Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead follows a divorced widow who questions if her ex-husband is actually dead and becomes the prime murder suspect. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?
Having read more than my fair share of crime novels and murder mysteries, I know it usually is the spouse who is the prime suspect. Using that idea, I morphed it into a story where the spouse appears to be an unlikely suspect, yet appearances are not always what they seem. I then introduced a few other characters to add to the mystery and keep the reader guessing just “Who done it?”
Was there anything from your own life that you put into the characters in your novel?
I feel most comfortable writing what I know, so I tend to take things I’ve experienced and embellish them to fit into the story. Such was the case with the incident of Kate’s mother’s ashes getting lost in Ireland. My friend and I also lost someone’s ashes we promised to spread in Ireland. Fortunately, it wasn’t our own mother’s remains!!
As for the characters themselves, all are based on people I’ve met or that have been part of my life. I pick out certain nuances, enhance them and add to them into the story.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
I’m not sure there were any themes I consciously tried to develop. It was more a case of writing a story that would appear to be headed one way, turn around the other way and then end up in a place one might not expect.
Where do you see your characters after the book ends?
I see my characters reappearing in a third book. I hope to use their past trials and tribulations as background for a new successful mystery.
Leave a comment