Friday, February 22, 2013

When the Wall Street Journal Calls


When Sanette Tanaka, Wall Street Journal real estate reporter, arranged a phone interview with me, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

What I experienced during our half-hour chat was a professional journalist asking tough questions but also laughing about my humorous mysteries set in fictional Magnet Springs, Michigan, starring Abra the (untrainable) Afghan hound and, of course, Realtor Whiskey Mattimoe.

Ms. Tanaka was intrigued by my choice of a Realtor as a mystery series protagonist. I explained that a real estate agent has access to properties and people in widely varied conditions. Setting my Whiskey Mattimoe mysteries in a resort town lets me create colorful characters drawn to a charming and expensive setting. If a character isn’t misbehaving on holiday, he or she is probably making a living from those who are.

Humor is at the heart of my series and at the core of many real estate issues. As I told Ms. Tanaka, “When you have a lot of money and a lot of emotion involved in a time-sensitive transaction, things tend to go wrong. Looking for comedy in chaos is what I do.” 

Of course, Abra the Afghan hound helps things go wrong, but almost as often she helps solve the mystery, too. Abra is surprisingly heroic in Whiskey and Soda (Book #6). And she’ll play an unexpectedly vital role in the seventh Whiskey Mattimoe mystery due out later this year.

From Sanette Tanaka's February 22, 2013 article, "In Real Estate, Truth in Fiction":

Nina Wright, author of six mystery novels featuring real-estate agent and sleuth Whiskey Mattimoe, says she often embellishes absurd situations to suit her series. In real life, Ms. Wright, who lives in Oakland County, Mich., found out that one of her tenants was running an underground day-care service. In the fourth book, "Whiskey and Water," agent Mattimoe discovers that her tenant is operating an illegal adoption ring.

"There are so many things that can go wrong in real estate," says Ms. Wright. "I've bought and sold a lot of properties, but I haven't seen a single transaction where there aren't colossal screw-ups."

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Blogger JoAnn Dalgard said...

Just happened across this and hope to see more!

6:11 PM  

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