My Interview with Mark Gilleo
1. Mr. Gilleo, thank you for this opportunity to be interviewed for my blog. FAVORS AND LIES, your newest novel, came out on July 1. Tell us a bit more about this book.
The book is about a private detective with a law degree who is more of a problem solver than either a detective or lawyer. When two relatives end up dead in rapid succession, Dan realizes that something isn’t quite right with the reported causes of death. With that thought in mind, he sets out to discover the truth.
2. Who is Dan Lord, and how did you come up with his character?
Dan Lord, the name, is borrowed from a good friend and former co-worker. It’s a strong name, and it also short, which helps when you have to type it out a few thousand times. The character was born wherever ideas come from. Initially, the story was going be about Dan’s nephew. Dan didn’t even exist when I started the first draft.
3. What kind of research did you do for this book?
I honestly try to keep research to a minimum. I have friends who I bounce ideas off and I will make changes based on their replies. For Favors and Lies, the legal system for Washington DC, and the penal system for the city, were a little murky. I had to dive into that a little bit further than I wanted to. I also learned quite a bit about cell phone towers.
4. What is your greatest satisfaction as a writer? What is your greatest disappointment?
The greatest satisfaction as a writer is when a reader tells you they loved the book. Or that they stayed up all night reading it. Or that they skipped lunch and a conference call to finish it. Writing is a lonely profession. I am not sure there is anything more lonely. Feedback is something that can get you through the next manuscript.
5. Why do you write?
I never set out to become a writer. It quite literally came to me on day while standing in the kitchen in Memphis Tennessee. I was on a phone with a friend and I thought, quite out of the blue, “I am going to write a book.”
I continue to write because I have about ten more ideas I would like to turn into books.
6. What are your favorite pastimes?
I like to hike, bike and travel. I have kids, so that keeps me busy.
7. What are your writing habits? Outlines or not?
I am in the “No Outline” camp. I just sit down and start typing. For me, an outline would ruin the surprise. Most of the times, when I get down to the last few chapters, I am still not sure how the book is going to end.
8. What is your next book going to be about?
I have a couple of books in the works. Someday, time permitting, I would like to revisit Dan Lord.