Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Pro-File: Linda Barnes

Linda Barnes, author of fifteen mystery novels, has won the Anthony Award, the American Mystery Award, and been nominated for the Edgar and the Shamus. She lives in Boston, roots for the Red Sox, and is proud to be the new president of Private Eye Writers of America.

Pro-File: Linda Barnes

1 Tell us about your current novel.

On May 2, 2006, St. Martin’s Minotaur will publish “Heart of the World,” the 11th Carlotta Carlyle novel, a book I’ve been writing in my head for the past ten years or more. Ever since I introduced Carlotta’s little sister, Paolina, in “A Trouble of Fools,” I’ve intended to explore her Colombian background. The problem: the research; Colombia, in spite of the regular visits I make there to visit my own family, has always terrified me. But I conquered my fears. “Heart” is the first Carlyle to move out of Boston -- to Miami, Bogota, and the wilds of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

2. Can you give us a sense of what you're working on now?

The 12th Carlotta. Back in Boston, but irrevocably changed.

3. What is the greatest pleasure of a writing career?

With every book, you begin again -- all sins forgiven, every page a blank.

4. Thegreatest DIS-pleasure?

For me, the only thing worse than writing is not writing.

5. If you have one piece of advice for the publishing world, what is it?

Get over this business of “branding” authors.

6. Are there two or three forgotten mystery writers you'd like to see in print again?

Joseph Hansen. Jonathan Valin.

7. Tell us about selling your first novel. Most writers never forget that moment.

Selling my first play was infinitely more dramatic. At a performance, a complete stranger came up to me, handed me his card, and said, “Can I publish that?”

When I finished writing my first novel, I assumed the same thing would happen. Long wait. . .


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