Max Everhart, author of the fine hard-boiled novel Go Go Gato, tagged me to go next on the “Meet My Character” blog tour. The detective from the three books currently in my series insisted she should answer.
1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?
The way I see it, M. Ruth Myers is just the gal who takes dictation from me. I’m the private eye. Maggie Sullivan. Here’s my license.*
2) When and where is the story set?
I work in Dayton, Ohio, in the years 1938-1947, depending on which book you hit. In the latest one, Don’t Dare a Dame, it’s fall of 1939. The country’s still struggling to climb its way out of the Depression. On the other side of the world, that lying little paperhanger Hitler has just rolled into Poland.
3) What should we know about him/her?
I’m 25, with an office near some railroad tracks and the Fifth Street produce market. The radiator doesn’t work half the time, but I like the view. I keep a gin bottle in my bottom drawer, and a .38 under my chair. Before I hung out my shingle, I worked as a floorwalker at a downtown department store, then in loss prevention. I’m crazy about hats. I polish my nails. Sometimes I get beaten up, but I give as good as I get.
4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?
In Don’t Dare a Dame, I almost lose my P.I. license. I serve at the pleasure of the chief of police, and someone with clout at City Hall apparently doesn’t like me asking about a man who vanished a quarter century earlier. When I keep digging, whoever that is ups the ante with rough stuff. But I figure the two old maid sisters who hired me deserve somebody in their corner. I don’t like to see people pushed around.
The only thing that messes up my life are the thugs — some with mansions, some behind in their rent at cheap rooming houses — who prey on decent people. Some people have an idea I’m lonely and don’t even know it, or maybe can’t admit it to myself. Who knows?
5) What is the personal goal of the character?
Hey, I’m on my own — no family. Paying the rent and keeping food in my mouth is enough of a goal for me. And solving my cases, of course. Okay, maybe I like to see folks get a fair shake regardless of what’s in their bank account, but if you want to toss around terms like “personal goal”, come back in thirty or forty years.
6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
Don’t Dare a Dame is already out. You can sample the first chapter at http://www.MRuthMyers.com .
7) When can we expect the book to be published?
How about the next book? Number four will be out in 2015. I have to give my office girl, M. Ruth Myers, credit: She’s loyal, and she works cheap.
Ruth tagged NY Times best-selling thriller writer Diane Capri to follow us on this blog tour. Thanks, Diane!
Ruth and Maggie agree you might enjoy these mystery authors: I.J. Parker, a Shamus short story winner , writes the extensive Akitada series, whose detective is a government employee in 11th c. Japan. Libi Astaire writes a delightful and finely plotted series whose sleuth is a leader of Regency London’s Jewish community. Matthew Storm creates harsh, bleak noir in Broken, the first book of a series with a P.I. whose losing battle with a serial killer left her in a mental hospital. M. Louisa Locke creates charming cozies in her Victorian San Francisco mysteries, with a young widow who runs a boarding house, but makes ends meet by masquerading as a psychic. Debbi Mack has a tough lady lawyer – P.I. in her Sam McCrae series set in Maryland.
*Maggie’s license is, as she is, fictional. It’s based on an actual license from the 1920s furnished by the Dayton Police History Foundation.