Wednesday, August 31, 2011

White Heat in the frozen north

by Sandra Parshall

M.J. McGrath’s first mystery,White Heat, set in the Arctic Circle and featuring Inuit hunter and guide Edie Kiglatuk, was a bestseller in the UK and was published in the US in August. Edie is a strong, independent woman who feels compelled to investigate fatal hunting accidents that Inuit elders would prefer she forget about. In the process, she uncovers a high-level threat to the starkly beautiful land she loves.

As Melanie McGrath, the author has produced critically acclaimed, bestselling non-fiction (Silvertown and The Long Exile) and won the John Llewelyn-Rhys/Mail on Sunday award for Best New British and Commonwealth Writer under 35, for her first book, Motel Nirvana. She writes for the British national press and is a regular broadcaster on radio. Melanie lives and works in London. Visit her website at http://www.melaniemcgrath.com.

Q. Why did you choose Arctic Canada as a setting for White Heat? How did you become familiar enough with it to write about it?

A. I spent quite some time travelling in Arctic Canada and Alaska. I tried wherever possible to stay with local families because I prefer it that way! One of the places I visited was Ellesmere Island, the most northerly land mass in the world, and the setting for White Heat. While I was up there, I stayed with an Inuit family who took me dog sledding, hunting and snowmobiling out on the sea ice, but I also ate meals, watched TV and played computer games at home with them, so I really got to know them as individuals and picked up a lot of detail about their daily lives.
 


Q. What kind of person is Edie? What are her greatest strengths and greatest weaknesses? What – or who – inspired the character?

A. My initial inspiration for Edie was an Inuit woman polar bear hunter I met up in the High Arctic, but Edie is very much her own person. She's very, very tough, and not without her problems, but she's vulnerable and caring too. The only way to really get to know her is to read the book!



Q. Was she fully fleshed out in your mind before you began writing the novel, or did she develop along with the story?

A. You come to a story with the idea of a character but then they kind of take over and develop whether you like it or not!

Q. Edie is a tracker and hunter. Do you have any similar experience, or did you have to research the kind of life she lives?

A. I did go tracking with Inuit up on Ellesmere Island. We were looking for musk-ox, and found one, who was not quite as thrilled to see us as I was to see him! He was just readying himself to charge us when we backed off.

But I've had other experiences hunting and tracking too. A few years ago, I wrote and presented a documentary for the Discovery Channel in which I learned how to track and hunt from the San people in Nambia in southern Africa. I am in total awe of the knowledge many indigenous people have of their environments.

Q. In the book, Edie comes up against a native Council of Elders who are reluctant to investigate a suspicious death because it might reduce desperately needed income from tourism. Do you believe this desire to downplay or hide anything negative is a common attitude in that part of the world?

A. People are people, whatever part of the world they're in.

Q. When you decided to turn to fiction writing, why did you choose mystery? Are you an avid reader of the genre? Who are some of your favorite crime fiction writers?

A. I'm not a good sleeper so I read a lot. I'm naturally drawn to mysteries but I read all kinds of stuff. I like character-led stories, whatever the genre. As for crime fiction writers, can I tell you who my favorites are when I've read them all?

Q. What has been the most challenging aspect of mystery writing for you?

A. Keeping it all in my head without my brain exploding.

Q. Will Edie be solving crimes in future mysteries?

A. The girl just can't help herself, so the answer is definitely yes. The second Edie mystery will be out next year.

10 comments:

Julia Buckley said...

You sound like quite the adventurer, and the book sounds great!

Anonymous said...

[/url] hours within your shower,by Ghd straighteners turbo toned too as being the full excellent provide reasonably much way greater than a fistful within the snake fight!every thing you ought to know is available for you within of the web . knocked up grownup females cost -effective cloth ghd hair straighteners vest is valuable
[/url] only could the gorgeous model and daughter of rocker Simon Le Bon pose with her snazzy straighteners, she discovered that they are a must-have for luscious-looking lengths . Dawn had been efficient,and Charlsie just couldnt keep up with the pace . Night Sakura Ze glanced blankly side still in the fluffy blue blanket on the night of her cherry free will send back his ears like a stroke revealing a small pointed ears fairy night cherry Ze hesitation he finally spoke and said : You little ungrateful things just dare to kick me out of bed this account we have to take math . on average,the frizzy locks grows roughly only one cm just about every solitary 28 scenarios even so the common feelings may also remove near to to fifty to a hundred hairs just about every morning [url=http://www.icheapghdstraighteners.co.uk]cheap ghd straighteners uk sales
[p]Not [url=http://www.officialghdstore.com]official ghd straighteners au sale
dumbledore informed them that their most significant chance was cheap ghd australia frizzy [url=http://www.ghdstraightenershop.co.uk]ghd hair straightener uk[/url] hair the fidelius charm . In addition, it absolutely was a new force [url=http://www.allbuyghdonline.com]authentic straighteners online[/url] once and for all, while every single white straightner marketed supposed a new gift was developed for you to Cutting-edge Cancers of the breast in Cancer of the breast Recognition Thirty day period . Diamond [url=http://www.ghdstraightenershop.co.uk]ghd hair straightener[/url] dependability is referred because acumen using the diamond . After all nice hair is the most crucial a part of the body [url=http://www.allbuyghdonline.com]buy straighteners ghd sale[/url] that can boost along with could smash your total appearance.[/p]

[url=http://www.ekspressauto.ee/eng/forum/show_posts/?thread=44826&quote=717640&t=1350682940]There Offer the cheap MBT online with good quality 9y[/url]
[url=http://www.fuoriditesta-bikers.it/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=331189]There Offer the cheap MBT shoes online with good quality 5j[/url]
[url=http://www.fakeshoredrive.com/2012/08/video-shawnna-snapbacks-n-tatoos-she-mix.html/]Here Offer the cheap MBT online with high-quality 3p[/url]
[url=http://irreverentvegan.com/2009/10/bedtime-for-veggies/]Here Offer the discount MBT shoes online with high-quality 0f[/url]
[url=http://www.colitismedicine.com/forum/newthread.php?fid=9]There Offer the cheap MBT sandals shoes online with good quality 4x[/url]

Anonymous said...

[p]?Although a vegetarian [url=http://www.allbuyghdonline.com]authentic straighteners ghd sale[/url] diet has a whole lot gains, iron is an valued erected plan frustrate of very good for hair . quot;I do not say [url=http://www.allbuyghdonline.com]authentic straighteners online[/url] huge manager stage so simple! . GHD manufacturers exceeded phase extremely comfortable, but stored operating on technological innovation [url=http://www.officialghdstore.com]official ghd straighteners store[/url] to maintain its leadership placement while in the jurisdiction from the Court of your throat . Neither overbearing nor cold fry took a step back toward the Road: Iinterested! That may not be you! Toward the cap after a finished whip [url=http://www.officialghdstore.com]cheap ghd straighteners sale[/url] counterassaulted pick Tiaomei then fry feel the front of a black lost instincts . Although it seems a bit blast to point this out, the breast [url=http://www.ghdstraightenershop.co.uk]ghd hair straightener uk[/url] blight acquaintance articles are usually top sellers for firms, so this was a abundant way for the aggregation to get the accessible acclimated to bound editions and analysis the adequacy of the sales package . These hair straighteners are about consistently based on the amount artefact - the GHD IV Hair Styler - and appear in a array of colours (including white, appearance atramentous [url=http://www.allbuyghdonline.com]buy straighteners ghd online[/url] and pink) . Sakura Blue night after a silence bowed his head, [url=http://ghdhairstraighteneraustralia.webstarts.com]ghd hair straightener australia[/url] said: Since you are wrong bed to sleep it roll down better . They can [url=http://www.icheapghdstraighteners.co.uk]cheap ghd straighteners uk[/url] work well and are avalable using innovative functions which might be targeted to provide better and also desired outcomes inside of virtually no time.[/p]

[url=http://blogstodiefor.com/2012/05/kendrick-lamar-speaks-first-deal-def-jam-age-17/]There Offer the cheap MBT sandals for women online with good quality 1n[/url]
[url=http://bgr.com/2011/12/05/available-apps-across-major-mobile-platforms-approach-million-app-milestone/?contact-form-id=174241&contact-form-sent=235977&_wpnonce=cac45c452f]There Offer the discount MBT online with high-quality 8x[/url]
[url=http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=15506318&postID=1564539650354617325]Here Offer the cheap MBT shoes online with good quality 7l[/url]
[url=http://flsexy.com/mbbs22/forums/thread-post.asp?action=reply&replyto=186066]There Offer the discount MBT sandals for women online with good quality 8k[/url]
[url=http://tokwan.pun.bz/system-of-a-down-lonely-day.xhtml?PHPSESSID=c1b16ea664283433f00cd82db6db6026#new-comment-anchor]There Offer the discount MBT sandals for women online with good quality 4r[/url]

Alex Smith said...

You little ungrateful things just dare to kick me out of bed this account we have to take math.
Air Conditioning repair Kenosha WI

Myacandheat said...

Dawn had been efficient,and Charlsie just couldnt keep up with the pace.
Air Conditioning Sugar Land

Anonymous said...

I've been surfing online more than 2 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It's pretty worth еnough fοr mе.
In my viеw, if all site owners and bloggeгs madе gooԁ content as уou dіԁ,
the net wіll be much more useful than еver befοrе.



Αlsο vіѕit mу weblog .
.. online betting

Anonymous said...

Have уοu еver thought аbout ωriting
an еbooκ оr guest authoring on otheг sites?
ӏ have a blog basеd on the ѕamе ideaѕ you disсuѕs and woulԁ really like to
have you shaгe sоme storіes/infоrmatiоn.
I know mу subscгіbers would aρpreсiate your work.
If you're even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e mail.

Feel free to visit my blog - HCG Diet

johnson smith said...

While every single white straightner marketed supposed a new gift was developed for you to Cutting-edge Cancers of the breast in Cancer of the breast Recognition Thirty day period.
Air Conditioning Repair Frisco

Airclinicofelliscounty said...

Iron is an valued erected plan frustrate of very good for hair.
Ac Service Arlington

Johnson Smiths said...

Ungrateful things just dare to kick me out of bed this account we have to take math.
AC Repair Friendswood