Friday, November 25, 2011

Crime Fiction's Sexiest Authors of 2011 - Part 2

As I mentioned on Wednesday with Part 1 of this project, I started mulling over this idea when I read the post You Know You're an English Major If... and saw the identifier, "You consider authors to be sex symbols." And with People Magazine having their Sexiest Male issue and weighing in on their Sexiest choices, I decided now would be a good time to bring my own choices to the blog.

However, I'm going to veer a bit from People and Salon because I'm also choosing the Sexiest Women of Crime Fiction. To make my choices here, I thought about those women I'd love to be. Who have characteristics I admire and yes, even envy...but not in a bad way, I promise.

So, mirroring the categories for the men, here are my choices for Crime Fiction's Sexiest Women. Note, I asked the ladies to send me a very unsexy picture to use with this project, and while I think they all still look quite sexy, many of them had fun with this. So here we go...enjoy!


Curlers are the new sexy, right?

I just can't imagine not choosing Christa Faust for this category. Some might argue the athlete part of the category since she's not running marathons or boxing or whatnot, but gosh darn it she keeps herself in shape and I'd much rather run into a marathon runner in a dark alley than a pissed off Christa Faust! Just kidding. Beyond those model good looks, she's a genuinely wonderful person. I admit to having been completely intimidated until I met her. And now I'm just thrilled to know her. She's wicked smart and self-confident and funny. And she's an amazing mama to Noir Dog, Butch.

Christa has a new book due out in February featuring a lesbian PI called BUTCH FATALE; DYKE DICK IN DOUBLE-D DOUBLE CROSS.  The much anticipated follow-up to her multiple-award nominee MONEY SHOT is CHOKE HOLD and now out from Hard Case Crime.


Sophie takes beauty tips from Junior

I don't know how Sophie Littlefield has time to do all that she does! She's raising kids and a dog, taking care of a home, mentoring other writers, and actively publishing THREE series - a crime series, a dystopian series and a YA series. Her writing reflects her wit and spirit, and you need only spend two minutes around her to experience the charm.

Sophie's drive and determination resulted in success in an extremely competitive field. Her talent with words and character netted her an Anthony Award. But it's Sophie's kindness and generosity that have won her the respect of her peers. It's also won her a spot on this list!

Sophie's new book in her dystopian series, HORIZON, is due out in January. And next June will bring the fourth book in her Stella Hardesty series, A BAD DAY FOR MERCY.


Hey! Really? Me? No way!

 I had to do an eenie, meanie, miney, moe for this category because all of these sexy writers are award winners. But Megan Abbott wins out for this one. The Edgar-award-winning author will never fade from my memory because the first time we met in person she said, "You read Bob Crais, right? Can we talk about his books today?" And I've adored her ever since! No, really, Megan is incredibly talented, original and funny. Her books have dark themes but I've never seen Megan when she wasn't bright and energized. I've also never seen Megan speak down to anyone or act as though she doesn't have time for them. Watching her with her fans, she exudes an authentic appreciation of their support and their conversation.

Megan's newest novel, THE END OF EVERYTHING, is garnering a tremendous amount of attention and well deserved accolades. I doubt this one will be overlooked for awards in the coming months.


I'd like to thank the Academy for this sexy award....

None of the women on this list even come close to looking their ages and doesn't that just make you grumble? But how can you grumble at someone as charming and endearing and gracious as Hilary Davidson? Some people in the world you say a silent prayer of thanks to God (or whomever) for bequeathing them talent like Hilary's. You say thanks because they so richly deserve that talent and appreciate it and do wonderful things with it. Hilary is one of those people. And human characteristics don't get any sexier than that.

Hilary's debut novel, THE DAMAGE DONE, won the Anthony Award and Crimespree Award for best first novel. Her second novel, THE NEXT ONE TO FALL, is due out on Valentine's Day.


Watch out! Hank will uncover your secrets!

Hank Phillippi Ryan just wins awards where ever she goes. She's won more Emmy's than she can count on fingers AND toes for her hard-hitting investigative reporting for NBC. And those awards all have to share space with the Anthony, the Macavity and the Agatha Awards for her equally amazing writing.

What really made me positive Hank belonged on my list was her astounding compassion and kindness. And if you ever hear her talk about her husband, now there's the fairy tale romance - true love.

I had communicated with Hank before the first time I met her in Bouchercon. I showed her the scrapbook page with her memoir she submitted and she teared up. I had no intention of making her cry, but boy what a gift she gave me to appreciate it that much. Hank has a heart of gold, and I just think that's sexy beyond compare.

Hank is branching out from her wildly successful Charlotte McNally series next year to publish the first in a new suspense series, THE OTHER WOMAN.

O.k., the final spot on my list goes to....


The reigning queen!

Alafair Burke! It would be far easier for me to say what isn't sexy about Alafair because I couldn't give you anything. I admire her tremendously and consider her one of my heroes. She's smart, clever  and full of life. She's generous, kind and true. Her ability to laugh at herself is endearing and rare. There aren't many people who can do that with ease. And that allows others to be at ease around Alafair. She's human. And DAMN that's just sexy!

I, of course, adore Alafair's love of her French bulldog, Duffer. She takes him to day care, dresses him for Halloween, and collects the home videos of his life.

She doesn't dress her husband for Halloween, but she does treasure him and their life together. 

Years ago now I went to meet Alafair because I was enamored with her writing. I was rewarded with a woman I now admire as so much more than an author. And I don't want to make this sound like I admire her because she's perfect; I don't think that would be real. I do think she's stunning and beautiful inside and out, but I admire Alafair because she's challenged herself throughout her life. She's accomplished so much in a short time and still aspires to accomplish more; I can't wait to see where she is 40 years from now. I aspire to be that happy in my own skin, and I find it quite sexy.

Alafair released her first stand alone novel this year with LONG GONE. She also publishes a series with Assistant Prosecutor Samantha Kincaid and a series with NYC Police Detective Ellie Hatcher.

There you have it! My choices for the Sexiest Women of Crime Fiction in 2011. Now you can weigh in. Who do you think I left off the list? There are many, of course, so I can't wait to hear your choices.

As with Wednesday's group, this post is meant to be fun. I whole-heartedly mean what I've written about the authors, and I received their permission to include them in the post. I hope you've enjoyed it.


Anonymous November 25, 2011 at 12:31 PM  

Yes yes yes! Amazing women. We're so lucky to have these wonderful writers enriching our lives.

Alafair Burke November 25, 2011 at 1:25 PM  


Christa Faust November 25, 2011 at 2:16 PM  

That's CURLERS, not bicep curls! ;-) However, I do hold the current featherweight title in snapping on your mama.

Hilary Davidson November 25, 2011 at 3:33 PM  

This is a wonderful post, Jen, and I'm honored to be included in it! The other writers on this list have knocked me out with their stellar prose time and time again, so it's very cool to see them named as knockouts.

Hank Phillippi Ryan November 25, 2011 at 4:24 PM  

I am laughing with delight and semi-embarassment. (Now when I go undercover again, you'll recognize I'll have to come up with a different disguise.)

Jen, YOU are the winner. And thank you...


Sophie Littlefield November 25, 2011 at 7:08 PM  

gleeful here - can't wait to tell the kids i'm one of the SEXIEST WRITERS ALIVE!!! :) and i do love the company i keep.... thanks jen!

Shane Gericke November 25, 2011 at 11:22 PM  

I am lucky to know them all ... and they indeed ooze sexiness and class. But don't forget to include yourself in that list, Jen!

Kaye Barley November 26, 2011 at 12:18 AM  

LOVE this!!!!! Jen - you are truly the best & keep coming up with the greatest ideas imaginable. I agree with Shane - don't forget to add yourself to the sexiest women list, sweetie.

p.s. - What wonderful pictures you all sent in!

Beth F November 26, 2011 at 9:36 AM  

Loved this (as I said before). Awesome and clever.

Eric Beetner November 30, 2011 at 1:00 AM  

Well, you will get no argument from me.

Michelle December 8, 2011 at 8:10 PM  

Gotta admit, I'm a little crushed that I didn't make this list. I feel like Affleck when Damon was nominated. Oh well, maybe next year...


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