Ball State University
Magna cum Murder
Kathryn Kennison, Director
Jama Kehoe Bigger
Many authors and fans have already registered for our WELCOME BACK 2010 Magna cum Murder. We're gearing up for a fantastic weekend that you won't want to miss!
Magna intern Austin Lugar recently caught up with one of our favorite authors, Parnell Hall, for a short Q&A:
Q: Your protagonists always are able
to solve the crime at the end of the book, but they're never the tough guys or
geniuses you see in other mysteries. Instead they are more unexpected and
untraditional. What is it about this type of detective that you are drawn to?
I worked as a
private eye for two years, chasing ambulances for a negligence lawyer, and I
realized how ill-equipped I would be to solve a murder. I modeled Stanley
Hastings after me, so he would have to improvise and solve crime without
benefit of car chases, shootouts, and fistfights. For the Puzzle Lady, I went in
the opposite direction. She's really good at solving crime, but is a total
fraud in her role as the Puzzle Lady. Cora is the Milli Vanilli of the puzzle
community, who couldn't solve a puzzle if her life depended on it, and it is
her niece, Sherry, who is the actual constructor. I like the idea of the extra
twist to the characters.
Q: You had a new Puzzle Lady and a new Stanley Hastings book this month. What
are some of the pros and cons about juggling two series at once?
The joy is having a change of pace.
This is particularly true in my case, since my Stanley Hastings books are first
person narrative, and my Puzzle Lady books are third person omniscient. The
problem is having two deadlines with two separate publishers, but it's a
problem I love to have. I've been able to work on one book at a time, which
makes it easier to keep them straight. So far Stanley hasn't run into Sherry
Carter's ex-husband, or Sergeant MacAullif hasn't shown up in Bakerhaven, but
it's probably just a matter of time.
Q: What was the last great book that you read?
Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut. It's also one of the first great books I've read.
I read it a lot, like comfort food.
Q: What do you think makes Magna cum
Murder different than other mystery conventions?
Kathryn Kennison. Yes, Magna is
small, friendly, communal, yes, the program is innovative and
interesting, yes, authors get more exposure on more panels, etc, etc, but in
the end it all comes down to Kathryn. She really enjoys it, and she
personally makes sure everyone else enjoys it. Magna is special, but it's
something you can't describe, you must experience. I've recommended it to every
author who's asked.
So, what would you tell mystery authors and fans about this year's festival? "Don't miss this year's Magna or I'll
show up at your next dinner party and sing to you."
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We've posted photos of the 2008 Magna cum Murder. Check them out!
|Remember! You can register for Magna cum Murder through our easy online registration process.
Go to our web site or click HERE.
Authors, once you're registered, we'll add you to the Authors Page as well as a link to your own web site.