Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Q&A with C.S. Challinor!

This week, we sat down with C.S. Challinor, author of the Rex Graves Mysteries. Her latest, Murder Comes Calling, is out now!

Midnight Ink: How long have you been writing?
C.S. Challinor: 
I was a freelance writer in the mid-nineties, writing for Florida lifestyle and real estate publications and selling short fiction to US and UK magazines. I started writing full-time and full-length works in 2006, when I came out of new home/community sales.

MI: What influence have other authors had on your writing?
CSC: I've probably absorbed a lot from such mystery writers as Christie and Simenon, since that's what I read a lot of growing up in Great Britain and France outside of the classics we studied in school. I like Agatha's smooth, unpretentious style and Simenon's atmosphere and humanity in his Maigret novels.

MI: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing?

CSC: Real estate, which I still do a bit of...

MI: If you have a job outside of writing, what is it?
CSC: Resale: Listing and buying for friends and family.

MI: What are your favorite things to do when you’re not writing or working?CSC: Reading, of course! Movies, playing guitar, live music, traveling, gardening, home improvement.
MI: Who is your favorite mystery sleuth and why?
Well, it's not Lord Peter Wimsey or Holmes, or even Miss Marple, great creations as they are. I'd have to say, probably, Poirot. There's just no forgetting the fastidious little Belgian sleuth!

MI: Do you have a favorite murder case from a book (either yours or another author’s)?
The most riveting fictional police procedural I've read so far is Mr. Hillary Waugh's "Last Seen Wearing," published in 1952. It's about a college freshman who goes missing from her dorm. Check it out!

MI: What was your inspiration for the Rex Graves series?
I really have no idea! I had decided to write a mystery, and Rex Graves, QC, just came to me, complete with name, appearance, and personality. I thought a Scottish barrister might be fun. I lived in Edinburgh for seven of 
my most formative years, and still go back. It's a beautiful, historic city and I enjoy employing settings from there, for instance, Ramsay Garden, which features quite prominently in my forthcoming novel. 

MI: Tell us about Rex Graves.
He's a big teddy bear, with a logical brain and a good heart. People tend to trust him and thus confide in him, which gives him an advantage over the police. His mission in life is to seek justice in court and in his private cases.

MI: How does this series compare to your past works?
I wrote romantic suspense before. I like writing these mysteries better. 

MI: Do you have a pet? Tell us about him/her.
Othello (see photo). He's an enormous, plush, all-black cat, about four and a half years old. I got him from a shelter two and a half years ago, and it was mutual love at first sight. My son says I'm about 15 years away from being a batty cat lady. 

MI: What food could you live off of for the rest of your life?

MI: Do you have a favorite recipe?
Not for Thai. I have a good one (it's not mine) for lemon cream pie, using the spectacular lemons from my tree. I don't profess to be a great cook, but I can usually rise to the occasion as long as I don't have to prepare a meal for more than six people. 

MI: What’s your favorite part about being an Inker?
Being published :)

Murder Comes Calling is available online and in bookstores now!
Midnight Ink | Indiebound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Your local bookstore

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