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: 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?