Interview with R.K. Jackson, author of The Girl in the Maze
17 Sep 2015
One of my favorite reviews (so far) described the book as “genre-crushing.” I like that. It’s a thriller, a mystery, and a puzzle story, with elements of horror and the paranormal; yet it’s also a character-driven story a young woman’s struggle to develop her journalism career while fighting the demons of mental illness.
The book drew upon my memories of growing up in the Deep South and visiting relatives who lived among the haunted, marsh-fringed islands of the Georgia coast, as well as my early career experiences as a journalist. It’s a moody and atmospheric tale, in which the setting is as much a character as the protagonist.
Which books would we be surprised to find on your shelves?
The Wisdom of Psychopaths, Mighty Mini Mind Bogglers, Green Eggs and Ham, The Eye of the Cat: Hermetic Supplies and Exotic Herbs, Self-Promotion for Introverts, The Vagina Monologues.
Pretend you qualified for the Olympics this year. What sport would you compete in?
Whitewater canoe slalom, oh yeah!
If you could have dinner with anyone, alive or dead, who would you choose and why?
What’s your favorite thing about the real Shell Heap Island, Sapelo Island in Georgia?
The same things that Martha, my protagonist, loves when she first visits the island: The warm and beautiful people. The unspoiled, wind-swept beaches. The beautiful primeval forests with their ancient oaks and draperies of Spanish moss. The secrets.
What’s on your writing desk?
A CNN mug full of ink pens and markers, a scallop fossil from the local riverbed that I use as a paperweight, Rodale’s Synonym Finder, The Thesaurus of Slang, picture of my wife and I at the Grand Canyon, a picture of my son at Anza-Borrego wind caves, my Dell laptop.
What’s your favorite quote from The Girl in the Maze?
One of my favorite quotes is when the sheriff describes the president of the local historical society who’s blocking development of Shell Heap Island: “I have to hand it to Lydia. She’s got more moves than a cat inside an engine block.”
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
Have fun. And, of course, live by the Golden Rule.
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