Author Darden North has written a number of murder mystery novels.
Author Darden North has written a number of murder mystery novels.
Some people have called Jackson Dr. Darden North's novels everything from "medical thrillers" to "murder mysteries," but the author said that he doesn't know how to classify them, other than by saying he thinks they are interesting stories.

"If you step outside of what you normally do, especially in something in the arts, it is a very interesting and rewarding thing to do."

Though his first book came out in 2005, he said it was a 10-year process to complete his labor of love.

"I had been interested in writing for a while and I finally had the opportunity when the kids got older and once I had enough time," North said.

North said he started his book when home computers were becoming commonplace and part of the process was teaching himself to use the technology. "Part of the process was teaching myself to type," North laughed.

North said that he is a doctor and the expectation is that his books would be very technical and based on detailed science and medicine, but he usually tries to spare on the minutia in favor of developing characters and focusing on a taught story.

"The main story may revolve around a medical situation but my books are not necessarily about medicine. I learned that people would accept a lot about the medical procedures without me having to explain everything."

He said he learned a lot from watching television and movies. He said that they have offered a huge influence to his style.

"You watch these dramas and the way they pique your interest and keep you interested which has been something I try to do in my writing."

North's love for film and television has made him excited about the prospect of one of his books one day becoming a film. He said his third novel, Fresh Frozen, which takes place in Canton and Jackson and centers around a plot involving frozen embryos from a fertility clinic, has a screenplay that is ready for filming and he has been in talks to be made into a feature film.

North said he did not want to say too much on the subject, but that he was very excited of the prospect of one of his books being made into a movie.
"I find the film making process fascinating," North said. "I think on some level everyone would love to have their work made into a movie. It is great exposure."

North has used his interest in other mediums to expand the exposure of his stories. He has worked to get his books on audio book, which he said was an interesting experience because he was working with a professional to narrate his stories. He had to make sure the narrator had the right accent and pronunciation.

"I had to make sure he pronounced words like Belzoni correctly."

North has reached a worldwide audience with his books and has seen downloads of his e-books in places as far away as India and has sold about 20,000 copies of his books. He said that he may not be as big as some other writers, but it feels good to know that his fan base is "more than just my Facebook friends."

"It is certainly something I am proud of," North said.

He said through his writing he has found that people are very interested in locals in the South and often has editors and fans that ask for more descriptions of Jackson and other Mississippi towns. One of his books even mentions construction of the Renaissance at Colony Park.

North describes his writing style as very organic.

"I don't even really know how it will end. I have switched villains by the end before." North said.

He said avoids using techniques that are too rigid because "I think that would make you confined."

North is working on his fifth book a follow up to his latest book, Wiggle Room. North's books are not part of a particular series but this time he found one of his characters too interesting to put to rest after one story.

His new book, tentatively titled When the Bee Stings, follows a side character from wiggle room, Dr Dianna Bratton, who notices a pattern in mysterious deaths around her.

"There are five ways to die; Natural, Accidental, Homicide, Suicide and Undetermined. People around her are dying and she sees pattern and she starts to wonder if she will fulfill the fifth."

North is writing this in his usual organic style and is hoping to have it finished and released, if the publishers line up right, within a year.

"I think I pretty much know how this book will end at this point, but I did not know that at the beginning."

North's books have taken him to book signings and speaking engagements, but his books are readily available locally including Lemuria, the Book Shelf, Simply Spaces and Persnickety and all his books are available on Kindle. North estimates he has been in every bookstore in the state that he knows about at least twice.

North is perfectly happy that what started, as something he had always wanted to take a shot at has become big part of his life that he can share with others.

"When I have someone come up to me at a book signing that I don't know and tell me that they loved my book I just think that is great."