Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Laura Lippman

Victor Gischler interviewed Laura Lippman in November 2004. Part of their dialogue:

Victor Gischler : Sometimes I think of titles of short stories but then don’t write the stories. Like “In the Hell of Bad Candy.” I like that one. Can you share some of your discarded titles? Tell us about the “thinking of a title” process.

Laura Lippman: I’m not sure I can say it’s discarded, but I’ve long insisted that my memoir will be called “Shaved Meats, Piled High.” I saw it on the menu of a lunch place near the morgue.

I suck at titles. And when I was in the newspaper game, I sucked at so-called “art heds,” which were the equivalent of titles. A few titles have been obvious (”In a Strange City” for a book about Poe’s Baltimore legacy), but most have been hard-fought. I always feel it’s cheating, to title the book after it’s finished. It seems to me that real writers know the title going in. But I almost never do and it’s getting worse.

That said, I can do short story titles. I’m going to write one called “Hindsight” for Dublin Noir and “A Case of Montrachet” for Baltimore Noir.

If you could have a super power what would it be and why?

Empathy Girl, capable of knowing what other people are feeling. Actually–I may really have this. I’m not kidding. Every now and then, when conditions are right–on very bright, clear days–I experience the illusion that I am inside the heads of people I see on the street. And it’s really painful because it turns out that a lot of people are very sad and lonely.

As fast as you can, name five “warm” things…GO!

Hot Pockets. Cashmere. My...[read on]
Laura Lippman's new novel is Is Big Trouble.

Victor Gischler's latest novel is Vampire a Go-Go.

--Marshal Zeringue