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, Barnes &, and Smashwords, in paper and e-book formats. You can visit her:
online at her website,
or email her directly at