Madeline (M.M.) Gornell has six published mystery novels—including PSWA awarding winners Uncle Si’s Secret and Lies of Convenience (also a Hollywood Book Festival honorable Mention), Death of a Perfect Man, and Reticence of Ravens (a finalist for the Eric Hoffer 2011 fiction Prize, the da Vinci Eye for cover art, and the Montaigne Medal for most thought provoking book). Counsel of Ravens (a London Book Festival Honorary Mention and LA Book Festival Runner-Up) is her first sequel—a continuation of Hubert Champion’s Mojave saga. In her latest, Rhodes The Mojave-Stone, she invites you to visit Shiné.
Madeline is a lifetime lover of mysteries, and besides reading and writing, she is also a potter with a fondness for stoneware and reduction firing. She lives with her husband and assorted canines in the Mojave High Desert near the internationally revered Route 66—and continues to be inspired by her surroundings.
When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
I can’t remember, exactly. I do remember as a child I had thoughts in the line of “Wish I were a writer.” I’m not sure I consciously thought I actually could be one myself at that period in my life. But after a certain age and having a couple short stories published, I said if I don’t do it now, will never happen. Even then, while working for a company, I couldn’t seem to get my act together. After retirement and six books later, I’m still at it. I do wish I’d actually started writing books earlier, but at the same time, I’m not sure I would have been able to write what I like to read—and consequently try to write. There’s something to be said for a certain amount of “life having been lived,” behind you. At least with me.
What inspired you to write your most recent novel?
Ah, inspiration. Most often, that’s been a place that has “called out” to me. And Rhodes The Mojave-Stone was not an exception. Something about the hills I see from my kitchen window, the “feel” of the California Route 66 towns of Kelso, Amboy, and Ludlow (a family owned town I’ve been told), CA. All of those places jostled around in my mind and combined with memories of grandiose Chicago and environs buildings I’d seen in my youth.Patricia:
Do you have a bucket list, things you still want to do and/or places you want to visit? If, for some reason, you couldn’t be a writer, what profession would you choose? And, If you could live anywhere in the world and money was no object, where would you live?
Thought I’d answer your three other questions together—in that I think the answers emphasize what a dull life I now live. (on purpose) Born and raised in Chicago, having also lived in Montana, Texas, Washington State, and several California locations, I’m really fond of this Mojave desert, my dogs, and garden—oh yeah, and hubby(smile)—and living what I call a very rural lifestyle. If I ever got on an airplane again (doubtful) could spend a week or two in England again (several previous short trips that I loved!). Now that I’ve “started it,” can’t imagine being anything but a writer.
There are many events and stories hidden underneath shifting desert sands, and quite possibly many of these tales are doomed to ride ad infinitum on relentless desert winds—ghosts trapped on a plane-of-existence they can never escape. The town of Shiné (Shy-knee) is a fictional concatenation of several of these magical places, fanciful thoughts, and hidden dramas. A place where provocative and unanswered questions actually escape the entrapment of Mojave winds and take center stage.
Hopefully, the small fact Shiné does not exist will not dissuade you from visiting…
Barnes & Noble Online http://tinyurl.com/nzl6xfr
Thanks for visiting Patricia’s blog and leaving a comment. In appreciation, Buster, my lovable big black lab and something else long haired(?), will select 2 names to receive a copy of my latest. Paper or eBook, your choice! Buster is waiting…Madeline
Madeline says, "Buster really is smart, so I'm beginning to think he's picking more names than he's supposed to on purpose--not accidentally? I told him two, but he picked three. He either uses glue or some magical doggie stick-em stuff. (smile) Anyway, the winners are:Jacqueline Seewald, Jake Blinco, and Paul Alan Fahey."