Today I’ve invited D.E. Haggerty to Ascroft, eh? to tell us a bit about her latest novel, Hide Not Seek, and her Not So Reluctant Detectives series.
Welcome to Ascroft, eh?. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tell us about your novel. Is it part of a series? If so, please tell us about the series too.
DEH: Hide Not Seek is the third novel in the Not So Reluctant Detective series. The series consists of three standalone novels. In each story, a different high school employee gets involved with a murder and ends up trying to solve it. In Hide Not Seek, the English lit teacher, Pru, is accused of murder. When it turns out she has a rock-solid alibi for the time of the murder, the murderer starts stalking her. Naturally, the three friends decide they need to solve the murder.
Where did the idea for the mystery that is central to the story come from?
DEH: In the previous novel of the series, the heroine is accused of murder as she was supposedly stalked by the victim. Writing about the stalking stirred up thoughts about women who are stalked and what happens when someone takes the law into their own hands.
Do you create your characters? Do you have favourite ones? If so, why are you partial to them?
DEH: As this series is set primarily in a high school library, I created my characters around the type of women who usually work in high schools. There’s a librarian, a high school counsellor, and a teacher. My favourite character is usually the heroine of the story I just finished writing.
How do you bring to life the place you are writing about?
DEH: As the Not So Reluctant Detective series is set in Milwaukee where I went to university a million years ago, I spent a lot of time on Google maps reacquainting myself with locations. I tried to describe the locations so people who actually live there will be able to nod and say ‘oh yeah, I know the place she’s describing’.
What research do you do to provide background information to help you write the novel?
DEH: I’m anal about research. I research all kinds of details readers probably don’t care about like how much does a house along Lake Michigan cost or how much a professional rugby player in New Zealand makes.
Thanks for answering my questions, and good luck with Hide Not Seek, this latest novel in your Not So Reluctant Detectives series.
About D.E. Haggerty: She grew up reading everything from her mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When she wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, she was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing her of free time to write and read. After surviving the army experience, she went back to school and got her law degree. She jumped ship and joined her hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into her legal career, she was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. She quit her job and sat down to write a manuscript, which she promptly hid in the attic before returning to the law. But practicing law really wasn’t her thing, so she quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out running a B&B wasn’t her thing either. She polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following her husband to Istanbul where she decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where, in between tennis matches and failing to save the world, she’s currently working on her next book. Hide Not See is her fifteenth novel.