I recently read The Echo Killing by Christi Daugherty and found yet another great series to look forward to. I loved Christi’s description of Savannah, Georgia, and how she made me feel like I was part of the story. I want to say thank you to the lovely Christi Daugherty for taking the time to answer my questions.
1. Tell me a bit about your new series.
The Echo Killing follows crime reporter Harper McClain as she investigates murders on the streets of Savannah, Georgia. When Harper covers a murder that looks strikingly similar to the unsolved murder of her mother 15 years ago, she begins to believe her mother’s killer has finally struck again. When her mother died, she was just a child. Now, she’s old enough to track the murderer down. To find him, she’d risk it all.
2. Are you a plotter? Do you plot the whole book or do you let the story surprise you along the way?
I plot to a certain extent. I write a solid synopsis, about 8 pages. This will have all the high points of the novel. But how I get to those high points, I leave to fate. And I never hesitate to change my mind when it all hits the fan. I suppose I see my synopsis mostly as a series of suggestions that I can take or leave.
3. Did you always want to write a mystery novel? What made you fall in love with the genre?
Like Harper McClain, I’m a former crime reporter. Crime reporting was my first real job, and something I did for nearly a decade. I also grew up reading Sue Grafton, Patricia Cornwell, PD James and Liza Cody. Given that, I suppose it was inevitable that I’d eventually write crime novels. You could say crime writing is in my blood.
4. What do you usually do on publication day? Do you have a tradition?
My only tradition is to try to focus on writing my next book during the day. There is always another book to worry about! And I drink a glass of champagne when the sun is over the yardarm.
5. What are some of your favorite recent reads? And an all-time favorite?
I love the Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling Cormoran Strike novels, The character development in those books is fantastic – I feel as if I know them all personally. I’m also a huge fan of Ruth Ware’s novels – I just read The Death of Mrs Westaway and it was absolutely brilliant. Like reading one of your favorite classic novels for the first time all over again. I’m big into Rachel Caine’s Stillhouse Lake series right now. Each one is more thrilling than the last. And I leap onto each new Linda Castillo book as soon as it comes out. Katy Burkholder – the ex-Amish detective – is such a wonderful character. I just love her.
At the moment, my all-time favourite is The Likeness by Tana French. The book tells the tale of an Irish female detective investigating a murder where the victim could almost be her twin. The detective has to go undercover among the victim’s friends to get to the truth. Somewhere along the way, she falls a little in love with them, which is never a good idea in a murder investigation. Something about that book really gets to me. It’s one I go back to over and over again. I don’t know what I like best – the characters, the setting, the dogged Irish cops – everything about it is the best of crime.