Click on a question to read the answer –
- What’s next?
- What about movies..?
- How can I get news?
- How can I arrange an event or interview with Laurie?
- How can I get my book signed or inscribed?
- When is the next Russell book coming out? And when do we find out about Japan?
- When will there be another Kate Martinelli book?
- You write two very different series and stand-alones as well. How can you write so many different kinds of things?
- Will Califia’s Daughters be part of a series?
- Why write Sherlock Holmes?
- Isn’t Sherlock Holmes under copyright?
- What’s with this age difference between Holmes and Russell?
- Why do you write mysteries?
- Isn’t it a little odd to go from an academic theological background into writing crime fiction?
- Our group is reading one of your books–any suggestions?
- How can I get you to include my town on your next tour?
- Many of your books handle issues of religion and belief. Have you written anything other than fiction about this?
- Did Laurie King write the Mary Russell books, or is she just the editor?
- What does Laurie like to read?
- I’ve just read the “How Laurie Came to Have the Stories” booklet, and I’m wondering 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? (The booklet is here.)
The Bones of Paris, which revisits the world of Harris Stuyvesant and Bennett Gray from Touchstone, will be out on September 10, 2013. Make sure you’re getting Laurie’s newsletter for updates, giveaways, and contests prior to publication!
There are currently no projects underway, although much discussion in various directions.
My local bookstores will be glad to sell you a signed copy of any of my books: Capitola Book Cafe or Bookshop Santa Cruz. And if you have a book already that 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 me a SASE at P. O. Box 4063, Santa Cruz, CA 95063-4063, and let me know which book you want a plate for. DO NOT send the book itself, as I can’t guarantee it’ll get back to you safely.
Those of you who have been waiting lo these many years to find out what happened to Russell and Holmes during their interlude in Japan (alluded to in Locked Rooms) will be pleased to know that the next Russell, due out in early 2015, will tell that very tale.
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?
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.
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.
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.
No, not any more.
It’s not as great as you think. (See the piece “A Holmes Chronology” in my short ebook, LRK on Sherlock Holmes, available here.)
See: “Why the Mystery?” in the Etcetera section.
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.
The Virtual Book Club has worked its way through the King books, one month at a time, 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 Scholar’s Corner page, with discussion questions and–bookmarks!
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 my publisher’s time and money, then by all means get in touch with the Bantam publicist, Sharon Propson (replacing the [at] with its respective symbol). 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?
I haven’t published anything other than the essays given on the LRK on: Whatever page. There’s also a rather dauntingly titled pamphlet, “Guidance for Authentic Living in the Mystery Novels of Laurie R. King”, that was written by Professor Michael Duffy of Hanover College in Indiana, following my week there as writer in residence. The pamphlet is available at a small charge from Hanover, at (812) 866-6739 or email.
(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.
There’s a list of books on the page Scholars Corner that Laurie recommends both as bibliography and for pleasure. We’ll be updating the list in a while. You can also visit Laurie’s Goodreads page for a more recent and comprehensive list of suggestions.
I’ve just read the “How Laurie Came to Have the Stories” booklet, and I’m wondering 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.)