GENA KITTNER for the state magazine
Wisconsin writer Jerry McGinley of Waunakee has written poetry, fiction, and novels. His latest detective book, Flawless Murder, was published in September by the University of Wisconsin Press. In the book, a former army medic finds human entrails while hunting in western Wisconsin. What follows is a chilling mystery involving people hunting people in the Wisconsin Homeless Zone and a retired police officer who seems unable to do anything from the book.
Q: What is your writing experience?
A: I have taught English in high school for 34 years and during the summer I worked in UW teaching workshops for AP teachers in high school. In the 80s I started writing poetry. I later edited the Yahara Prairie Review, a poetry magazine dedicated to Wisconsin poets. Then there were two online magazines dedicated to poetry and flash fiction. The attempt to write fiction came with the development of word processors. I’m such a terrible typist that I could never print a 300-page story. In the 90s, I decided to try writing a novel. I ended up writing a few.
Q: Murder without cause is your sixth book. Are there duplicate characters from your previous work?
A: The two earlier books feature characters who appear in Thoughtless Murder. In fact, my first novel, Joaquin Strikes Back, was about the high school soccer team. It was published in hardcover and was also recorded as an audio drama. My second novel, A Few Miles To Go Before I Fall Asleep, introduces Pat Donegal. He starts out as a minor character, but eventually becomes the main character. This book was published 20 years ago by The Fiction Works. Years later, I thought about resurrecting Pat Donegal’s career. I have compiled 10 stories called Atonement in the Lake. I wanted readers to react to my characters. Published by himself, only about 100 copies. Then I got Pat Donegal and Shea Sommers to work again. This is how Graveless Murder was born.