Tuesday 22 July 2014


Lori Rader-Day author of The Black Hour was the latest participant in my Question and Answers session.

The Black Hour was reviewed here. Anyone who has an interest in crime fiction set in the world of academia could do a lot worse than read this one.

Lori’s website is here.

Many thanks to Lori for her generosity with her time.

Is the writing a full-time or a sideline-passion-hobby? What’s the day job?

I work a day job at a university near Chicago. Writing is still pretty much a full-time job, though. You just have to do it in the other hours you might have normally had time to do things like read, go outside, sleep.
What’s been the most satisfying moment of your writing career so far?

It was pretty cool to hear that the New York Times Book Review would be writing about The Black Hour. Stunning, actually. I think the two best moments are when I finished writing the first draft and when my agent sold the book.
From start to finish how long did The Black Hour take from conception to completion?

I wrote the first draft in about a year and a half, and then spent another year revising before submitting to agents. I'm glad I spent the time to feel confident in the draft.

What’s your typical writing schedule?

Very haphazard. I write during lunch hours many days, some evenings, some weekends. I wrote 10,000 words of The Black Hour while on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. You write when you can, I guessand I like to write, so why wouldn't I do it on vacation, too?
Who do you read and enjoy?

I love Louise Penny, Charles Todd, Catriona McPherson, Clare O'Donohue, Lynne Raimondo, and Terry Shames. Good mysteries, a broad spectrum of styles—all delightful women writers. (Well, Charles is a mother/son duo.)

Is there any one book you wish you had written? 

To Kill a Mockingbird. It's an all-time favorite, and you really only have to write that one and then you're done.
Favourite activity when not working? 

Reading, but I have a lot less time when I'm not working these days.
What’s the current project in progress? How’s it going?

My next book is Little Pretty Things, out next July. I'm almost done but all this Black Hour business has certainly slowed me down.
If I check back in a couple of year’s time, where do you hope to be with the writing?

I want to be writing solid suspense novels, maybe have a series or two going. I have ideas, but I might need to be cloned to get them all written.


  1. Another fine interview, Col. Lori-Rader Day took two-and-a-half years to publish her first book. It means she had the patience and the perseverance to keep writing and never giving up till her book was ready.

    1. Col, I'm sorry I misspelt her name. I meant it to be Lori Rader-Day.

    2. Prashant, no apologies necessary. Hopefully her dedication to her craft pays off for her in the future.

  2. Another very interesting interview - and I am definitely going to read this book.

    1. Moira thanks. I'm looking forward to seeing your reaction once you've read this.

  3. Col - What an interesting interview! I love it that she regards both the 'day job' and writing as full-time jobs. I know how that feels.

    1. Margot - I'm envious of all the writer-jugglers that provide me with my entertainment, whether writing currently or in the past. Time management and discipline and focus as well as drive and talent are obviously pre-requisites..... and you read? and you blog? Amazing

  4. Nice interview, Col. Interesting author and what a busy life she leads.

    1. Thanks Tracy. Definitely driven and adept at multi-tasking! Unlike me - one thing at a time.