1. Who is your favorite character?
Although Hank Donaghue is the central character in the series and probably closer to me than the other characters, I have to admit that Karen Stainer is the one I'm most fond of.
2. Why is she your favorite?
She's foul-mouthed, aggressive, cocky and violent, and not the kind of person I'd take to in real life, but I've never had a character come to me before as complete and as round as Karen. Her scenes flow onto the page without effort. As well, she cares deeply for Hank Donaghue and will always have his back, and her past, once it's revealed in detail throughout the series, will explain a great deal about her personality and will show how she can find a much better balance in her life than she has in Blood Passage.
3. How did you come to create her?
I have absolutely no idea. It was as though she sprang out of my forehead fully developed.
4. When did she first enter your mind?
Hank Donaghue came first, but I'd decided up front I wanted a male/female duo and since Hank is well-educated and from an upper-class background I naturally wanted to cast the female as an opposite of sorts. I ran a couple of Google image searches looking for a face that might serve as a reference and found a photo of an actress I didn't know and whose name I don't recall now, but as soon as I saw that photo I understood who Karen Stainer was going to be.
5. Where was she given life in the creative process?
I began with the story idea. I'd been reading a book called Life Before Life: A Scientific Investigation of Children's Memories of Previous Lives by Dr. Jim B. Tucker of the University of Virginia when I thought the concept might make a great premise for a crime novel. When I asked myself who the homicide investigators would be, as I say, Hank came first but Karen was close behind.
6. What do you like and dislike most about her?
As a writer, I like the fact that Karen has a wicked sense of humor. Hank's sense of humor is wry and very ironic, but Karen gives me a chance to zip a few fastballs in there. Plus, I have to admit, I love her foul mouth -- although I know it bothers some readers -- because it's such an important part of her personality. I'm asking readers to take her foul language with a grain of salt and try to figure out why she's always so damned angry! What do I dislike most about her? As a writer, I dislike her Texan accent because I want to get it just right but I don't want to overdo it. I drop final consonants sometimes and other times I don't because it just doesn't look right. However, I only use "y'all" in the plural and I understand that's correct. Right?
Four years ago Martin Liu was found dead in an alley and the physical evidence suggested it was a drug deal gone wrong. Homicide Lieutenant Hank Donaghue didn’t like the feel of it, but it wasn’t his case and it ended up going nowhere.
Now Donaghue and Detective Karen Stainer are drawn into the Liu cold case when an out-of-town graduate student is beaten up by gang members after asking the wrong questions about the victim. Donaghue and Stainer discover that Martin Liu’s cousin, Triad enforcer Peter Mah, has taken an active interest and is tracking down suspects on his own to extract his own deadly brand of vengeance.
As Donaghue and Stainer race to contain the violence sweeping their city, they must confront the troubling fact that new evidence, including the names of the men responsible for Martin's death four years ago, seems to be coming from the most unlikely of sources – a three-year-old boy!
Title: Blood Passage. A Donaghue and Stainer Crime Novel
Publisher: The Plaid Raccoon Press
Genre: Crime fiction; Mystery & Thriller/Police Procedural
Paperback edition: 250 pp., published June 28, 2011
Links to buy the paperback:
See my website for Canadian and international links.
E-book edition: Published by Smashwords on July 11, 2011.
Links to buy the e-book:
Michael J. McCann lives and writes in Oxford Station, Ontario, Canada. He's the author of Blood Passage, a Donaghue and Stainer Crime Novel, and The Ghost Man, a supernatural thriller.
Connect with Michael:
Blog: The Overnight Bestseller: http://michaeljmccannsblog.blogspot.com/
Video book trailer: