Welcome to our New Faces column, where you can meet debut mystery authors like Danielle Girard, whose first book is Savage Art from Signet.
Hello, Danielle, and welcome to TMR! Tell us about yourself.
I come from a big family and we're all storytellers. We're each very
different but we all love to talk, and each of us is always vying for
attention. I'm sure that's where the writing stems from. In fact, I
wouldn't be surprised if there were more writers from my family.
Are you coming to mystery writing from another job?
I'm a Financial Analyst by day. Strangely enough, I really like math. My
mother always said I should go to business school rather than write mystery
novels. I know, it may seem like a strange combination, but I think mystery
writing is pretty analytical. You have to fit all the pieces together and
make them add up to something. That's a lot like math.
What led you to write mysteries?
Hmm. I never intended to write a mystery novel although I read all the
Agatha Christie novels growing up and Nancy Drew (and the Hardy Boys) before
that. I just thought it would be interesting to write a novel. I guess I
realized it would be a mystery novel when there was a dead body on page 2.
Tell us about your road to publication.
Wow. Publication is brutal these days. I wrote four books before I signed
my first contract. I think I have something like one hundred and twenty
rejection letters from agents and editors on those first three books. I've
still got them, too. One day I'm going to have them bound as a coffee table
book. Some of them are hilarious.
What kind of research was involved for your first book?
I do a lot of research for my books. SAVAGE ART involves an ex-FBI
profiler. Casey McKinley is very smart, much smarter than I. So, I had to
read a lot about profiling. I also talked to a San Francisco Homicide
Inspector because another character in the book is an inspector. (They're
still called Inspectors in San Francisco.) I used the Internet a lot. I've
got some of the links I used on my website: www.daniellegirard.com
Who are your influences as a writer?
I love so many authors so I'll try to limit the ramblings: Michael
Connelly, Patricia Cornwell (she had a big impact on me), Tami Hoag, Phillip
Margolin, James Patterson, Tess Gerritsen, and I love to discover new
authors, too. I just read Alice Blanchard's DARKNESS PEERING and thought it
What does your family think of having a mystery author in their
Yikes. I already told you what my mother thought I should do. I'd say they
were mostly shocked. I've got a big family and we're all very creative in
our own ways, but my writing was certainly the most unusual outlet of
creativity my family had seen. It took them a while to digest the fact that
I was going to write about death. I'd say they're taking it pretty well
Tell us about plans for future books.
My second book from Penguin Putnam, FAMILIAR STRANGER, will be out late next
spring or early summer (2001). I'm just finishing revisions on it now. An
excerpt from the book will be up on my website (www.daniellegirard.com)
soon. You can find an excerpt from SAVAGE ART there now.
How can readers get in touch with you?
You can email me through my website: www.daniellegirard.com
The email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Danielle, thanks for joining us,and best of luck! Reader, we have a review of Savage Art on our Thriller Page.
August 22, 2000