Interviews by Catherine Chant

What They Say

“Geniuses can be scintillating and geniuses can be somber, but it’s that inescapable sorrowful depth that shines through—originality.”
—Jack Kerouac



Catherine Chant

Catherine Chant is the author of a young time travel series available at and other online retailers, and two installments in the Vampire Diaries franchise via Amazon’s Kindle Worlds. She teaches several online classes for writers throughout the year, and her popular workshop GROW A BOOK: TURNING YOUR STORY IDEA INTO A WORKABLE PLOT is now available as an eBook, exclusively at

Grow a Book by Catherine Chant

For more information about Catherine, her books and her workshops, please visit her website at or find her on social media at and





November 2017

Interview with Bestselling Author Jacqueline Diamond

Bestselling Author Jacqueline Diamond

What inspired you to write mystery books?

Early in my career, I worked as a reporter for two newspapers and The Associated Press in Los Angeles. I was particularly interested in covering police, and at one point spent about an hour a day in a police station. Talking to the officers about a variety of subjects involving their work spurred my interest in writing about them. In addition, I find that in plotting, I love playing with twists and surprises, which are vital to a good mystery.

What style of mystery novel is your favorite (police procedural, cozy, etc.)?

I prefer the classic mystery, reminiscent of Agatha Christie. The elements include a likable and unique viewpoint character; realistic treatment of how police investigate crimes without dwelling on technical details; and a puzzle with clues that challenge the reader. My dislikes include excessive gore; a main character so flawed he or she verges on dysfunctional; and victimization of helpless characters.

When you start a new mystery, do you plot it all out from the start (all the clues and red herrings) or does the story evolve as you write it?

For me, writing is a collaboration between my conscious and subconscious. I start with fragments of ideas and develop these by asking questions, such as Why would someone do that? and What are the consequences likely to be? As I flesh out my plot, I consider credibility (don’t you wish everyone would?) and research the legal, medical and other technical issues involved.

I don’t start writing until I know the following:

1) What happens in the first scene and how does this kick off the story?

2) How does my hero, Dr. Eric Darcy, change and grow during the book? What about the main supporting characters?

3) What new characters are introduced and how are they involved with each other, with Eric and with the central murder?

4) What are the main turning points that boost the action into higher gear?

5) Who’s the villain and what, in general terms, happens at the climax?

This leaves lots of room for spontaneous developments that make writing fun. I don’t worry about planting red herrings. In a well-developed mystery, they seem to crop up naturally.

What are you working on now?

I’ve begun making notes for the third Safe Harbor Medical mystery, tentatively entitled The Case of the Desperate Doctor. I plan for it to stand alone, as do the other two books in the series, but it will also wrap up some subplots introduced in The Case of the Questionable Quadruplet and The Case of the Surly Surrogate These include how Eric’s wife really died, and why fellow doctor Jeremiah Schwartz is such an odd duck.

Do you prefer to write mystery series books or stand-alones?

Earlier in my career, when I was less experienced at interweaving stories and creating long character arcs, I wrote several stand-alone mysteries (The Eyes of a Stranger and Danger Music). Now, however, I like being able to follow characters from one book to the next.

By the way, my current series has an unusual origin. I wrote 17 romances in my Safe Harbor Medical romance series for Harlequin, each one featuring a different couple falling in love. When I decided to return to writing mysteries, I wanted to use a medical setting, and this one felt like home.

Do you have a favorite character from your books?

It’s a joy when a character springs from the page with attitudes and actions I never anticipated. Among my favorites is Hal “The Iceman” Smothers, the most feared hitman in Las Vegas, whose big, dangerous secret is that he never actually killed anyone. In my very offbeat romantic comedy Kidnapped?, he has to dispose of a woman he doesn’t realize is an investigative reporter. When he whisks her away to a secret island to keep her under wraps, she turns his world upside down.

In The Case of the Surly Surrogate, the character of Lenore Bryerly, age 96 and diagnosed with mild dementia, became an instant favorite for me and many readers (one of my beta readers wrote, “I. Love. Lenore. She is easily my favorite character and I kinda want to read this whole story from her perspective now. Plus, I just love badass old ladies.”) Lenore has a tantalizing habit of dropping hints to Eric that might change the course of the murder investigation—if she can be believed.




The Case of the Surly Surrogate by Jacqueline Diamond

The Case of the Surly Surrogate

After Dr. Eric Darcy discovers the body of a patient’s husband, he lands in the midst of a murder investigation. Was the photographer killed because he was cheating on his wife, or was he using his photos in a blackmail plot? And how did he antagonize the surrogate mother about to give birth to his baby? The puzzle pieces snap together in a fast-paced climax that could cost Eric his life. USA Today bestselling author Jacqueline Diamond interweaves a medical setting with memorable characters in the second Safe Harbor Medical mystery. 

Amazon Link for The Case of the Surly Surrogate:



About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Jacqueline Diamond is known for her mysteries, romantic comedies, medical romances and Regency romances—102 titles as of 2017. A former Associated Press reporter, Jackie received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. She currently writes the Safe Harbor Medical Mysteries, beginning with The Case of the Questionable Quadruplet, and is issuing ebook editions of her classic romantic comedies, including The Bride Wore Gym Shoes and Million-Dollar Mommy.

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