Meet the Author: C.K. Crigger

My guest this week is C.K. Crigger, author of Three Seconds to Thunder,  the third book in her western mystery series featuring 1890s sleuth, China Bohannon. C.K. writes of free-spirited people who break from their standard roles. All of her books, whether westerns, mysteries, or fantasy, are set the Inland Northwest, with a historical background.

Synopsis:China Bohannon is a modern 1890’s career woman, but the Doyle & Howe Detective Agency hasn’t turned her loose on a case of her own just yet. When a call for help comes in, a trip into the mountains above the St. Joe country sounds just the thing to prove her worth and assist a friend at the same time. Porter Anderson’s uncle has disappeared and a Johnny-come-lately timber baron has claimed the family homestead. Porter doesn’t believe his uncle sold out and left the country without telling anybody. He’s afraid old Lionel Hooker might be dead—murdered.

Declaring the case unsuitable for a lady like China, Monk Howe takes it on, but now no one has heard from him in days. China sets out to discover his whereabouts as the dry lightning of summer sets the woods ablaze.

What she finds is a trail of lies, theft, and murder. Then, just when the problem appears solved, trouble breaks out again. This time, Gratton Doyle is the one in danger and China who must bail him out.

When did you first consider yourself a writer and what inspired you to write your first book? 

I think I considered myself a writer—not an author—when I had a couple complete short stories under my belt, written to conform to publisher guidelines. I actually did it. But I’m basically a novelist. Strangely enough, my first published novel began life as a short story. In the first Gunsmith book, In the Service of the Queen, my character’s first time-travel adventure was the short story and it kept expanding. Somehow, the character grew from there into the heroine of five books.

Who/what motivates you to write?

This is easy. An inner compulsion gets after me every single day and says, “Write!” So I do.

What do you find particularly challenging about writing?

Putting the right words down on paper, and avoiding mid-book sag.

What books or authors have most influenced your life most?

I don’t know that there is any particular book or author. Certain stories nag at me in different ways. Some because I know I can do it better, and that inspire me and make me wish I’d written whatever it is. Either way, they get me revved up.

How many books have you written?

So far, I’ve completed sixteen novels, twelve are published, three are looking for homes right now, and one I’ve given up on.

You’ve written in several genres. Which do you like the best?

I like whatever I’m working on at the moment. By the time I get done with a western, I’m ready for a fantasy or a mystery, and so on. Certainly keeps my mind busy and I think it helps prevent becoming stale.

Is there a message in your novels you want readers to grasp?

I have no particular message, unless it would be a sense of responsibility. I’d say I write purely to entertain.

Who is your favorite character, and why?

Hmm. I guess it’s a toss-up between Boothenay Irons and China Bohannon. There are similarities between them, separated by a hundred years span of the expansion of women’s rights. Both are strong women, adventurers, and mavericks.

What are you working on next?

I haven’t made up my mind for the next book. It may depend on what transpires with a couple books doing the rounds now, but it may be another China Bohannon, something about bootlegging days, or I have an Iraq vet who has captured my imagination. I’m never at a loss for subject material!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write, write, and rewrite—and follow your dream.

Thanks, Heidi,for hosting me today on your blog.

C.K. Crigger lives with her husband and three feisty dogs in Spokane Valley, WA, where she crafts stories set in the Inland Northwest. She is a 2008 Eppie Award winner for Black Crossing, a western, and a two-time Spur Award finalist in short story and audio. She reviews books and writes occasional articles for Roundup Magazine. Recently, she’s begun reviewing for CnC Bookstore in the mystery and science fiction categories.

C.K.’s books are available on Amazon, at Oak Tree Books, Amber Quill Press, and Treble Heart Books

Check out her website and her blogs: www.chinabohannon.blogspot.com and http://ckcrigger.blogspot.com/

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Published in: on July 23, 2012 at 1:50 am  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Interesting interview, Heidi. Had you met C. K. Crigger in Spokane?

    • Yes, we met in Spokane at the Silver Spur Gathering and had a nice visit. She and I share a publisher in Treble Heart Books.

  2. Thanks for this interview with Carol. She’s one of my must-read authors!

  3. Intriguing writer and book. I especially liked the questions about and answers to “when did you first consider yourself a writer?” and “who is your favorite character?” China sounds like a courageous self-starter, one of my preferred types of women characters. She’s going on my TBR list for sure. Thank you both, Heidi and C.K.

  4. Thanks for the comments, ladies. We didn’t sell many book at the Silver Spur Gathering, but made a lot of new friends, right, Heidi? And Arletta, writing about China and her Bedlington terrier, Nimble, is so much fun.

    • We did have fun at the Gathering. It was a mix of western music and many different vendors, including authors. At least we were able to meet and get acquainted with other writers. That’s always fun and valuable.


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