11 April, 2012

Guest Post: Melanie Surani - Author of "The Silent Treatment"



I fell in love with mysteries when I was quite young. Instead of buying the newest and trendiest, my parents gave me books they and their parents had grown up with (the actual copies with brittle yellow pages and book plates with my Gramma's teenage signature). The Bobbsey Twins, Cherry Ames, Nancy Drew. I probably loved Nancy Drew too much. I moved from the 1930's originals to the "yellow cover" ones, the paperbacks from the 90's, and finally, (what made my parents cringe the most) The Nancy Drew Files. That's where the stories got really good. The tension amped up, the characters were modern and dangerous, and the plots were just a bit more serious. I'd usually finish a book in one sitting and let TV and computer games and playing outside be damned.

That feeling that Nancy was a regular person (like me), sticking her nose in anything that piqued her interest stayed with me. It's rare that I come across a mystery novel where the main character isn't a police detective or a journalist or has some other job that brings danger to the doorstep. I wanted to create a character who stumbled into bad situations and got herself out without leaving it solely up to the police.

That's where Kat comes in. She's got enough of a past to keep her relatable, and a curiosity that will … perhaps kill her one day (just saw that). With her fresh start and a possible love interest, the next adventure will take Kat overseas to Bavaria for a little classwork and a little kidnapping.

One thing I love is travel. I thought it would be interesting to set each Kat novel in a different city. The first short story in which she appears, Do Not Spoil the Ending, is set in Toronto, a place I spent many months. The Silent Treatment brings Kat back to her hometown of Memphis, TN, where I grew up. The next story, currently untitled, takes place in Eichstätt, Germany, a place I fell in love with when I spent a month there on a class trip. Beyond that, I want to take Kat to New York City. I enjoy setting my stories in places I'm not from; there's a big difference between a character who's a native to a city and one who isn't. Maybe in the future I'll take a trip to some exotic place as "research" for a book and everyone will win.


Books by Melanie Surani:

   

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