Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Charlie Huston

Last April, Anthony Rainone interviewed Charlie Huston for January Magazine.

The opening exchanges:

Anthony Rainone: I find it interesting when actors talk about their Oscar nominations, and they recount how they first learned they were in the running for the award. This year the Mystery Writers of America is spending money on publicity and building the Edgar up, so let's equate it with the Oscars. And I'll ask you: where were you when you found out you were nominated for an Edgar?

Charlie Huston: I remember the nominations came out in late February [2006], and they weren't even on my mind. My wife and I had come home from somewhere, and it was very late. I checked my e-mail, and I saw three or four e-mails. Almost all of them [had] "Edgar" in the subject line, and one was from the Mystery Writers of America; the others were from writers I knew. I assumed what it was probably going to be. I opened [the e-mail] from the Mystery Writers of America, and they just send out a list of all the nominations, and all the people who had been nominated, and I saw [my name] and thought that was really cool.

How does it feel to be nominated?

It's great, obviously. It's one of those things where it's extremely flattering and just cool. I don't indulge in any false modesty, or things like that. I do think that in art competition, whether it's writing, or sculpture, or fine arts, or performance art, there's no way to [qualitatively compare] art. And undoubtedly there are published books that slipped through the cracks, and undoubtedly unpublished books that nobody knows about. And so [it has] relative meaning in terms of being a mark of quality. I don't want to denigrate the award itself, but it's hard for me to think of it [as an absolute value]. But like I said -- it's great. The other big component to it is that it's a nice career thing to have. To get a nomination early on with one of my earlier books is a nice thing. I have no clue how far outside mystery circles the Edgar name penetrates. I don't know if it's stamped "Edgar Winner" on the cover of a book that the average Joe, picking up that book, will have any greater reaction, than to any other mystery award stamped on the [cover]. Commercially, I have no idea. It certainly couldn't hurt [to win the award].

Read the entire interview.

--Marshal Zeringue