But if I had to finish the sentence: Not a day goes by that I do not have______"-- hmm. What would that be? I would certainly miss coffee. And my brain-alarm absolutely rings when it's time for the six o'clock news--it's actually kind of scary.
But the wonderful mystery author Kathleen George knows how she'd finish the sentence. And her answers might surprise you!
What would she miss?
Eighteen Thousand Eight Hundred and Fifty...Salads!
KATHLEEN GEORGE: I have addictions: Ice cream, chocolate, baseball, football, reading, writing, and salad. By this I mean that if a day goes by (sports in season) in which I do not do or have these fixes, I’ll feel restless, funny, unfinished. Also, let it be noted that there are a few weeks in autumn in which it is possible to get both baseball and football on the same day.
The salad thing started when I was a child. The elder, helpful child, I got a daily assignment (beyond practicing the piano and cleaning the upstairs). I was to make the family’s salad for dinner. I learned later than many Lebanese people are addicted to salad dressed in lemon and olive oil and that they have to have it daily. There was once a secretary in my department who was married to one of my countrymen and she exclaimed, “He says he needs a salad every day. He makes it.”
“Yes, I know,” I said. “Lemon and olive oil.”
In summer the salads are glorious with the lemon and tomato juices mingling. In winter, we eat the salad anyway. Lettuces, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions, sometimes mint, dressed in lemon, olive oil, lots of salt, coarse black pepper. Everything tastes better—steak, pork chops, salmon, chicken wings, lentils and rice, everything.
I read. I must read. Every day. No exceptions.
My husband taught me about writing every day whether I felt like it or not—whether I felt I was doing something good or not. “Ten years later,” he assured me, “you can’t tell the bad days from the good days.” After I started writing every day, that was it. And addiction for sure. If a doctor’s appointment can’t be rescheduled and I have to be out of the house in the morning, I am pretty growly for the day.
On the other hand, I think of the poor folks who need alcohol, heroin or crack. I write about them substituting one fix for another. Alcohol and Valium in combination are what keeps my character in FALLEN going, alcohol buffers the pain and guilt in AFTERIMAGE, heroin and booze mark two characters in THE ODDS, and I have a fellow who needs crack in HIDEOUT. My detective friend and mentor tells me that substance abuse us contributed to a huge amount of crimes. Might there almost be no crime without it? Wikipedia (we don't rely on it, of course!) says:
Kathleen George is the editor of PITTSBURGH NOIR and the author of TAKEN, FALLEN, AFTERIMAGE, THE ODDS (Edgar finalist, best novel), and HIDEOUT.
Her website is www.kathleengeorge.com
And let me ad
In Edgar-finalist George's stellar sequel to The Odds (2009), Cmdr. Richard Christie and Det. Colleen Greer of Pittsburgh Homicide look into a late-night hit-and-run, in which a young woman died. Meanwhile, brothers Jack and Ryan Rutter, the two young men in the truck that fatally struck the woman, skip town and break into an unoccupied house in Perrysville, a nearby summer community. Jack is a hapless, sweet-natured kid, but Ryan is an angry, drug-addled coward who's looking for an excuse to hurt someone. The suspense grows as the innocent people of Perrysville go about their business--and the owner of the brothers' hideout heads home for the season. An expert at handling investigative details and pacing, George makes readers care about the people who are about to confront each other. The inevitable violence hurts because it matters. Told in lean, efficient prose, this is a top-notch, emotionally satisfying police procedural. (Aug.)