Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gerrie Ferris Finger and The End Game



The latest winner of the Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition, The End Game features a strong new heroine in a vivid Southern setting. Gerrie Ferris Finger puts a new spin on the classic mystery novel.

I wanted to know more, so I asked her the following questions:

Marilyn: When did you first start writing?

Gerrie: It seems like I've always written. I loved writing my parents from camps. Other children would groan when the counselor said, "Before we nap, let's take ten minutes to send a letter to our parents." I had my pencil ready. From a young age, I knew that, "Dear Mom and Dad. I am fine. How are you?" was uninteresting. I'd begin with "There's a black snake that lives under our cabin. She had babies and they look like black worms with white shells sticking to their heads." Or some such.

A high school English teacher told me I'd be a writer one day, that I had talent and "style". I didn't know what style was, but I liked what she said. I went on to become a journalist, writing hard news, features, a news column, a few magazine pieces. Like all journalists I began a few novels, but never finished them. I found I couldn't write a novel without a regimen. I retired and started on the novel journey.

Marilyn: Is there any writer who has had a great influence on you?

Gerrie: I'll read anything I lay my eyes on. I'd say Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie started me on the road to crime fiction. When I was in college I read a lot of Joyce Carol Oates and Kurt Vonnegut. I went through a southern gothic spell and absorbed Willa Cather and Katherine Anne Porter. I loved their voices, and I believe they influenced mine. I live in the south and write about its characters and settings.

At the newspaper, I edited columnist Lewis Grizzard's columns, and, when he died, put together two books of his columns. He was my mentor. He could flat out edit his own work. One reviewer called my work "spare prose", but I'm wordy compared to him.


Marilyn: What was the inspiration for your book?

Gerrie: In my years in the newsroom, I believe I read or heard about every revulsion man can commit against his kind, but horrific deeds carried out on small children sickened and infuriated me. The Atlanta Police Department began a campaign to clean up massage parlors. They found foreign children ten and twelve years old working in the back rooms, imported for sexual slavery. The plot of THE END GAME involves two little girls abducted for the overseas slave trade.

Marilyn: What kind of events do you have planned to promote it?

Gerrie: I am currently promoting online, on the social networks and listservs, hopefully not being annoying enough to be called a spammer.

THE END GAME
is scheduled for release in time for the writer/reader convention, Malice Domestic. I'll be there promoting, and, after Malice, I'll head home to Georgia making six book stops along the way.

Marilyn: Is there something in particular you'd like us to know about it?

Gerrie: It's a good thing THE END GAME came out in time for Malice, since the manuscript won the St. Martin's/Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel competition

Marilyn: Where can we buy the book?

Gerrie: Online books stores, Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, independents. I'm not sure of the places to which St. Martin's will send it. They will send it to libraries as libraries order it.

Marilyn: Is there anything else you'd really like my readers to know about you or your book, or both?

Gerrie: I have two ebooks out now. Desert Breeze Publications is publishing The Laura Kate Plantation Series. The first, WHEN SERPENTS DIE came out in 2009, and, also in that year, HONORED DAUGHTERS was released. They are romantic suspense novels, more on the suspense aspect than romance. In October, DBP will release WAGON DOGS. These are available at many online ebook stores and on Amazon's Kindle.

Thanks, Marilyn, I enjoyed the interview.

Marilyn: Thank you, Gerrie--and your promotion has been good, I've seen your name everywhere and feel like I know you.

Gerrie's Official Bio:

Gerrie Ferris Finger is a winner of the Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition. She lives on the coast of Georgia with her husband and standard poodle, Bogey.
www.gerrieferrisfinger.com
www.gerrieferrisfinger.blogspot.com

Review

A hunt for two young sisters propels Finger's compelling if at times sobering debut… A well-researched plot and snappy dialogue—plus some fine rail-yard K-9 detecting by Buddy, a German shepherd, and Jed, a Labrador retriever—keep the action moving. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

13 comments:

WS Gager said...

Great interview Marilyn! Gerrie you and I need to met. I think I'm your northern clone. As I read the interview, I said "I did that." We both wanted to write early and my 8th grade English teacher was my push. Nancy and Agatha were my friends. I wrote for newspapers for years, started manuscripts and only started writing with diligence to finish when I was on a medical leave. Haven't stopped. Any chance you are going to the Public Safety Writer's Conference in Vegas in June? or the Spring Fling in Chicago in a week?
Wendy
W.S. Gager
www.wsgager.com

Gerrie Ferris Finger said...

Hi Wendy, I love to tell my writing story because so many people share my experience like you did, northern or southern, we're writers. Wish I could get to Vegas and Chicago, but not this year. Keep in touch.
Gerrie

Esri Rose said...

Sounds fascinating! Gonna have to check out your site to see if there's a pic of Bogey. I love standard poodles.

Libby McKinmer said...

Great interview! It's always so cool to learn about new-to-me authors, and Marilyn does a great job of interviewing them. Gerrie, gotta check out your website and find out more about The End Game. You've piqued my curiosity!

Libby

Libby McKinmer
Romance with an edge
www.libbymckinmer.com
libby@libbymckinmer.com

Gerrie Ferris Finger said...

Esri and Libby, thanks for stopping by. And, yes, you'll see Bogey on my website. He's a love. Gerrie

Diane said...

I enjoyed your interview with Marilyn. Like you, I've always loved writing from a very early age and Agatha Christie was the first mystery writer I followed. Have been a lover of mystery novels ever since and have written two myself, once I retired, but unlike yourself, not published yet.

Thanks for sharing your experience.

Natalie W said...

Interesting interview and I'll definitely be checking this book out! Sounds good!
Natalie ;0)

Gerrie Ferris Finger said...

Stay with it, Diane. If you've done your best and send it out, you never know who will like it. Writing is subjective, as we've been told by agents and publishers many times. Natalie, hope you enjoy the book.
Best,
Gerrie

jenny milchman said...

The book is (high) on my TBR pile and I am really looking forward. This was a great interview, and as Marilyn says, you've done a great job getting yourself out there (Gerrie will even appear on my blog a little later this month)!

Congrats on the contest win!

Donna Fletcher Crow said...

Gerrie, I loved reading about your early years and authors that were formative to you. Thanks for sharing.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I'm so glad so many of you took the time to make a comment for Gerrie. This was great!

Marilyn

Karyne said...

What a great interview, Gerrie! I wonder just how many of us mystery writers got spurred on by Nancy Drew? The End Game sounds excellent and I will definitely put it on my list. Good luck, and many many sales to you!

Gerrie Ferris Finger said...

Thanks to everyone who read this fun interview. Marilyn has a way of getting a writer to "open up". Unlike politicians, we're a rather private group. I've enjoyed my time here, and I appreciate all your comments. It's what makes a discussion rather than a one way opinion piece. Thanks, Marilyn, it's been a treat for me. Take care and good luck to you and your readers.
My best,

Gerrie