Mystery Author Rebecca Cantrell: Why I read and write what I do

Welcome award winning mystery author Rebecca Cantrell today.

Rebecca Cantrell

A few years ago she quit her job, sold her house, and moved to Hawaii to write a novel because, at seven, she decided that she would be a writer. Now she writes the Hannah Vogel mystery series set in Berlin in the 1930s, including A Trace of Smoke, A Game of Lies, and A Night of Long Knives. A Trace of Smoke was considered by major cable networks as a television series.

Publishers Weekly Starred Review claims Rebecca’s debut novel A Trace of Smoke to be an “unforgettable novel, which can be as painful to read as the history it foreshadows, builds to an appropriately bittersweet ending.”

Catch up with Rebecca where she blogs weekly at 7criminalminds or visit her website.

Why do I read and write crime/mystery/thrillers?
by Rebecca Cantrell

The first part of the answer is: because I read everything. I read crime, mystery, thriller, literary, historical, some sci-fi, the occasional romance, film scripts, and nonfiction. If it’s printed, I read it. Probably some kind of weird compulsion I ought to see someone about.

Reading takes me to different worlds and different lives. I doubt I’ll ever climb Mount Everest, fall in love with a Scottish Highlander, or solve a tricky murder. But because of books I can experience all that while sitting in a hammock sipping lemonade and listening to the surf. I know, it’s a rough life in Hawaii, but I will point out that the hammock broke because the salt air ate through the nylon so you know that it’s not all bliss out here. Yes, we have real problems.

My mother would say that I read mysteries because I have an overblown sense of justice and I expect the world to be fair. As usual: she’d be right. I do. And in mysteries everything happens for a reason, the evil are exposed and, usually, they even get punished for what they did. Who could not want to read that?

Obviously there’s a leap from reading them to writing them.

I could make up a deep psychological reason, but really I write them because they are fun. I get to do all kinds of research and ask questions that normally cause trouble.

I just recently watched someone blow a giant pile of lava into gravel, begged an autopsy report off someone, found an expert on chemical weapons, and am going to spend this morning watching “The Olympiad” by Leni Riefenstahl. As a friend said: “It’s not a grown up job.”

I like that.

Rebecca Cantrell



Filed under Authors

9 responses to “Mystery Author Rebecca Cantrell: Why I read and write what I do

  1. Great post and Happy New Year too, Donna & Rebecca.

    Hawaii must give Rebecca wonderful inspiration! I love it. And I love mysteries too. Looking forward to checking her out, :).

    • Mina, this was a fun post and Rebecca wit shines through here, for a writer of dark stuff. I agree, Hawaii gives one inspiration, I lived there for awhile on Oahu and wish I could go back now as a writer and experience it!

  2. I like to do research and I also have a strong sense of justice. I’ve really gotten into watching trials too. I find the strategies that lawyers employ quite fascinating.

    • Catherine, how I wish I enjoyed research as much as you! I feel I can get lost in it and off track. Some of those strategies lawyers use could definitely be put to use in real-life situations 😉

  3. Enjoyed the interview! Curious how she got that autopsy report. Happy New Year! ❤

  4. Hi everyone!

    Donna: Thanks again for having me!

    Mina: Hawaii is great place to be a writer, especially the Big Island. The views… But, I’m thinking of moving anyway.

    Catherine: That sense of justice is a blessing and curse, isn’t it?

    Brenda: I met this medical examiner who is also a writer and convinced him that writing an autopsy of a vampire victim would be a fun thing. So, he wrote the autopsy for IDRAKULA and did an audio clip for the iPhone app version. Now, we’re friends, which is another great thing about being a writer.

  5. Great post, Donna and Rebecca. I love learning about authors and what inspires them. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Kudos Donna and Rebecca. Sounds like a really interesting read.

  7. Thanks, Stacy and PW for stopping by!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s