Thursday, February 6, 2014

Laura Lippman

Laura Lippman's new novel is After I'm Gone.

From her Q & A with Sandi Tan at Goodreads:

GR: Going from the first Tess Monaghan novel, Baltimore Blues, to your 19th novel, After I'm Gone, an intricate stand-alone that plays with multiple perspectives and time frames, I sense a growing confidence and ambition. Do you agree?

LL: I wrote a first novel that was good enough, and it was as good a novel as I could write at the time. Since then, at every point along my career, people have said to me, "I hope you don't mind if I say you got better." Of course you want to get better. And so I do push myself very hard. I do have goals for myself. I am hopeful I'm getting better.

But when you're writing fiction in the 21st century, you're staring up a mountain, and it's so tall that the peak is out of almost everyone's reach. And you can be frustrated or you can say, I'm going up that mountain. You have to get braver. It makes me think of a short story that Italo Calvino wrote in Cosmicomics called "How Much Shall We Bet," about an eternal wager. And I think for novelists who are really honest with themselves, they are in an eternal wager.

Every time out the goal is to write a better book, but then there's also some specific goal. One of the counterintuitive things that as a crime novelist I try to do is slow the crime novel down. If you slow down, you're telling the reader: I respect you; I don't think you're an adrenaline junkie; I don't think you're only interested in the destination but also in the journey. And it can be...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Laura Lippman's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue