To celebrate the Bookbub deal on my new Fiona Figg Mystery—only $1.99 June 1st-3rd—I’m reprinting part of an interview I did with The California Herald about the book.
CH: Can you tell us how you got the idea for the plot you have developed for Betrayal at Ravenswick A Fiona Figg Mystery?
KO: This is my first historical novel and I had such a great time doing the historical research. The turning point in my plot was the discovery of a real life spy named Fritz Duquesne who used the alias Fredrick Fredricks (among others). He is quite a character in his own right. Betrayal at Ravenswickwas originally conceived as a closed mansion mystery ala Agatha Christie until I decided the antagonist would be Fredrick Fredricks. At that point, the book became a closed door mystery embedded in a larger mystery involving espionage in WW1. This turn gave the novel a lot more novels and some interesting historical anchors.
CH: There are so many genres today that authors write in, how did you come about writing in the Thriller and Mystery genres and why?
KO: Five years ago, the very weekend I decided I wanted to write a novel, I discovered the Killer Nashville Mystery Writers Convention was happening in my hometown, Nashville. I went to Killer Nashville and then the next week started writing my first novel, WOLF A Jessica James Mystery.
I joke that if it had been a romance convention, I would be writing romance. If it had been a sci-fi convention, I would be writing sci-fi.
But, growing up, I wanted to be either a teacher or a detective. I wandered around at recess talking into my spy-shoe (ala Get Smart). Okay, I was a weirdo. I ended up getting my PhD in philosophy and becoming a philosophy professor, which is a lot like being a detective…instead of looking for clues to a crime, as philosophers, we look for clues as to the meaning of life.
Life is a mystery. And all good fiction involves some sort of mystery, even if not technically in the mystery genre. There is something that makes readers curious and want to turn the page. There are questions driving the fiction, just like there are questions driving our lives. Everyone loves a good mystery. And luckily, life is full of them.