Interviews With Authors About Their Books

Posted at 15:59pm on 20th March 2012
A reader of my blog e-mailed me this afternoon, asking me if I'd draw attention to an article she'd written about rare author interviews.  Of course, I'm happy to do so.  But not before I've brought to you my own interview from the end of my novel, A Painful Post Mortem.
First, perhaps, I should explain that the painful post mortem of the title alludes to the parental angst of the protagonist, Claire, as she rakes over her life, her marriage, her divorce and remarriage and laments, "Where did I go wrong?" It's a good question, but it's one that her ex-husband, Mark, can't face. For him, getting plastered is the only way he can live with himself.
As with any good novel, personal relationships are at its heart. The conflict that arises from this issue-based plot is enhanced by the fact that the story takes place within the context of two stepfamilies. But as with all fiction, the end-game is conflict resolution - here, in the form of love and forgiveness. A tragedy it may be, but this story is, according to reader reviews, truly inspirational. That was my objective, and I'm humbled to find that I've achieved it.


Q       Most of the non-fiction books you’ve written – under various pen-names – have been on quite harrowing subjects such as drugs, divorce and debt. Although they’ve been moving and uplifting, what makes you think that anyone will want to read a novel about death – particularly the death of someone’s child?
A       A Painful Post Mortem is about the sudden death of a young woman called Katya. I’ve used the View Point of both her parents, Mark and Claire, and that of her sister, Rosie, so that the reader can identify with the internal struggle that each of them goes through to come to terms with what’s happened.
But at its heart, A Painful Post Mortem is a love story. It’s about the enduring love of a parent for a child: a love that wants the best for that child, no matter how rebellious or self-destructive the child may be; a love that continues beyond the grave; but also a love that recognises its own shortcomings.
The sub-text is also about creating a healthy self-love: empowering yourself and your child to have a sense of self-worth. And it portrays the love that can exist between a man and woman, which, despite betrayal, divorce and distrust, allows for forgiveness and peace of mind.
Q      What prompted you to write on this subject?
A      You’ve only to pick up a newspaper or switch on the TV to realise how many parents, these days, have to face the death of a son or daughter in shocking or violent circumstances. Frequently, they’re aware of the way in which their child’s life has been spiralling out of control. But sometimes, they haven’t a clue. A post mortem and inquest can often reveal painful, shameful circumstances which, in their way, can be as shocking as the death itself. Circumstances like drug addiction and prostitution.
In that case, you may feel doubly betrayed: angry with the way your child has deceived you; devastated because her death means you can do nothing to influence or change those circumstances; guilt-ridden because, inevitably, you wonder where you went wrong.
Mark and Claire’s anger is directed at the unknown entity who has declared, on the Pathology Report, that Katya was ‘a known drug addict’. The whole book is about their quest to prove the error of that statement and have it removed from the Death Certificate.
Q       Throughout the book, the anger and guilt of bereavement, comes across very movingly. It sounds as if you have inside knowledge of the subject?
A       I lost a daughter in similar circumstances, so I can identify with many of the stories I read in newspapers and see on TV.


Meantime, here's the article I was asked to link to. Incredibly Rare Author Interviews Unearthed
Although many of the articles on this website may be used freely where expressly stated, this one forms part of a series, and may not be reproduced without written permission from the author. 


© Copyright Mel Menzies


Author of a number of books, one a Sunday Times No 4 Bestseller, Mel Menzies is also an experienced Speaker at live events, as well as on Radio and TV. This article, in its original form, can be found at



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