Meg Gardiner Talks Unsub Series

By Maggie Denena

Monday afternoon, Students headed to Murder By The Book in Houston for a discussion and book signing by author Meg Gardiner. True to MBTB style, the book signing was for Gardiner’s newest release, The Dark Corners of the Night, the third book in a murder mystery/detective crime series.  A former attorney and Stanford graduate, Gardiner is also a three-time Jeopardy winner.

SHSU, LEAP Center, LEAP Ambassadors, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, Murder by the Book, Meg Gardiner, Unsub

Gardiner is the author of 15 books, the last three of which have featured Caitlin Hendrix, an FBI Behavior Analyst.

SHSU, LEAP Center, LEAP Ambassadors, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, Murder by the Book, Meg Gardiner, Unsub

Each of these books is based on a real-life serial killer, and her latest features a “Night-Stalker” like killer.

Joining Ms. Gardiner “on stage” was fellow author S. C. Perkins, who asked insightful questions.

SHSU, LEAP Center, LEAP Ambassadors, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, Murder by the Book, Meg Gardiner, Unsub

Sample questions:

  • Are you a plotter or “seat of your pantser”?  This question refers to authors’ different styles of writing.  Some plot out each of their books, almost to the point of where writing is anti-climactic.  Others fly by the seat of their pants, letting each day’s writing take them in a new direction.  Gardiner leans toward plotting.
  •  How much of your time is spend on research?  Gardiner spends extensive time on research, to the point that she compiles mounds of paperwork as background knowledge, while knowing only about 10 percent of it will actually go into the final book.

SHSU, LEAP Center, LEAP Ambassadors, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, Murder by the Book, Meg Gardiner, Unsub

The audience was invited to ask questions as well.  When asked, for example, if she thought of her main character, Caitlin, on an everyday basis, Gardiner said, “yes,” adding that “she is always thinking of what Caitlin would be doing and how she would spend her free time.”

SHSU, LEAP Center, LEAP Ambassadors, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, Murder by the Book, Meg Gardiner, Unsub

As it turns out, we can all spend a little more time with Caitlin, now that Amazon has purchased the rights to the character and series.

SHSU, LEAP Center, LEAP Ambassadors, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, Murder by the Book, Meg Gardiner, Unsub

Ms. Gardiner was a sharp presenter, offering crisp and entertaining responses to questions, and she was super accommodating following the discussion.

SHSU, LEAP Center, LEAP Ambassadors, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, Murder by the Book, Meg Gardiner, Unsub

As readers of our blog know, we typically tie our event theme into the restaurant we find for dinner , but Gardiner’s discussion did not have a strong regional tie (serial murder is a universal phenomenon).  Therefore, we went for an easy option: since “Dark Corners of the Mind” was set in California, we followed up the signing with dinner at California Pizza Kitchen.  The pizza kitchen served some good sized pizza portions that most of us had to take home in to-go containers (nothing is better than left over pizza for breakfast). Our table had an arrangement of pizza, pasta, and soup!​

 

 

Author: mikeyawn

Mike Yawn teaches at Sam Houston State University. In the past few years, he has taught courses on Politics & Film, Public Policy, the Presidency, Media & Politics, Congress, Statistics, Research & Writing, Field Research, and Public Opinion. He has published academic papers in the Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Social Security Quarterly, Film & History, American Politics Review, and contributed a chapter to the textbook Politics and Film. He also contributes columns, news analysis, and news stories to newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Stamford Advocate, Greenwich Time, Huron Daily Tribune, Laredo Morning Times, Beaumont Enterprise, Connecticut Post, and Midland Reporter Telegram. Yawn is also active in his local community, serving on the board of directors of the local YMCA and Friends of the Wynne. Previously, he served on the Huntsville's Promise and Stan Musial World Series Boards of Directors. In 2007-2008, Yawn was one of eight scholars across the nation named as a Carnegie Civic Engagement Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation.

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