Monday, January 10, 2011

Things You Don’t Know About Donna Andrews

SinC: What are your favorite shoes?
DA: Crocs and Reeboks.

SinC: Is there anything you'd never leave home without?
DA: Once I'd have said: a book. Now: my iPhone. (It's okay. There are books in my iPhone. Also games, and email, and a web browser, a GPS, and a flashlight app in case I forgot to turn the porch light on before leaving home.

SinC: What do you wish you had more time for?
DA: Reading. The writing really eats into my reading time.

SinC: Is there anyone from the past you would like to talk to for just 15
DA: Richard III. As a long-time Ricardian--someone who thinks Richard III was framed for the murder of his nephews--I'd like to find out the truth.

SinC: What word do you absolutely hate?
DA: Utilize. Use is such a neat, strong simple word.

SinC: Do you dream in color or black and white?
DA: Color. I was about to say that I didn't know, but then I remembered a dream that featured azure blue tile on stucco walls. I don't usually remember the color, though.

SinC: If the F.B.I. had to give you a new identity, what name would you choose?
DA: I'm not telling. But I will tell you the name Lee Child suggested I use if I ever write a dark, gory serial killer book. Andrew Donner. Like the Party.

SinC: Favorite food?
DA: I have too many favorite foods. Steak and fries. Pepperoni sausage pizza. Green beans. A good juicy burger. Dill pickles. Utz potato chips. Watermelon. Tangerines, kumquats, and especially clementines. Cheese--all kinds of cheese, like cheddar and gruyere and brie and Huntsmans and feta and blue. Frozen juice cones, especially the orange ones. Limeade. Milk and chocolate chip cookies. THE pumpkin pie. Turkey with Mom's gravy, or in a pinch, my gravy. Cobb salad. Diet Coke. Are we running out of room?

SinC: Favorite drink?
DA: Diet Coke, Orangina, limeade, red wine, white wine, frozen daiquiris, margaritas, milk if there is chocolate around, rose hips tea when I can find it.

SinC: Favorite dessert?
DA: See favorite foods above. As a child, I often finished the remains of the tossed salad for dessert. Would that I had retained that healthy habit today.

SinC: Most embarrassing moment?
DA: I have to prune it down to one?

SinC: First job?
DA: First paying job: writing a column about my school activities for the local paper. First adult job: secretary.

SinC: Worst job?
DA: My second adult job was at the company where I worked, in various positions, for more than two decades, until I quit to write full time. One stretch of time when I had a very workaholic boss probably counts as my worst job, but it was during that period that I made the decision to put my writing first, even if I had to quit the day job. So, in retrospect, even the bad times were useful.

SinC: If you weren't a published author, what would you be?
DA: Still working somewhere as a corporate writer, or possibly a manager of corporate websites.

SinC: If you could be one of your characters, who would it be and why?
DA: I wouldn't mind being Meg Langslow. Or being more like her. When obstacles come my way, I often ask myself what Meg would do.

Donna Andrews is the award-winning author of the 12-volume Meg Langslow mystery series and the four-volume Turing Hopper mystery series. Her most recent book is the newest Meg Langslow entry, Stork Raving Mad. You can learn more things you don't know about Donna at


ErinBush said...

One my favorite books of all time is "Daughter of Time" by Josephine Tey and revisits the mystery of the deaths of the Princes in the Tower -- so I'm with you on Richard III.

Nancy Adams said...

I love your Hopper Turing mysteries. Any chance of seeing more of them?

Thanks for the fun interview.

Barb Goffman said...

What is Rose Hips tea? It sounds somewhat naughty.

Donna Andrews said...

Erin, it was Daughter of Time that started off my interest in all things Ricardian! It remains one of my favorites.

Nancy, there won't be any more Turing mysteries from Berkley, but my agent and I are working on another possibility. Stay tuned!

Barb, rose hips are the fruit of the rose--which only grow if you don't deadhead them. They make a delicious, rather citrusy tea that is loaded with vitamin C. When I was in college, rose hip tea was very popular. Now, it's hard to find solo, though it's an ingredient in many fruity herbal teas, like Tazo Passion tea and Novus Wild Encounters tea.

Look what you've done; now I'm having a craving for wild, passionate tea....

Edward B. Langslow said...

Hello Donna my name is Edward Langslow, I live in Hampton Va. I would love to know where you came up with the name Meg Langslow.

Donna Andrews said...

Meg is a name I like, and I took Langslow from my family tree. If your middle intital B stands for Bridgewater, then I think we're second cousins. My maternal grandmother, Marjorie Langslow Hornsby, had a younger brother Edward (aka Sleepy) who worked at the Newport News shipyard. Was that your grandfather?

Edward B. Langslow said...

Donna, my middle name is Bridgewater and my grandfather was called sleepy. So howdy cousin! How has life been treating you?

redbird said...

Dear Donna Andrews,

My family and I have really enjoyed the Turing Hopper mysteries. Did you have a lot of computer knowledge before writing the books? And/or did you have to do research and ask certain computer experts?

In addition to being moved by Turing's personality and philosophical questions about human and nonhuman nature, I love the detail in your books about how things operate--and also vivid imagery like what the inside of an elevator shaft looks and feels like. I am guessing you actually looked inside one? Did you climb a ladder in it or ask someone what that was like? However, I recognize you have a brilliant imagination.