Well, I shuffled through my long list of suspects and had a hard time putting this new batch together.  See, it’s like this.  They ALL look shady, you know?  But I’m a seasoned investigator, and I know that sometimes just throwing a bunch of names in a hat often presents some interesting leads.  This is a tough case.  I’ve got to admit it.  Of course, that’s just between us, okay?  So far, none of these people have given me the answers I need.  They think they can fool me, but I’m on to them.  I mean, just because they’re writers – they think they have a way with words.  Yeah?  Well, hey – I know a few myself.  I even have Webster’s School & Office Dictionary.  The standard version, too.


THE CRIMES:  Writing some of the best crime fiction out there.


LINDA RICHARDShttp://www.lindalrichards.com   http://www.lindalrichards.blogspot.com

Linda_richards_1 I’m a great admirer of Linda Richards.  Naturally.  I mean, she wouldn’t be here at On The Bubble – if I wasn’t, right?  Right.  She’s genuine, full of the devil, a wicked e-mail pal, a multi-talented reporter, stock trader – and one hell of a mystery writer.  And besides being the co-creator of  JANUARY MAGAZINE (http://www.januarymagazine.com) – one of the most respected internet stops for book lovers – Linda is also the author of three terrific mysteries with a protag – Madeline Carter – who is not only fun to hang out with, she’s wonderfully wryand savy as hell!  Madelines’ first appearance – as you already know – was in MAD MONEY.  I loved that book!  And then I met up with her again in THE NEXT EX.  I had a hard time putting down her newest – CALCULATED LOSS – life didn’t seem much fun without Madeline.  Grab it!  You’ll thank me.  Have I ever steered you wrong?

EE:  Linda, at what point in your career did you find it necessary to break your addiction to watching back-to-back reruns of ‘I Love Lucy’? 

LR:  Who told you I had broken it?  They lie like a bad rug!

Lie like a bad rug?  Where’s my notebook?  I gotta steal that one.

EE:  Okay, Linda – here’s a hot one.  Word on the street is that you’re ghosting Joan Rivers new biography.  Care to comment?

LR:  I didn’t realize that had gotten out.

Gotten out?  All of Mysterville is on fire with the rumors!  Hell, even Rush Limbaugh is talking about it…and Letterman!  And I hear Penzler is foaming at the mouth.  Did you know she rejected him?

EE:  Okay, Linda – here’s a hot one.  Word on the street is that you’re ghosting Joan Rivers new biography.  Care to comment?

LR:  I didn’t realize that had gotten out.

Gotten out?  All of Mysterville is on fire with the rumors!  Hell, even Rush Limbaugh is talking about it…and Letterman!  And I hear Penzler is foaming at the mouth.  Did you know she rejected him?

JOHN HART   http://www.johnhartfiction.com


Such stuff as dreams are made on...   I think that’s very appropriate for John!

I mean, when was the last time you saw Pat Conroy blurb a writer? "The King of Lies moves and reads like a book on fire…an amazing new talent."  Besides all the raves from People and Entertainment Magazine, Booklist, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and Bookpage – I gave John ten stars.  So there.

EE:  So, John – now that you’ve joined the firm of Grisham, Turow, Margolin & Schaffer – are you going to throw away that sign you had in your office?  You know the one I mean – that Shakespeare ditty from King Henry VI – ‘The first thing to do is to kill all the lawyers."?

JH:  Kill all the lawyers?  Who would buy my books?  Actually, I’m pretty proud to be a lawyer.  Believe it or not, it’s a great community.  Shared experiences.  Similar war stories.  It’s funny, The King of Lies doesn’t really paint lawyers with a kind of stroke, yet some of my most outspoken fans are attorneys.  Quite a few of them have gone out of their way to say that I nailed it.  Of course, they’re referring mainly to criminal district court, which is a strange beast…you really have to see it to believe it.  So, I’m still active in the bar.  At the same time, I can’t say that I miss the practice.  But I need to be careful.  If book two blows up on me, I might be asking one of them for a job.

Attention to all lawyers in the audience!  Don’t hold your breath waiting for John to send in his resume.  It ain’t gonna happen.  He’s locked into a contract with the above mentioned firm.

EE:  So John – rumors are rampant (I just love that term) around the Sundanceville that Robert Redford wants to play the role of Work Pickens but you turned him down because his face is too weathered.  John!!  You turned REDFORD DOWN???  Oh…I’m wilting here.

JH:  I didn’t say that his ‘face’ was too weathered.  I said his ‘ass’ was too weathered.  I mean, come on, his face is perfect.

His what?  Wait a minute.  Work Pickens doesn’t strip in the book!  So who the hell cares about… Well, anyway, you’re right about the face.  He’s still to die over.  I remember the day I met him.  Stop laughing.  I really did.  It was…nevermind, my husband might be reading this.  I’ll tell you all about it at Thrillerfest.

EE:  So, John – which writer would you love to have all to yourself in a cozy corner of the bar at next year’s Bouchercon or ThrillerFest?

JH:  Any of the authors who blurbed my book.  It’s such a decent thing for an established writer to do for a new guy.  I would listen to their stories, I would thank them profusely, and I would stand them to drinks from dusk until dawn.

That’s very nice.  But, uh…I thought maybe you might say…well, I was hoping…  Gosh, maybe I’ll wave as I pass by, okay?  I mean, I wouldn’t want to barge in or anything.

EE:  Talk around Lawyerville, John – is that you’ve broken the cardinal rule of ‘telling it like it is’ – and the boys and girls are gathering on the footsteps of court houses all over the country getting ready to march.  How are you going to handle this?

JH:  Are you kidding?  The lawyers are rallying to my banner like I was William Wallace.  Now there’s talk of forming some kind of professional group, like a bar, maybe.  A state bar.  And a national version, too.  The American Bar Group, maybe.  Frankly, we’ve had enough.  We want reasonable compensation for reasonable work.  You win a case, and then get one third of a million dollar verdict?  That’s less than four hundred thousand dollars, which is just unacceptable for a hard week’s work.  We demand more, and we’re going to get it!

Kidding?  Me?  Get serious.  Listen Braveheart, I’ll run the bar, you take care of the dough problem, okay?  We can make this thing work.  Just don’t call me Kitty. 

M. J. ROSE   http://www.mjrose.com   http://www.mjroseblog.typepad.com/backstory/


If I were to list all the credits that accompany M.J. Rose, we’d run out of space.  So let’s just remind you of a few, okay?  She’s written eight novels-her newest is THE VENUS FIX, has an Anthony nom, short fiction published, and in the new THRILLER anthology.  She’s been called one of the reigning queens of psychological suspense and erotica – was profiled in Forbes, The New York Times, Newsweek. AND – she has the wildly popular blog – BUZZ, BALLS & HYPE and BACKSTORY.  Somehow, she manages to be on the board of International Thriller Writers and is the marketing chair.  I don’t know when she has time to sleep, let alone write!  You’ll need a good half hour to read all of her accomplishments on her website! 

EE:  So, M.J. – that was a pretty nifty idea your panel – "Sex in Thrillers, with Booze" (at ThrillerFest) came up with by offering free booze.  Uh, think you all might have started a precedent?  I hear some of the writers are going to bartender school now to come up with some wild drinks for next year.

MJ:  The real idea behind the booze was to get my fellow panelists tipsy so the women in the audience could take advantage of them.  But then, who knew how well Barry Eisler, John Lescroat and Steve Berry could hold their liquor? What’s a conference like without some good gossip?  Apparently wonderful, because the only hot stuff that happened at ThrillerFest was the weather, the energy-and the couple I saw having sex in the pool one morning at 4:30 AM when the time difference got me up too early.  And that scene was before Sex in Thriller panel.  And no, don’t ask.  I don’t tell.

Not even a little hint?  Okay-we’ll pretend it was one of those sorority gals and her boyfriend.  I mean, what writers do we know that would indulge in public, huh?  By the way, I’ve got a drink you can use next time that will do the trick.  We’ll talk, okay?

EE:  Okay, M.J. – time to fess up here – just how much research did you feel was necessary to conjure up the Scarlet Society in The Delilah Complex?

MJ:  About five years visiting every sex club in


.  You want to hear about it?  My lips are totally sealed. They say our country is repressed – the only thing repressed is the reality about what goes on between mild-mannered middle-aged men and women.

Five years?  And you want to know if I want to hear about it??  Surely you jest!  Egads, woman!  I’m all ears!  Come on, spill!

EE:  Your books have been touted as having characters so real they step off the page.  Uh, M.J.?  do you really know people like this?

MJ:  Don’t you?  Oh, you poor dear, you haven’t lived!  Come to

New York

for a few weeks and let me introduce you to some of my friends.

I’ll be there next July for ThrillerFest, chickie!  Set up the schedule.

Gregg_hurwitz GREGG HURWITZ   http://www.greghurwitz.net   http://www.greghurwitz.blogspot.com

I wasn’t sure what my intro for Gregg Hurwitz was gonna be.  See, along with Dave Montgomery, Paul Guyot, James Lincoln Warren and Jim Rollins, I adore this guy.  In fact, they’re all  part of my pack of secret loves.  Now, when you get to my age, it’s okay to say things like that.  I could just tell you that Gregg (which you already know) is the critically acclaimed #1 LA Times best selling author of

FIVE blockbuster thrilllers.  I’d name them all for you, but you should really mosey over to his website and check them out.  You could buy one or two as well – because when Gregg writes a book – he lives it.  He joined a cult for THE PROGRAM.  For THE KILL CLAUSE, he learned how to pick locks. In MINUTES TO BURN, he went all the way to the Galapago’s for research!  And then, the latest – ONE LAST SHOT.  I mean, the guy does live his thrillers!  And did you know he’s recently signed a deal with ESPN to write and produce a historical drama about a soccer team?  Well, why not?  Hell, how do you think he broke his wrist, his collarbone and a rib?  Playing soccer?  Yep – you got it. It wasn’t from my hugs.

EE:  One of my sources tells me you turned to writing when you discovered you couldn’t make it as a polka accordionist and the bitterness still lingers.  How can we help you overcome this?

GH:  I was actually quite a noted polka accordionist, thank you very much.

Oh, well then I’d better get rid of that source, huh?  Don’t you just hate rumormongers?

EE:  My more reliable sources (!) tell me that Joe Esterhazy is bristling over the rumors that Sharon Stone wants you to script her next movie, but Michael Douglas and Oliver Stone are working behind the scenes to get you off the project.

GH:  Michael and Oliver can be so petty.  Does Joe Esterhaus know you’re referring to him as Joe Esterhazy?  You’d better watch out or you’ll wind up with a pissed-off Showgirl at your front door.

Ha,ha, ha!  I spelled his name wrong on purpose!  He lurks here at On The Bubble, didn’t you know that?  I’m not afraid of a Showgirl! I WANT JOE to come looking for me so I can pitch him.  Hey, you didn’t give me the moniker of Evil E for nuttin’ now, did you?

EE:  The word on

Rodeo Drive

is that Jennifer Anniston has been bugging the hell out of you o play Dray, the Rack’s wife, on the big screen.  Please, Gregg – tell us this isn’t so!  She is so NOT Andrea!

GH:  I have a hard time answering the question of who I see for Tim, but when we were kicking around casting ideas for Dray, I have to say Marie Bello topped my list.

Oh, yeah!  She’d be perfect!  Sexy, tough and compassionate all at once.  But about Rack – uh, how about if we find a cozy table at ThrillerFest and throw around a few names?  I’ve been getting calls from Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe about talking to you, and I tell ‘ya, Gregg, they can’t seem to get the time difference right and I need my sleep.

Chassie_west CHASSIE WEST  http://www.chassiewest.com

I must confess that I adore this woman so much, I’m having one hell of a time coming up with an intro that doesn’s sound soppy.  It’s hard to describe so warm a heart, so giving a soul, or so fine a writer, but more – so fine a lady.  I mean, you all know Chassie is beloved by so many in our mystery community, so I’d merely be shouting to the chorus.  Maybe a recap of her writing prowess would be a good place to begin. 

Chassie got her feet wet in the young adult genre, then on to teen romance and adventures and then two Nancy Drew’s!  Add to that – three romantic suspense novels for Silhouette as Joyce McGil –Through The Looking Glass and Unforgivable made Waldenbooks bestsellers list and that one was the very first adult romance to feature an African American protagonist.  It wasn’t any wonder she received the 1989-1990 Lifetime Achievement Award from Romantic Times for New Series Author, and then to top that off – the 1990-1991 Career Achievement Certificate of Excellence for Series Romantic Fantasy!  Foreign rights offers arrived faster than the Concorde.

From those wonderful achievements, Chassie went on to mystery.  And thank God she did!  Else we would never have met her wonderful Leigh Ann Warren.  Leigh Ann arrived in


– this one snagged an Edgar nomination.  Then came Killing Kin – Edgar and Anthony nomination.  And on to Killer Riches and her latest, Killer Chameleon – a pick of the week by Sarah Weinman.  Out now for Chassie, is a new anthology from


Bark M For Murder – with J.A.Jance, Virginia Lanier and Lee Charles Kelly.  Chassies story is Nightmare In Nowhere.  And, at the moment, Chassie is working on a standalone that will leave you breathless!

Oh, one last thing – before we chat with Chassie – I have to tell you that were it not for this incredible woman, I’d not be writing.  But don’t hold that against her, okay?   Chassie believed in me, and kept me rowing in that damn boat that often felt like it was ready to sink or capsize.  And I’m not the only published writer who can lay claim to that – you’d be surprised who some of the NYT bestsellers are who got a ‘green light’ from an editor because of Chassie West.

EE:  Word on the street is that Halle Barry was going to option one of your Leigh Warren books, but she didn’t think she was beautiful enough to portray her on the screen.

CW:  I should be so lucky!  Besides, Leigh Ann isn’t beautiful; even she will admit that.  A notch or two above average, according to her.  Of course if Barry wants to mess her up a little to take on the role, that’s fine with me.

Can I tell


that?  I’m supposed to get back to her. I mean, I told her that myself, but hearing it from you would make all the difference.  Sit tight – leave it up to me…we’ll be in



before you know it.  You are taking me along, aren’t you?  I promise to be good.  Honest.

EE:  Mysteryville is abuzz about that dinner you had last week in D.C. with a guy that could be Stedman’s twin.  Is this true?  Are you the reason for his split with Ophra?

CW:  You really are trying to get me killed, aren’t you?  There’s not a word of truth in the rumor.  Well, maybe a syllable or two.  But that’s all.  Honest.  Ophra used to live in my condo development.  That’s the closest I am to anything of hers.  I’m in no way responsible for who looks like who.  Or should that be whom?  Never mind.  It ain’t true!

Killed?  What?  I’m only passing on rumors here. Damn, but you’re a cagey one!  Okay, I believe you.  Sorta.

EE:  Whispers are rampant that the CIA wants you back in the fold.  What’s with that?

CW:  You bring this up considering what’s going on in D.C. with the special investigator and civil suits and stuff?  I know nothing.  I repeat, nothing!

Well done, Ms. West.  A representative from our office will be contacting you soon to begin re-entry into the system.  Until that time, please be careful what you say to Evil E.  We’ve got her on our radar, and keeping a close watch.

EE:  Ignore that man.  I don’t know how the hell he got in here.  Anyway, which writer would you love to have all to yourself in a cozy corner of the bar at the next ThrillerFest?

CW:  No contest there.  Lee Child.  I’d love to pick his brains about Jack Reacher and how he came to be.  I’m heavily into character and Reacher’s one complex so-and-so.

how he came to be.  I’m heavily into character and Reacher’s one complex so-and-so.

Lee Child and Reacher again???  Why does that duo keep cropping up here?  I’m gonna have to get them both On The Bubble.

Well, this was an intersting group, but I’m still at square one.  My window is closing fast, I’ve got nothing to hang my hat on.  I gotta think the next group I’m hauling in here next Wednesday will take me closer to nabbing my perps.  Damn, but these writers are shifty.  They cut, paste and edit every damn question I throw at em’. But hey, like I said – I’ll close this puppy – one way or the other – or my name ain’t Evil E.

So, until next Wednesday – stay safe out there people, okay?

M_j_rose http://www.mjrose.typepad.com/buzz balls hype/


  1. Elaine Flinn

    My apologies to Guyot. My turn wasn’t supposed to start until 1:00 am on Wednesday! F%$^&*g Typepad is at it again! And I set the clock right, okay?Hell, M.J. got her photo on twice to boot!

  2. John Hart

    Hey E-

    Good to see you haven’t lost a step. I’ve had more fun getting to know you. I really do hope we have a chance to meet next year, perhaps at ThrillerFest. Hope you have a wonderful holiday season.


  3. pari noskin taichert

    Elaine,I love these shorter interviews; they’re tasty tidbits for the middle of the week. Revisiting them — in their new versions–is like overhearing a conversation between old friends. Um, I don’t mean “old” as in ancient. “Old” as in long-standing. Or, is that long of tooth? No. None of them would qualify for that. Uh, well, I’m getting into trouble here . . .

  4. Elaine Flinn

    Linda! You could never-ever-be classified as redundant!

    And thanks, J.T. & my secret love, Guyot. Gosh, that makes me think of that Doris Day song – ‘Secret Love’. I mean, you can’t be a secret anymore since I’ve blabbed the names of all of you guys on the net, right?But you have to admit I’ve got excellent taste.


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