryn!
About the Book:
Out now from Roaring Brook Press!
Iris Anderson and her father have finally come to an understanding. Iris is allowed to help out at her Pop's detective agency as long as she follows his rules and learns from his technique. But when Iris uncovers details about her mother's supposed suicide, suddenly Iris is thrown headfirst into her most intense and personal case yet.
About the Author:
Kathryn Miller Haines is an actor, mystery writer, and award-winning playwright. She grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and received her BA in English and Theatre from Trinity University in San Antonio and her MFA in English from the University of Pittsburgh. She's a member of the Mary Roberts Rinehart Chapter of Sisters in Crime and has been a board member of the New York chapter of Mystery Writers of America.