Discussing International Bestselliong Book ‘The FIxer’s Daughter’ with Renowned Author Hy Conrad (The Hudson Weekly 3/15/23)

March 15, 2023

Hy Conrad is no stranger to writing about mystery and murder. And he doesn’t stop at just writing books – he has developed a horde of popular games and interactive films, hundreds of short stories, and dozens of books of solvable mysteries. Conrad has earned a Scribe Award for best novel, as well as three Edgar nominations from the Mystery Writers of America. Conrad has also written for the television world and is best known for his eight seasons as a writer and co-executive producer for the ground-breaking series, Monk.

Conrad splits his seasons between Vermont and Key West. He shares his home with his husband, Jeff, and their two miniature schnauzers.

You’ve made an incredibly successful career out of writing. What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given about writing?

I think it was Hemingway who said, “Always end your working day at an easy spot in the story. That way, when you come back to it tomorrow, you can jump right back in.”

Eight successful seasons writing for the hit television series, “Monk”, is incredible. What was that experience like for you?

It was the best in so many ways. I was the third writer hired to work on it, and the core group held together for all eight seasons.  We wrote in New Jersey, far away from the network and the cast. It was our own little world and, after season one, everyone respected us enough to leave us alone to do our quirky thing.

Your book, The Fixer’s Daughter, has been a complete hit with mystery novel fans and you’ve been applauded in many reviews on your character development. In your opinion, what are the essential characteristics of a character your readers can really get behind and root for?

I wish I knew the answer. Damaged heroes have been a mainstay since Sherlock Holmes started doing opium. My heroes don’t go that far. I do think a character needs to be relatable without being ordinary. It’s often a fine line, especially in a series. If, for example, your character has a drinking problem, this can get frustrating and boring for your reader by book three. So, your character needs to evolve and yet maintain her core.

Name an underappreciated novel that you love.

Only rarely do I find a writer whom I feel I can trust fully.  After ten pages, if I can say, “I don’t know exactly where you’re going, but wherever you’re taking this, I’m along for the ride,” then I’m reading that book until the end. One memorable example is The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson. It starts as one kind of story and then takes you all over the map. But you’re never annoyed because you know you can trust him.

Who has been the biggest supporter of your writing?

Every writer needs a patient and supportive spouse.  My husband, Jeff, eagerly reads everything, even the tenth version of a script, is always positive and has great comments. I don’t know how he does it.

For Press and Media with Hy Conrad Contact Michael Beas at [email protected]

D’Arcy Sardone

D’Arcy Sardone

Culture Editor