Gina Wohlsdorf is talking about her book Security, just published on June 7, 2016, by Algonquin Books.
Your novel Security is a uniquely written, wonderful fictional ride. If someone were to tell you to describe it in 20 words or less, how would you do it?
Manderley Resort opens soon. The small staff is getting smaller as a masked man picks them off. And somebody's watching.
You tell the story if one hellish night at the Manderley Resort through the eyes of the good guys and the bad guys. Did you have more fun with one particular point of view over another?
I know a lot of writers say villains are more fun, but I love survivors. I love writing people who sacrifice for one another, value each other's safety over their own. Brian and Tessa are heroic. Jules's and Justin try and save people they care about. In contrast, the Killer is faceless, identity-less, personality-less. He's dull. We see him doing the workaday things that define a banal existence - napping, snacking, laundry. He's a big, broad, silly nobody. He's nothing with a knife.
The hotel where the story takes place is quite an architectural wonder. Is it a figment of your imagination or did you draw from any real life real estate?
Hotels were always my favorite part of any vacation - ever since I was a kid. I'm honestly not sure why. A friend of mine once told me I'm the most peripatetic homebody in the world, and she's right. Whenever I stayed in a hotel, from a very early age, I was fascinated by the place's efforts to bridge the sentiments of "This is your home" and "This is better than your home." Because that's what they're selling. And they sell it in the weirdest ways - pools and vestibules and elevators and ballrooms and cuisine that's just over the top, just bonkers-luxe.
My family was not rich, so my benchmark up until adolescence was midwestern Holiday Inns and Super 8's. But then I went to Tulane for undergrad. I was able to afford it through a lot of merit- and need-based aid, plus loans I didn't pay off until last year. Tulane's campus was an awakening - my dorm had a ballroom. I'd go to school events or club-sponsored outings or even dinner with my floor-mate's uncle, and we'd be at these hotels and restaurants that frickin' blew my mind. Take a long walk around New Orleans and you'll see pieces of Manderley everywhere.
If you couldn't be a writer what career would you pursue?
Law enforcement. I flirted with the idea of being an FBI agent for quite some time.
What can readers look forward to seeing your name on next?
I'm polishing my second manuscript for Algonquin now. It's a novel about a seventeen-year-old girl in Minnesota who's kidnapped by her ex-con father to find four million dollars her mom hid somewhere out west.
Thank you for visiting Mystery Playground Gina. We look forward to your next book.