Interview with Carl Brookins, Author of Reunion

My guest today is Carl Brookins. Before he became a mystery writer and reviewer, Carl was a freelance photographer, a Public Television program director, a Cable TV administrator, and a counselor and faculty member at Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul, Minnesota

He has reviewed mystery fiction for the Saint Paul Pioneer Press and for Mystery Scene Magazine. His reviews appear at Barnes & Noble and Amazon Internet sites, on his own website, Books n' Bytes, and on the popular newsgroup, DorothyL. Several authors with blogs carry his reviews as well. Brookins is an avid recreational sailor. With his wife and friends he has sailed in many locations across the world. He is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and Private Eye Writers of America. He can frequently be found touring bookstores and libraries with his companions-in-crime, The Minnesota Crime Wave.

Brookins writes the sailing adventure series featuring Michael Tanner and Mary Whitney, the Sean Sean private investigator detective series, and the Jack Marston academic series. He has five novels in print along with a number of short stories.

Brookins received a liberal arts degree from the
University of Minnesota and studied for a Masters degree in Communications at Michigan State University. He is married with two grown daughters and lives with his wife Jean, a retired publisher and editor in Roseville, Minnesota.

Connect with Carl on Facebook and Twitter, his website and blog.

Anne – Welcome to the Muriel Reeves Mysteries, Carl. Tell us a something about yourself that you would normally only share with close friends.

Carl - I really wish I’d been able to continue learning piano and that I could play the guitar.

Anne – I’ve always wanted to sing, so perhaps we could team up! Do you have a fear, phobia, or habit you’d rather no one knew about?

Carl - I have mild stage fright.

Anne – Oh, dear. That won’t work, will it?! I suppose we're best at being authors. When did you first realize you were destined to be a mystery/suspense writer?

Carl - Because of my parents’ influence, I have always been engaged with words and stories. My careers have always involved writing, but crime fiction writing came to the fore as I approached retirement.

Anne - Tell us about your book. (Title and story blurb.) 

Carl - REUNIONsecond in my academic series is for anyone who has attended a companion’s high school reunion in a small town. 

THE CASE OF THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY is the fourth in my PI series. It features a short investigator named Sean NMI Sean who usually wears red Keds. 

Anne - Of all the characters you’ve created, does one hold a special place in your heart? Why?

Carl - Mary Whitney is my favorite female character, because after she came on the scene in my first sailing mystery INNER PASSAGES she refused to leave the stage. In the fifth book, DEVILS ISLAND, she has the dominant protagonist’s role.

Anne - How many rejections have you received?

Carl - Scores, but I’m not counting. Rejections are a normal part of the business. A committed writer should neither worry nor obsess about rejections. Most editors and agents cannot precisely tell you why they reject a manuscript, so if they comment, it is often imaginary.

Anne – So very true. It really is subjective. Any words of advice for struggling, unpublished writers?

Carl - Yes indeed. Writers who want to be successful authors must understand they are embarking on a business enterprise. They must embrace all aspects of the business as best they can, all the while reserving time and energy for their central passion, their stories. The old romantic idea of the lonely writer in a garret somewhere, turning out pages for others to merchandise is long gone—if it ever existed in the first place.

Anne – Do you belong to any writer organizations?

Carl - I am a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America (MWA). This year I was elected to the board of directors of the Midwest chapter of MWA. You can find me bouncing about the country attending various mystery conventions and touring with a fine collection of mystery writers called The Minnesota Crime Wave.

Anne – Final question. What do you do when you’re not writing?

Carl – I’m still sailing the lakes and waters of the world.

Anne – Happy sailing and happy writing, Carl. Thanks so much for dropping by!

Reader comments are always welcome and appreciated. Become a follower to ensure you receive every author interview, announcement and/or blog post on the Muriel Reeves Mysteries. Until next time, happy reading! J

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carl brookins said...

small but important error. My tenure on the MWMWA board ended last year, rather than began. sorry 'bout that.

Bev Myers said...

Red Keds--I always like that in a sleuth.

carl brookins said...

thank you! I saw a play the other night (American Family) and the kid in the cast was wearing red Keds!

Jenny Milchman said...

REUNION sounds great, and Carl, I love reading about the Minnesota Crime Wave. Minnesota was one of our favorite states when we drove cross-country. I have this secret hope you guys might be touring (or maybe willing to come out all together?) when we are back that way again!

carl brookins said...

Thanks, Jenny (and I'm sure Minnesota is pleased) You can never tell for sure where and when the Crime wave will appear. Fairfax (MN?)
Moorhead? Spring Green, WI? We love libraries.