· Cari Hunter interviews A. Rose Mathieu:
Congratulations on the publication of your debut novel! How did it feel to hold your book in your hands for the first time?
I admit, it was very rewarding to hold the actual book in my hands. My family was very excited and showed it to everyone who came by. My friends insisted on getting a signed copy, which was a bit embarrassing.
· The murder that kicks off Sins of our Fathers is vividly described. Were the events based on any real cases?
No, the entire story came from my imagination. It took a while to write the murder scene at the beginning of the story. I wrote it as a skeletal scene and kept going back and adding and editing.
· The legal scenes in Sins of our Fathers are presumably based on personal experience, but how much research did you have to do for the novel’s other aspects, such as police investigations and local politics? How did you set about it?
I have spent many hours in a courtroom, but the courtroom and legal scenes were not based on any case I know. Most of my research focused on the Catholic Church, the medical experiments of WWII, and biology to explain the medical aspects of the book.
· The novel seems driven by a strong sense of social justice. To what extent does that fuel your writing?
I work in the nonprofit legal world, so social justice is a large part of what I do. I also enjoy the challenge of solving puzzles, so I enjoyed creating pieces of a puzzle, then figuring out how to put them all together.
· There are obvious connections between your “day job” and your debut novel. Was it difficult to create a fictional version of a world you must know very well? Did you have to stop yourself from populating it with the people you work with?
Despite my legal work, the setting and characters were not based on personal experience. My work isn’t quite as exciting as Elizabeth Campbell’s.
· My wife banned me from watching medical dramas on TV because I’d shout at them for getting stuff wrong. Does yours let you watch Law and Order?
I stay away from the law shows because of the inaccuracies, so I watch the medical dramas : )
· Do you read many crime/legal thrillers or do you favour escapism and go for an entirely different genre?
My reading interests lean towards mysteries and occasional romance novels. I wrote this book in honor of my mom who always wanted me to write, but I never had time after going to law school. When she passed away a few years ago, I put it on my bucket list, for her. I picked the crime mystery genre because it was her favorite type of book to read. She was a fan of John Grisham, Tom Clancy, and all the authors of that genre. I also cite as some of my favorite books those written by Dan Brown.
· With two kids and a day job, how do you find time to write?
I write at night after the kids’ homework and nightly routine settle down. Sometimes I can’t believe my mind still functions after a long day, but I have found the quiet evening hours to be contemplative. Sometimes during the day, when I have time between court cases I might be seen scribbling on a legal pad, which has no connection to the cases, but rather a random thought that comes to mind.
· What are you writing next?
I am working on the sequel.
· Saving the most important question for last: You’re marooned on a desert island and you can only have one pie for the duration of your stay. Which flavour would you choose?
I don’t like pie, but I do like a cake that is named as a pie: Boston Cream pie.