What’s your idea of a perfect day?
I have two perfect days. One, a winter writing day. Just being home alone while the snow flies outside. I’ll write in the morning for about four hours, then deal with email and the business side of things. Work on a jigsaw puzzle for a couple of hours before dinner. After dinner, read or watch a British TV drama on Netflix.
Second. A hot summer’s day. Writing in the morning on the deck and then read and relax around the pool in the afternoon, and friends over for dinner in the evening.
Do you have a signature accessory, color, fragrance, phrase, or meal?
That’s an interesting question. I can’t think of a single thing.
Excluding family, name three people who either inspired you or influenced your creativity.
I learned how to write a novel by taking a course at a community college. The teacher was named Lynda Simmons, and I am still in touch with her. My many, many friends in the Canadian mystery community have always supported me, and we’ve laughed all the way. That’s a lot more than three, isn’t it?
Do you listen to music when you write?
Mozart and only Mozart. I once heard that Mozart was good for creativity. I don’t know if that helps, but it’s my habit now. I don’t listen to anything else, nor do I have the radio on, because that would be too distracting.
If your latest book were chocolate, what kind would it be and why?
It would be a slab of dark chocolate, rich and dense and large enough to be passed around. Under Cold Stone is about family, with all its complexities, as is the Constable Molly Smith series as a whole.
What made you interested in writing this particular story?
I’ve been wanting to take Molly Smith out of Trafalgar, the setting of the previous six books in the series. The difficulty was in finding something for the other characters in the books, her family, Sergeant John Winters the lead detective, and the rest of the police force to do. Trafalgar itself is very much a character in the books, so I still needed to have things happening there. The idea of Molly having to go to Banff, which is not too far away, to help out her mom seemed as though it would work. Meanwhile, back at home…
What themes do you regularly (re)visit in your writing?
Family. The books are police procedurals, but family is always a key storyline. Good families, loving families, dysfunctional families. Molly Smith’s family and John Winters’ play important roles, as well as relatives of victims/suspects/passers-by/other cops etc. ..
Tell us about your main character’s psyche or personality. What led her (or him) to be the person s/he is today?
Molly Smith is a cop. She’s a young woman, still just a beat cop in the small town where she was born and raised. Her fiancé was killed in a senseless attack and after she pulled herself out of her grief she decided she wanted to be a police officer. Her name is really Moonlight Legolas Smith, because her parents were hippies. Her mom is still very active in every controversy in their community. So things can get a bit embarrassing for her sometimes.
Describe your protagonist as a mash-up of three famous people or characters.
I’m coming up blank. Perhaps she’s an original.
If you could host a mystery-author dinner party, who are the six writers (living or otherwise) you’d include?
I don’t read the classic mysteries much, so all my picks are living. Come to think of it, all of them are people I consider friends and have broken bread (or downed a glass) with. So not much of a stretch. Louise Penny, Linwood Barclay, Barbara Fradkin, Mary Jane Maffini, R.J. Harlick and C.B. Forrest come to mind. Come on over, guys.
What’s next for you?
Something totally, totally different. I have a three book contract for the Lighthouse Library series from Penguin Obsidian. It’s very cozy, set in a library in a lighthouse on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Because it’s such a change for me, I have a pen name: Eva Gates. The first book in the series, By Book or By Crook, is finished and will be released February 2015. I am writing the second one now. I am really enjoying writing these. It’s just plain fun.
“It’s a crime not to read Delany,” says the London Free Press. Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers. Under Cold Stone is the seventh book in the Smith & Winters police series. She also writes the light-hearted Klondike Gold Rush books and novels of gothic suspense. Her Rapid Reads book, A Winter Kill, was shortlisted for a 2012 Arthur Ellis Award for best novella.
Having taken early retirement from her job as a systems analyst, Vicki enjoys the rural life in bucolic, Prince Edward County, Ontario.
Visit Vicki at www.vickidelany.com, on Twitter @vickidelany and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Vicki.Delany. She blogs about the writing life at One Woman Crime Wave (http://klondikeandtrafalgar.blogspot.com)