Interview: Christopher Golden
Current Mood: nostalgic
Current Song: Glamorous Life by Sheila E.
In November 2004, I interviewed Christopher Golden to celebrate the release of Last Breath, the ninth Body of Evidence mystery.
LW: What inspired you to create the Body of Evidence book series?
CG: The nutshell idea, way back when, was "Scully (of X-Files) in college," and it came from my editor, Lisa Clancy. As soon as I heard that, I started forming the series in my mind. I went to Tufts University in the Boston area and really enjoyed my time there, and I wanted to celebrate that, in a way. I also wanted to create a teenaged girl as the lead character who would not be some superhero but would be a GIRL, but still be strong and confident and use her mind to work out problems.
LW: How do you go about doing the research, obtaining the facts regarding the autopsies, trace evidence and detective work?
CG: I've interviewed half a dozen doctors, a medical examiner, representatives from the FBI, the Coast Guard, the Marines, the police, the Centers for Disease Control and many other people. Whatever I need to know, I track down someone who can give me the answers. For the actual cases that we extrapolate from in writing these books, we try to take existing medical conditions or truly odd phenomena and mix them together in the strangest way possible. Sometimes where we take those stories is outrageously unlikely, but it always begins with a germ of truth.
LW: What has been your favorite book in the series to write?
CG: I can't pick just one. The first one, BODY BAGS, will probably always be up there because it was first - though the second, THIEF OF HEARTS, works even better. I love the themes of SKIN DEEP. And I think LAST BREATH is the best one since THIEF.
LW: Who are your favorite characters to write for and why?
CG: All of them, of course. But no one more than Jenna. In a lot of ways, she's more ME than any other character I've ever created.
LW: What was the inspiration for the drownings in Last Breath?
CG: John the Baptist. :) Seriously.
LW: Tell us a little something about the next Body of Evidence book, Throat Culture. When will it be released? Will it be the last in the series?
CG: THROAT CULTURE is due out in the spring (of 2005). Jenna's father has just remarried and her new stepmother is one of a number of people who get horribly sick at a faculty event. At first it seems like shellfish poisoning, but it is much worse, growing into an epidemic. It's pretty harrowing, I think. There are also a great many developments for Jenna's personal life and the lives of her supporting cast. I'm not sure if it will be the last one, but if it is, I'd be very happy to go out with this one.
LW: What are your other upcoming titles?
CG: Last month, Ace Books published THE NIMBLE MAN, which I wrote with my friend Tom Sniegoski. It's the first book in a new series called THE MENAGERIE, which is a sort of supernatural Mission: Impossible. My next solo work is WILDWOOD ROAD, which hits stores in March 2005, from Bantam. Stephen King called it "a brilliant novel of supernatural suspense" among other things. Obviously I was pretty ecstatic about that.
To learn more about Christopher Golden and the Body of Evidence series, please visit www.christophergolden.com