This is my friend Ali and me. This looks like us too.
Alison Bruce and I met through Crime Writers of Canada a few years ago and immediately became friends. That's the way I remember it, anyway.
Her "Deadly Legacy" character, Kate Garrett, is one of my favourite heroines, kick-ass but down-to-earth realistic female who lives slightly in the future.
Now she's back in Deadly Legacy
Me: Tell us what this book is about.
Ali: It’s about 111 pages long… Sorry I couldn’t resist.
(You're so funny, Ali. - Me)
In Deadly Legacy Kate lost her father. Now she’s dealing with the fallout. She’s accepted her first case as a private investigator and is looking for a cat killer. At the office, she has to walk on eggs around her new business partner. In her off-time, she is packing up her father’s apartment where she comes across his last case as a police detective. Life is an emotional mine field and yet, Kate manages to solve her current case and a decade old one in the same neighbourhood.
Me: If you could only use one word to describe this book, what would it be?
Me: What do you do for fun?
Ali: Reading and writing are both fun and professional activities. Just for fun? I draw cartoon versions of people… like the one of me and you.
(And I LOVE it! - Me)
Me: How would you describe your writing style?
Ali: Funny but not comedy. Adventurous but not super heroic. Romantic but not sappy. I aspire to write like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dance. They make it look easy, but it’s not.
Me: When you begin to write your books, do you know how it ends or is it decided by the actual process of writing?
Ali: I always know how my books are going to start and end. I almost always end up starting at a different point than I intended and end up somewhere slightly different than I planned.
Me: What is your favorite thing about writing?
Ali: Everything when it flows. Nothing when it doesn’t.
Me: If we were to meet for lunch and talk books, where would we go (money is no object)?
Ali: Let’s do Paris. There is (or was) a lovely trattoria on Boulevard Saint Germain in the Latin Quarter. There’s an English book store in the same block. That way, we have a place to shop afterwards. If the weather is nice, we can sit outside and watch the students and tourists go by.
Me: How has your upbringing influenced your writing?
Ali: My parents read…a lot. My mother had a huge collection of mystery novels. I grew up with Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy Sayers and that’s just scratching the surface.
My father, on the other hand, loved westerns and thrillers. So I also read Louis L’Amour, Zane Grey, Jack Higgins and Alistair MacLean. He also introduced me to Stephen Leacock Award winners Donald Jack and Farley Mowatt (also to Stephen Leacock for that matter).
I don’t think I appreciated how much these authors influenced me until recently. But maybe the biggest influence was all the travelling we did when I was young. I devoured books in hotel rooms and nights in our ugly family camper, but I couldn’t read in a moving vehicle. Instead, I made up stories in my head. Sometimes my sister and I would play act them, but mostly I had a head stuffed with plots and characters.
Me: How important do you think villains are to a crime story?
Ali: “Your enemy is never a villain in his own eyes. Keep this in mind; it may offer a way to make him your friend. If not, you can kill him without hate — and quickly.”
Robert Heinlein said that in The Notebooks of Lazarus Long. I try to keep that in mind at all times… not just when I’m writing. I do my best not to write villains, only enemies. That being said, “A hero is only as good as his villain.”
Me: If you could be anyone else in the world (living), who would you be?
Ali: That’s tough. If I was anyone else, I wouldn’t have my kids, my family and friends. That wouldn’t do at all. In another universe, there is an Alison Bruce that didn’t chicken out of submitting her work when she was in her twenties. If other parts of her life worked out close enough for me still to have Kit and Sam as my kids, I’d be her.
An Imajin Qwickies™ Mystery/Crime Novella A Carmedy & Garrett Mini-Mystery #1
By Alison Bruce
Last month Kate Garrett was a Police Detective. Now she’s a Pet P.I.?
Kate recently inherited half her father’s private investigation company and a partner who is as irritating as he is attractive. Kate has been avoiding Jake Carmedy for years, but now her life might depend on him.
Kate and Jake are on the hunt for a serial cat killer who has mysterious connections to her father’s last police case. Kate’s father had been forced to retire when he was shot investigating a domestic disturbance. Is the shooter back for revenge? And is Kate or Jake next?
Alison Bruce has had many careers and writing has always been one of them. Copywriter, editor and graphic designer since 1992, Alison has also been a comic store manager, small press publisher, webmaster and arithmetically challenged bookkeeper. She is the author of mystery, romantic suspense and historical western romance novels. Three of her novels have been finalists for genre awards.
(author and business website)