Robin Spano’s first book, Dead Politician Society, was released Sept. 1 in hardcover from ECW Press. She has been visiting blogs recently to introduce people to her work and today let her central character ask her a few questions. Enjoy….
Clare Vengel: Why would you want to write books all day? Don’t you get bored?
Robin Spano: Are you kidding? I love writing. Sometimes it frustrates me and I want to scream, but I’m almost never bored.
Clare: I’d go mental. I’d rather be out in the world doing things. Want a cigarette?
Robin: I’d love one. But I quit years ago.
Clare: At least have a beer.
Clare: So…you ride a motorcycle. At least you haven’t given that up in your old age. Do you do your own repairs?
Robin: I wish. I tried to at first. But I’m a lousy mechanic.
Clare: You need focus to be a mechanic. And you need to groove with your machine.
Robin: Yeah. I can’t do it. I can focus and groove with my writing, though.
Clare: Okay, I kind of get why you wouldn’t be bored. Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Robin : I think so, but I’ve spent most of my life trying to do everything but write.
Robin: I think I was afraid of it. Of not succeeding. Then not having the dream anymore.
Clare: That’s stupid.
Robin: I agree.
Clare: How did you get over that?
Robin: It was my husband. He couldn’t understand why I would possibly NOT spend my life doing what I love. His favourite saying is that life is not a dress rehearsal, and one day I understood what he meant.
Clare: Why crime fiction? Is it because you live such a boring life, you need to spice it up with some adventure?
Robin: That’s not it. I used to have a lot of trouble with plot. With a mystery, you’re forced to spend a lot of time crafting the plot. So I couldn’t run away from my main weakness as a writer.
Clare: Okay, that’s boring. I don’t care about writing technicalities. Why did you write about dead politicians? Do you follow politics in real life?
Robin: Politics entertain me. Sometimes I get riled up about an issue, but mostly it just cracks me up how these grown men and woman happily sling mud around while they’re supposed to be making the world a better place.
Clare: Why did you set your book at a university?
Robin: Because it’s such a great age. People in their late teens/early twenties reason like adults but are ruled by their emotions and ideals. They still see a lot of the world in black and white, but they’re starting to understand that gray might have some merit. For the political murders and their motives, I needed a group of intelligent characters at that stage in life.
Clare: So what’s my job?
Robin: You’re undercover as a student. You have to befriend the suspects, try to get into the secret society, and find the killer if you can.
Clare: But I don’t know anything about politics. Or university.
Robin: The politics don’t matter. This is all about the people.
Clare: Will I do a good job?
Robin: You’ll have your moments.
Clare: Will I end up solving the case?
Robin: How would I know? You have to go in and do the best job you can. That’s all we can ever do.