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.
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