Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Favorite Interviews Part Two

I interviewed Kathy Brandt three years ago about her Caribbean mysteries and her underwater crime scene investigator, Hannah Sampson. Kathy made the ocean's depths seem very fascinating.

Sean Chercover's awards keep rolling in, and in 2008 he talked with me about writing, baseball, and the word "dudgeon."

Mark Coggins and I share a love for Raymond Chandler's THE LONG GOODBYE. But Coggins took his love of Chandler all the way to Oxford, where he viewed some original manuscripts, including some pages from that now-famous mystery novel. Coggins himself has been compared, as a writer, to both Chandler and Dashiell Hammett.

Because Michael A. Black knows martial arts, I obsessed over his ability to beat people up; but he revealed himself as more of a pacifist. He assured me that "tough really isn't so much about muscle as it is about mental strength." I will have to keep that in mind.

D.C. Brod is a fan of another famous writer: John D. MacDonald. She spoke of his influence on her writing, but also of her fascination with crows and Arthurian mythology.

Jane Cleland's antique-themed mysteries are quite popular, and in her interview she revealed that her expertise came from ownership of her own antiques and rare book shop. But Cleland is an entrepreneur who is a practiced public speaker as well as a mystery writer.

Susan Wittig-Albert's mysteries have made her famous, but she has a PhD and once lived the life of an academic, until she got "fed up with academic politics" and quit her professorial gig.

Aside from telling me about his popular New Jersey mysteries, the wonderful John Dandola was entreated by me to explain why Queen sang "Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the fandango?" He is also an expert on the Vikings. :)

Bill Cameron, in the first of my two interviews with him (the other is at Poe's Deadly Daughters), was kind enough to explain the lure of sushi and why he once made his daughter pose as a dead body.

The great Barbara D'Amato used to be a tiger-handler. That is one of many fascinating things she revealed in our 2006 interview.

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