Robert Dugoni is a terrific writer and if you haven’t read him yet, what are you waiting for? His new book is out and it seemed like a good time to shine the author spotlight on him. So here’s a little Q&A!
1. What inspired you to become an author? Had you dreamed of this since you were young or did you come to it in later life? Was it purposeful or did you stumble across it?
A: I knew I wanted to be a writer since the seventh grade when I gave a presentation on slavery to my class. Thereafter I fell in love with telling stories. My mother had been an English teacher and she started handing me classic novels like The Old Man and the Sea, The Count of Monte Cristo, and many others. I fell in love with John Irving and Michael Connelly and I wanted to tell stories.
2. How did you first get published? What was your big break?
A: I met an EPA at a party for my six year old son. The agent had just finished an investigation that he thought would make a great novel. When I talked with him, I agreed. Together we wrote The Cyanide Canary, a true story that made the Washington Post’s best books of 2004.
3. What is your writing process like, from inception of your novel to finished manuscript?
A. When I come up with an idea, I tend to do a lot of research, do interviews, read books and articles. As I research I begin to see the story -the beginning, the middle with a climax and sometimes a possible ending. I don’t outline, so I just start at the beginning. My first draft is just for me. I put everything down on paper. When I’m done, then the work begins on rewriting.
4. What was the inspiration for your latest book A Steep Price?
A. I met a young man in a cab who had just been married. He was East Indian and the marriage had been arranged by his family. He’d never been on a date with his wife and had only met her twice. When I asked if that was scary he said that his mother and father had an arranged marriage and they had been married for thirty years. When I did more research I found that arranged marriages had a significantly lower divorce rate than traditional western marriages. I wanted to explore the concept, and compare it to blind dates and online dating here in the United States.
5. What kind of research do you do to make your books as accurate as possible?
A: I have contacts in the Seattle and the King County Homicide Units who are a great help to me and they put me in touch with other experts such as medical examiners and persons part of the CSI units. Beyond that, I read a lot, and speak to as many experts as I can. I don’t always get it right, but I do try.
6. What is your favorite book of all time?
A: Lonesome Dove (by Larry McMurtry)
7. What kind of music do you write to? Is there anything else you have to have around you when you’re writing?
A: When I listen to music I have a mix of country, pop and rock, as well as classical music.
8. If you could meet one author, living or dead, who would it be?
A: Steven King. (me too!)
9. What’s next for Tracy Crosswhite?
A: I’m working on an idea where Tracy goes home to Cedar Grove and is asked to help solve a cold case involving several murders.
10. Do you have any advice for new writers?
A: Learn the craft. Study the craft until it is so clear you can see stories in terms of their important elements.
Don’t forget you can enter to win an autographed copy of this book along with several others – enter here!
A Steep Price by Robert Dugoni
The Tracy Crosswhite Series, Book 6
New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni’s thrilling series continues as Seattle homicide detective Tracy Crosswhite is plunged into a case of family secrets and murder…
Called in to consult after a young woman disappears, Tracy Crosswhite has the uneasy feeling that this is no ordinary missing-persons case. When the body turns up in an abandoned well, Tracy’s suspicions are confirmed. Estranged from her family, the victim had balked at an arranged marriage and had planned to attend graduate school. But someone cut her dreams short.
Solving the mystery behind the murder isn’t Tracy’s only challenge. The detective is keeping a secret of her own: she’s pregnant. And now her biggest fear seems to be coming true when a new detective arrives to replace her. Meanwhile, Tracy’s colleague Vic Fazzio is about to take a fall after his investigation into the murder of a local community activist turns violent and leaves an invaluable witness dead.
Two careers are on the line. And when more deadly secrets emerge, jobs might not be the only things at risk.
Dugoni, Robert. A Steep Price. Thomas & Mercer (June 26, 2018). ISBN: 978-1503954182. 380p.