Friday, July 30, 2010

Author Spotlight: W.S. Gager

Today's post is spotlighting W.S. Gager, author of the Mitch Malone Mysteries. Her latest is A Case of Accidental Intersection. W.S. Gager has lived in West Michigan for most of her life except for stints early in her career as a newspaper reporter and editor. Now she enjoys creating villains instead of crossing police lines to get the story. She teaches English at a local college and is a soccer chauffeur for her children. During her driving time she spins webs of intrigue for Mitch Malone's next crime-solving adventure.

Take it away, W.S.! Wait a minute! You're not W.S.!

Mitch Malone here. I’m subbing for W.S. Gager. She has her hands full trying to promote my latest escapade in A Case of Accidental Intersection. She wanted to do something long and boring on creating great dialogue. I had to put a stop to that. I’m also the best one to talk about listening to what people say and how they say it. You’ve got to have good dialogue if you are trying to show character. Stilted exchanges will kill the pace and tempo of a book. I’m an expert at dialogue on account of the fact that I quote people in my newspapers stories and when you do that, you see how people have different nuances to their speech.

Take politicians. I don’t cover them unless I have to but when I do, their quotes or dialogue in a book is smooth with flowery language. Of course they never say anything but they use a lot of words to do it. Lot of that this election year.

In A Case of Accidental Intersection I ran into Elsie Dobson. Now this is one tough old lady but her language I quoted in my story was unique. Elsie was upset the first time after witnessing and she rambled, but it was great emotion for my story. She also called me dear a lot and patted my cheek. I hated it when she started talking about her sainted husband Elmer because then I would never get any information. The thing is, Elsie used a lot of words in proper grammar. No slang, no jargon. It just wouldn’t have been right.

Now in my first big story, A Case of Infatuation, there was a kid named Joey. He never spoke in complete sentences, never more than a couple of words at a time unless he was excited and then they were all strung together and you couldn’t make any sense out of them.

If I were to quote either one of them in a news story and I did Elsie because she was the witness to one horrific accident between a sports car and a cement truck, you have to get the words precisely as they said them or they can claim they are misquoted or worse yet, your reader gets pulled out of your story because it just doesn’t sound right.

So, you heard it here from Mitch Malone, get into the head of your character and make sure your dialogue fits their personality.

(Lauren here.) Purchase either of W.S. Gager's Mitch Malone Mysteries at:
Robbins’ Booklist, Greenville
Country Squire Pharmacy, Fremont

Barnes & Noble, Norton Shores & Grand Rapids area stores
Schuyler’s Books, Grand Rapids

If you would like to contact W.S. Gager, you can do so at:
Phone: 231-327-2072
Facebook keyword: wsgager
ISBN: 978-1-892343-70-3

Thank you, W.S. Gager, and Mitch, for stopping by today. We all look forward to reading about your big story in the The Case of Accidental Intersection!

Note: Nest week, on August 8, I have the honor of visiting Jeff Marks blog, Little Blog of Mystery. Stop by to learn about my first professional writing assignment.

On August 13, I will be visiting Lois Winston's blog: Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers. Sorry, I just discovered that I am overbooked that day. So, Archie Monday from It's Murder, My Son will be stopping by to tell you all about what has been happening at Deep Creek Lake since mystery writer Robin Spencer passed away and left her estate to homicide detective Mac Faraday. It should be quite a visit, so stop by to say hello!


WS Gager said...

Lauren: Thanks so much for hosting Mitch Malone. He can get full of himself and opinionated sometimes. I think he reigned himself in okay today!
W.S. Gager

Sunny Frazier said...

Hey Mitch!
Yeah, you know what you're talkin' about, man. I worked at a newspaper and people give you some terrible sound bites then get nasty because they sounded idiotic in print. Whattaya gonna do???

Hang in there. And, for godssake, get laid already!

Holli said...

How did Mitch ever get so smart? I think Wendy has been giving him her secrets- or is the other way around?

Accidental Intersection and Infatuation are both great reads, and Intersection has a fantastic twist to boot.

Holli Castillo
Gumbo Justice

Joselyn Vaughn said...

Great tips, Mitch! I heard Elsie's a good cook too. Are there any cookies left? :-)

Marja said...

Terrific! I thoroughly enjoyed this post. Great information and having Mitch do the article was inspired.

WS Gager said...

Mitch here. I don't know what W.S. is saying about reigning me in.
Sunny: I've had some of those people who never make sense. What are you going to do.
Joselyn: Of course there are no cookies left. I've had to share them too often. Back off!!
Holli: Can you fix me up with Ryan? Any chance she would move north?
Marja: I am insprired. Don't let W.S. fool you!

Janet Glaser said...

Wow Mitch was full of helpful information for us. Very clever...

Lauren Carr said...

Thanks for stopping in Mitch. This had been a very entertaining visit. Lots of fun and get advice. Anytime you want to hijack WS interviews, you're more than welcome.

jrlindermuth said...

Mitch is right about work as a reporter helping get the nuances right in how different people speak.
It's much like a musician developing an 'ear.'

jack59 said...

I started my writing career many years ago now with a vengeance story which had the hero chasing around all over the UK. In London I had him talking to cockneys in Birmingham with Brummies and in Liverpool with scousers finally ending in Scotland. I had great fun writing the book right up until I had the first agent's comments.''Don't try writing in regional accents, if you weren't born there forget it, one little nuance undoes the whole thing. So if you would like to take the accents out of the ms I might be prepared to take another look''.
I never tried to do it; writing in those accents had made it all worth while. The ms was committed to a tea chest along with other failures-learning exercises-until the floods came one year and turned the whole lot into goo.
Write about what you know.
Jack Everett.