How Long is a Piece of Rope: Melissa Miller



Irreparable Harm by Melissa Miller is available for £2.10 for Kindle UK

and $2.99 from

Today we find out what she has to say about the questions that really matter.

1.  Irreparable Harm is way better than the humiliating unpublished novel in my bottom desk drawer but one day I’d really like to be as good as Dennis Lehane.
2. You will just love my book if you enjoyed any of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher books or Michael Connelly’s Mickey Haller books but if you’re a fan of chick lit or romance, steer well clear
3. Irreparable harm comes from the barrel of a gun.  Once that bullet flies out, there’s no going back.
4. How do you see the role of food in the contemporary thriller and where does Irreparable Harm fit into the spectrum? 

 It seems to me that thriller writers, by and large, recognize that their heroes need to eat and see fit to feed them in their books.  In Irreparable Harm, I used food as a way to add local flavor (ooh, pun) to the book.  It is set in Pittsburgh, so my characters eat such regional delicacies as Virginia spots and Primanti’s sandwiches (enormous meat- and cheese-laden creations that include french fries and coleslaw right on the sandwich).  So, the food is a fun point in the book, but my protagonist, Sasha McCandless, really needs coffee to function.  In fact, I’d say coffee fueled both the creation of the book and the action in the book.  Coffee is also fueling this interview.
5. How would it affect the direction Irreparable Harm takes if the action were moved wholesale to the set of Glee in chapter 7? 

I confess I’ve never seen Glee, but Chapter 7 takes place in a posh (stuffy) law firm, so moving it to the set of Glee would certainly make it more fun!  As the fictional firm does have its share of diva personalities, it might be a seamless transition.

6. When you’re writing, would you rather look out at the sea, or in at your thoughts?

I’d love to look out to the sea, but I’m the mother of three little ones, so I do my writing mainly in the wee hours or hiding in my bedroom closet, which, sadly, has no view.  I do have a nice mountain view from my office, but the kids can find me there.

7. When writing, do you start at the beginning and keep going, or start at the end and work back?

I usually start when the opening lines write themselves in my head.  I start thinking I know the ending, but it always changes before I get there.  I generally write in order, but if a scene pops into my head, I will write it out of order rather than risk it evaporating.
8. A great villain or a great hero? 

Oh, you really need both, don’t you?  Without a formidable villain, our hero can’t really show her greatness.
9. Irreparable Harm will change the way a reader looks at very small women.
10. How long is a piece of rope?

Long enough for Sasha to create a Prusik knot and fashion a set of hand restraints to secure a Russian mobster to her reading chair.


~ by danholloway on May 11, 2011.

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