I totally am so excited to get this opportunity to talk with MK Gilroy, author of Cuts Like A Knife. I reviewed the novel yesterday and if you haven’t read it…well, I gave it excellent marks. As most of you viewers know I always start out an interview with TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE. Mr. Gilroy…give me your best shot!
-I had total replacements on both hips this summer
-I played varsity college tennis for four years
-I am a huge University of Michigan football fan.
Hmm….this one is way hard! Through process of deduction (however illogical my method may be) since there are two sports listed I’m going to guess it is one of them. I’m not fond of tennis. I did live in Michigan for a while…I’m going to take a gander and say hip replacements. HAHA…I told you it was illogical!) Anyway, please tell us a few things about yourself before we begin the interview.-I am married with six kids. The youngest is in high school so Amy and I will soon be empty nesters – although, come to think of it, you never know when one of the older ones might show up and decide to visit for a year or two.
-I am married to a flight attendant so we’ve travelled a lot domestically and overseas – love to visit (not live in) big cities like London, new york city, Rome, Paris, Hong Kong – but if i can only plan one trip this year then book for me Paris.
-My favorite book turned movie, for a movie adaptation, I think it is hard to beat the combo of Mario Puzo’s novel The Godfather and what Martin Scorsese did with the movie. Not sure I liked another Puzo novel, but The Godfather was groundbreaking and the movie breathtaking.
-My favorite participation sport today is cycling – it’s the only sport that doesn’t hurt anymore; if my sons aren’t on the ‘playing field’ my favorite spectator sport is college football.
-The first book I remember reading was the Hardy Boys novels as a young reader. I would fake being sick so i could stay home and read instead of going to school.
-My favorite holiday is Christmas of course! Isn’t that everyone’s favorite holiday? Okay, I’ll leave it at my favorite holiday. ;-)
-If I could do anything without fear, well I have a fear of heights but forced myself to go skydiving. I’m not as ambitious anymore – I’d like to climb the ladder outside to change lights without being afraid!
-We had a black and silver miniature schnauzer for 12 years. His last few years were increasingly miserable for him with diabetes and a bad hip. So we sadly had to put Colby to sleep. Actually, i waited for a day when everyone was away from house and did it.
Wow…that’s…um a lot! Six kids? I’m wondering how you find time to write, but since you said most were already gone off to live their life that question is moot. Having a flight attendant as wife sure sounds like it has definite perks! I’ve never watched The Godfather all the way through and I’ve never cared much for the hardy boys or the Nancy Drew series. Anyway, enough about me. Ha! Tell me where did you find the inspiration for your novel Cuts Like a Knife?I have always loved character driven mysteries and have read a wide variety of series. My first inspiration was to create a new character that people could fall in love with. While writing, I fell in love with Detective Kristen Conner myself – but like my readers, she drives me crazy too.
I loved Kristen. You wrote her so well. She was, well, I mean, she very well could be the person next door she was written that well. I think you added the perfect amount of realistic qualities to your character, her flaws, her likes and dislikes, her problems and annoyance with her family members. Everything was written perfectly. She is obviously a favorite character…anyone could see that. Why though? What is it about her?Detective Kristen Conner is my lead character and I love her because she is such a graceful mess. I coached my kids in soccer and basketball and other sports—so I decided part of her back-story would be as an athlete and that she would coach her niece’s soccer team. This would add humor and a soft touch to her world in the midst of a murder investigation. So Kristen is tough, athletic, competitive—but also very reflective and even a bit clumsy. If someone is going to knock the pot of coffee over in a meeting, it is Kristen.
The soccer moments were crafty. And very humorous. It gave her story the much needed quality of balance and goodness in the midst of her very real and ugly mess of a detective’s life. Tell me, how do you write? Do you listen to music? Do you outline? What is it that you do when developing your tale?I write all over the place – my home office, Starbucks, favorite restaurants, propped up in bed, on airplanes, the back porch, and anywhere else the wind blows me. I input most of the novel straight from brain to computer, but every now and then I have to grab an old yellow ruled pad of paper, get out an old Mont Blanc pen, and write long hand. Not sure why.
Once Kristen Conner emerged as a real person and character in my mind, it allowed me to do what I like best, which is just let the story flow. Up front I come up with a criminal and the crime—and as they evolve and become more real I edit both directions—but I tend to write free form until I have a twist or three figured out. Then I quickly write sentences and phrases that map out the progression of the book. So the outline emerges in complete form about half to two-thirds of the way through.
Amazing. I really love asking people what their techniques are. Everybody is so different. Now I know you’ve published another novel so you’re like an old pro at this. Has life changed for you since you published your books?I’ve been in publishing for more than 30 years. I have a fairly long list of writing credits in a variety of forms—from feature articles to sports writing to ghost writing business books to curriculum and having my own name on covers. I’ve been publisher over some fairly large business units so I’ve obviously enjoyed helping others bring their book to market. But I have to admit that writing my novels has been different—more personal and a unique exhilaration. I’m not sure I’ve changed, but I’ve loved every minute of writing and then seeing Cuts Like a Knife and Every Breath You Take reach market.
You are definitely experienced and your writing shows it. How long did it take you to write your book?I worked on Cuts Like a Knife off and on for a year—took six months to sell it and the edit was substantial. Every Breath You Take went much faster because the character was established—I wrote almost 100 thousand words in two months. One way I cut down on editing—which was devoted in large measure to my timetable of days and weeks—was to create a Google Calendar that I used to put my scenes in by date.
From a year to two months…amazing. Even with having your character established…that’s still a truly amazing feat. What goals do you have for yourself?I really like Detective Kristen Conner and plan to write as many books as my publisher and readers will allow. I do have a couple of partial manuscripts that are in different genres but I don’t feel the urgency to hit them—yet.
I’m absolutely certain I’ll be reading Every Breath You Take soon! And I can’t wait to see where Kristen Conner goes in the future. J Please please do keep in touch with us here…as I’ll keep my eye open for more of your writing! Thank you so much for visiting with us. Before we leave…we play something called RAPID ANSWER ZONE!!!
What were the last three songs you listened to?Skyfall by Adele
I Wanna Talk About Me by Toby Keith
Work to Do by Fattburger—how is that for an eclectic mix?
Where was the last place you dined out?Just went to lunch with a group of colleagues to Judge Bean’s, a great little barbecue joint in Brentwood, Tennessee.
What was the last set of tickets you purchased for?I went to the Broadway musical Wicked with my wife and youngest son in NYC last week.
What is the best age to be?Whatever age you are! My wife’s grandma lived to 109 and it was amazing to see someone so old be so active until her last few years. She bowled, kept her own home, drove her car, and volunteered at her Catholic Church.
What is in your pocket right now?Nothing! I don’t have two pennies to rub against each other in there! My wallet and keys are on my desk and will be in my pockets soon.
Now, which one of the three was the lie?
I am an Ohio State Buckeye football fan – obviously, no Buckeye fan can stand Michigan football. I was actually a little nauseated while waiting to get that cleared up!
Dang it…another one wrong! I’ve got to do something about this illogical deduction thing of mine. Haha