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Interview with the author: Rally ‘Round the Corpse and chance at your own copy ends 2/25!

Posted by on February 11, 2013


If you missed my review of Rally ‘Round the Corpse yesterday make sure to check it out here.

We sat down with Hy Conrad for a few to discuss his latest book “Rally ‘Round the Corpse.”

MN Girl:

What an interesting story line.  How did you come up with the idea for “Rally ‘Round the Corpse?”


I’ve always been a fan of mystery events.  To me, there’s something thrilling about the group process of figuring out a mystery puzzle.  So when I decided to finally come out with a novel, this seemed like a natural: a group of rich puzzle-lovers exploring Europe and finding out that the fictional murder game they’re playing is real.  This gave me a chance to play with the elements of an old fashioned whodunit – the two-dimensional characters and the romantic settings.  But it also let me step outside that box and create some unexpected twists and turns.

MN Girl

You spent 10 years writing for television.  How was writing a novel different for you?


The job of a TV writer/producer is very process-oriented.  You show up every day and sit down with some great writers and figure out a story.  Then one of you raises a hand and volunteers to actually write the script.  After that it’s a thousand suggestions from actors, studio, network; plus a dozen rewrites.  It’s very collaborative.  And very dialogue-based.  

When I went to write a novel, I immediately missed the company and was more than a little leery of writing description.

MN Girl

You seem to have an interest in Mysteries, has this always been an interest of yours?


I’d have to say yes.  Sherlock Holmes, the Hardy Boys, Agatha Christie.  They were all big influences.  I loved the idea that you could tell a story and be perfectly honest with your readers and then fool them.  And if you’re very good, they’ll love you for it.

MN Girl

Have you ever participated in a Murder Mystery show or adventure before?


A lot of my early work in mysteries was in the interactive realm, the very early days on interactive fiction.  I once created an online serial for Prodigy, a competitor of AOL.  It was a mystery in which you read a different chapter every day and solved it by the end of the month.  The name of the serial was Abel Adventures and it was, in fact, the basis for the characters in this book, except that the lead was a man, Tom Abel.

One of the other things I developed was a mystery party for Electronic Arts.  You would input the descriptions of your guests and the program would individualize a mystery game based on that.  I know that seems pretty tame now.  But back then it was cutting edge.

I have been to several mystery parties that I didn’t write.  I have to confess that I’m pretty bad at them.  I want everything to make sense and sometimes it just doesn’t.

MN Girl

Where do you find your inspiration when writing?


One of the main elements of the Abel Adventure books is travel.  I almost always write about places I’ve been to and I love to include anecdotes from my travels – or my friends’ travels.  Not long ago, a friend told me about a wake he’d gone to.  The deceased left instructions that his best friends all be given free trips to Paris where they would scatter his ashes into the river Seine.  I instantly knew this would be the perfect premise for a mystery.

MN Girl

How do you deal with writer’s block?


To me, writer’s block just means that you haven’t prepared properly.  Something hasn’t been thought through.  So, I take some time off – and play a hundred games of computer solitaire.

MN Girl

Where can we find your book to purchase?


I think “Rally ‘Round the Corpse” is pretty much everywhere, in paperback and Kindle and audio books.  So, there’s no excuse, is there?  Please get a copy and read.

MN Girl

Anything else you’d like to add about “Rally ‘Round the Corpse?”


It’s a light, funny read, and perhaps a step more ambitious than a typical cozy.

And now one of my readers has a chance to win their own copy of “Rally ‘Round the Corpse.”

Retail Value: 14.99

Mandatory Entry:  Leave a comment

No purchase necessary, void where prohibited.  Must reside in the US and be 18 years or older.  Winner will be chosen through the use of and notified via email.  All other rules can be found here.

 Giveaway ends on 2/25/2013 at 9pm PST

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