Tuesday, August 4, 2009

You Have the Right to Six Words - The 11th Edition

Glad you made it back; I'm posting the memoirs today because I'm hosting a stop on Kwei Quartey's blog tour for his debut novel WIFE OF THE GODS tomorrow. I hope you'll stop back tomorrow to check out my review of his novel and then on Friday he'll be sitting down for a Q & A with us.

But today we are here for Week 11 of "You Have the Right to Six Words: Six-Word Memoirs From Crime Fiction's Greatest Writers," and boy oh boy am I excited about our line-up today. We're going to be all over geographically and in time, so let's see what today's writers have to tell us.

First up is our interview recap, and that honor goes to debut author Paul Harris. Paul has spent the better part of his career covering conflicts and trouble spots around the world as a reporter. He is now living in New York serving as the U.S. Correspondent for the British weekly newspaper The Observer. Paul's first book, THE SECRET KEEPER, evolved as a result of his own experiences in Sierra Leone, and now he's working on a book that will be set against the 2004 and 2008 U.S. Presidential Elections. In his free time, Paul is an avid traveler. Boy, between a career as a news correspondent and a passion for traveling, it's a good thing his memoir is:

Fears flying; got on planes anyway.

Over across the pond, those Irish folks manage to produce some incredible crime fiction writers. Is it something in the water? We have another of those great writers joining us today, the man Ken Bruen describes as "the future of Irish crime fiction." Declan Burke is the author of EIGHTBALL BOOGIE and THE BIG O. In addition to those published works he also has a few more irons in the fire, namely THE BIG EMPTY and BAD FOR GOOD, which we all hope to see in print here in the very near future. On the non-fiction side, Declan has been working as one of the editors on DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS: IRISH CRIME NARRATIVES IN THE 21ST CENTURY. He's held jobs both in writing and out: laborer, barman, factory hand...writer, editor, reviewer. And of course we can't leave off blogger because he maintains one of crime fiction's best blogs, Crime Always Pays. I'm sure if we asked Declan about his greatest accomplishment, though, it would come in the form of one precious little girl named Lily, Declan's daughter. And why do I think that? Because she plays a prominent role in his memoir:

Born. Played. Read. Wrote. Daddy'd. Died.
Yep, I think that sums things up pretty gosh darned well.

Kelli Stanley takes us through time in her historical fiction mysteries. With her unique combination of classical Rome and hardboiled noir, Kelli produced "Roman noir" when she wrote her first novel, NOX DORMIENDA (A Long Night for Sleeping). And for this she was awarded the 2009 Bruce Alexander Memorial Historical Mystery Award as well as a Certificate of Honor from the city of San Francisco. NOX DORMIENDA is also shortlisted for a 2009 Macavity award. In her second book, due out in February of 2010, Kelli moves a little closer to the present with the book Lee Child says is "beautifully imagined and beautifully written." CITY OF DRAGONS follows a female private investigator in 1940s San Francisco. Even though she's changed time periods, Kelli still holds true to her hardboiled roots. "Children's Day" is a short story prequel to CITY OF DRAGONS that takes place during the 1939 World's Fair in San Francisco and will be published in the anthology FIRST THRILLS, due out in the summer of 2010. She is just a busy, busy lady, and writing isn't even her day job! Whew! She loves Golden Age comic books, jazz and big band swing music (a woman after my own heart), as well as classic films and "battered fedoras." What probably endears this amazing woman to me the most is either her love of a Springer Spaniel named Bertie who walks Kelli every day or her modesty:

Tried my best. Got lucky. Thanks!
I think there's a whole lot more than luck behind that success. I see an awful lot of hard work, and I'm on the outside looking in! Thank YOU, Kelli!

And to wrap up Week 11, we have New York Times best selling author David Baldacci. It's hard to know where to start with an author who's published 17 novels, all of which have been best sellers, many of which have won awards, and two of which are young adult novels. His first novel, ABSOLUTE POWER, blasted into the crime fiction scene and was of course made into a major motion picture starring Clint Eastwood and Gene Hackman. David's novel WISH YOU WELL was the first book selected for the All America Reads program. Even President Clinton recognized David's work when he selected THE SIMPLE TRUTH as his favorite novel of 1999. Most recently David published FIRST FAMILY, which was his fourth book in the King and Maxwell series.

Before he entered the world of best selling novels, David received a law degree from the University of Virginia and practiced as both a corporate and a trial lawyer. Now he's an acclaimed novelist with his works translated into at least 45 different languages. Next up on the publishing scene for David is his 18th novel, TRUE BLUE, due out in October of this year.


In addition to being a prolific writer, David Baldacci is also a devoted philanthropist. His greatest efforts are directed toward his family's Wish You Well Foundation, which supports family literacy in the United States by fostering and promoting the development and expansion of new and existing literacy and educational programs. He is also active in the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the National Childhood Cancer Foundation, and the Virginia Literacy Foundation.

I have to say that I think this is a person who really "walks the walk." I am honored to include him today and to share his memoir:

Family, friends, books...in that order.

Wow! Thank you everyone for sharing your memoirs with us today. This has been a great week, and I have to tell you that even though we've been doing this now for eleven weeks, I still prep these posts and think, "oh my God! Can you believe they took time out to make memoirs for me and my blog?" This is just still so cool; I'm like a kid in a candy store. Join me back here on our regular day next week...Wednesday...and we'll partake in some more sweets from the candy store!

Happy Reading everyone!


8 comments:

Naomi Johnson August 4, 2009 at 7:38 AM  

Another amazing group. Thanks for doing these, I look forward to these memoirs every week. I don't know what I'll do if this series has to end.

Lesa August 4, 2009 at 8:31 AM  

As usual, very nice, Jen. Thanks!

Serena August 4, 2009 at 9:05 AM  

I love Baldacci's answer! LOL Great set this week.

le0pard13 August 4, 2009 at 9:40 AM  

What a group this week, Jen! As always, great stuff. Thanks.

Declan Burke August 4, 2009 at 10:10 AM  

Excellent stuff, Jen ... and you're absolutely right about my 'greatest accomplishment'!

Cheers, Dec

Jen August 4, 2009 at 10:17 AM  

Thanks everybody! Naomi, maybe I can rejuvenate things and coerce more folks into playing along when I go to Bouchercon. We'll see...

Dec! So glad you stopped by. Thanks so much for playing in our sandbox this week. It was an honor to have you! I've been excited to post your memoir since you sent it to me. It's GREAT!!

Corey Wilde August 4, 2009 at 2:20 PM  

I cannot believe this is the 11th week. This series or project or whatever you call it, still seems very fresh to me and I look forward each week to finding out what authors are participating. Particularly glad to see Declan Burke among the memoirists; you know he's a great favorite of mine.

Kelli Stanley August 4, 2009 at 3:56 PM  

Jen, thank YOU for your inspiration! :) Not just for your fabulous blog, but for the lovely and loving spirit behind it ... you bring out the best in everyone you meet! :)

And what an honor to be in this stellar group! I had a chance to finally meet Declan in person at last year's Bouchercon --and I saw David Baldacci give a wonderful (and funny) speech at Thrillerfest this year.

Thanks again for including me with these amazing authors ... and can't wait to see you at Bouchercon!

Kelli

P.S. Bertie thanks you, too! ;)

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