Wednesday, August 26, 2009

You Have the Right to Six Words - WEEK 14

Week Fourteen! Just when you thought I surely must be running out of interesting crime fiction writers to highlight, right? Well, do I have a treat for you! This week's group of writers take us all over the map in their books, their travels, their schooling, their homes. We cover England, France, Ireland, Australia and more. Let's visit the world, shall we?

When Cara Black's son started kindergarten, Cara started writing classes. The writing classes lead to a writing group and the writing group ultimately lead to her debut mystery novel, MURDER IN THE MARAIS, an Anthony Award nomination and a Macavity Award nomination. Having some extensive knowledge of France from attending schools in France, but not BEING French, Cara created Aimee Leduc, her heroine who is half French, half American. Cara also wanted to capture the "salt of the earth" people in France, the folks "you sit next to on the metro." And these characters have translated into nine successful novels. Cara's most recent Aimee Leduc novel, MURDER IN THE LATIN QUARTER, was released this year and book number 10 of the series, MURDER IN THE PALAIS ROYAL, is due in 2010. Like her heroine, Cara likes dogs and use to own a moped. She can also be found taking black and white photos when she isn't writing. Cara and her family call San Francisco home, but

Heaven - Paris at dawn, coffee, croissant.

Adrian McKinty was raised in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland and attended Oxford University before emigrating to the United States. Living in Harlem, he worked in bars, bookstores, building sites and the stacks of the Columbia University Medical School Library until 2000 when he moved to Denver and focused his energies on writing. His efforts paid off in spades when his first book DEAD I WELL MAY BE was shortlisted for an Ian Fleming Steel Daggar Award and was chosen as one of Booklists' 10 best crime novels of 2004.

Last year Adrian took his family on yet another journey. Lately they find themselves in the land down under. But Australia seems to be fairing equally well for the man Ken Bruen calls "a friggin genius" and Frank McCourt called "a cross between Mickey Spillane and Damon Runyan, the toughest, the best." This year Adrian released the novel FIFTY GRAND to much acclaim and is working on a young adult novel, tentatively titled DARK ENERGY.

And I have to admit that ever since Adrian sent his memoir, I have been itching to share it with you. It is one of the most poignant of the entire series (in my opinion anyway):

stillness, iceberg,
listing, sinking, stillness

Doesn't that just send chills up your spine? I know you all are looking his books up on Amazon or the library now!

As a pediatric ER doctor, CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge suspense novels. She has assisted police and prosecutors with cases involving child abuse, rape, homicide and Munchausen by Proxy and has worked in numerous trauma centers, as a crisis counselor, victim advocate, as well as a flight physician for Life Flight. CJ credits her patients and their families for teaching her the art of medicine and giving her the courage to pursue her dream of becoming a novelist.

CJ calls her novels "thrillers with heart;" the first of which is titled LIFELINES. LIFELINES was released in 2008, became a National Bestseller and won a Reader's Choice Award for Best First Novel. Her second novel, WARNING SIGNS, was published in January of this year and the third, URGENT CARE, is scheduled for release this November. I look forward to Mondays when I can indulge in small snippets of writing from CJ as she blogs for 7 Criminal Minds each week.

When she isn't doctoring or writing or blogging, CJ enjoys traveling, hiking, white water rafting, outdoor photography...whew! And she holds an orange belt in Kempo. She's been all over the world including Kenya, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and the Caribbean; she's seen a world of experiences in the ER; it makes perfect sense for her to recognize:

Among us, everyday, heroes are born.

Our final author is this guy I'm sure none of you have ever heard of before. Really, he's almost virtually unknown around these parts. I'm sure he's going to be the one people are least interested in. He writes a series around an ex-Army Major named Jack Reacher. Wait! Wait-wait-wait! You've heard of this guy? You're telling me you know who Lee Child is? Of course you do! You can't exist in the crime fiction realm and not know that Jim Grant, known to all of us as Lee Child, is the author of 13 Jack Reacher novels and almost as many short stories. This award-winning crime fiction writer and President of the Mystery Writers of America spent the first half of his working career in television, and then just before his 40th birthday he was fired. And what a birthday present that turned out to be. After dealing with a little anger and disbelief, Lee bought himself some writing materials and produced KILLING FLOOR, which not only turned into his first Jack Reacher novel but also earned him a Barry and an Anthony award.

This year, in addition to publishing the 13th Jack Reacher novel, GONE TOMORROW, Lee funded 52 "Jack Reacher scholarships" at his alma mater, The University of Sheffield; received an honorary doctorate from that same university; and toured alongside his younger brother, Andrew, as Andrew made his debut in the world of crime fiction. This is a man I'd like our young people to look up to: his creativity, his work ethic, and his generosity make for an exemplary role model. At age 40, life gave Lee Child lemons and Lee Child made enough lemonade to share with everyone. Today he shares his six-word memoir with us:

Needed a job. Tried this one.
And I know an awful lot of Reacher Creatures who are so, so glad he did! I want to add a small little tidbit here that I thought was rather impressive. As part of Lee's book tour this year, he did an event at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California. My sister works as a contractor there, which was why I initially took notice of it, but it's just one more example of Lee's generous nature.

I would like to thank all of our authors today for their generosity. Cara, Adrian, CJ, and Lee, your willingness to participate and share with us is so greatly appreciated! And of course we also appreciate your sweat and tears that go into the wonderful books you write for us to enjoy. Best of luck for continued success!

Well? Another good week? I think I'm rather partial to this week. But there's still a lot of big-time stuff still to come in this series. I hope you'll be back next week. Same time! Same place! See ya then!

Happy Reading.

Bouchercon countdown: 50 days!!


Corey Wilde August 26, 2009 at 5:51 AM  

Wow! Quite a line-up.

Loved McKinty's memoir. Now there's a guy with an original thought in his head.

vickyb August 26, 2009 at 11:36 AM  

Interesting concept - six words to describe your life...

And great authors. :)

BEAUVALLET August 26, 2009 at 12:08 PM  

Lee Child, Adrian McKinty... you're bringing out the big guns now.

Serena August 26, 2009 at 12:48 PM  

Another great list of memoirs!

I love "Among us, everyday, heroes are born."


Thanks for all your BBAW help!

Kaye Barley August 26, 2009 at 3:25 PM  

ANOTHER great list!!!!!
Keep these coming, Jen - they're delightful!


le0pard13 August 26, 2009 at 4:05 PM  

Another fantastic set. McKinty... man! Great stuff, as always, Jen. Thanks.

  © Blogger templates 'Neuronic' by 2008

Back to TOP