Books · Heroine Interviews

SRP Heroine Interview: JJ MacGregor from Death by Trombone



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death by tromboneI’d like to give JJ a warm welcome for stopping by the Self-Rescue Princess to chat with us. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life? 

Life has been a little hectic, but when isn’t it? As if it weren’t enough to deal with my rotten ex-husband, and a teen-aged son in love, and all that stuff that schools do at the end of the year, we had a body behind the gym. I really tried to stay out of that, but then Chief Karlson arrested the music teacher, and we needed her to direct the band for graduation, and, well, you know how one thing leads to another. But really, I wasn’t interfering. I just stumbled into things.

What made you decide to take on such a risky endeavor?

Like I said, I didn’t “decide to take on” anything. I just kept stumbling over—I mean, into—things. It’s hardly my fault if people tell me things, and I can’t help thinking, can I?

Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?

Oh, sure. I mean, doesn’t every kid who ever read Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys? I never actually expected it to happen to me, though. I mean, I moved to Pismawallops Island partly because it was such a quiet, safe place.

Who would you say is the least pleased about your additional career choice of amateur sleuthing? Or is detective work your only career?

Oh, that’s an easy one. I’ve been sort of seeing, well, not really dating or anything, but I’ve spent some time talking to—and he might’ve kissed me once or twice, too—Chief Karlson. The Police Chief. I’d have to say he’s not very happy about me asking questions and thinking about what he calls “police business.” I think he’s worried I’ll get hurt, which might make some sense, but I hurt myself worse all on my own, and anyway, I’m not a sleuth. I just like to know stuff.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I’m a very direct and straight-forward person. You get two-for-one there. I sometimes get into trouble because I’m not very good at tact and all that. But I go straight for the answers, and that’s helpful when you’re solving a problem. My son, Brian, insists that I add that it’s helpful when it doesn’t encourage people to try to kill you, and I suppose he has a point. And I like knowing things, which is healthy, right?

I don’t really like admitting I have any weaknesses. I’m just the same about not wanting to need help. But I guess I could say that I have a bit of a temper. Some might call that a fault.

Describe what being a self-rescue princess (a strong, confident woman) means to you.

That’s what I’m talking about, see? A strong, confident woman doesn’t need any help. Except I keep getting into situations where a bit of help comes in handy, but that’s just bad luck.

Okay, if I’m really honest, which I’d rather not be, but you’re pressing me here, I’d have to say that I’d love to know what a strong confident woman feels like, because I’m not, you know. My confidence got pretty well tromped on in the divorce, and Kitty would probably say in the marriage, too. I’m just trying to prove to myself and anyone who wants to know that I can manage on my own. I have a son who needs a mom, not a doormat, so I make the effort.

Do you plan on dabbling in amateur sleuthing in the future, or have you hung up your detective hat?

I have never planned on dabbling in sleuthing. In any case, I don’t dabble. I just do things. And I’ve promised Ron Karlson I won’t get involved. But, you know, things just seem to happen to Kitty and me. Things like dead bodies. So, there’s this awful man I was working for over the summer, and someone killed him, and since people had heard me say he was a bloviating windbag and a rather unpleasant character, I may need to do a little research to prove I wasn’t running around bashing people on the head…