Monday, February 15, 2010

Kelli Stanley

Kelli Stanley is the author of the critically acclaimed Nox Dormienda, which won the Bruce Alexander Award for best historical mystery and was nominated for a Macavity Award, and the newly released City of Dragons.

From a Q & A at her website:

Your first book was called the first “Roman Noir” … and CITY OF DRAGONS is set in the classic noir era and San Francisco, a city made noirishly famous by Dashiell Hammett. What draws you to this sort of style? Do you consider yourself a noir author?

No simple answer to that one. I was born with a noir gene, I guess—I’ve loved both the era of American culture (1920s-40s) and the style and genre since I was literally a kid. Part of the attraction is due to the fact that I’m a Romantic—and essentially, that’s what hardboiled and noir writing is … a Romantic distillation of and reaction to urban and cultural angst, distilled into a style that varied from Hammett’s terse declarative statements to more florid and lyrical styles.

And with film noir, of course, the idea of seeing poetry in a rainy, neon-drenched street … quintessentially Romantic. I adore film as a communication medium—it’s an enormous influence on both what I write and the visual style of my writing.

Also, some of the greatest American writers of the twentieth century wrote within the hardboiled/noir genres, and I think you are still accorded more room for both literary scope and social commentary if you write in these subgenres.

Noir has been a supreme creative influence on me … though my writing doesn’t fit the common paradigm of noir as being either hopeless or even fatalistic. Noir is both a content and a style—in literature as in film.

Who are your specific influences?

I read constantly growing up. Everything from comic books to...[read on]
Read an excerpt from City of Dragons, and learn more about the novel and author at Kelli Stanley's website and blog.

Read January Magazine's Author Snapshot: Kelli Stanley.

My Book, The Movie: Nox Dormienda.

The Page 69 Test: City of Dragons.

--Marshal Zeringue