FAQs

Click on a question to read the answer –

What’s next?

Dreaming Spies, the 13th Russell & Holmes story, out February 2015.  Make sure you’re getting Laurie’s newsletter for updates, giveaways, and contests prior to publication!

What about movies?

There are currently no projects underway, although much discussion in various directions.

How can I get news?

Other than checking this site, do you mean? Sign up for the newsletter here, find Laurie on the web, drop Laurie a note by snail mail, or read Laurie’s Blog.

How can I arrange an event or interview with Laurie?

Contact her Bantam publicist, Sharon Propson, or write to us directly at info@laurierking.com.

How can I get my book signed or inscribed?

Laurie’s local Bookshop Santa Cruz will be glad to sell you a signed copy of any of the books.  If you already have the book you’d like signed, write or call them – although please, buy something from them at the same time, okay?  They’re small independents and can’t afford to run a public service!

Of course, if you just want a signed book plate, send a SASE to P. O. Box 4063, Santa Cruz, CA 95063-4063.  DO NOT send the book itself, as I can’t guarantee it’ll get back to you safely.

When will there be another Kate Martinelli book?

There’s none currently scheduled, although Laurie lives in hope.

You write two very different series and stand-alones as well. How can you write so many different kinds of things?

Laurie says: The question should be, rather, how do some people write the same kind of things for so long? Maybe I have a low threshold for boredom, but the thought of writing just one series of characters would drive me to a very early retirement. Immersing myself in the Russell world for the space of a year, England in the 1920s, then going to the San Juan Islands for the next book, keeps me from becoming tired of the characters and myself.

As for how I write them, it’s made easier because the styles are so different. The Russell books are first person, written in a formal English-English down to the spelling (when, that is, the typesetter allows.) The Martinelli books are a straightforward American English, nothing very formal about them, and in the third person. The stand-alone novels contain elements of both, being American English but somewhat more ornate than the Martinelli police procedurals. Each style contains its own world, for me as a writer, and I no more stray from one into another while writing than a person fluent in two languages accidentally throws a foreign verb into a sentence.

Will Califia’s Daughters be part of a series?

When I wrote it I envisioned it as the middle episode in a trilogy, although the first and third are merely in my mind, not on paper. Perhaps if the book does well, the publishers will be interested in those, too.

Why write Sherlock Holmes?

No mystery writer, no matter where she or he stands in the spectrum from “cozy” to “hard-boiled,” can avoid the presence of The Great Detective in the shadowy recesses of the story. I merely chose to bring him forward into the spotlight.

More than that, a number of us have chosen to write homages to the master, to sing in duet with a voice that stirs us to the soul. With attention, with dignity, with skill, and with a lot of luck, what we achieve comes nearer opera than karaoke.

Isn’t Sherlock Holmes under copyright?

Yes, and no.  Follow this discussion and the Klinger court case on Free Sherlock!

What’s with this age difference between Holmes and Russell?

It’s not as great as you think. (See the piece “A Holmes Chronology” in the short ebook, LRK on Sherlock Holmes, available here.)

Why do you write mysteries?

See: “Why the Mystery?” in the Etcetera section.

Isn’t it a little odd to go from an academic theological background into writing crime fiction?

From a life of God to a life of crime, you mean? Yes and no. What interested me most during my theological studies was the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament, which is made up of stories. In them you often find a peculiar importance laid on a word or phrase, or in the absence of some fact one would have thought essential, which act as clues pointing to the underlying meaning. The Old Testament in particular teaches essential truth through the stories of men and women. My own novels strive at a pale imitation of that technique.

Our group is reading one of your books–any suggestions?

The Virtual Book Club has discussed several of the King books, so you might check there to see what people have been talking about. And here on the site, there’s a section just for reading groups on the Book Club Tools page, with discussion questions for several books.

How can I get you to include my town on your next tour?

A writer generally has very little say in where a tour takes her, those decisions being up to the publisher. If you have an enthusiastic bookstore or library, if you think you can produce enough warm bodies to make it worth a publisher’s time and money, then by all means get in touch with the Bantam publicist, Sharon Propson. If you’d like me to pay a virtual visit to your library or book club via an online conference, please see the Book Clubs page or email us for more information.

Many of your books handle issues of religion and belief. Have you written anything other than fiction about this?

Laurie’s BA and MA thesis projects on religion are available here.

Did Laurie King write the Mary Russell books, or is she just the editor?

(Or as one email put it: “I just read the Editor’s Preface to The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, and it appears that Laurice [sic] R King did not in fact write the Mary Russel [sic] stories, but mysteriously received the manuscripts in a large metal trunk one day. You might want to update portions of your site that reference the stories ‘written by Laurie R King.'”)

You’re going to need to play this game by yourself.


What does Laurie like to read?

Visit Laurie’s Goodreads page for a recent and comprehensive list of suggestions.


 

How it could be that Russell is 92 years old yet Holmes is still alive. Wouldn’t that put him at about 132 years old? Or did I miss something somewhere?

A number of years ago, a devout Sherlockian pointed out that, as Holmes’ obituary had yet to appear in The Times (London, of course.) the only possible conclusion was that he was still alive. And in the intervening years, that obituary has not appeared. Considering the infallibility of The Times in all things British, I am forced to conclude that the man lives on in the Sussex Downs.

(This is all part of The Game, the conceit held by Sherlockians and Holmesians–the US and UK, respectively–that Conan Doyle was not a writer of fiction, but a literary agent publishing true stories written by Watson. As Dorothy Sayers, a respected player of The Game, put it, one must treat it as solemnly as a county cricket match at Lord’s. In other words, tongue firmly in cheek and face completely deadpan. And if this makes Sherlock Holmes 148 years old, so be it.)

Laurie’s essay “A Holmes Chronology”, in which she discusses this question, is included in the ebook, Laurie R. King’s Sherlock Holmes.