Today on the blog we have a writing duo, Margaret Yang and Harry R. Campion, who write near-future thrillers under the shared pen name M.H. Mead. You may remember that last year, they visited my blog to tell us about their first novel, Fate’s Mirror. Today, they’re back with a brand new book. The Caline Conspiracy takes place in the same world, and shares some of the same characters, although it’s a stand-alone novel.
And bonus! They’re giving away an ebook copy to one lucky commenter! So leave a comment with a valid email address and you’ll be entered to win. A winner will be drawn on April 4th at or around 7pm.
1. Will you each tell us a little bit about your new novel?
Harry: It’s about a monster. A horrible monster.
Harry: There’s a teenage boy in it.
Margaret: Oh. Right. Plus genetic engineering, murder, ideal pets, a smart private eye…
Harry: We put a plot in there somewhere too.
Margaret: Well, I put in two.
Harry: I handcrafted two metaphors and a simile.
Okay, but seriously. Here is the blurb.
PI Aidra Scott is exasperated by her teenage son, worried about her pregnant sister, and flummoxed by her assistant—a computer genius she’s never actually met. She lives in a tiny Detroit condo she can barely afford, and there is no room in her life, or her heart, for a pet. Since the painful loss of her beloved Doberman, she wants nothing to do with any dog, certainly not a genetically engineered dog.
Especially one that might be a killer.
The world is shocked when geneticist Ivan Frithke is murdered and his own caline is the prime suspect. Madeline, like all calines, was genetically engineered to be the ideal pet—smart, gentle, and loyal. How could she kill her master? The widow doesn’t believe it, and hires Aidra to prove Madeline’s innocence.
The case is both public and hopeless, and Aidra knows she shouldn’t take it. Besides, saving this dog won’t bring her dog back. But the more Aidra investigates, the more she becomes convinced an innocent animal is being framed, and murder is just the beginning of the conspiracy.
2. If Calines were available, would you own one – why or why not?
Harry: Heck, no.
Margaret: Heck, yes. Calines are awesome!
3. What was your favorite childhood storybook?
Harry: To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street by Dr Seuss. A book dedicated to exaggeration and lying to one’s parents. What’s not to love?
Margaret: I read and re-read Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. She spied on her neighbors and wrote down everything they did. Perfect training for a writer.
4. Buffy, Angel or Firefly?
All of the above, but a double-helping of Firefly with Serenity for dessert.
5. What’s the best book you’ve read lately?
Harry: I’m re-reading Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man; still totally captivated.
Margaret: Ship Breaker by Paulo Bacigalupi. It’s a book for teenage boys, so I’m way outside its target audience, but it sucked me in.
6. Pirate or ninja?
PIRATE! Did you even have to ask? (See Fate’s Mirror if you need a reason.)
7. Complete this sentence, “Let’s get down to business before…
two o’clock rolls around.”
We live an hour apart from one another, so when we write together, it’s an all-day marathon. We waste a lot of the morning chatting. (It’s part of our process. Don’t judge.) We also drink a stupid amount of coffee. By two in the afternoon, we are giddy with caffeine and everything starts to get ridiculous.
Come to think of it, it’s amazing we finish as many books as we do.
8. What’s your favorite vacation spot?
Harry: My favorite place in the world is Isle Royale National Park. I’ve camped and canoed there numerous times and I love it more each time.
Margaret: I’m crazy about Disney World. It’s supposed to be for kids, but it’s the moms who love it. The service there is almost unreal. I mean, where else do people kiss your ass all day and seem to like it?
9. The zombie apocalypse is practically upon us – which of you is most likely to live and why?
Harry: I am.
Margaret: He is.
Harry: I know how to survive in the wilderness and I collect swords.
Margaret: My brains are delicious.
10. If you could serve under any Star Fleet captain – who would you choose and why?
Captain Picard. Although we do not care for Earl Grey tea, we like our authority figures to have Picard’s cool aplomb. He will never freak out, even when the universe is at an end.
Kind of like this interview is at an end. (Nobody freak out, now!)
Thanks for letting us visit your blog today, Bronwyn! It was great fun.
To find out more about Margaret Yang and Harry R. Campion, visit their website.
You can also find them on facebook.
Or follow Margaret on Twitter.
And if you don’t want to wait for your own awesome copy of The Caline Conspiracy and can’t wait another minute, you can skip over to Amazon or Barnes and Noble!