Interview with Jill Downie

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Interview with Jill Downie

Posted on December 18 by Jill Downie
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Jill Downie, author of the Moretti and Falla mystery series talks to us today about her latest book Blood Will Out.

Tell us about your book.

Set on the Channel Island of Guernsey, Blood Will Out, the third in the Moretti and Falla mystery series, has Detective Inspector Moretti and Detective Sergeant Liz Falla investigating the apparent suicide of a hermit.  The case is complicated by accusations of vampirism against a dubious playwright visiting the island, who himself becomes an apparent victim.  Moretti and Falla must untangle truth from fantasy amid the distractions of ancient island superstitions, love affairs and family secrets.

How did you come up with the title?

Titles sometimes come out of nowhere, instantly, sometimes are suggested by others, and often get changed more than once during the writing of the book.  At least, that’s what happens to me!  For Blood Will Out, I wanted to get the word “blood” in the title, because it has a double significance in the book, referring to the vampire elements and the importance of family and blood-lines.  I played around with various combinations before settling on Blood Will Out for its brevity and “staccato” sound, beautifully echoed in the cover image.

Did you have a specific readership in mind when you wrote the book?

When I sat down to write the first in the series, Daggers and Men’s Smiles, I think I was concentrating more on creating my two principal characters in their island setting, and less on who might be reading about them.  Certainly I remember hoping that not only women would read and enjoy the series, but men also.  And that has happened, which is great.  Now, when I write, the comments of readers are very much present in my mind, and they are a useful guide to the elements of the series that appeal most strongly – for instance the professional and personal relationship between Moretti and Falla, and the warm response to the uniquely beautiful island setting.

How did you research your book?

In the best possible way!  I went back to Guernsey, where I had once lived, and which I have now revisited before writing each of the three books in the series.  On each visit, I have a specific set of goals, aspects of the island, and people I want to talk to.  For Blood Will Out I looked at three areas: the ancient superstitions and prehistoric sites associated with them; the homes and histories of the old island aristocracies; relics and memories of the Nazi Occupation during World War Two.

Describe the most memorable response you’ve received from a reader.

The response you hear more than once is always interesting (“when are those two going to get together?”!), but one of the responses I got through my website is, for me, the most memorable.  A reader contacted me as she was on her way to Guernsey, having booked her trip because of the Moretti and Falla series.  Thank you, dear reader, from me and the Guernsey Tourist Board!

Jill Downie

Posted by Kendra on October 30, 2014

Jill Downie

Jill Downie is the winner of the Drummer General's Award for A Passionate Pen and the Hamilton and Region Arts Council Literary Award for Non-Fiction for Storming the Castle. The first title in the Moretti and Falla series, Daggers and Men’s Smiles, was published in 2011. The second, A Grave Waiting, followed in 2012. Jill lives in Ancaster, Ontario.