MG: After reading my first thrilling Nancy Drew mystery when I was seven, I decided that I wanted to write mystery books for children. Later, I discovered Agatha Christie and decided that I wanted to write adult murder mysteries, too. Throughout my career as a teacher and while at home with my children, I managed to find time to scribble short stories, and eventually made a career move into the publications field. I am currently writing and editing information articles, but finally have time to write mystery stories as well, just as I always planned to do.
MG: I’ve published two books for children: Something’s Missing and Someone’s Trapped, which are volumes one and two of the three-volume Viking Club mystery series. I also have a murder mystery for adults making the rounds of publishers, and a screenplay as well.
BBB: Where do the ideas for your stories come from?
MG: I’m forever writing stories in my head, and the ideas come from any small incident that triggers off a storyline. In my children’s mysteries, I deliberately selected the sports world as a backdrop because I wanted to deal with a variety of children’s issues in an environment that, for the most part, children choose for themselves. The mystery helps encourage children to finish the book to find out ‘whodunit,’ which provides good motivation for young children who struggle with reading.
MG: No, I was inspired many years ago by hearing an interview with Truman Capote who said he worked at writing as though it were any other kind of job. When he sat down to work, he just started to write and didn’t worry about the quality of the writing at that point—he planned to rewrite most of it anyway. I adopted that philosophy, too; however, I’m sure Truman probably didn’t do anywhere near the amount of rewriting that I have to do! However, I do whatever it takes.
BBB: What are you currently working on?
MG: Right now, I’m writing the third book in the Viking Club series, this time with a basketball setting. I have the same three characters, Chris, Rebecca, and Jaylon, who join forces to track down a cyberbully while grappling with their own personal problems.
MG: I have a website at: www.maureengrenier.com.
I also blog about how parents can help children with reading problems and other issues at: http://www.maureengrenier.com/blog/mysteries-for-kids/; and you can sign up at my website for a monthly newsletter.