Last night, One More Page Books in Arlington, Virginia hosted the launch of David Swinson’s new book, The Second Girl. David and Eileen McGervey, the store’s owner, were kind enough to ask me to conduct the interview portion of the event.
The bookstore was packed. The Second Girl has been getting tons of press both locally and nationally, so this was not a surprise. And because David is a local author, he had friends and family, colleagues from the police department, and fellow authors – like Ed Aymar and Dana King – out to support him as well. At least one audience member described the interview as similar to a conversation being overheard by a large group – a compliment that I know both David and myself are appreciative of.
As I like to do with these recaps, here are just a few of the many highlights of what we discussed during the interview:
- David talked about the multitude of interesting jobs he has held on his way to publication. If you haven’t seen this man’s bio, it is fascinating. Check it out.
- We talked about the role of the anti-hero in crime fiction. It was interesting that David received no pushback from his fellow officers in blue over having Frank Marr, the main character, be such a flawed policeman. And the publisher only pushed back slightly over a killing Frank committed in an early draft of the book. Looking back on it, David agrees that taking that out was the best decision for the character.
- There was some discussion of what makes the book a thriller. I talked about how I pointed out in my review that the book had two distinct sections: a first section that develops Frank as a character and a second part where the plot really kicks into gear. As one is flipping furiously through the pages of this book, there is no doubt that it is a thriller.
- We had some fun talking about the vast number of crime fiction books with “girl” in the title. David said that The Second Girl was always the working title for the book and of course, the girl referred to is actually a youthful child.
- Crime fiction and music have a long-standing tradition of being linked, so David and I talked a bit about how the musical artists he is a fan of have influenced his writing style.
- Since I picked up an advanced copy of The Second Girl last year at Bouchercon in Raleigh, I had to ask David about his experience at the convention. We encouraged the audience to attend and David talked a bit about how the publication of The Second Girl was helped by some connections he made at previous Bouchercons.
- Lastly, I asked David for some tidbits about book two in the series. He did reveal that he was done writing it – just yesterday, in fact – and that the case at the center of it is a personal one for Frank Marr. His home has been burglarized and among the items stolen is his gun. Oops!
Afterwards, the audience stood in line to get their books signed and enjoy the wonderful cheese, fruit, and crackers that David and his lovely wife brought to the event. One More Page provided the wine and a fine time was had by all.
I encourage you all to grab a copy of The Second Girl, you won’t be sorry. Just in case you need more encouragement, here once again is my review of the book.
Thanks for the recap here, Kristopher! I really enjoyed reading about this and was sorry again that I missed it—running out of steam after a busy weekend and then my wife’s train ran late getting home too, so even if I’d tried, I would’ve missed! Sounds like a terrific night, and great to get these glimpses after the fact if not firsthand.
Sorry you missed it, Art. It was standing room only, which is always nice to see for a launch event.