Chris O'Grady

Chris O'Grady

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
October 23, 2005

Q.    How did you come about the idea to write the novel THE CURIOUS EXCHANGE AT KILLAMORE STRAND?

A.    The idea for the story sprang originally from a trip to Ireland, which made me want to write a story, any story, and this is the one which grew, from the beginning at the seashore there on the south coast of Ireland on a gray Autumn morning.

Q.    How did you come about the title?

A.    The title came from the idea of two men exchanging identities, each man taking the other’s place in the world, thus leaving no one “missing” in the police sense. The title also derived from the way they used to title mystery novels: The Case Of The Missing Gameskeeper, or The Strange Events At Thrushcross Grange, or The Hound Of The Baskervilles. That kind of title.

Q.    What was Fletcher and Jennings mission?

A.    The mission of both men was to go on living inside their secret society, which is dedicated to preserving the privacy of the individual.

Q.    Why were Woodson and Bradford watching Fletcher/Jennings before the murder?

A.    Woodson was watching Grenville. Jennings (later Fletcher) simply came along as part of the surveillance the British police were maintaining on Grenville. When Grenville followed Jennings (Fletcher-to-be) in Ireland and the shooting occurred, Woodson had to get in touch with the Irish police in order to keep going on his own case, and to keep them from stepping on it. Bradford was simply the Irish inspector assigned to cooperate on the case.

Q.    How did you come about the idea for Grenville’s plot to use Fletcher as an impostor?

A.    Grenville and the upper management crew at Mersey Consolidated needed someone as a fall guy, who was slated to die when his use as the fake temporary Chairman of the board of Mersey came to an end. They couldn’t use a homeless person, because the type they required as a temporary chairman had to at least look like he could have been a businessman. So when Grenville’s hired Private Detectives’ search turned up several no-connection types, Jennings was chosen as their best bet. All they had to do was wait for an opportunity to grab him and hold him for the remaining days until their crucial board meeting, after which---suicide.

Q.    How long did it take you to write THE CURIOUS EXCHANGE AT KILLAMORE STRAND?

A.    Took me a couple of months to write the book. It went easily.

Q.    Are you currently working on another novel?

A.    Always working on another novel.

Q.    Did you use any research to write this novel?

A.    No research was needed to write this book other than the above-mentioned trip to Ireland, which triggered it.

Q.    Is mystery/criminal the only genre you write?

A.    Mostly I do write mystery/criminal novels, but some of them border on mainstream, too.

Q.    What message would you like readers to receive from THE CURIOUS EXCHANGE AT KILLAMORE STRAND?

A.    The only message I suppose I was trying to send readers was the hope that it was a good story, and if the underlying motivation of it causes some readers to look a bit more closely at the world we live in and at the societies we’re involved in, I suppose that couldn’t do any harm, either.