Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Trumpet fanfare please as we welcome...LISA GARDNER!

Jeanne: A huge Romance Bandits welcome to my friend, New York Times bestselling suspense author Lisa Gardner. I’m a big fan – fan girl squeal here… - and am thrilled that Lisa has agreed to join us today.

Lisa: Thanks! I’m so happy to be here. I’ll confess, this is my first blogging experience, but everyone speaks so highly of the Romance Bandits, I figured I’d be brave and give it a try. Thanks again for inviting me!

Jeanne: Lisa, I know your first book to hit bestseller status was The Other Daughter, and The Killing Hour was your first NYTime lister, but the latest paperback, Hide, also hit the lists, didn’t it? And your latest hardcover, Say Goodbye is flying off the shelves.

Lisa: The Other Daughter was my second paperback novel, and my first book to hit the list (all the others have followed suit). I was standing outside with my new puppy, trying to get him to pee, when my editor called with the great news. So I half-talked with her, half-begging my puppy to please do his business so I could go inside and uncork champagne. It was a funny afternoon. Oh, and yeah, I think The Killing Hour was the first hardcover to hit. You know, I can’t remember.

Jeanne: I was thinking about your heroine, Kimberly Quincy, a determined FBI veteran, coming from a family of FBI agents. I was wondering if she might be willing to pop in for a chat as well. What do you think?

Lisa: Hey, Kimberly? Can you spare a few minutes to chat?

Kimberly: Sure, what’s up?

Jeanne: Hi Kimberly, I’m Jeanne from the Romance Bandits. I was wondering how you’re feeling, now that you’ve managed to get through Say Goodbye? You were pregnant throughout the investigation, that must have been challenging.

Kimberly: Please, pregnancy is easy. Working for the bureau, not so easy. Trying to talk to my father, harder still. And then, that whole business with spiders…that’s where it got a little impossible. I’m trying to think, in The Killing Hour I had to deal with rattlesnakes. In Say Goodbye, brown recluses and one really p*ssed off supersized tarantula. Spiders, snakes, spiders snakes. Nah, I still have to say, I hate them both.

Jeanne: Ugh, I’m not so afraid of snakes, but the spiders in Say Goodbye…*shudder* So you’re thinking about retiring when…

Kimberly: Never. Can’t do it. It’s in the blood. When my daughter was born, I tried to take up knitting, but every time I saw the needles all I could think of was this case I worked years ago where this sweet old grandmother got tired of her deaf husband screaming at her to fetch him a beer, so she put a knitting needle through his eye. Let’s face it, I’m not PTA material.

Jeanne: Heh-heh-heh. There are several of us, here in the lair who share the sentiment. All of us here at the Lair love a good Call story and a good “how did you meet him?” story. So, you met your husband Mac in Lisa’s The Killing Hour. (Book cover here) Tell us a little bit about that…

Kimberly: (rolling her eyes) Oh please, not that again. Look, so I was roaming Academy ground after hours. Still no good reason for him to sneak up on me like that. Action, reaction, right? He acted, I reacted, and for the record, my reflexes are better than his so I took him out. Got him down with a blade at his throat. ‘Course, then the silly man starts laughing, and trying to steal a kiss. (rolling her eyes again) What in the world are you gonna do with a man like that? Well, marry him, I guess. Hah, that’ll teach him!

Jeanne: Well, I know you have to get your little one down for a nap, thanks for stopping by…will you check in after a bit and see if any of our readers have questions for you?

Kimberly: Sure, I’ll be glad to.

Jeanne: Thanks!

Jeanne: Well, Lisa, that was fabulous! Thanks for letting us get a glimpse into Kimberly and her world. It’s really amazing. Did you just love doing the research for this?

Lisa: Absolutely. I got to visit the FBI Academy for both The Next Accident and The Killing Hour, and it remains one of my favorite places. Just very cool. Lives up to expectation and then some.

Jeanne: How do you structure your day, in terms of writing? I know you have a family, as do many of us, as well as the need to do extensive research that goes into the books you write. I’d love it if you could tell us a bit about that as well.

Lisa: Our house is a pretty noisy chaotic space, so years ago my husband lobbied for me to get an office outside the home. I fought him at the time—thought it would feel very CPA—but he found this great little place that used to be an artist’s studio, very quirky and charming. So now I check e-mail, tend to paperwork for couple of hours at home, then walk to my “writing space.” I have no phone or internet. It’s just me, computer, i-pod and mini fridge. It’s been excellent. I can get more writing done in three hours there than three days at home. So I work until early afternoon, then it’s off to pick up my child from school.

Jeanne: Wow, I would love to have a separate studio, I have to confess. But it would take some getting used to. How wonderful too that your husband is that supportive. I guess I should ask you one of those writerly questions...hmmm...let's see....What’s your favorite part of the writing process?

Lisa: I still love the research, being able to discover something cool and unusual. Fortunately, forensics is advancing in leaps and bounds these days, so even when I’ve covered a topic for one book, there’s still something fresh and different to learn for the next. Probably my favorite part of researching Say Goodbye was setting up the crime scene. How the bodies were disposed, what would be the implications for decomp, how to make it even scarier, etc., etc. I worked with a great woman from the Body Farm on the scene, and she was just a blast to talk to. The things she’d done, the cases she’d worked on. I’d really like to visit some day. Nothing says family vacation quite like a visit to the Body Farm, right?

Jeanne: Lordy, you’re a woman after my own heart, girl. (Cassondra, let’s adopt her, shall we?) Lisa, it’s been a pleasure to have you and Kimberly visit with us, now, do you have a question for our readers?

Lisa: I’m always looking to the future for Kimberly. Now that she’s tackled snakes and spiders, what challenge should she take on next? Vampire bats? Soccer moms? Maybe I should give her a minivan…

Jeanne: Oh, my gosh! Giving her a minivan might send her into apoplexy. Snicker. Mac would probably soup it up and make sure it could move, knowing what kinds of situations Kimberly gets into. Ha! Our Bandits and Buddies can come up with some great suggestions, for sure.
Hey, everyone, Lisa’s graciously giving away a signed copy of both Hide and Say Goodbye to one lucky poster, so…*rubbing hands together* let’s get started shall we?


flchen1 said...

Aack! What's with the spiders?!

Natalie Hatch said...

ah ha flchen you're fast

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

spiders,big hairy spiders! I come early expecting the GR and I get spiders, ::::Dianna going back to bed now:::::

Helen said...

Well done flchen he really likes your place must be a great place to visit

I take it the whole post isn't up yet must be blogger. Spiders they don't bother me that much but I wouldn't like them on me sounds interesting I will pop back later to read the whole post.

Have Fun

Anna Sugden said...

Congrats Flchen.

Huge welcome to Lisa - one of my absolute favourite thriller writers!

Umm the spiders are because of Lisa's AWESOME new book "Say, Goodbye". *shiver*.

I won't give any spoilers, but I will tell you to rush out and get a copy. Then set aside time to read it. It's a fantastic thriller - you won't be able to put it down! Even if, at times, you're reading through your fingers because it's so tense!

But then, I love all of the Quincy series. Yes, total fan girl moment. *g*

Terry Odell said...

When I interviewed for a job as Outreach Coordinator at the Miami zoo, I got the question, "You'd have to deal with snakes. Would that be a problem?"
I told him no, I had no trouble with snakes, but asked if they also used spiders. An 8 foor python didn't bother me, but I would have had serious problems having to do show and tell with a tarantula. Or one of those giant hissing cockroaches. For me, the snakes in the first Indiana Jones movie were ok, but I really had trouble in that room full of bugs in the second.

Anna Sugden said...

Oh me too, Terry. Even being in the same room with a spider freaks me out. Having a pet tarantula, like Lisa's daughter ... ugh.

Terry Odell said...

Anna, the scariest thing that happened (recently) was one night, I was home alone, and in bed, and there was a spider--the 1-2 inch kind, not the eensy-weensy one--on the pillow next to me. Hubby was out of town. I kept my cool and went into the bathroom for a paper towel to scoop it up with (wasn't going to get spider guts on the bedding) and when I came back about 5 seconds later, it was GONE! I looked all over. Took the bedcovers off. Searched high and low. Normally, I'd have admitted my wussiness and gone into the guestroom, but we had guests! We never have guests! So I found some bug spray the exterminator had inadvertently left behind and sprayed under the bed like crazy. Sleep did NOT come easy.

And the next morning, when I went to remake the bed, I did find it, all curled up and dead.

Now, I think spiders play an important role in the ecosystem. I don't usually smash them. If they want to live in my house, they can, but up near the ceiling catching mosquitos or whatever else they go for. I just don't want them in my bed.

Minna said...

If I see a spider inside the house I pick the nearest book and slam it to death. Unless it looks unusually fat. The last time I slammed a fat spider lots little spiders came out of it. In that case I just hope it stays where it is while I go find a glass and a piece of paper so that I could throw it outside.

Maureen said...

I hate spiders and they are so sneaky because when I see one and scream for my husband to come kill it when he appears the stupid thing is always gone.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Warning, technical difficulty...HI everyone! I'm in Texas instead of my usual DC this morning. I loaded up the blog last night and instead of the completed interview, it posted my draft...GO ahead and get the conversation started...which you already have, I'll post as soon as I can!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

This is embarrsassing....Lisa if you sign on, I promise, I'm NOT a technological idiot..not totally

Louisa Cornell said...

Duchesse, this looks like something I would post. TECHNO IDIOT HERE! I am sure you are far more savvy than me so we will just mutter and swear at the blogger!

Uhm, Excuse me, Fedora. AGAIN??? Why don't you two just pick out a china pattern?

Okay, I am cracking up at all these arachnophobes!! Actually, I am paged at least once a week to the vision center in our Wal-Mart because the ladies that work there are TERRIFIED of bugs. I have captured and released to the wild any number of crickets, grasshoppers and spiders for them.

I have had tarantulas and Madagascar hissing cockroaches as well as a number of really neat large stick insects (praying mantis) as pets. I used to take my menagerie of creepy pets - snakes, lizards, frogs, toads, turtles and insects out to schools to do conservation education programs.

The thing about having creepies as pets is you ALWAYS want to know where they are! An empty tarantula cage is NOT FUNNY!

You have to be very cautious when handling them as they have little hairs on their legs that they shed. If you rub your face after handling one those hairs can get in your eye causing a serious infection.

Lisa, I love your books. Scare the crap out of me! But I love 'em. I try not to read them at night as I live alone in the middle of nowhere!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Wheeeeeeee! I did it! Lord help us, I feel like such a dooofus. Lisa I do hope you didn't see the drek that appeared first thing this morning... Grins. It's all pretty now

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Louisa, I'm thinking I'm not visiting with you if you have hissing cockroaches...

BTW, Fedora, congratso on the GR. He coule be our hero when it comes to spiders...I believe GR's would EAT spiders. Fedora, please pat him for me in honor of his protective abilities.

Terry, I'd've had to SO turn down that job. And urk on the spider in the bed.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Minna, eeeeek on the smash resulting in baby spiders...

Rebekah E. said...

Thanks for the great interview. The spiders give me the creeps though. I'm so scared of them I can't even get close enough to kill them. My 9 year old son does for me if he is home. If not I just close the door and hope it stays there until someone can kill it.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Louisa, I am SO snorking about the GR and Fedora picking out a china pattern...

jo robertson said...

What a great interview, Lisa (and alter-ego Kimberly) and Jeanne! Great job and welcome to the Lair, Lisa. We feel honored that you've chosen the Banditas to embark on your virgin blogging journey.

I hope Kimberly returns for a comment or two. She sounds like a crusty kind of gal.

Congrats on capturing the rooster, Fedora; don't let him get bitten by a poisonous spider or snake LOL.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Morning Jo! I had SUCH a moment of panic when I realized things hadn't posted properly.

Anna Sugden said...

Louisa - you never fail to amaze me!

Oh wow - Kimberly is in the Lair! Another fan girl moment. *g* She terrifies me, she's so good at what she does. But I love her personality! (we won't mention adoring her hubby - she'd beat me to a pulp!)

Lisa - I've been a huge fan since your days as a category writer. And your talk on 'writing bigger' was awesome - helped me enormously!

I have a question about Kimberly - she seems to have been the first of the new breed of heroines (like Grace from Saving Grace and Brenda Lee Johnson in The Closer) who could be tough to like, because she's so strong, but who we end up rooting for. How did you develop such an interesting and complex character? And was it a risk having such a strong heroine?

Anna Sugden said...

Oh and how do you cope with your daughter's pet tarantula?! *shudder*

jo robertson said...

I do have a few questions for you, Lisa.

First of all, huge high-five for the separate office. I'm drooling over that possibility.

You mentioned the Body Farm, which I find incredibly interesting. Are people actually able to visit it or is that just a pipe dream?

Your female protagonists sound very aggressive (I'm thinking taking down a man and holding a knife to his neck). Do you find it difficult to balance the tough female FBI agent aspect with the character's femininity?

jo robertson said...

Good question, Anna. While we were watching The Closer last night, I commented on how Brenda (aka Kyra Sedgewick) has changed during the series' course. In fact, she's become more squeally, more emotional, and less rationale, which I personally don't like.

Lisa, do you think your readers want Kimberly to remain rather hard-boiled or would they like to see her a little bit of a victim of her hormones (and chocolate, of course!)?

jo robertson said...

I've always found alligators and crocodiles wickedly fascinating. How about pitting Kimberly against one of those, Lisa?

Donna MacMeans said...

Lisa -

Just wanted to say thanks for your RWA workshops, although I found it hard to take notes while still driving my car (big grin). Still great info & much needed motivation there.

flchen1 said...

Yikes at all the truly cringe-worthy spider moments--the GR is currently sweeping through the house on an inspection tour... hopefully he'll take care of any obvious ones this morning! *keeping my fingers crossed*
Louisa, no china patterns yet, LOL!

Lisa, I haven't read your books yet, but thanks for taking the time to visit and give such a terrific interview! Kimberly does NOT sound like the minivan type! Glad you've found a writing time/place that works! Write on! :)

Anna Sugden said...

Hmm Jo - as a huge Closer fan, I'm not sure I like the sound of that (don't know when the series airs over here). Brenda has always been such a fantastically complex character - with just the right touch of emotion.

I found Grace an interesting character too - very hard to like at first and yet hard not to admire her and cheer her on.

Anna Sugden said...

As someone with her very own office at long last (huge squeal of joy!) I can highly recommend it! How cool on having your own office outside of the home, Lisa.

Cassondra said...

Hi Lisa, and a HUGE welcome to the lair!

I hope Jeanne told you about the Golden Rooster--he's all the rage around here. First poster gets him for the day and he's...well...I'm afraid he's not the most faithful chap. Tends to have everyone chasing after him and I fear he'll never settle down.

Great interview, and I especially love that Kimberly came to visit too.

On your own writing space, I honestly don't know if I could do it. I don't have kids, so could have the whole house to myself--just me and my cat--to write when I have days off--but I kind of lose it and need to be around people so I end up going to Panera or a coffee shop more often than not. Even with stuff going on around me I can get more done there, which makes no sense.

Have you always been a "totally alone" kind of writer--so the office space worked immediately--or did you have to get used to the solitude?

I also wanted to say I've enjoyed your "writing bigger" workshop a few years ago. Very helpful.

And Jeanne and I--we're the evil twins of the lair as far as the gruesome stuff. I'm not that far from the Body Farm so if you guys ever decide to make a trip down here, let me know. I'll meet you there and I'd love it. I do Search & Rescue with dogs so their work and research has been invaluable to us in knowing what we're looking for when we're searching.

p226 said...

Neat! It's a small world. Or maybe you writer types exist in a small world. Or maybe you're just so close-knit that it seems that way.

I'm sure Lisa has no clue at all who I am, but I've spoken with her on the phone helping with some research. Oddly enough, that research/help request came through work, not the Banditas. And then Lisa pops up in the lair.

Small. World.

I don't think I ever shared the conversation that I had with my wife about you. It went like this:

*p226 reads email requesting research assistance and looks over to wife*

"Hey, have you ever heard of Lisa Gardner?"

"The author?"

"Yeah, the email says she's a bestseller or something."

*wife points at bookshelf with several books featuring LISA GARDNER on the spine*

"That Lisa Gardner?"

"Hmm... must be. I'll respond to this email then."

"Yes. Yes you will."

Cassondra said...

Louisa, snakes don't bother me either. I can hold a snake no problem. Love Praying Mantis bugs. I'm a gardener and they're really helpful. And cool to watch.

Neither snakes NOR spiders bother my husband. He's always "saving" the spiders who are in the house. Spiders have always creeped me out though. I've progressed to the point that I can let the eensy teensy jumping spiders crawl on my hand. But the bigger ones? Nuh-uh. Nope. Nada. NOT.

Brother in Law had a pet tarantula, and I watched it catch and eat a mouse once. Couldn't get the image out of my head for weeks. Not gonna watch a tarantula hunt ever again.

Cassondra said...

P226 said:

"That Lisa Gardner?"

"Hmm... must be. I'll respond to this email then."

"Yes. Yes you will."

Snork! And what he didn't say is that he emailed me and said, "You know anything about a Lisa Gardner?"

Me: "Lisa Gardner the writer?"

Him: "Yeah. She has some research questions."

Me: "Say yes."

Him: "How do writers keep finding me?"

Me: "It's a disease."

p226 said...

Me: "It's a disease."


You did say that. I kind of boggled when I read in the first time. This time though, you caused me to choke on my coffee.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Rebekah, I'm with you on the spider whacking. I'll put 'em outside if I can, but...

Jo, I agree with you abour Brenda. I do NOT like the squeal. I've been wondering if they got a new, more irritating writer on the show...

Lisa Gardner said...

Hi all! Thanks for the warm welcome! I just set up my first blogging account. I feel very modern. That will last until the first technical difficulty, in which case I'm done for.

Jeanne, thanks so much for inviting me hear and getting the interview up. It all looks great to me. And yes, those spider pictures are scary. I really don't like spiders, which is why I put them in SAY GOODBYE. Figure if they scare me, then why not scare you?

All right, I will try to answer some questions.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

OMGosh, P226, that is SO Small World! TOo cool.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Lisa said: which is why I put them in SAY GOODBYE. Figure if they scare me, then why not scare you?

And THIS would be why we love you dear!


Lisa Gardner said...

Anna: You asked if it was a risk to write such a tough heroine as Kimberly. I don't think so. As you pointed out with the TV shows, I think audiences are very accepting and even excited by the concept of the alpha heroine. I think it all goes back to Sigourney Weaver's character in Aliens. Face it, Ripley is awesome and set the stage for the rest of us.

I did worry about one scene in SG where Kimberly gets physical with a suspect. It's very visceral, not professional, but I felt it worked and readers get her as a person, so they'd go with it. Dunno. I just write a lot and hope it all works out in the end...grins...

Lisa Gardner said...


I'm not sure civilians can get into the Body Farm. Least I haven't figured it out. They offer courses for law enforcement, but apparently, not for suspense authors...grins...

You know, I never worry about Kimberly's feminine side. I guess I view some of her darkness as being very feminine, she fears for her family, for society, for her unborn child. She wants the world to be a better place. She wants her husband to love her, but she also wants to do what she wants to do. It's all quintessentially female to me in this day and age. Mabye it's not so much a question of worrying about your heroine's femininity, as making sure your hero's tough enough to handle her.

Lisa Gardner said...

Jo asked if readers wanted to see Kimberly hard-boiled or a victim of her hormones. You guys can tell me, but I think readers prefer her hard boiled. That's what makes her fun.

Lisa Gardner said...

p226: What research did you help me do? Thank you again and your wife is clearly a smart woman, with very good taste...grins...

Cassondra said...

Lisa said:

....She wants her husband to love her, but she also wants to do what she wants to do. It's all quintessentially female to me in this day and age. Mabye it's not so much a question of worrying about your heroine's femininity, as making sure your hero's tough enough to handle her.

I love all of this description, and particularly the description of the necessary hero. This is who strong women are. Complex. Brilliant job of character creation. And as to the question of hardboiled or a victim of hormones....NO CONTEST. She should remain who she is. Tough lady.

Louisa Cornell said...

Hey, Lisa, thanks for making me sleep with the lights on on several occasions. My brothers kidded me about it until I got them to read Hide. Then they shut up. Let THEM sleep with the lights on for a change!

My late husband was a prison psychiatrist and was interviewed by the FBI a couple of times. It was so hard for him to do his job as he had to listen to what these people had done, analyze it, live with it and he could not discuss it with anyone. Did you get the chance to talk with any FBI profilers and do they have problems living with that sort of thing? Roger was such a great, happy guy, but on occasion I would find him sitting in his home office in the dark just thinking.

I have always wanted to visit the body farm. I am fascinated by the whole concept. I worked in a funeral home for a while and those guys know a lot more about forensic stuff than you would think.

Hmm. A challenge for Kimberly, who I think can take on just about anything (except maybe a minivan - shudder) How about a story involving dog fighting? She would have to deal with dogs who have been driven mad and trained to kill by creatures who are a waste of human flesh and not worthy of the name "men." Sorry, but it is a real sore spot with me. I have helped to bust some dog fighting rings and seen what these people do to these poor animals.

I have had to help decide which dogs are sent to rescue groups and which are euthanized because there is no hope for them. For some reason I have a way with really pissed off vicious dogs and it is heartbreaking to know that if I can't put my hands on the dog, the sheriff or some other official says it has to be put down. That is one of the reasons I don't do that part of it anymore. It hurts too much.

However, I will admit that facing down a pit bull or other fighting dog that has no desire other than to eat you alive can be VERY intimidating (pee your pants intimidating!) I am sure Kimberly could handle it and I would love to see her try. Not to mention the trauma it might cause if Mac decides their daughter needs a pet dog!!

Another interesting animal "villain" is any form of monitor lizard. There are some really scary varieties and they can grow to in excess of six feet with some really hefty weight on them. They can lock onto a human appendage and nothing short of death can get them off. Of course I had one lock onto me and a few drops of Jack Daniels in his mouth did the trick. Passed right out, poor fella. The most fierce monitor lizard is the Komodo dragon and while it is an endangered species and is not supposed to be privately owned we ARE talking about villains here. Komodos bite the victim and then track it for days waiting for the virulent bacteria from its bite to finally kill it. That is how something that moves so slowly can kill things that move very quickly. All it takes is one good bite.

Okay, I'm going to stop before I give myself nightmares!

Anna Sugden said...

Definitely hard-boiled. Kimberly is a character you're drawn to again and again because she is so intriguing. ROFL about K and a minivan!

P226 - how totally cool!! LOL about your wife. I can just picture the scene.

My hubby is a spider saver too. *sigh* And boy do we have some biggies in our new home.

Anna Sugden said...

Louisa - Isn't Hide fab?! Hugs on the fighting dogs - I can see how hard that must be.

Actually, I think the contrast of K taking on a scary criminal and the scary mothers of her local mother and baby group would be great. LOL.

Cassondra said...

Anna Sugden said:

ROFL about K and a minivan!

You know, a minivan is no small foe for some of us to defeat. I recently got my first minivan, and my husband has been trying to help in my efforts to de-momify it. (I'm not a mom, for those who don't know).

Suggestions have ranged from a machine gun turret on the roof (you think that would do it?) to a soccer ball emblem overlaid with those bullet hole stickers, to a sticker that says "Stay back 100 feet or you will be shot" in English and Arabic--like the ones used for military vehicles.

We non-girly girls don't much like driving minivans. (sigh)

Big enough to haul search dogs amd gear, good gas mileage. What can I say? It was forced upon me.

I bet Kimberly would HATE it.

p226 said...

p226: What research did you help me do? Thank you again and your wife is clearly a smart woman, with very good taste...grins...

We certainly agree on her brains and taste! *g*

I helped you out with some computer research stuffs. Systems forensics. Which reminds of a question I originally meant to ask... When is that book due out again? I need to make sure I grab a copy.

p226 said...

Hahaha... on the minivan thing.

My wife said that if we ever get a minivan, she'll hang a certain portion of my anatomy from the mirror like a pair of fuzzy dice. Since I clearly wouldn't have need for them anymore.

jo robertson said...

P226, how cool is that!!??

jo robertson said...

Uh, my "cool" comment was about answering a research question for Lisa, NOT danging anatomy parts from the rear-view window LOL.

Thanks, Lisa, I was rather afraid the Body Farm would be a no-go for us civilians. Humph!

Cassondra said...

Jo said:

I was rather afraid the Body Farm would be a no-go for us civilians. Humph!

Well...it's all about knowing somebody ya know?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Louisa, I'm with you on the dog fighting issue.

Then again, dangling body parts aside, it is SO hard to feel cool in a mini-van. As one who's been driving one since before kids - show dogs and gear go better in minvans - I sure would love a way to "cool-it-up" I like the gun turret idea. Heh-heh-heh.

Of course, Kimberly might find nothing so terrifying as suburbia in a minivan. Ha!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Fedora, he's back with you! Whoo-hoo! Lisa, just popping in from my writing cave to say wow, fantastic to have you here on the Banditas. Thank you for dipping your blog toe in the blog water with us. Hope you're having a great time! Have another margarita (just don't trust Jeanne to mix it - her cocktails pack a kick like THREE mules!). And huge congratulations on all the success!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Mwah-ha-ha! Cocktails and spiders in the Lair! Woohooo! Okay, Cassondra - our resident expert on bar drinks - is there a spider-bar drink?

BTW, for those of you who've read Say Goodbye, isn't it chilling? Whew! As with Hide, I had to put it down several times and "walk away from the spiders" and "walk away from the killer" :>

And me a hardened body disposal expert and suspense writer. Snork! Obviously, NOT so hardened...very suggestible, in fact. Grins.

Jane said...

Hi Lisa,
Kimberly sounds like a fascinating character. What or who was your inspiration for the character?

Beth said...

Lisa, thanks so much for visiting the lair! I too love your workshops and all the great information you share *g*

Susan Seyfarth said...

Hi, Lisa! Thanks for joining us in the lair today! And thanks, Jeanne, for bringing her by!

I love it that your alpha heroine hates spiders. Personally, I have a problem with snakes. But spiders are a little more prevalent around here. I had to stop running mid-jog yesterday when my five-year-old all but exploded in the jog stroller insisting there was a spider in her seat & she could FEEL IT ON HER BUM!

Flurry of activity, much panting, cursing & gnashing of teeth, no spider.

I considered it exercise & recommenced my run.

Bottom line? Spiders are scary. But so are five year olds. You said your heroine was preggers? Toddlers. That's the next terrifying thing to conquer. :-) Let's see her with a pack of kindergarteners & see how tough she is.

Helen said...

Great interview Ladies
These books sound very exciting spiders snakes WOW
The research must be amazing so many things to learn
Kimberly sounds like one very strong Lady ( I loved the way she handled her husband) I am sure she could handle anything you threw her way and I am sure you are going to come up with something really good I am sure Louisa has some great ideas.

Congratulations on the books Lisa

Have Fun

Louisa Cornell said...

ROFLMAO at Susan! Smoov, you said a mouthful! A pack of five year olds SCARES ME TO DEATH!! Give me a pack of pissed off pit bulls with saddlebags full of snakes and spiders any day!

catslady said...

Oh goodness, spiders, snakes and minivans lol. Great blog today - I really enjoyed it along with a lot of Lisa's books!!

Virginia said...

Welcome Lisa! We love your books so keep on writing.

Cassondra said...

Jeanne, there are indeed drinks called by those names.

There's a Spider, a White Spider (more than one version) a Green Spider, and a...drum roll please.....Black Widow.

Marisa O'Neill said...

Hi Lisa!
May I just say to both you and Jeanne - what a great interview! As a reader and lover of your books it was such a blast to have Kimberly make an appearance and get some 'insight' into her world 'off book'.

Well Done, thank you.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

See, I knew Cassondra would know about the drinks. What's in a Black Widow?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Smoov, I had to LOL about the spider/stroller story. Arrrgh.

I have kids, and a pack of 5 year olds would scare me too, Louisa. Of course, all I can think about when I think of that scenario is Arnold Schwarzenegger in Kindergarten Cop. "It was Hawwwwwible!"

Hey Marisa! Great to see you today! Hi Virginia, Catslady and Helen.

BTW, I also forgot to say an early hello to Natalie and Vrai Anna! You got to see the post when it was all spiders...heehee

ArkieRN said...

Hi Lisa!
Great interview. I love your books but uck *shudder* on the creepy-crawlies in them. I can live with spiders - just not too close. Skin privileges are out. If they come that close they get whacked.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Arkiern! Love your baby icon. What a cutie.

I agree w/ you about skin privledges. (funny way to put it too!) *WHACK!* Don't crawl on me!

Lisa Gardner said...

I'm back! Sorry I was out so long; afternoon kind of blew up. But I have so enjoyed winding down by reading all the kind posts. Thanks so much and I love that everyone enjoys Kimberly's hard-boiled ways.

Louisa: I've never interviewed an FBI profiler, but I do have a good friend who does profiling as a consultant to various law enforcement agencies. He's the kindest, sunniest person you ever met. Like you'd never guess his day job. He's also a total family guy. I asked him one day how he did it, and his answer was, "compartmentalization. Total and complete compartmentalization." Have to say, he's definitely a pro.

Oh, and I loved your idea of having K take on dog-fighting! That's a hot button for me, too. Hugs on your hard job. I used to volunteer on our local non kill shelter, and some of those stories broke my heart. I'd love to see what K could to demolish a dog fighting ring. Sometimes fiction is much more satisfying than real life...which, of course, is why we read.

Lisa Gardner said...

Cassondra: Loved the "de-mommifying" of the minivan. I can totally see K with a minivan with the machine gun turret. How cool would that be? grins...

Lisa Gardner said...

p226: Hey, I know you! Thanks again for the superb help on computer forensics. I never knew geek speak could be so cool.

p226 helped me with my '09 release, DON'T MAKE A SOUND. A young beautiful mother disappears in the middle of the night, leaving behind her four-year old daughter as the only witness and her enigmatic husband as the prime suspect.

And then bad things happen. Fun! grins...

Lisa Gardner said...

Jane: You asked for the inspiration behind Kimberly. I'm trying to think. She started out as simply the daughter of Quincy, a chip off the old block. I never really planned a whole series, it just happened. She starts in THE NEXT ACCIDENT, as an overwhelmed college student trying to deal with the loss of her family. So she was more vulnerable then, the damsel in distress. But she was also discoverying how tough she could be, that she was more than her father's daughter.

So then I decided on THE KILLING HOUR, and pairing her with Mac. It's almost like the hero formed the heroine. As he pushed, I discovered facets in her I didn't know either.

I'm not sure. I work at plot--study, research, outline. Character for me just happens. My only guiding principal is balance--even the worst evil perpetrator has at least one redeeming quality, and even a perfect saint has an unseemly side. It's that kind of contrast that makes us all interesting. I think for K, she appears hard and cynical, yet she must be optimistic. There would be no point to her job if she didn't believe that good could triumph over evil. And that redeems her. No matter how aggressive she seems, you know she only wants the world to be a better place, somehow.

Lisa Gardner said...

Susan: LOL on tough toddlers. I think the biggest challenge I could probably give K is a 2 to 5-year old with K's own stubborn streak. How fun would that be? Hmmm...okay, minivan with gun turrets, opinionated toddler and one dog-fighting ring. We do have the makings of a great novel! grins...

Lisa Gardner said...

Cassondra: I second the question--what's in a black widow? No reason, of course. Just asking...

Lisa Gardner said...

Thanks again for the warm reception everyone. I'll check back tomorrow if there are more questions. Then, unfortunately, I'm on the road.

Joan said...

Oh,lovely. Talk about spiders and here I sit in the DArK in KENTUCKY from a HURRICANE and can't see a *^%%% thing including my bed covers.

Who's going to sleep tonight?

Lisa, I had to work on top of the power outage so so sorry not to have been here sooner. Welcome and now that you've been with the BAnditas you can't go back :-)

And p226 meeting Lisa again?

It's a sign! Can't tell you exactly what of, but it means something like submit your writing

Louisa Cornell said...

Lisa wrote : okay, minivan with gun turrets, opinionated toddler and one dog-fighting ring. We do have the makings of a great novel! grins...

Hey, I like it!!

And yes p226, why should we all have to suffer the torture of submitting our work while you sit back and relax? Get to it, buddy!

I think your profiling friend had it right, Lisa. My dh was very good at compartmentalizing his life most of the time. Every now and again it would leak over, but not much. Tough job.

The thing about dog fighting rings is the operate in a carnival like atmosphere with entire families attending. This is most prevalent in Louisiana, but there are plenty of low-lifes here in Alabama too. The dog fighting in and of itself is bad, but it is usually paired with any number of other illegal activities such as meth labs, other drug dealing, marijuana "plantations," prostitution, gambling and even illegal gun sales.

I have been fortunate that the guys we busted went away for a very long time on the other charges. And I no longer live in that area!

Cassondra said...

Lisa and Jeanne:

A Black Widow is made with Absolut Citron and Black Sambuca.

It sounds disgusting actually, though I might be surprised.

I had to look this one up. I'd heard of it but didnt' know the ingredients and have never seen it poured or asked for. Citrus flavored vodka and aniseed liqueur .....ick.

Cassondra said...

Lisa thanks so much for visiting with us!

It's been great hearing how Kimberly came to be--and getting to meet her right here in the lair. Like someone said, once you're here, you are one of us, so come on back any time.