Posts Tagged ‘detective’

Janet EvanovichAcclaimed author (think about the bestselling Stephanie Plum series) Janet Evanovich answers my questions about writing in different genres and tells us more about her upcoming graphic novel & her favorites…

Hi Janet, and thanks for visiting me on “Veronika Asks”! Let’s talk a little about you, at first. You’re Taurus, aren’t you? They’re usually known for being patient, determined but also jealous. Do you consider yourself a typical Bull?
The only thing Taurusy about me is the determination. I must have been born when the moon wasn’t aligned right or something.

How would you describe yourself with three words?
Honest, tenacious, fortunate.

Before the Stephanie Plum mysteries, you wrote a dozen romance novels. Would you get back to romance if a publisher offered you a deal? Do you think an author is losing credibility writing in very different genres? Young authors are often worried about writing in different genres and building a fanbase.
I’m considering getting back into the romance world with another co-authored romance book. I can do this because I’m well established. New writers should pick a genre that best suits them and stick with it for a while. I don’t think there is any loss of credibility for switching genres, but it’s hard to build a fanbase and improve your skills when you are switching from one type of book to another.

I heard you’re working on a graphic novel. Can you tell us more about it (the scoop, the scoop!)? How did this idea strike you? Do you think your readers will follow? And, by the way, what do you think about eBooks and their future in the publishing world?
My daughter, Alex, and I have always loved comics. So we decided to take Alex Barnaby to the world of graphic novels. We are writing a new story to follow up my books Metro Girl and Motor Mouth.
I’m sure some of my readers will follow, and some might even try reading a graphic novel for the first time. It’s very exciting. The eBook world seems to be growing.

You said on your website you’d like to see Sandra Bullock as Stephanie Plum in the movie based on Stephanie’s adventures. Who would complete the cast? How’s the project going?
The only other character I can see cast in my mind’s eye is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Ranger. The studio bought the rights to the characters years ago and they’ve been writing and re-writing scripts ever since. Truthfully we have no idea how the movie project is going.

Imagine for a second: you wake up one morning and can’t write anymore (let’s hope it never happens): what will you do? Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but didn’t (something you’d try then)?
I’d go on a vacation. I’ve always wanted to go on a vacation. Maybe to Hawaii.

Finally, can’t do without the “Nothing-to-do-with-books-question”: you’ve just found $100, how will you use your newly acquired money?
I’d take my family out for pizza and ice cream.


Author & Book: Carl Barks/The Fabulous Philosopher’s Stone
Movie & TV show: Enchanted/Entourage
Food: Birthday Cake
City: Boston
Music: Disco
Place to write: My office
Quote or Motto: Go for it

“Tea or Coffee?”

Saturday night. Disco & Restaurant or Home, Books & DVDs? Restaurant & DVD
Going on holidays. Beach or Mountains? Beach
Sleepy Little Town or Crazy Megapolis? Crazy Megapolis
Pick a DVD: Comedy or Weepy Drama? Comedy
Like To Travel or Hate to Move? Hate to Travel
Sport Lover or Couch Potato? Couch Potato
Leader or Follower? Leader
Shy or Easy-going? Loud and obnoxious
Serious or Funny? Sunny

Thank you, Janet!
You can learn more about Janet Evanovich and her books at
Ask Janet! Discover Janet’s Q&A at


Laura LippmanAward-winning author and master of the Whodunit Laura Lippman talks about crime, books and her heroine Tess for our “Mysterious July”…

Hi Laura and welcome on Veronika Asks! Could describe yourself with three words?
Tall, well-intentioned, neurotic.

Tell us about What The Dead Know, your latest release…
It was inspired by a real-life case that was very much in the news when I was a teenager. Two sisters went to the mall — and never came home. Their fate is unknown to this day. I found myself wondering what would happen if a woman showed up who claimed to be one of those sisters, how police would handle it, how the claim would be investigated.

Could you tell us more about your Tess books?
I’m working on the 10th. Tess started as the “accidental detective,” someone who fell into this line of work, but I think she’s gotten better and better. She makes fewer mistakes. Which, interestingly, makes the books harder to write.

Who were you before starting to write? How did you start writing mysteries?
Tall, well-intentioned, neurotic. I started writing mysteries because I had an idea for one.

How do you write (where, when, how)? How do you react to the writer’s block?
I write almost every weekday morning for up to four hours. I choose not to believe in writer’s block — it’s akin to a small child plugging her ears and chanting to block out some unpleasant fact. I think it helps to think of a novel as an unruly wagon that you need to pull across a difficult terrain. If a wheel falls off, and you spend the day fixing it, or if you need to find a way to fashion some kind of tracks across a muddy swamp, then you haven’t stopped your journey, you’ve just stopped going forward for that day. I’m used to the wheels falling off, and I think I’ve learned a lot of techniques for getting moving again.

You write a book a year and also work at The Sun. Isn’t it too difficult to deal with both jobs?
My online bio is way out of date — I left The Sun several years ago. But it was enormously difficult and there are some costs to working that much.

Do you have some advices for aspiring authors?
Read as much as possible.

Do you sometimes have a hard time with the puzzle while writing your novels?
Yes. I have trouble breaking them down, but the real challenge is making sure that people are acting out of recognizably human motivations and impulses, not doing things just because the plot requires it.

How do you imagine your readers?
I think they’re pretty diverse – male, female, young, old. I also assume they’re read more crime novels than I have, so I don’t try too hard to fool or trick them. In fact, I count on them to use the text interactively — to examine every possibility, to consider every plausible resolution. In books where the reader has all the relevant information — and in my books, they tend to have more information than any single character — I don’t think it’s possible to offer a stunning twist. The determined, analytical reader will figure it out. So I withhold the one thing I’m within my rights to withhold — the why of things.

What do you think about eBooks? Would you consider writing one?
Some of my books are available in eBook form, I think. I don’t really think too much about format, whether it’s eBook or audiobook. They can publish my books on playing cards.

What will your next novel be about?
Tess collides with Hollywood — literally, running into a shot while rowing. It’s called Another Thing to Fall and it’s about how proximity to the film business makes people a little nuts.

Which books would you advise for a perfect beach read? Have some favorite authors to feature?
First of all, I think anything can be a beach read. I read Crime and Punishment on the beach. But I do think the work of Mary Kay Andrews — breezy, funny, with great characters — is particularly good on the beach.

And now the famous Nothing-To-Do-With-Books question : You’ve just found 100 $ in your pocket, how will you use that money?
This sort of happened recently — I emptied all the banks in my house (I have several small ones) and came up with about $180. I spent a good portion of this on dinner at a local restaurant, Charleston. A friend and I walked around the harbor and found seats at the bar, then ordered three courses each, so we got to taste six. (The plates are quite small, which I love.) We had cocktails and wine as well.

Would you like to add something, Laura?
Just that I’m sorry this took so long?
No trouble, it’s Summer!

“Tea or Coffee?”

Saturday evening. Going out or reading a book ?
Going out.
Holidays. Beach or Mountains ? Mountains. I like to escape the summer heat.
Country or City ? City.
Watching a movie. Comedy or Drama (or something else ?) ? Comedies at home, more serious fare when we get out.
Shy or Easy-going ? Easy-going.
Serious or Funny ? Funny.
Traveler or not ? I’m a homebody who likes to travel.
Sporty or not ? Semi-sporty.
The Leader in the group or not ? Not a leader, but not shy about voicing my opinions.


TV show: The Wire/Project Runway
Movie : Miller’s Crossing
Book : Mildred Pierce
City : Baltimore
Food : Pizza
Music : Jazz
Favourite place to write in : My local coffeehouse
Quote or motto : Moderation in all things, including moderation.

Thank you, Laura!
You can pay a visit to Laura on her website: