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Burglar series books by Lawrence Block; 238x232

The Burglar Who Solved Crime

New Yorker Bernie Rhodenbarr has a simple credo. He steals from the rich because they have really nice, resaleable stuff. But Bernie has a bad habit of getting involved in murders.

photo, Lawrence Block; x110

Lawrence Block
2016 Interview
The Usual Questions
Burglar series
Matt Scudder series

Go to link; 48x27

Jackie King

answers the Usual Questions

photo, Jackie King; 220x263

Jackie King

Jackie King spent many years in the corporate world and now writes full time. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and entertains herself by murdering, on paper, the people she dislikes. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Tulsa Night Writers.

All nine of King's published books include at least one child and one intelligent animal. The Inconvenient Corpse, first of her Bed & Breakfast series, contains an orphan cat who steals the heart of her heroine.

That novel was born when King asked herself this question: "What would I do if I were stranded in a strange town with no friends and no money? Oh, and why not throw in a corpse - a naked one - in my own bed. Could I survive using just my determination, brains, and moxie?"

Grace Cassidy, the main character in this series, was totally naive when the series started. In each new book she evolves into the person she wants to be.

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

Absolutely. The truth is, everything that happens in my life affects my work. That's the thing I love most about writing. Each person I meet becomes a potential character. That doesn't mean that I'd present them just as they are, but I'd use the part of them that appeals the most to me, whether that trait is good or bad. (I sort of fall in love with my villains.) My own history seems to get blended with my fictional characters. It's so fun to live in your own world and still get to chum around with real folk.

Anytime I meet someone who has enjoyed my work I listen very closely to what they say. And when I meet, or correspond with someone who didn't like my story or some part of it, I listen even more carefully. My ambition is to become the best writer that it's possible for me to be.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

I recently had a young woman tell me that she still rereads one of my novellas. The title was The Spinster, The Orphan And The Pig and it is included in the anthology Statehood Foxy Hens And Murder Most Fowl. The story was set in 1889 Oklahoma at the time of the free land run, and my heroine sets out to buy herself a husband!

My reader, a young woman of about 30, especially loved the hero in this story. Her husband, my dear friend and fellow writer Joshua Danker-Dake said, "How does a guy compete with an imaginary rival?"

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

Like most writers, I was first a reader. There are so many authors I love, and I'm grateful to each one. I'll name the first few that pop into my mind: Louise Penney, Sue Grafton, Anne Perry, and Agatha Christie. Others are Robert Crais, Dennis Lehane, Timothy Hallinan, Dick Francis and Charles Todd.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

Here's where I need to confess that I'm an old gal. Twenty years earlier my choice for both would have been Bradley Cooper or George Clooney. Now, with my calmer libido, on a spaceship I'd want the best pilot/engineer known to NASA. On the elevator - I'll still take George Clooney or Bradley Cooper.

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

Donald Trump.

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

Coffee, licorice, The Bible, and my stuffed Grumpy Cat. But then all writers are a little weird.

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

I began writing after a heartbreaking divorce at 50. I took revenge in a novella titled: Flirting At Fifty. This story is included in the anthology Chik~lit For Foxy Hens. My goal at that time was to become the best writer I could be, and to write every day that it was humanly possible to do so. Those two things are still my primary goals.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

It's odd, but it seems that my whole life goes better when I write. I have no idea why, but I've heard other authors say this same thing. Some days I love writing and some days I'd rather clean the cat's litter box than turn on my computer. But I'm still happier on those days I write. So I do.

submitted by Jackie King

October 27, 2015

For other answers to The Usual Questions Click here

Just the facts:
Born: I was born in the middle of a dust storm in the Oklahoma Panhandle in 1937. My mother had two other children, close in ages to me, and our father had just skipped the light fantastic to California. I always knew we had no money, but never knew we were poor until years later. My smart, energetic and creative mother taught all three of us how to survive with little but courage, grit and faith.
Resides: Now I live in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. Life hasn't always been easy, but now I'm living my dream: I get up in the morning and walk ten steps to my computer and slip into a world of my own making.

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