It’s gonna be a good interview day today. I can feel it in my bones. I know I’m getting closer every minute to solving this case. I can see that ‘ole light at the end of the tunnel – and I’ve got a pot of fresh coffee and a box of lucky doughnuts at my elbow (three apple fritters and three plain). That’s always a good sign. Yeah, this group will break things open for me. I’m employing my secret weapon -I’ve got second sight – did you know that? Hey, they don’t call me Evil for nuttin’.
SCENE OF THE CRIME: ON THE BUBBLE – DAY FOUR – 2006
THE CRIMES: Writing some of the best damn fiction out there.
IAN RANKIN http://www.ianrankin.net
One does not introduce Ian Rankin. His name says it all.
Well, I could tell you that he’s wonderfully witty, charming and erudite – but you know that. I could also mention that he’s broodingly handsome – and that his dangerously mysterious eyes just drive me nuts (yes, even old broads like me can still feel the heat in eyes like his) – but you know all of that too. So before I melt away – here are a few things we chatted about last July.
EE: We’ve all got a bad habit or two, what are yours?
IR: I have plenty of bad habits. I am an irascible drunk. I bite my fingernails. I listen to progressive rock. My diet is a distaste – I am a chocolate junkie.
Ohhhh…my kinda guy…wish we lived closer.
EE: Is it true ‘The Belles of St. Trinian’s’ with Alastair Sim is your favorite movie? Or, is it really ‘Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla?
IR: My favorite movies include: ‘Goodfellas’, ‘Godfather’, ‘The Big Chill’, ‘Clerks’, ‘Gregory’s Girl’…I do like those St. Trinian films though…all of those skirts and stockings…are those films still legal?
Goodfellas? The Godfather? Oh, yes – you are truly a man after my own heart. Sorry to say – the St. Trinian films have been banned now, but-uh-I know a guy who can get them for you. 🙂
LOUISE URE http://www.louiseure.com
I adore Louise -but damn, it’s just not fair to be this talented. Her prose is entrancing – and her imagery of Arizona is so exacting you can feel the blistering heat bounce off the page. Oh, here’s more to feel under accomplished when you’re around this gal – she speaks seven languages, races Shelby’s and has a pilot license. But don’t hold this against her -she has her good points. Hell, she’d have to to put up with me.
EE: Since I’ve let the cat out of the bag about your flying skills – how about explaining why Pari hired you to take her over the desert in New Mexico? Was it to check out those new circles allegedly made by UFO’s?
LU: Oh, I’m not trying to hide the pilot part; I’ve been flying for about thirty years now. But I have few takers for passengers these days, ever since I ran out of gas and had to land on 1-10 near Picacho Peak. And then there was the time I forgot to tighten the lug nuts on the engine cowling. I think Pari was very brave to have asked for that New Mexico flight.
Brave? I’ll say she was brave! Bet she won’t go up again with you after reading this!
EE: Driving race cars is – well – a pretty tough hobby. How hard has it been for you to show up all those macho race car divers when you take to the speedway in your 1966 Shelby 350 GT? I mean, they must really have a few testosterone fits.
LU: At first, they were a little unnerved when I suggested we repaint the car from it’s original black and gold to match my new driver’s suit. They finally came around when I offered to file my fingernails into the shape of Phillip head and regular screwdriver shapes to help with their repairs.
You did what?? Oh, how utterly brilliant of you!
SARAH WEINMAN http://www.sarahweinman.com
Sarah’s Confessions of An Idiosyncratic Mind is a one-stop snoop for what’s going on in BookBizVille. Razor sharp observations, delectable books featured and an international readership.
EE: Word around Manhattan is that you turned down a dinner date with Mel Brooks to discuss the intricacies of short story writing. This can’t be true, can it?
SW: He wanted to go to Elaine’s. I wanted to go to Michael’s. We had to agree to disagree, unfortunately.
Well, hell – I don’t blame you. Too bad Mel didn’t know Michael’s was THE place for the literati. But then, what do movie people know, huh? Listen chickie – you’re better off without him.
EE: Whispers are rampant that a certain hunky new writer is sending you roses and chocolates so he can become a Cabana boy. What say you about that?
SW: Rose, yes. Chocolates, no. I can be bribed, people, so please, make it chocolate, preferably 70% dark and up.
Hey guys? Are you listening out there? Forget Godiva, okay? zChocolate.com is the place to go. Try that nifty mahogany box from Pascal Caffet. It’s a bargain at $171.40. What price to be immortalized as a Cabana Boy?
RAYMOND BENSON http://www.raymondbenson.com
aka JAMES BOND. And he’s dressed for the role. Imagine wearing a tux all the way through the many (Nine!-six original and three movie novelizations!) James Bond books under his belt. Er, cummerbund. But there is much more to Raymond’s writing career than Bond – and it would take an hour just to type his credits. His new book – SWEETIE’S DIAMONDS is living proof there is life after 007!
EE: So, Raymond – I imagine having to don a tux while writing those Bond books became annoying after a time. I’ll bet your neighbors did a double-take when you took out the garbage.
RB: Ha! Most of the time I write wearing only underwear or (gasp) less. That’s the luxury of working out of one’s home. My commute from the bedroom is ten feet. I must admit, though, that when I do interviews like this, I dress a bit more formally. I have on a white shirt, but no pants.
Ahem. I do hope the shirt is at least buttoned.
EE: Is it really true you were bored to tears while doing research for your latest – SWEETIE’S DIAMONDS? Gosh, I’d think checking out the adult porn industry would have been rather exciting, er…illuminating.
RB: Research? Who needed research? Seriously, folks, I do take pride in the amount of research I do for all of my books. For Bond, I had to get the weaponry and technical and British-ness right. For TOM CLANCY’S SPLINTER CELL, I had to get the military jargon right. For SWEETIE’S DIAMONDS I had to…you know.
Uh, yes – well – uh, we’ll just have to use our imagination I suppose.
P. J. PARRISH http://www.pjparrish.com
Double trouble! And don’t laugh – these two sisters: Kris & Kelly are so full of life and mischief-they’re addictive. Mega-nominated for their great Louis Kincaid series-they are never still – always on the move – deeply involved in the mystery community-and always ready to help a newbie. And their latest – AN UNQUIET GRAVE – is -naturally – superb!
EE: Here’s a chance to squash a rumor – word is – Louis Kincaid is a real person under the witness protection program and he feeds you two all of his real life stories.
PP: Damn, another truth exposed. Louis is really Kelly’s four husband Karry, and an old white dude who was a delivery guy with UPS until his looks went and he caught on with FedEx as a lost package tracer. He lives in a double-wide near the Memphis airport and emails Kelly about his adventures. "Larry is currently at work on his own novel, "The UPS Man Always Comes Twice." Larry says it’s a thriller, but Kelly says it’s strictly fantasy.
Aha! Finally! I’ve got some spy’s who are on the ball! But gosh, the poor guy is delusional, huh? Good thing Kelly dumped him.
EE: My best spy tells me that both of you have been approached by the producers of "Housewives" to be regulars next season. – and you’ll be portraying your real life roles as best selling authors. Are your husbands good with this?
PP: You know, Lee Goldberg got us a reading but we were rejected for not being desperate enough. Or maybe it had to do with how we looked in the stilettos and thongs.
My insider source tells me it wasn’t the stilettos or thongs – it was because your parts were on the table to be expanded as co-leads and it caused a major hissy fit. Expect a call any day now…but you didn’t hear this from me, okay?
Okay,okay – so I didn’t break the case today. I’ve still got five more to go after this crazy bunch. So my lucky doughnuts didn’t work. It happens. But hey – I’m an old pro, remember? I always get my man or woman…or whatever. But these nuts today? Whew. A Scottie who bites his nails and whose diet is a shambles? A lady race car driver who flys a plane and runs out of gas? What about the dame who wouldn’t break bread at Elaine’s and has Cabana Boys? And how about those two sisters who wear stilettos and thongs? And then I get a guy who thinks he’s James Bond! I tell you – some of these people are two paragraphs short of a full page. But never fear – I’m on to them and their games. And I know I’m getting closer and closer. We’ll see who has the last laugh. I’ll have this case broken on December 27th if it’s the last thing I do.
I’m taking off next week to see my therapist…it’s not headaches this time – it’s the eye twitching this group has reawakened. But stop by anyway. Naomi Hirahara will be dropping in.
Until December 27th – MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY HANUKKAH!