Friday, June 24, 2011

Esri Allbritten

From a Q & A with Esri Allbritten about her new novel, Chihuahua of the Baskervilles:

Q: Chihuahua of the Baskervilles features something called the Emma Crawford Coffin Race. Is that a real event?

A: It is. Emma Crawford came to Manitou Springs, CO, in the late 1800s, hoping to cure her tuberculosis by drinking the spring waters. It didn’t work, but before she died, she got engaged and asked her fiancĂ©e to bury her on the top of Red Mountain. It wasn’t an official graveyard, and when the railroad needed the land, they moved her grave. Maybe they weren’t very careful, because in 1929, a huge rainstorm unearthed poor Emma and sent her coffin hurtling down the mountain on a tide of mud. So every year in October, the people of Manitou Springs dress up and race coffins down the main street. The event draws about ten thousand people, most of them in costume, and feels like a cross between Mardi Gras and Halloween.

Q:Is the coffin race the reason you set the novel in Manitou Springs?

A: That was part of it. My plan is to set each book of this series in a tourist town that has some cool event. I fell in love with Manitou Springs when I attended Authorfest, a writing conference. It’s a real jewel of a town, everyone is tremendously friendly, and if they all buy a copy of my book, that’ll be a nice print run.

Q: One of your characters likes to poke fun at the supernatural. Are you a believer or a skeptic?

A: When I first moved to Boulder, I...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue