Brought to you by OBS reviewer Caro.
*Please Beware! This interview contains Spoilers for the book The Jurors Who Knew Too Much and it’s highly recommended to read the book before reading this article, if you’re planning to read the book!*
Be sure to read our review for “The Jurors Who Knew Too Much” here at OBS!
Caro: First of all I would like to say, that I had the opportunity of reading one of your other short stories last year in The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Second Helping, and really enjoyed it as well. I never expected to read another one for review.
Gail Farrelly: Thanks for your nice comment about my previous story. Re “The Jurors,” I had read online about a plastic surgery gone wrong where the surgeon “buried” the evidence. Yikes! It got me thinking……….
Caro: What kind of research did you do for this story?
Gail Farrelly: Reading about trials and juries in online news stories. Using Google to find info about different kinds of plastic surgeries.
Caro: Have you ever been called for jury duty?
Gail Farrelly: Yes, I’ve been called several times, but have never actually sat on a jury. Twice I was selected, then the cases were settled before the trials began. Yippee! Jury duty – even if you don’t actually sit on a jury – is, I think, a unique experience. Observing the lawyers in action and being “stuck” with a group of strangers (prospective jurors) for an extended period of time is good material for a mystery writer.
Caro: I really liked the couple of older jurors in the story. But, what made you choose an older couple of widowers to write about in a mystery story?
Gail Farrelly: I don’t think that there are enough “ordinary” older (60+) people as characters in mystery stories. Many writers tend to make the older characters quite eccentric. I wanted to write about two ordinary older characters, caught up in an extraordinary situation.
Caro: At any moment did you think of making Kelly Meadows the true murderer?
Gail Farrelly: Never. She’s just not the type. Besides, I have a wonderful niece named Kelly and wouldn’t use her name for a murderer!
Caro: Out of the three reasons you give at the end about Juan Gomez / Felix Estefan attending the trial, which one do you actually place as the main reason for him getting caught?
Gail Farrelly: I think it was this one: The need to see if he was still going to be in the clear. Ironic, because as things turned out, he should have just stayed away from the courtroom and maybe he never would have been caught. But people do strange things; and sometimes those are the things that trip them up.
Caro: This short story was published in Deadly Ink 2006 Short Story Collection back in the year of 2006. Looking at it now, is there anything that you would change in it? Like making it longer, adding or taking away details?
Gail Farrelly: No, I wouldn’t change it. I think the length fits this particular story. However, I’m not done with Ike and Lorna. I’m bringing them back for another short story, “Bad Ending.” I send them off to take a continuing education course on old movies; on the first night, when the lights go back on at the end of the movie, one of the students is dead. Uh-oh.
Caro: Could you give us an insight about your future projects?
Gail Farrelly: Of course. Thanks for asking. I have a few projects in the works. I’m getting my print mystery novels converted to electronic editions. I’m always writing new short stories. And for years I’ve been writing and publishing spoofs here , a British website. For a time I also published some spoofs at The Westchester Guardian. I’ve updated the best 100 of the spoofs and am publishing them in a book, “LOL: 100 Comic Cameos on Current Events.” My sister Rita (she’s a writer too, and we share a website here) suggested the book title. Here’s a recent spoof that’s been quite popular: “Pope Hated to Leave Behind His Red Shoes and Their Magical Powers” here.
Time for some fun stuff:
Caro: If you had the opportunity to vacation in any part of the world for free, where would it be and why?
Gail Farrelly: Fiji. That would be so exciting. It looks beautiful, exotic, and mysterious.
- Favorite color: Purple. Not because of the movie – no, no – but just because it’s such a rich, deep, and mystifying color.
- Favorite food (s): Hot dogs (preferably Nathan’s), pizza, and donuts. I know, I know, NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg would not approve. I drink big sodas too. Oy!
- Favorite book (s): “A Murder Is Announced” by Agatha Christie. I’m a big Christie fan.
- Favorite place to write: I usually write on my computer at a desk in my living room. But also, I always have pen and paper handy, for whenever inspiration strikes. In the summer, I belong to the town pool club and do a lot of writing, sitting under a canopy in a nice comfortable chair by the pool. In fact, it’s been suggested to me that I write a murder mystery set there. That could be fun! I’m lucky to have a lot of local fans at the pool who watch out for me. I’ve heard more than once, “Don’t bother her, she’s writing.” Very funny.
- Favorite music: Why Elvis of course. As Roy Orbison said of Elvis, “He was the firstest with the mostest.” No argument there.
- Favorite movie: “Miracle on 34th Street.” It’s funny, touching, and has a great plot. The acting is superb. And for a 1947 movie, it’s surprisingly modern. Two other old movies that I love – both mysteries – are “Stage Fright,” starring Marlene Dietrich, Jane Wyman, and Richard Todd (1950) and “Lured,” starring George Sanders, Lucille Ball, and Charles Coburn (1947).
Thank you to author Gail Farrelly for a wonderful interview! It is always interesting to find fun facts about the authors. I really enjoyed reading this short story, especially when I feel that in mysteries I can be an extra character trying to find the bad guy along with the rest 🙂