Topics for Discussion
Interview with the Author
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Interview with Author Mara Purl
Q: Milford-Haven just keeps growing and growing. First it was the
radio drama. Now it's three novels in a row! What else is
planned for Milford-Haven?
A: Milford-Haven is in development for television, and we're planning
expansions for our web site as well, so it's more interactive. But at this
point I'm focusing on the novels. There will be twelve in the series and
book three is the newest - called Child Secrets.
Q: The radio drama was one thing - this book series in another altogether!!
What do you think listeners can get from the radio drama that they can't get
A: The radio drama has the richness of the cast - twenty superb actors who
brought such color and variety and nuance. And it has the layering of sound
- distant ambient sounds like birds in the trees outside or the distant hum
of a ship's engine; then near sounds - the clatter of a spoon stirring the
coffee in Sally's Restaurant, or the gentle way Miranda closes the door so as
not to waken Zack. And of course the beautiful, haunting music - we hear a
sultry saxophone line and we know Cynthia's about to appear in something
satin she's almost wearing, or we hear a highly-charged syncopated beat and
we know Zackery's on his way to making an important decision.
Q: What about the books? The Milford-Haven novels seem so much more complex
and involving because you're delving into areas that can only be reached with
the written word.
A: I am finding this process most interesting. I keep getting deeper and
deeper. I feel that in What the Heart Knows (Book One) I got my ankles wet,
in Closer Than You Think (Book two) I began to swim, and in Child Secrets
(Book Three) I go diving, literally and figuratively. This was the idea of
doing the fiction - to delve much more deeply into the characters and their
lives. It's a tremendous expansion beyond script writing, where the depth
is mostly in subtext.
Q: There was so much detail in Child Secrets - psychological, and
technological. Seems like you did a lot of research.
A: I always do a lot of research - it's the backbone for everything I write.
I did do an exceptional amount for this one! I read about child development
for over a year and wrote detailed backgrounds for each character. But I
also researched off-shore oil rigs by reading technical manuals and by
working with five experts in different fields: a naval architect, an
underwater submersible designer, a commercial diver, and two underwater
Q: Did researching such different kinds of issues affect your style of
A: One minute I was like Danielle Steel, writing about complex relationships
with interwoven paths and secret desires; then suddenly I was like Tom
Clancy, writing this high-tech underwater explosion where every bolt and
valve had to be correct, but the forward momentum of the story had to be