Meow, this week my guest is author Micki Browning!
FBI National Academy graduate and award-winning author Micki Browning worked in law enforcement for more than two decades and retired as a division commander. Her debut mystery, Adrift, set in the Florida Keys, was published by Alibi-Random House in January 2017. It won both the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence and the Royal Palm Literary Award. Learn more at www.MickiBrowning.com
R: Welcome Micki! Tell us a bit about yourself and how you became interested in writing.
Thanks ROCCO! I became a professional writer the day I joined the police academy. Oh sure, they draw you in with the ability to drive fast, carry a gun, and wrestle bad guys, but right there in the fine print is the disclaimer that everything has to be documented. Report writing captures facts, and in many ways is easier to write than fiction. Towards the end of my career, I joined a writers group. I was hooked.
R: Tell us about your Mer Cavallo series. How did the idea for that come about?
After retiring from law enforcement, my better half and I retired to the Florida Keys. We are both avid divers and I hold a professional divemaster rating. I love fish-out-of-water characters, so I created an analytic marine scientist whose latest research gig was in the Arctic. A real-life medical emergency a diver suffered while filming an underwater documentary triggered the first story. The diver completely recovered, but the event prompted a bevy of “what-ifs” that I had a great time exploring.
R: You are a retired police captain? Have you always been interested in law enforcement?
You can blame Charlie’s Angels for that… the opening montage sparked my interest. A couple ride-alongs clinched it. Next thing I knew I was in the academy. I never looked back!
R: Do you have an “how I got my agent” story you’d like to share? How did you feel when you got the call your first novel had sold?
I love my agent story. I had entered Adrift in the R.W.A Kiss of Death contest for the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence. My agent was one of the two judges in the mainstream mystery/suspense category. I won the award, she requested the full, and the resulting phone call was probably one of the best conversations I’ve ever had.
R: What’s a must have for you when you are writing? What aids the creative process?
I listen to soundtracks when I write. I also usually have a cup of tea on hand in various stages of cooling (which is why I drink tea—cold coffee just doesn’t do it for me). I start my morning by reviewing my work from the day before, and then I jump into new territory.
R: If you had access to a time machine, which historical moment would you travel to and why?
Oh, good question! I’d want to witness an act of courage—maybe the first time someone trusted a tank on their back and freely finned across a reef underwater? Or the brave soul who first ate a “poisonous” tomato and lived to tell the tale?
R: If a movie were to be made of one of your books, which one would you want it to be and who would you pick for the lead roles?
I always cast my characters. Adrift starred Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Mer and Daniel Craig as Selkie. In an odd bit of casting, Brian Blessed, the Shakespearean actor would have to play Leroy. He’s perfect!
R: What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to know about you?
I play the Celtic Harp.
R: What is the craziest thing you've ever done?
I’ve chased down a guy with a sawed-off shotgun on foot--and I’m a writer. Take your pick.
R: What do you hope readers will most take away from your writing?
Life doesn’t always have a correct answer. It’s messy, but we all do our best.
R: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I started writing as a panster, but mysteries benefit from a lot of planning. Now, I plot the story milestones and pantster my way between them.
R: Where can we find out more about you and your work?
Learn more at www.MickiBrowning.com or at Goodreads, https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15041874.Micki_Browning
R: Do you have any advice for beginning writers?
First, don’t give up. Second, plot from the point of view of the antagonist and write from the perspective of the protagonist. Trust me.
Just for Fun:
Night or Day? Night
Dog or Cat? (answer carefully) Um, cat. Definitely.
Beach or Pool? Beach
Steak or salad? I have to have my greens, but every now and again, I love a petite fillet mignon. Bonus points if it’s bacon-wrapped.
Favorite Drink? Tea.
Favorite Book? Impossible to answer.
Favorite TV Series? The Big Bang Theory. Castle was a close second.
Favorite Movie? Casablanca.
Favorite Actor? Daniel Craig.
Favorite Actress? Cate Blanchet.
Dirty Martini or Pina Colada? I write about the Keys! Pina Colada.
Hawaii or Alaska? Mer would answer Alaska. I’m a Hawaii gal. Warmer diving.
Finish this sentence: If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be Queen Elizabeth I.
If I had just one wish, it would be to finally know the difference between lay, laid, and lie, without having to look it up—Every. Single. Time. (And of course, in the immortal words of Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality, “... world peace.”)
If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be me. I’m quite content.
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