Robert Greer

D. H. Dublin
FREEZER BURN

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
September 28, 2008


Q.    Who is D. H. Dublin?

A.    D. H. Dublin is an extremely handsome and smart writer of devastatingly well-written forensic crime thrillers. Actually, D. H. Dublin is my pen name, although I also write under my own name, Jonathan McGoran.


Q.    How did you come about the idea to write FREEZER BURN?

A.    To be honest, my brain is always coming up with ideas. Writing a forensic series, I am always thinking not just of interesting crimes, but interesting twists on forensic techniques, or interesting forensic scenarios. Sometimes this involves new technological twists on existing procedures or techniques, or it can be different types of curveballs you can throw at the forensic investigators. I get a big kick out of thinking up different spins on the forensic stuff. I canít really give you the initial idea I had for FREEZER BURN, because I donít want to give too much away, but I started out with this initial idea, and then as I researched it, I came up with all sorts of other stuff. So the original idea is in there, but by the time I was finished researching and outlining, it wasnít the main idea any more. As far as the characters and the structure of the book, I knew I wanted it to be different in a lot of ways from the first two books, and it is. I think itís bigger and thereís a lot more going on, and some of the personal issues Madison is dealing with are different as well.


Q.    Would you give the readers a brief description of FREEZER BURN?

A.    FREEZER BURN is the third novel in my CSU series of forensic crime thrillers featuring Madison Cross. The first book is BODY TRACE and the second book is BLOOD POISON. When writing a series, thereís always a question of balancing the arc of the series against making the book able to stand on its own. I try to make books stand alone and you can definitely read them out of order, but that said, the first book in the series, BODY TRACE, starts with Madisonís first day on the job as a forensic technician. BLOOD POISON takes place three months later, and FREEZER BURN takes place six months after that, so you can follow Madison as she settles into the job, and as she faces changing issues, from being the new kid on the block, to having proven herself a little, and making some enemies. FREEZER BURN has a lot going on: there are more bodies, more action, more plot lines, more out-there forensic themes. I think itís the best book in the series so far, and I had a lot of fun writing it.


Q.    How did you come about Madisonís and Booneís characters?

A.    Madison originally came about through conversations with my editor at Penguin at the time, Katie Day. We came up with the basics of her character and some of her back story, but her character really came alive for me while I was doing the preliminary work Ė brainstorming and outlining -- before I started writing the first draft. I had a good idea of what type of character I wanted Madison to be, her strengths and her flaws, but I also knew that if she was going to be the main character, whether I was writing her or reading her, I would want her to be someone I really liked, someone with whom I would want to spend a lot of time.

I really like Madison. I think sheís a compelling character and enjoy writing her. I admire her strengths and sympathize with her weaknesses and some of the hardships she has endured.

I tend to outline a lot, and I think that really helps me get into a characterís head before I start writing the draft. For me, it helps to have spent a lot of time thinking from a characterís point of view before I start trying to write in that characterís voice, and I think that was especially helpful as a man writing a female protagonist.

As for Boone, his character came about because I knew what his background was going to be, and I knew what I wanted Madisonís reaction to be, and from there I just had to think about what type of character would get that reaction from Madison. And again, if I am writing a character who I want to be likable. I need to like them, so I write them that way. And of course, with every character I write, good and bad, thereís all sorts of little pieces of me. .


Q.    How did you come about the idea surrounding Toby MacClaren, Ralph Caprielli and their fatherís will?

A.    I donít want to get too specific, because again, I donít want to give too much away, but I will say itís very interesting to me how one idea spurs another, then another. In this instance, one obscure scientific idea lead to another scientific idea, which lead to a socio-economic scenario, which brought up legal issues, and all of them were hugely important in establishing a motive and a crime and the structure of the entire book. I love that aspect of writing mysteries and thrillers, coming up with an original premise and following one idea to another to create a complete logical structure.


Q.    How long have you been writing?

A.    I started writing when I was a kid, science fiction stories mostly. I wrote in high school and took some creative writing classes in college, but I started playing music around then, too, and for the next ten or twelve years, I concentrated mostly on music. After I went back to college and got my degree, I started writing again, and for some reason this time, I was thinking in terms of novel-length mysteries and thrillers. It took me a few years of tinkering with outlines and stories before I finally sat down and started to write a draft. Iíve probably been writing seriously for ten or twelve years


Q.    How many books have you written?

A.    In addition to BODY TRACE, BLOOD POISON and FREEZER BURN, I have two as-yet unpublished manuscripts and one in progress.


Q.    Do you write in another genre other than crime thriller?

A.    I write mostly in the mystery/crime genre, although not all of it is forensics. I have also written some science fiction stories and outlines, although no novels.


Q.    Are you currently working on another novel?

A.    Iím always working on another novel. Right now, I am working on a stand-alone thriller called DRIFT.


Q.    What message would you like readers to receive from reading FREEZER BURN?

A.    Iím just trying to tell an engaging and entertaining story, with compelling characters they care about, a fast-paced and well-structured plot that draws them in, and some interesting twists on the field of forensics.