Were I a young gal dreaming of being a writer, I’d have to say I’d want to be like Laura Lippman when I grew up. Since that possibility no longer exists (!) – suffice it to say that Laura would still be the model to emulate. Her great talent, beauty, brains, her warmth, crackling wit, generosity and welcome smile – all wrapped up in one long-legged supernova is just too damn much for one woman to have – but this lady has it all. And then some.
And then there are the books. Oh, boy. Fourteen books and a combination of damn near every nomination and award that’s out there. Laura has won the Edgar, Shamus, Agatha, Anthony, and the Barry – and nominated for Best P.I. from Romantic Times. And there is little doubt her latest – NO GOOD DEEDS – due out this July – will most likely bring more nominations and awards.
I could go on and on – about this terrific lady – but all of you out there already know all this, so let’s get on to some fun with Laura Lippman.
EE: Okay, Laura – I’m going to start off the bat with one of the hottest rumors running around Mysteryville. In fact, it’s so hot – cell phones are sparking. Can it REALLY be true you’re not taking Jude Law’s calls anymore??? And all because his so-called excessive craving for Greek food at midnight was the last straw?
LL: More his excessive cravings for nannies.
Huh? That’s it? Nannies? But…but…I heard he swore on bended knee that he was cured. Well, okay. But hey-that does leave him open ladies and I’ve got his private number. Email me -but be warned-the highest bidder, okay?
EE: Okay, after that bombshell, we’ll go easy on you. Who are the seven people you’d invite to dinner? And why?
LL: I’d like to invite the seven people who are the angriest/most disappointed in me, so I could say ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, would you like some mashed potatoes?
Since I can’t imagine anyone angry or disappointed in you, I’ll have to assume they would be whoever you beat out for an award. Unless, they would be Jude Law’s former girlfriends.
EE: Because I don’t want you to think I’m angry/disappointed in you for dumping Law, here’s another easy one: Which Rock & Roll star would you trade places with?
LL: Chrissie Hynde
Excellent choice, but somehow I kinda thought you might say Diana Krall. Silly me, huh? Maybe it’s just that you two resemble each other? No? You don’t think so?
EE: So, Laura – what’s your Walter Mitty dream? Come on, don’t be shy. We all have one. Time to share. Just keep it clean, okay?
LL: I would love to be a cabaret or jazz singer, preferably performing "If They Ask Me, I Could Write A Book" Or dance with Mark Morri’s troupe.
See??? I told you Diana Krall!! Hahahaha! I knew it all the time! You’re such a little wench! Uh, I like the song choice too. It’s has legs.
EE: Now we’re getting somewhere. Here’s the next toughy – Who would be on your ideal convention panel?
LL: I’d reunite the Toronto Five – Mark Billingham, Ian Rankin, Karin Slaughter, me and our moderator, Peter Gutteridge – and add John Connolly, who was supposed to be there.
The Toronto Five. Very sinister sounding – ominous even. So, who are these people? Do they write those ‘dark and stormy night kind of books’? Should I look them up on the web?
EE: While I look that group up, think about which best selling book you wish you’d written. Besides yours, naturally.
LL: Jane Eyre
Oh, I remember that one. And I remember how much I hated her cousins. Spunky gal, that Jane. Kinda reminds me of you.
EE: Here’s an easy one: Who would you love to do a book tour with?
LL: My own bed. I get terribly homesick.
Aw, come on, Laura! Names! I wanted names! Now I can’t tease your choices.
EE: Word is you’re a gourmet cook. So tell us what you would serve to seven guests, and who would they be?
LL: So NOT a gourmet cook. But a game one. And when I have people over, I like to serve a Southern picnic – cold fried chicken, deviled eggs, redskin potato salad, and Coca-cola Fudge Cake. I also like to make my own potato chips.
Southern picnic, huh? I’m free most weekends. I have a great mayonaise cake I make-I could bring it. But, uh-who else is coming? Please note dear readers of On The Bubble – La Lippman skirted the guest list. But that’s okay. With a circle as wide as hers – she no doubt feared she might leave a favorite friend out. We’ll give her a pass on this one.
EE: Which writer would you love to have all to yourself in a cozy corner of the bar at the next Bcon? We’ll keep this from David. Sorta kinda honest…
LL: Martha Lawrence. I miss her. Or James Crumley, but you need a stick to beat off all his fan boys.
I wish I’d had a chance to meet Martha Lawrence. As for Crumley! Oh, to sit and talk with the man Ray Bradbury named as a character in his trilogy (the detective ‘Crumley’) would be an incredible experience. I think David would agree.
EE: We hear (I get around more than one might think) that those photo shoots you did for Victoria’s Secret were spectacular, but due to book commitments, you backed out and they’re considering suing you for breach of contract. Any chance you might renegotiate?
LL: I think you got it wrong. The contract was for Vittorio Segretto, an all-you-can-eat pizza place that I bankrupted.
No, no, dear heart – I NEVER get things wrong. My sources are impeachable – but being that you’re such a creative writer – I like what you’ve come up with – and we’ll let it stand. (Oh, that pool lounging ensemble looked just great on you. Do you know if they’re planning to sell it in plus sizes?)
EE: Okay, Laura – here’s a biggie that needs to be addressed. A rampant rumor around Mysteryville is that you actually wrote Mystic River, and Dennis Lehane wrote To The Power of Three. This dastardly rumor really needs to be put to rest! Here’s your chance to tell the world the real skinny.
LL: Again, things have gotten horribly muddled. Harlan Coben wrote all the Tess Monaghan novels; I wrote Tell No One, but missed the fine print that said I had to Tell No One.
Whew! Finally! The air is clear! The gossip will cease! The rumors are put to rest! The royalty statements might be screwed up, but now…now the world knows the truth!
EE: Oh, hey – it was whispered in my ear (naturally) at Bcon/Chicago – that you love to pamper yourself with Doritos and Sangria every full moon. Isn’t that a bit tough on the waistline? Or, is this some new beauty ritural that keeps that big, wide smile on your face?
LL: Sangria, yes, but with homemade guacamole. (I prefer the recipe in the Gourmet cookbook.)
Guacamole? Aha! Of course! Avocados are wonderful for the skin. And if I remember correctly, only California avocados work best. Those imports? Phewey. Buy American!
EE: What about the latest buzz that Eva Longoria has been badgering you to buy that knock-out gown you wore to the Edgar’s last year? Terri Hatcher called me last night and told me, so we know it’s the gospel truth.
LL: Given that the gown was an ABS knock-off of someone else’s previous awards ceremony gown, I’m pretty sure that Eva Longoria would have no use for it.
But, Laura! She doesn’t have to know, does she? I mean, I won’t tell. And it was stunning! Of course, she won’t do it justice, but do we really care?
EE: Okay, while you think it over-and decide what you’re gonna sock her for the gown, I have to let you in on another about-to-be-breaking-news-flash. My spy in Vegas (no not that Elvis look-alike that stalked you at Bcon/2003-he’s not working for me anymore. But that’s another story) – tells me that you’ve instructed your publisher not to give into the threats from that mega rich casino owner who is claiming you wrote NO GOOD DEEDS in his coffee shop. And – that he was so taken with you, he personally waited on you! All the poor man wants – he claims – is to be acknowledged as your muse, but you won’t even send him an autographed copy.
LL: I love you, Elaine, but you clearly have the worst sources in the world. Who are you talking to, Jayson Blair and James Frey?
Uh, no – it was…well, I can’t really say. My lips are sealed. I mean, I have to protect my sources. Surely, as a former journalist – you understand that, right? But he had gorgeous hair and the dreamiest blue eyes…and…and…well, nevermind.
EE: Okay, last – but not least – how tough was it for you to turn down that weekly six figure salary from Hooters?
LL: Who said I turned it down? I can carry those orange shorts. Literally. Wadded up, they fit in one hand.
Atta, girl! Hey-a couple of weeks can buy a lot of ink, paper and that new computer you’ve been eyeing.
Many thanks to you, Laura – for being On The Bubble – for being a great sport – and for being one hell of a great gal and friend. They don’t make many like you anymore. But what the hell, right? More fun for us that way. Oh, and did I tell you about…oops. Sorry. I forgot we’re still live. I’ll call you.
NEXT SATURDAY – I’ll be at ThrillerFest in Phoenix, I know you’ll miss me – but don’t despair – please come and visit with Kris Montee-one half of P.J. Parrish fame! This is a very funny lady, and a very savvy writer who knows the book biz like few others! Kris is on the road promoting her and her sister, Kelly Montee – new book – AN UNQUIET GRAVE. This NYT best selling duo are quite something else! I could talk to them for hours. And I have. With a few drinks, naturally. If you’re a ‘writer-in-waiting’, a new writer or an established writer – or simply a lover of mystery – tune in.
And maybe-just maybe- if you’re all good children – I just might tell you about all the going’s on at ThrillerFest when I return. Well, maybe not everything…but we’ll see. I’m sure you’ll be dying to know how well I hold my own on the panel I’ll be on. It’s on Friday (11:00-11:45) and titled – WHAT IS A THRILLER? I mean, can you imagine me with Raymond Benson, David Dun, Bob Levinson, Jim Rollins and Sandy Balzo as our moderator? Hells, bells – that’s thrilling enough! Raymond and Jim have promised to hold my hand. I told them I was nervous. Clever, huh? Moi? Nervous? But I promise to behave myself. After all, when one is presenting the innagural annual award for Best First Novel, one must display a sense of dignity. Right? And I can do that. Really, I can. So, darlings, until then…
I’m a little confused, what happened to Martha Lawrence?
Elaine, nice to see you and Laura hanging out together. That’s good company and a good time.
Laura, have a great time on your tour. And Elaine? I’ll be the one in front of the air conditioner in Phoenix!
Iden: I believe she died. But I could be wrong.
Louise: Save me a spot next to the air conditioner, okay?
Great interview, Elaine and Laura. Thank you for brightening my day. Though, like you, Laura, I’m a tad worried about Evil E’s sources.
Elaine is an amazing woman who has the courage to speak her mind and not hide under a rock. She’s willing to stick her neck out for what she believes in and she is so generous with her time. I cannot believe she would be attacked by anyone for the ITW matters, it’s a shame. I had a disagreement once with Elaine, and I learned so much about what an understanding and forgiving person she is. I am sorry for going on so gooey, but end of story, she is a championship human being. And when is Elaine on the bubble? Hopefully one of you Murderati’s will put Elaine on the bubble eh?
Ahem, my sources are…well, let’s just say I’m doing some house cleaning. With so many snitches running around these days, I’m sure I’ll be able to find a qualified one.
!!! How dare you make Evil E teary-eyed?
So-you wanna get Evil E On The Bubble, huh?I’m game – who wants to take a shot at me?The line forms on the right – but be quick signing up-there may be some heavy competition out there.
All right, forget all the other good dish here. I want the recipe for Coca Cola Fudge Cake. I am not kidding.
Martha Lawrence is alive and well, as far as I know, but she hasn’t published a mystery book for several years. (I’m blanking on the title, but it was terrific and was nominated for the Shamus.) A wonderful person, ADORED by me and many others. I last saw her in 2003.
I’m glad to hear I was wrong! When you mentioned her in your answer (I wasn’t familiar with her books)-I tried to look her up and found so very little – I assumed by the way you’d said ‘I miss her’ – it meant she was gone.
Thanks for clearing that up-
Thanks goodness, but you see how rumours start eh? I remember meeting her when Maureen was first published back in 97 and I loved her first two books and thought she was such a great gal. One of those authors you meet at a Bouchercon with absolutely no agenda or baggage. Great gal, perhaps she is working on something new, let’s hope.
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