Tuesday, November 18, 2008

P.D. James

Lauren Mechling interviewed P.D. James for the Wall Street Journal.

A couple of their exchanges:

Your books have such intricate plots. Do you tinker with them as you go along?

The plotting is normally done before I begin writing, but the plot does change during the writing. Sometimes new ideas come and the characters behave rather differently from how I thought they'd behave. The plot becomes quite richer that way. I never really get the book I thought I would at the end.

Does technology get in the way of plotting murder mysteries? Everyone has cellphones now so people don't have to, say, drive through the rain to relay a message.

You're absolutely right. Cellphones have been a real problem to me. And DNA, of course. Everything has changed with cellphones and DNA. Now, for example, there could be a clue that A made a telephone call to B at a certain time, but he could have been on his cellphone in the next room. In the old days if he made it from a certain number at home, you'd know where he was.
Read the complete Q & A.

--Marshal Zeringue