Agatha Donkar, a photographer and writer based in Chapel Hill, NC, has recently been delving into the photography-themed mysteries of Meredith Cole, a mystery writer based in Charlottesville, VA. I’m pleased to host both women here for a quick interview on Cole’s books — and grateful that the chat, given their respective hometowns these days, didn’t turn rivalrous. — Art Taylor
Lydia McKenzie, an urban photographer who isn’t making as much from her portraits of prostitutes as her artistic colleagues shooting pictures for tourists, isn’t entirely satisfied with her life — and then her subjects start turning up dead. In Meredith Cole‘s Posed for Murder and Dead in the Water, Lydia’s photography and insatiable curiosity draw her into an even seedier side of Brooklyn than she had been traveling before. Cole draws on her own filmmaking background to give Lydia an artist’s eye and a detective’s curiosity.
Agatha Donkar: Lydia McKenzie is an urban street photographer whose work drags her into situations she might prefer to be well out of. Why photography? Do you have a background in photography yourself?
Meredith Cole: I have never considered myself a photographer, although I love to take photos, and have taken classes. But the choice of photography was inspired by my first career: filmmaking. I directed feature films and wrote countless screenplays in my twenties. Cinematographers and photographers look at the world in a different way than other people, and they sometimes use a camera to shield and protect them. I liked the idea of having a sleuth who was always observing and evaluating her environment. I also liked the idea that she would have evidence (her photos) to look at later and find clues.
Living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I had quite a few friends who were working as photographers in fashion and were showing their work in galleries. I borrowed a lot from their experiences, which I found really fascinating. Read the rest of this entry ?