CG: Why did you choose to write crime fiction?Learn more about the author and her work at Linda L. Richards' website.
LLR: It wasn't anything as premeditated as that: choice. I set out -- as I always still do -- to write the story that was in my heart; the thing that was most of interest to me. It turned out that one of those things was human interaction under extreme duress and the way the world can unravel when you least expect it. In a nutshell: I kept tripping over dead bodies!
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CG: The Depression-era setting of the Kitty Pangborn novels seems especially relevant now, with recent economic news. What initially drew you to write stories set in the thirties?
LLR: Kitty Pangborn was born as I went through a period of reading a lot of classic crime fiction a few years ago. I think I was moved most deeply by some of the work of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. And one of the notable facts about the very earliest PIs -- the ones we still read and to a certain degree celebrate today -- is that, from a purely practical standpoint, there was just no way they could be solving crimes as illustrated in the books. Not without help. Those earliest PIs would get out bed in the morning and start drinking. By lunch they'd be feeling no pain at all and by quitting time, they had to have been flat-out drunk. And as I read I began to see these characters in a different light. I felt as though I was seeing what wasn't in the stories and that was what I wrote: the stuff between the lines. The stuff that wasn't there.
To me, the most classic of all the classic novels of crime fiction is...[read on]
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