Wednesday, May 26, 2010

You've the Right to Six Words: Week 2

Welcome back for Week 2 of the second season of "You've the Right to Six Words." We have another great line-up of authors sharing their six-words with us. Again we have an array of crime fiction writers, so let me introduce you.

Starting off this week we have an author who just released her sophomore novel while celebrating an Edgar win for Best First Novel. Stefanie Pintoff first won the Minotaur/MWA Best Crime Novel competition with her debut novel, IN THE SHADOW OF GOTHAM. The novel went on to be nominated for the Agatha Best first novel and take home the Edgar Best First Novel.

Stefanie earned her law degree from Columbia Law School and her Ph.D. from New York University. She spent a short time practicing law, then she taught, and THEN she put her fascination of New York City history together with her dream of writing, added a dash of talent, and presto award-winning author.

Stefanie says you can't beat the feeling of walking into a bookstore or library and seeing your own book there. Now she's seeing two books. The follow-up to IN THE SHADOW OF GOTHAM was released this month and it's titled A CURTAIN FALLS. Since both novels are historical mysteries and Stefanie is living out her dream, it makes perfect sense for her to say:

Writing the past, living the present.

Like Stefanie, Brian Freeman made a splash right out of the gate with his debut novel IMMORAL. It was nominated for an Edgar, Dagger, Anthony and Barry award. It took home the Macavity Award. While IMMORAL was Brian's debut published novel, it definitely wasn't his first. He started his love of writing crime fiction in the sixth grade. He saw his dreams come to fruition with publication of IMMORAL 30 years later. This year, Brian published his fifth Lieutenant Stride novel with THE BURYING PLACE.

I'm going to share with you Brian's memoir and the do something a little different than our norm. In conversations we had about his memoir I asked him to give us a little background. He was gracious enough to do so and I have that to share with you. So first, Brian says:

Donna picked Venice. I picked Duluth?

How apropos after the Detectives Around the World theme week? And I think it hits on the value of setting in crime fiction, but here's what Brian had to share with us about Duluth:

Why a remote locale like Duluth? I think extremes enrich drama, and Duluth has a wonderful combination of extreme elements. Obviously, Minnesota is known for its bitter winter weather, and weather plays an important role in most of my books – just as it does in the daily lives of Minnesotans. But there are other qualities about Duluth and Minnesota that enhance the depth of a mystery. There is a rich natural environment here, from the Great Lake to the northern wilderness encroaching from Canada. This locale gives Duluth a frontier feel, as if it is always beating back the forces of nature. There’s also a sense of faded glory about Duluth. In the old days, this was a wealthy town, where huge fortunes were made on iron ore. That’s all gone, and it’s now a city of perpetual economic struggle. Its glamorous past gives the region a sense of sorrowfulness that meshes with the dark, emotional quality of my books. I don’t write urban, big city drama; I write psychological drama at an intimate level, driven by emotions and secrets. Duluth and Minnesota provide a wonderful backdrop for that kind of personal mystery.”

Perfect! Many thanks to Brian for that extra tidbit to enhance this week's six-word memoir post.

And today we'll wrap up with another attorney and award-winning author. As an attorney Scott Turow has been on both sides of the courtroom. He served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago after graduating with honors from Harvard Law School. Today he's a partner in a Chicago law firm and has done a great deal of pro bono work, including a case that cleared an innocent man who sat on death row for 11 years.

Despite his extensive work in the legal field, Scott never left his first love, writing. Scott received an Edith Mirrielees Fellowship to the Stanford University Creative Writing Center after graduating from Amherst College in 1970. In 1987 he published PRESUMED INNOCENT, his first novel. He's since published eight additional novels, including the sequel to PRESUMED INNOCENT; INNOCENT was released earlier this month.

In addition to his novels, Scott has published two non-fiction works and continues to publish essays and op-ed pieces in various publications.

As if all this lawyering and writing wasn't enough to keep him busy, Scott also remains active in organizations that promote literacy, education and legal rights. He's serving as the Author's Guild president for the second time, his first presidency being 1997-1998. And he performs with the Rock Bottom Remainders. You may remember them from when Ridley Pearson shared his memoir.

Scott Turow has obviously made a big impact in many realms. He is an amazing part of the crime fiction community and we're fortunate to have a part of his legacy here. And while he was slightly over on the six-word part, I think we can grant Scott a little leeway, especially when his memoir is:

Even when life's good, it's not easy.

Isn't that the truth? We're all glad Scott Turow and all of our authors today chose to fight it out and contribute to the world of crime fiction. Please join me in thanking these authors for their wonderful memoirs.

I don't know. This pace may be hard to maintain. All these great crime fiction writers! Check back next week and see if I can keep up with this star power.

For today, though, if the desire so strikes you, you can join me over at the Kittling Books Blog where little ole me is featured on the Scene of the Blog. I've opened the bat cave so you can all see where the mischief is taking place! See ya there!

Happy Reading!

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Kay May 26, 2010 at 7:28 AM  

Jen, this is a great trio! Two I've not read but mean to and one I started reading long ago. Thanks as ever for these great features!

I'll be over to see the Bat Cave!!

Naomi Johnson May 26, 2010 at 9:57 AM  

A really stellar line-up today!

Dorte H May 26, 2010 at 3:32 PM  

I just came over from Cathy´s blog. I think I´ll have to keep an eye on your blog :D

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