Monday, December 27, 2010
Things You Don't Know About Carolyn Hart -- and Her Closest Indies
SinC: Is there anything you'd never leave home without?
CH: If I am traveling, I never leave home without a good mystery to read. For insurance, I always take along a Christie because reading from an old favorite is as comforting as a well worn afghan in wintertime. I especially enjoy Cat Among the Pigeons and The Man in the Brown Suit.
SinC: What do you wish you had more time for?
CH: Lunching with friends. That is a pleasure I enjoy only on days when I'm not writing and I write most days.
SinC: Is there anyone from the past you would like to talk to for just 15 minutes?
CH: Mary Roberts Rinehart. She was not only at one time the most successful author in America, she was an unusual and adventurous woman.
SinC: If the F.B.I. had to give you a new identity, what name would you choose?
CH: Henrietta Collins.
SinC: Favorite food?
CH: Anything Mexican.
SinC: Favorite drink?
SinC: Favorite dessert?
CH: Dark chocolate.
SinC: If you weren't a published author, what would you be?
SinC: If you could be one of your characters, who would it be and why?
CH: Henrietta O'Dwyer (Henrie O) Collins. The protagonist in seven of my books, she is a retired newspaperwoman with a talent for trouble and passion for life. As a foreign correspondent, she had the career I thought I would have until I ended up marrying, having a family, and writing fiction. That's one of the lovely aspects of writing fiction. You can lead any life you wish through your characters.
SinC: What independent bookstore is closest to the place you spend a good portion of your time?
CH: Murder by the Book in Houston. It is the inspiration for Death on Demand. My hometown (Oklahoma City) independent is Full Circle.
SinC: What can you tell us about the stores?
CH: Martha Farrington began MBTB. The late David Thompson and his wife, McKenna Jordan, took over the store when Martha retired. McKenna is now running the store. MBTB is one of the finest mystery bookstores in the country.
Full Circle in Oklahoma City is a general bookstore with an amazing variety of titles. It is owned by James Tolbert, one of Oklahoma City's most active civic leaders.
SinC: Where can we find the stores online?
CH: The website for Murder by the Book is www.murderbooks.com . The Full Circle website is www.fullcirclebooks.com .
SinC: What's your most recent indie purchase?
CH: A Romantic Way To Die by Bill Crider from MBTB (by mail). A Comfort of Cats by Doreen Tovey from Full Circle.
SinC: Are there any holiday customs particularly unique to your area or your family?
CH: We always attend the Christmas Eve service at our daughter's church in Tulsa, then spend Christmas Day at our son-in-law's family's ranch in Collinsville, OK.
Carolyn Hart is the award-winning author of the 20-book Death on Demand series (most recent title - Laughed 'Til He Died), the three-volume Bailey Ruth Raeburn series (most recent title - Ghost in Trouble) and the seven-book Henrie O series (most recent title - Set Sail for Murder). In addition, she has written 10 non-series novels and five novels for children and young adults. You can learn more about Carolyn -- and take the Classic Mystery Quiz -- at www.carolynhart.com.