Sunday, December 8, 2013
By TOM ATWELL Special to the Maine Sunday Telegram
(Continued from page 1)
Q: A lot of the really violent stuff in this book happens off scene, with readers finding out about the events at the same time the characters were told -- like when the police chief is killed. What is the reason for that?
A: When doing that, part of me was very sad. At that time, a recreation director died and the whole community was sad. And when these things happen, it shows the flavor of a small Maine town, how close-knit and resilient they are and how they pull together and support each other, even when it's someone like Bitsy who has just come back to town after a long time away. And having postponements and the funeral, and having to deal with all of that. It happens in cities too; just look at Boston. But all of that was something that Darby had to deal with and learn from.
In the scene near the end of the book when I have this woman drugged, I had killed her first and my editor said, "Can't she not be dead too?" The bodies were really beginning to pile up.
Q: Have you ever thought of writing nonfiction or fiction that is not part of the Darby Farr series?
A: I actually love writing nonfiction. I was thinking of what to do that would be exciting. "Moving to Maine" (which she published in 2000, before the Darby Farr series started) was a joy to write. I was at a lunch recently and a woman asked if I would sign her book, and I said yes, and was surprised to see it was "Moving to Maine." It has changed people's lives.
In terms of doing a stand-alone book that is not part of the series, there is the time issue. I am doing one book a year, and that takes some time. But next year, the last child is going off to college, so that might free up some time to do another writing project.
Early on, I could get the organization of writing fiction. It was just different, and that is what Darby Farr did for me, so now I could write some fiction without using the houses and real estate.
Q: Anything you would like to talk about that we haven't covered?
A: Just that it is so great to be here in Maine, that this is a very supportive place for writers. I have met a lot of other writers and mystery writers, and it is so great to be in a place that is appreciative of creative people. It is so stimulating to have the beauty of nature, and be able to go up Mount Battie and not just be bombarded with the need to check email.
Tom Atwell is a freelance writer living in Cape Elizabeth. He can be contacted at 767-2297 or at: