Q&A With Philip R. Craig of 'A Vineyard Killing'

Q: I just wanted to say that I discovered you some time ago and have read every one of the Martha's Vineyard Books. I love the characters and the special recipes. This winter I needed some comfort and old friends and found your newest book to fill the bill. Thank you. Look forward to "the rest of the story."
— Diego

A: Dear Diego,
Thanks for the nice note. I hope you'll be pleased to know that I've written the 2004 book (Death at a Vineyard Mansion) and I am working on the book for 2005. Meanwhile, Scribner has purchased Second Sight, another book I've co-written with William G. Tapply, featuring J.W. Jackson and Bill's protagonist, Brady Coyne, attempting to stop more bad buys on the Vineyard.

Q: Can you tell me more about your past works?
— Gale

A: Dear Gale,
If you look up my Web site (PhilipRCraig.com) you'll find a list and summaries of all of my books and more information about me than any sane person would want to know. The Martha's Vineyard mysteries began with A Beautiful Place to Die, which was published in 1989, and has continued ever since. A Vineyard Killing is the 14th book in the series.

Q: Just finished reading the excerpt of your novel set in Martha's Vineyard, and liked your simple, direct style. Why did you choose this style for this novel? I have a true-crime novel in progress and will appreciate any tips re the selling of a first novel. I wish you much success. Thanks again, C.A.

A: Dear C.A.,
I wish you much success. Never give up on your writing. Keep in mind that every published writer was once an unpublished writer and that next year's best seller isn't even in print this year. As for my style, I've never thought much about it. I like to write in the first person, although there are limitations inherent in that point of view that are sometimes undesirable. If you're writing a true-crime book, you should consider the nature of third-person and first-person points of view. You might want to take a look at "Percy Lubbock's Aspects of the Novel," which is a good study of point of view. Good luck with your book.

Q: I am looking forward to reading A Vineyard Killing. Do you only write mysteries?
— Val

A: Dear Val,
I'm currently writing a non-mystery and a cookbook, but I don't know when I'll get them finished. I've written nonfiction essays, too. At the moment I've written the 2004 book in my mystery series and I am working on the book for 2005.

Q: I enjoy your books so very much and look forward to each new one. Thanks for the great stories and wonderful characters. Love the tongue-in-cheek attitudes toward children, marriage and sex. Thanks so much. When is your next one coming?
— Pauline

A: Dear Pauline,
Thanks for the nice note. The next book, "Death at Vineyard Mansion," will be out in June 2004. Meanwhile, I'm working on the 2005 book.

A: I have a hard time with reading small print anymore, but I'd like to read your latest book. Do you have this book with large print? — Doris

A: Dear Doris,
Deveral of my books have been published in large print. "A Vineyard Killing" is, I think, one of them. I know it's being published in large print in England. I suggest that you inquire about A Vineyard Killing at your local library. You can also get some of the books on tape from the Library of Congress through your library. Good hunting!

Q: Where did you come with the ideas for your characters? Are they based on anyone you know? — Ann

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