Which book? I’ve had eleven releases and rereleases in the last fifteen months going back twenty-eight years. Oh, all right…my latest release on November 7 was The Ice Bridge from Eternal Press.
Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28HZqu-my1g), a ghostly romantic murder mystery set on carless Mackinac Island. It’s about a heartbroken woman who returns to her aunt and the quaint island she cherished as a child only to find herself entangled in a murder mystery and danger, even as she’s falling in love again.
2. How did you come up with the title of your book or series?
My husband and I went to Mackinac Island, which allows only bicycles and horses and no motorized vehicles except snowmobiles in the winter, for our 25th wedding anniversary eight years ago and while chatting with the locals about its history found out that every winter the straits freeze over and they get to use the ice bridge (on foot or on their snowmobiles) to go to the mainland without having to use the ferry or airplanes. It intrigued me, this ice bridge idea, and the murder mystery formed around it. What happened if someone crossing in their snowmobile one snowy night fell into the icy water…and disappeared…or died? Thus the book was born.
3. Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
The main character, Charlotte, of course. Probably because she’s a lot like me. A writer, an artist…someone fascinated with ghost stories. Someone who’s been hurt by love but, in the end, never gives up looking for it.
4. How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
That’s easy. It’s a murder mystery after all. The killer. A young man who’s damaged in so many ways from his deprived upbringing, his own selfishness and cold-heartedness, that he thinks it’s okay to kill someone just for what they have. He’s not totally an evil person, just someone who’s too weak to fight the envy he feels towards others who have more than him.
5. If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be? Why?
Nothing? I’m happy with the way the novel turned out and I love the way it celebrates the loveliness and simplicity of Mackinac Island and the Grand Hotel. The book is partly a tribute to the Island itself and the people who live on it. I loved it so with its bicycles and clomping horses. The water, the boats and the friendly people.
6. Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:
There’s humor in it, too, in the person of a spunky old neighbor woman named Hannah; in a few of the quirky town characters. I always try to throw a little levity in my books. It balances out the darkness of my usual themes of horror, suspense or murder.
7. Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?
Well, I’ve always been an artist (I was a graphic designer in the corporate world for 23 years as well as working in the ad departments of a few newspapers) and I used to sing with my singer/songwriter younger brother when we were teenagers in the days of folk singers and classic rock bands. He went on to become a musician and a computer networker and I went on to…draw pictures, write novels and short stories.
8. How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
I have quite a list of websites and social websites…the three best ones being www.myspace.com/kathrynmeyergriffith, www.authorsden.com/kathrynmeyergriffith and http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1019954486 .
9. What can we expect from you in the future?
As soon I get all these 2 new and 10 older books released and rereleased by July 2012, I plan on perhaps beginning a (fictionalized) novel about my family. Finally. I grew up in the 1950’s and 1960’s in a large poor family with six brothers and sisters. I have almost a whole life behind me now. Some of it good and some of it bad. Life, you know. Before I get too old I’d like to put those memories down on paper.
10. Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?
I hate it when I’m asked that question…because my writing career has had a lot of ups and downs over the last forty years since I first began writing and dreaming of becoming rich and famous. Ha, ha. I’m still dreaming. It isn’t easy, I’ll tell them that. The publishing world has changed so much since I started. Back then there wasn’t an Internet, computers, e-mail or Track Changes for editing. No e-books. There were fleeting moments when I’d thought I’d made it; I know now I haven’t. I had books all over the world out from Zebra and Leisure Publishing in the late 80’s and early 90’s. I lost my editor and then my agent…but I never gave up. I’ve written and had published another seven novels since then. I can tell a beginner these things though: Have a day job…write because you cannot not write…enjoy the journey more than the destination because the journey is all you might ever have …don’t ever listen to critics or reviewers about how good your stories are or aren’t because liking or disliking a book is so subjective (some people will love your stories and some will hate them)…write only what you want to write, what excites you…and never, never give up. Don’t expect to get rich or famous. Just try to be a better writer and a better person. Enjoy the ride.
11. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Nah, I think I pretty much said it all. Oh, yeah, except I’m proud that I’m a 2012 EPIC E-BOOK AWARDS FINALIST NOMINEE for my romantic end-of-the-world horror novel The Last Vampire-Revised Author’s Edition (http://damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615722075 and YOU TUBE BOOK TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZU77j_q4S8), which originally came out from Zebra paperbacks in 1992, and wasn’t given much of a chance at that time, but last year was rereleased from Damnation Books. Hey, you have to enjoy these little victories when they come along.
12. And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:
Sure – and thank you, Jenna, for having me here today! – and here’s a blurb and an excerpt of THE ICE BRIDGE by Kathryn Meyer Griffith:
Charlotte returns to her Aunt Bess and Mackinac Island, a quaint retreat that welcomes summer tourists and allows no cars (just horses and bicycles) to renew herself and write about the island’s ghosts. She’s come to help Bess with her heartache, an ended love with Shaun, and to renew a friendship with neighbor Hannah.
In winter Mackinac closes down and everyone looks forward to the ice bridge that freezes across the Straits of Mackinac. Until Hannah disappears into the icy waters crossing it.
Everyone says it’s an accident. But Charlotte and her admirer cop friend, Mac, don’t think so. Something isn’t right. Hannah was too smart to go off the safe path.
So it’s murder…but why…how…by whom?
In the end, it’s Mac – and perhaps Hannah’s ghost?– that saves Charlotte and Bess’s lives when the killer decides they’re too close to the truth and tries to kill them, too.
By the time they crossed the ice bridge Charlotte had to struggle with the wind to stay on her machine. She was sick they hadn’t found Hannah, and she was frightened, tired and freezing. Her body had lost all sensation. She thought she had fingers in her gloves, but she wasn’t sure.
The ice bridge was eerier returning than when they’d come, if that was possible. An early night had descended, though the snow illuminated their surroundings enough so they could see. It almost made their headlights unnecessary. The ice was lit up as if there were lights glowing beneath it. Strange noises, sounding like distant moans and cries for help, rushed by her head.
She remembered what Hannah had said about the ice bridge ghosts. In her state of mind, she could imagine misty shapes flitting around the ice behind and around them, trying to tell them something. Did they know where Hannah was? If she looked quick enough she thought she saw them with their hollow ghost eyes in their transparent ghost bodies. It seemed they were closing in on her and Mac.
Hannah believed the ice bridge ghosts appeared when someone was about to die—or had died.
She panicked as her snowmobile sped over the ice, the wind behind shoving her along, faster and faster, as if it was trying to escape something. She was practically on top of Mac as a wave of vertigo hit her. She slowed down before she rammed him.
Her machine went into a skid and barely avoided hitting one of the evergreens. She took a couple of deep breaths to push the dizziness away. Out of the corner of her eyes, she thought she saw something standing on the ice to her right, lost in the particles of drifting snow. It looked like a shadow of a woman with her arms outstretched. Then it was gone. Yet for the split heartbeat it was there, it had scared the heck out of her. It had looked like Hannah. Impossible.
Charlotte wanted to get back to her aunt’s house where it was warm and safe—where there were no spectral shapes to taunt her. She’d never been out in a pre-blizzard before. She was beginning to understand what Mac had meant when he’d said that a whiteout could be disorienting. She wondered if it could also make a person see things that weren’t there.
She kept her attention on Mac’s silhouette when she wasn’t looking for a lost snowmobile and its rider. She didn’t want to see anything else. About three-fourths of the way to the other side, with land and trees in front of them, her eye caught unevenness in the snow a little ways off the secure path. Something in the air behind her, or was it in her head, whispered to stop. Look.
After honking the horn and blinking her lights three times, she swerved closer, but not too close, to the rough patch. She cut the engine and dug out a flashlight from the saddlebag to examine the irregularities. In the glow, she saw there were spikes in the blanket of snow covering the ice.
Had something gone through the ice there?
She was on her knees, with her face in her hands, when Mac joined her with another flashlight. He gently brought her to her feet and guided her to her snowmobile. He walked back to the rough patch. He examined it, getting as near as he dared. He directed his flashlight at the mound. Charlotte could tell by the way his shoulders slumped that he’d found something he hadn’t wanted to find.
He returned to her. The wind had died down to a whisper after the roar.
“Something’s gone through the ice in days past. It’s been broken and refrozen.”
“Hannah?” she breathed.
“Could be. It’s too early to know. Sometimes something goes through and crawls out, wet, scared and cold—but alive. It happens. Maybe a deer or a bear. There are bears on the mainland; did you know that? Every once in a while they wander onto the ice. Anyway, the unevenness doesn’t necessarily mean something is down there...doesn’t mean it’s Hannah, either.”
Mac put his arm around Charlotte’s shoulders. “Let’s go before the storm gets any worse and we get lost, too. When it passes I’ll get men out here to see if there’s anything down there. Come on.”
He drove beside her to shore, both of them staying so tight to the evergreens they clipped a few. She wanted to reach the woods, the solid ground of the island. She wanted to get off the ice bridge and leave what she feared she’d seen on the ice—the ghosts—behind them.
Thank you Kathryn for taking part in my Author Spotlight interview! I hope your writing continues to flourish and we hope to see more of you in the future.
If you or an author/illustrator you know is interested in being interviewed, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org