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Robert B. Parker’s wise-cracking, street-smart Boston private-eye Spenser earned him a devoted following and wide critical acclaim. Before his death in January 2010, Parker also wrote the bestselling Jesse Stone novels and a new series of Westerns featuring two guns-for-hire, Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch. Read on to see Robert B. Parker's questions for Sue Grafton, or turn the tables to see what Grafton asked Parker.Parker: Tell me about you and Kinsey Millhone and the connection between you.
Grafton: Kinsey Millhone is my alter ego, the woman I might have been had I not married young and had children. She's younger, thinner, and braver than I, but a good companion nonetheless. Since she can know only what I know, I've taken classes in criminal law and self-defense. I've studied police procedure, private eye procedure, toxicology, ballistics, and crime scene investigation. Beyond that, the prime agreement between us is that I don't tell her, she tells me. When readers ask what she’ll be doing after Z is for Zero, I assure them I haven't the faintest idea.
Parker: Describe your writing process (e.g., I get up in the morning, have a martini to get my heart going…).
Grafton: I take a 5.4-mile walk five days a week, so my writing schedule is often dictated by the weather. If it's too hot or too cold, I walk first thing in the morning, come home, shower, dress, and reach my desk at 9:45 or so. I work until lunch, when I take a short break, returning to my desk until mid-to-late afternoon. If I haven't done a morning walk, I walk when my work is done. Then I drink.
Parker: You've spent time in Hollywood. Tell me about that.
Grafton: I refer to that period of my life as "doing one to fifteen in Hollywood." I loved it at first, as dazzled as anyone who hasn't figured out yet how treacherous life there can be. As I've said on previous occasions, I learned two things about myself in Hollywood: one, I'm not a team player; and two, I'm not a good sport. The producers I met were well-educated and articulate, and usually offered me a cup of coffee before they set in to savaging my work. I got too old and cranky to put up with that, so I invented Kinsey Millhone as my way out. I liken it to digging my way out of prison with a teaspoon.
Parker: Do you read reviews? Pay attention to them? Find them helpful? Have an opinion on them?
Grafton: Where possible, I avoid reviews. The good ones only encourage swell-headedness and the bad ones hurt my feelings or infuriate me. In either case, by the time reviews appear, the book is written and out on the stands. What's a poor girl to do? There's no point in subjecting myself to the reactions of readers and reviewers, since their response is nothing I can control.
Parker: People sometimes ask me why I write what I write, and I answer, "Because that's what I know how to do." (Then they say, "Would you please stop?" but I'm sure they're just kidding.) Talk about why you write what you write.
Grafton: I write what I write because when I put in my application for a position at Sears, they never got back to me. I'm still hopeful, especially with the Christmas season coming up. Aside from that, I write what I write because when the work is going well, it makes me happier than just about anything except my kids and grandkids. When the work is not going well . . . which is maybe thirty-five percent of the time . . . I know it's my job to sit patiently and keep at it until I figure out what's wrong. In large part, writing is the only thing I know how to do.
I really enjoyed her book, it was a quick read and I hated to put it down.
I loved that it was longer than most of her books, and that the increased length gave room for increased story details and character development.
I mean, it's a pretty good story, a pretty good plot, reasonably well crafted and well paced, and the characters are very nicely developed.
Good light reading, a believable and likeable central character. Non-pretentious - a light mystery without the heavy violence that spoils many other books.Published 4 days ago by Amazonianz
U-tterly delicious...unlike a couple of other woman led series, Sue Grafton has kept her craft in the forefront. Thank you.Published 4 days ago by Jaycee
If you like Sue Grafton's other Kinsey mysteries this one will not disappoint. I could not put the book down.Published 16 days ago by C. volpe
I love the way Sue Grafton writes - and I greatly enjoy her Kinsey Milhone mysteries. I hate that the end of the alphabet is approaching. Read morePublished 21 days ago by kathy
Love Sue Grafton, love my new Nook HD reader. Great to get books on line, no more shopping in the stores w/ all the crowds, Thanks AmazonPublished 21 days ago by Ann Graf
Again the profanity took away from the enjoyment of the book. I really enjoy the characters in her series and I enjoy the story lines, I just could do without the profanity.Published 26 days ago by Ruth Moody
I have not read every one of Sue Grafton's books but have enjoyed each one that I have read. This one was a little slow at the first but was so exciting by the finish. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Cherie Kasper
Sue Grafton always writes great mysteries that keeps you guessing at what the next clue will be and never fails to surprise and entertain the reader.Published 1 month ago by m lanier
My favorite mystery writer dabbles in misogyny, and the result is not good. There are countless female characters in this story, but they are given little or no character... Read morePublished 1 month ago by biscotto