Sunday, July 15, 2012

Getting to know Madeline Gornell


Madeline, I’m pleased to have you with us today. I’ve read your novel, Reticence of Ravens, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to reading more of your books.


Patricia, interestingly, your questions—where I grew up, where I live now, and what inspired me to write my latest novel—are apropos to the back-story of Lies of Convenience.
So far, my inspiration and first kernel of an idea—for all my novels—has come from a location that has reached out, grabbed me, and wouldn’t let go. Sounds a bit silly, and it’s not the whole story, but truly, so far, I’ve been inspired to start a story because a location said, “Me! Me! Write about me!” With that in mind, I was born and raised in Chicago, and still have relatives living there. One wonderful cousin and her husband live in a flat on a high-up floor in a Michigan Avenue high-rise. From the first moment I looked out their picture windows, touched the glass, took in their view—Lies of Convenience started percolating in my brain.
Later in time, when we (husband and a bunch of canines) landed in California’s Mojave—the desert and Route 66 also captured my imagination. So, my latest novel, as always, a murder mystery—connects the locations and cultures between Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, near the beginning of Route 66 —with the Mojave, almost at the end of The Mother Road.
Your questions on my favorite authors and my plans for writing a series are also intertwined. I love reading mysteries that have a strong sense of “place,” with characters I like, and a tricky plot I can’t figure out (but makes sense at the end). I also like reading work that has a good sense of language—don’t even mind long sentences, or being sent to the dictionary a couple times. P.D. James is my favorite author—for all the reasons I just mentioned. And like my “rock star” guiding light, I decided to use only my first initials (M.M.), and planned on writing a series with a male protagonist. Ha! So far, I’ve written all standalones, mostly female protagonists, and pretty much go by my first name. Best laid plans. I guess you have to go where your muse takes you!
Thank you Patricia, for giving me the opportunity to “spout off” about myself and my writing. Love your “Getting to Know You” series, and I’m honored to participate. 
  
Thank you, Madeline. It was my pleasure.

Madeline (M.M.) Gornell has four published mystery novels: PSWA awarding winning Uncle Si’s Secret (2008); Death of a Perfect Man (2009); Reticence of Ravens (2010—her first Route 66 mystery, and an Eric Hoffer Fiction finalist, Honorary Mention winner, da Vinci Eye finalist, and Montaigne Medalist finalist); and Lies of Convenience (2012).


Her latest, Lies of Convenience is a tale that fictionally connects murder, truths untold, and Chicago’s Lake Michigan with California’s high desert on the opposite end of The Mother Road. Her next tale and first sequel adventure, Counsel of Ravens, takes Hubert James Champion III one step forward in his quest for peace and solitude in the Mojave.

Madeline is also a potter with a fondness for stoneware and reduction firing. She lives with her husband and assorted canines in the Mojave in a town on internationally revered Route 66.

         Her books are available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, and Smashwords, in paper and e-book formats. You can visit her:
online at her website http://www.mmgornell.com,
or email her directly at mmgornell@earthlink.net

25 comments:

  1. Always nice to hear about a successful writer. Where the drive comes from. Thanks.

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    1. Dac,
      Thanks for stopping by!
      Madeline is at a conference in Las Vegas today but she'll be checking in later. If you want to read a good mystery with a male protagonist, you might want to read her "Reticence of Ravens."

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  2. Madeline's books do have a terrific sense of place. You can almost feel the heat and taste the dust in your mouth. That takes talent. And her characters are like real people that you might meet if you were driving down Route 66, at least the non-murderer types. I will be checking out her latest books since I have become a fan. Thanks, Patricia, for having Madeline on your blog.

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    1. Gayle,
      Thanks for visiting and for commenting.
      I completely agree. Madeline has an incredible talent for creating realistic settings.

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  3. Lies of Convenience is a terrific read. I highly recommend that one, and all of Madeline's Route 66 series books.

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    1. Thanks, Colleen. My TBR list grows longer every day!

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  4. It's always a pleasure to spend time with Madeline and with Pat. Thanks to both of you for a fine post.

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    1. Thanks, John! I'm looking forward to your GTKY interview next Sunday.

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  5. I love that your work is intertwined with a sense of place. The great mysteries always are. Sam Spade ventures out into a city that is as dangerous a villain as any that he faces anywhere else, and Phillip Marlowe's Los Angeles is corrupt and evil and makes his antagonists corrupt and evil. New York is the main character of the Naked City. Everyone else is simply a side character. I love to see this in a modern novel, and I'm going to read yours!

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  6. Madeline just sent me an email and asked me to post this on her behalf.

    Thank you Patricia and everyone who has visited today!! All your comments have warmed my heart. Unfortunately having technical difficulties here in Vegas, but will comment individually tomorrow because I so much appreciate you taking the time not only to stop by, but also to comment.

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  7. We love driving Route 66. There's so much history (and ideas) to gather from this historic part of America. Thanks for this series, Patrica

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    1. Catherine,
      I love doing my "Getting to know you" series! I'm glad that you enjoy it.

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  8. Patricia, my apologies for not being able to respond immediately to all these wonderful comments. I so appreciate you having me on your blog, I am honored. Home now, so hopefully no more "equipment" malfunctions!

    Dac, thanks so much for stopping by! I too like hearing what motivates authors! Makes reading their work more enjoyable for me.

    Oh Gayle, thank you so much for your kind words and taking the time to comment. I enjoy your writing too, and loving Johnny Casino! Almost finished, and that makes me sad... Will be waiting for book 2...

    Colleen, your continued support is such a blessing--I appreciate it far more than I can express in words.

    John D, wonderful hearing from you. Mentioned your site at the PSWA Conference!

    John B, so glad you appreciate a sense of place. Like you, love that in a novel. My favorite author is P.D. James, and love visiting her wonderful British locations. Hope you enjoy my work. That's what it's all about, reader enjoyment!

    I agree, cdhersh, Route 66 conjures up all kinds of thoughts and stories. The early "roadies" are amazing folk in my mind.

    Madeline

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  9. So proud to say that Madeline is a member of our California Writers Club, High Desert Branch. Her books are amazing.

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  10. Thank you, Mary, for your kind and generous words! Yes, so glad and PROUD to be a member of HD CWC. I love going to the meetings, re-energizes me. See you soon...

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  11. What I admire about Madeline is her sense of place. It vibrates off the page and envelopes me. LOVE it.

    Great post, ladies. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Anne. I totally agree with you about Madeline's sense of place.

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  12. Two of my favorite people in one place, Pat and Madeline.

    Madeline does such a wonderful job with sense of place. Chicago I don't know so well, but it didn't matter when I read Reticence. Route 66 I do know, and she does a wonderful job evoking the desert and all about it.

    I was at PSWA with Madeline this weekend. Thank you for this great interview.

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    1. Marilyn,
      What a nice thing to say! You're one of my favorite people too. I'm so glad you stopped by.

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  13. Madeline, I love your writing, and can't wait to get started on your next book. I was sure hoping to read more about the people in Reticence of Ravens, which says a lot about your character building skills. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  14. Anne, thanks so much for stopping by--I know you're a busy lady! I'm very grateful to you for including me in your blog tours, I've met so many great writers and new friends because of those tours. And blogs like Patricia's renew those connections, and for me, get my writing juices going.

    Marilyn, we did have fun at PSWA, didn't we. Another fantastic source of inspiration. I also know how busy you are, so your stopping by and your kind words are most appreciated and super special!

    Oh Marja, so glad you enjoyed ROR--like Marilyn, you know about the Mojave desert. I've so far only written stand-alones, but as it happens, my current work-in-progress is a sequel to ROR. So hopefully you'll be able to catch up with Hugh et al in not too long a time. It's my first sequel, a little scared that I get it right!

    Patricia, the nicest people stop by your blog! This is great visiting with you--loving hearing from readers and fellow authors.

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    1. I couldn't agree more, Madeline. I DO have the nicest people stopping by my blog.

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  15. Not only are Madeline's books great reads, but she's also one of the sweetest people I know. I always enjoy a book more when I know the author is also a wonderful person!

    Holli Castillo

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    1. Holli,
      I agree. Madeline is a really nice person. That means a lot to me too. A good book by a good person is always a winning combination.
      Thanks for dropping in!

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  16. Holli, so good to hear from you! We're sweltering out here in the desert with high humidity. Did you send this weather to us from Louisiana?(smile!) Missed you at PSWA, hope to see you again soon. And thanks for the kind words, you yourself are "peaches" in my book. Hope you have a new book coming out to follow Jambalaya Justice--soon.

    Madeline

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