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Home » Books & writing

Guest Blogger: Karin Slaughter Shares Bathroom Secrets + Giveaway

Submitted by on June 22, 2011 – 11:31 pm 9 Comments

Though Karin Slaughter’s just released Fallen is her third novel combining characters from her Grant County and Atlanta series, it was the first of her books I read. After finishing it, I immediately read its predecessor Broken and did loads of Internet research to find out more about Special Agent Will Trent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, his partner Faith Mitchell, and Dr. Sara Linton, who often gets involved with them professionally and maybe personally where Will is concerned. I was especially drawn to Will, an authoritative figure who’s both competent and lost, older than his years and yet childlike in so many ways.

I then asked Karin to share some things about her characters that we don’t know, details she may have imagined for them but haven’t put in her books for whatever reason. She divulged the following:

I’m not one for revealing secrets before their time, but I can tell y’all something about Will Trent that’s revealed in the book I’m working on now, Criminal (out in 2012): Will is a neat freak. Now, I know this is hinted at early on, but he’s really, really painfully neat. Since he grew up in state care, he only had a finite amount of space allotted to him, and so he’s very conscious of putting everything in its place and not throwing stuff around that might get in another person’s space.

He also likes a clean bathroom because he shared a communal bathroom for the first eighteen years of his life. This might be a bit of fantasy and I’m aware that I am a woman writing a male character, but it’s my book so I made Will every woman’s dream: a good bathroom sharer. That being said, one reason Sara became a doctor is so she can always afford a house with two bathrooms and never has to share.  Which is a good thing, because Sara is somewhat of a pig. Clothes are strewn all over her bathroom. At one point, Will says it looks like it’s been searched by a crack addict looking for money.

I’ve never given Faith’s bathroom much thought, though it does show up in Fallen, my current book. She hides something monumental in her medicine cabinet. I won’t give that away, but I’ll tell you something about Faith that might be clear by now: She’s awful with men. She has what I think of as a woman cop’s problem: she only wants fixer-uppers, and then when she gets them and realizes they’re a mess, she gets annoyed that they can’t take care of themselves. Faith looks at men through two lenses: as a mother and as a bully. In Fallen, seeing how she deals with her son and her brother, you get a really good look into her psyche. Faith would be the first to admit it’s not a pretty picture.

So, those are the big secrets I can reveal. I have to hold some back because it’s the secrets that make writing about these characters so much fun. The slow reveal of past dramas and dark mysteries is as integral to the plot as the whodunit. And you never want a writer to be bored with her characters. What I love about Will, Sara, Faith, and Amanda—in Criminal especially, which takes place in 1975 when Amanda first became a cop—is showing you all these new and interesting things about them.  So, stay tuned!

For more deep dark revelations, check out Fallen, a tense, brutal thriller that starts with Faith coming home to find her mother missing, a bloody handprint on the door, and blood all over her kitchen floor. Skeletons are dragged out of several closets, including the terrible truth behind Will’s scars.

You can win one of two copies of the book by leaving a comment telling me about something unusual you keep in your bathroom. Giveaway ends next Wednesday, June 29, 5 p.m. PST and is limited to US/Canada residents. Winners will be randomly chosen and given 48 hours to claim the books.

Many thanks to Karin for sharing some insights with us. I’d like to conclude by saying I once had a platonic male roommate who was much neater than I, who kept our shared bathroom clean enough to do surgery in and folded his clothes like a Gap display, so Will’s neat-freakiness definitely exists in the real world! (To read Criminal‘s opening paragraph, click here.)

Author photo: Alison Rosa

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9 Comments »

  • Jen Forbus says:

    Love, love, love this book. And it’s wonderful on audio, too. I’ve read almost the whole series and every book just captivates me from beginning to end!

  • Carol Wong says:

    In one of our bathrooms, we have two cockatiels! We have spoiled them. They only use cages for going to the vet or going on a trip. We have their food and water bowls on the countertop along with some chew toys. We clean the room every day at supper time so it doesn’t get too bad. I have some friends who kept their cockatiels in an aviary but they forgot to move them inside when it was cold and they all died. The birds roam free in there, sitting on the bathroom door, on the shower curtain rod and medicine cabinet. When they like, they may join me at the computer or sometimes go into the living room to watch animal shows.

    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

  • Bob Van Hove says:

    I’ve found that taping the combination (in my best Captain Midnight-like code) behind the false drawer panel in the sink cabinet to the hidden (I hope) safe in the basement helps me sleep a bit more soundly. Will thieves in the night want to go digging deep in the bathroom? I don’t think so.

  • Reader#9 says:

    In my bachelor days I platonically shared an apartment with 2 women who loved cats and thought it would be great to have a cat. No biggie, except they insisted on keeping the litter box in the bathroom. They kept the whole bathroom clean and of course I did my part toward maintenance. Once in a while, though, I had to rush in there to some business and had the door locked and my pants around my ankles before noticing the cat had rushed in there for the same reason. It was too late to exit for either of us, but I think the cat felt as awkward as I did so it we both ended up in a staring contest centered on who was going to “get personal” first. It was very creepy.

  • Lisa says:

    Until recently, my bathroom was a 2 pound chihuahua’s apartment. She was so precious to me and I still miss her every time I walk in there. RIP little Lulu.

  • Anita Yancey says:

    The most unusual thing that I have in my bathroom is seven flower vases. Other than that, everything is pretty normal. Love to read this book. Please enter me. Thanks!

    ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

  • Lauren says:

    I keep plastic cookie cutters and a plastic jack o lantern in the bathroom…and I am a stay at home mom if that helps explain it.

  • Eddy says:

    For the past seven weeks, our bathroom has been home (read “nursery”) to a mama cat and six kittens. The unusual thing: It’s not our cat! She just decided that an old tarp in our backyard was a great place to have her kittens. So, we are “fostering” them until we can adopt them out.

    We named the mama “Lexie” because she is a little gray. We’ve given the kittens temporary names until they are adopted because we we got tired of referring to them as black and white kitty, tan and white kitty, gray and white kitty, etc.

    Three girls and three boys. They are Phoebe, Monica, Rachel, Ross, Joey, and Chandler.

    Hmmm. I think that we watch too much TV.

    Anyone need a kitten? Take two, they’re small.

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