Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Vicki Delany on Molly Smith and Family Relationships
Today is the official release date for Vicki Delany's newest Constable Molly Smith novel, Negative Image. To celebrate, Vicki takes questions from the Criminal Minds.
How do you think Molly's family relationships have influenced your development of the series?
Right from the beginning I wanted Molly’s mother, Lucky, to have a prominent part in the books. Lucky is my age, but definitely not a reflection of me. She’s like many women I know, still tirelessly fighting the good fight for social justice and equality. One of the key relationships in the books is between John Winters and Lucky Smith. They are pretty much opposites – old time cop vs feminist progressive activist. They slowly grow to respect each other and learn from each other and end up hesitantly liking each other.
Because I wanted both Smith and Winters’ families to be involved in the stories, I felt that the series needed to be set in a fairly small town. The small town setting allows the characters’ families and friends – and enemies – to be involved in the drama without too much of a stretch into coincidence. The plot of NEGATIVE IMAGE, the fourth book in the series, revolves around what happens when Sergeant John Winters’s wife’s former fiancé arrives in town. And ends up dead with a rather incriminating piece of old memorabilia in his possession. Here’s a quote from Negative Image about small towns:
“Do you know what Sherlock Holmes said about the countryside?”
“’The lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside.’ The Adventure of the Copper Beeches.”
“The great detective never came to Trafalgar, sir. I think he’d find it peaceful here. Most of the time.”
“I’m not interested in what happens here most of the time.” Sergeant Dick Madison and Constable Molly Smith, NEGATIVE IMAGE.
Back to your question about the family and the development of the series: I want the series to be as much about the personal and family life of the protagonists as their jobs, more about human relationships and love and loss than international terrorism or guns-for-hire. They are police procedural novels, meaning that police officers are the protagonists of the books and they solve crimes in the context of doing their jobs, but within that I can study the personalities and families and relationships of the two protagonists.
Vicki's newest book, Negative Image, is being released TODAY! from Poisoned Pen Press. The book is available in most electronic formats including Kindle. www.vickidelany.com