Jungle Reds: Let's just say we're in awe of Sarah Weinman. We are trying to be cool, but it is not working. (It is working for one of us, but we're not telling which one...)
Anyway. Yesterday Sarah gave us a bit of the scoop on her new book, TROUBLED DAUGHTERS, TWISTED WIVES: Stories From the Trailblazers of Domestic Suspense.
Say it with us:
Fourteen chilling tales from the pioneering women who created the domestic suspense genre…In case you missed yesterday--where were you? --in Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives Weinman brings together fourteen hair-raising tales by women who — from the 1940s through the mid-1970s—took a scalpel to contemporary society and sliced away to reveal its dark essence. Lovers of crime fiction from any era will welcome this deliciously dark tribute to a largely forgotten generation of women writers.
She's the News Editor for Publishers Marketplace, where she works on Publishers Lunch, the industry’s essential daily read. She also writes the more-or-less monthly “Crimewave” column for the National Post.
A whole lot more about Sarah below...
but today, the Reds decided to explore the secret Sarah. By asking her cleverly posed questions (Hank, ever the researcher, got some of them out of the Neiman Marcus catalog. Do you believe that?) we will try to plumb the depths of the...we mean, well, here they are.
Her answers are quite wonderful! And at the end? You answer some of them--and we'll give away Sarah's new new book to a lucky commenter!
**You're penning an autobiography. What's the title?
The possibility of an autobiography is pretty remote at this point, but if that changes, the title would be NORMAL FEMALE, because when my mother was five months pregnant with me and got back the results of her amniocentesis -- it was the 1970s, and 36 was considered "older" for pregnant women then, no longer so much now -- and told her mother, she exclaimed, "A Normal Female!".
**Your idea of perfection?
78 degrees, sunny with a few clouds, a book in my hand, an iced coffee and a chocolate chip scone on a plate next to me. Rinse and repeat.
**What was the moment you got the inspiration for your new book?
I'm not sure there was a moment, but once I began writing the essay for the literary magazine Tin House that was the impetus for Troubled Daughters, I knew this whole idea of overlooked female suspense writers of a certain generation was one I needed to pursue for a very long time.
**What talent do you wish you had?
Woodworking/carpentry. Would make so many things so much easier.
**What's your greatest fear?
Dying alone, my body undiscovered for weeks. I've seen the effects of that, literally, and it is horrifying. (Also: a fairly common New York City-based fear, I've learned.)
**If not your current occupation, what would you like to be?
Investigator/policy advocate for missing persons and long term unidentified individuals. But truth be told, I don't see myself leaving writing and journalism behind.
**What puts you in a creative mood?
A state of relaxation. Barring that, tenacity.
**What is your most treasured possession?
First edition of Shel Silverstein's LAFCADIO: THE LION WHO SHOT BACK. Which is not actually among my possessions at the moment, it's elsewhere.
**What is something about you that no one would guess?
I cannot wink. Don't have the right eye muscles to do it. Believe me, I have tried, and practiced, but it doesn't work.
Chocolate chip scones. Sigh.
**If you could rewrite your history, what one thing would you change?
Sometimes I think my entire life is about rewriting past history.
**Which artist do you most admire?
Shel Silverstein. A career like his is impossible now.
**What would you do with one extra hour in your day?
Work, sadly. Or read.
**What is the first musical/concert you attended?
I have my mother's word for this, but again, when she was pregnant with me, she knew I was going to be a musical child because I kicked very hard in the womb while she attended a Mozart recital.
**Which single piece of art do you wish you'd created?
Sticking to crime fiction: Dorothy B. Hughes' IN A LONELY PLACE.
**How would you like to be remembered?
Kind, but fair.
**Secret junk food vice?
Seeing as I've already mentioned chocolate chip scones twice in this Q&A, I guess it isn't so secret....
**If you had to pick your theme song, what would it be?
"I Can't Touch the Sun", as sung by Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show.
Ed note--here's the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2PkbOG-Rn4
Ed note--here's the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2PkbOG-Rn4
**What are you going to do next--right now?
After answering these questions? Updating the Domestic Suspense website, and then reading a few more pages of a forthcoming Sholem Aleichem biography.
Thank you, Sarah! Amazing.
Hank's three answers: The Juggler, Franz Marc's Deer in the Forest or Joni Mitchell's Carey, and Twizzlers.
How about yours?
Remember, Sara's book to one lucky commenter!
More about Sarah Weinman:
Her articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in many print and web publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Observer, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Tin House, The Daily Beast, Maclean’s, The Daily, The Guardian, The New York Post, The Atlantic.com, the New Yorker’sPage-Turner blog, Quill & Quire, Tablet, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and New Hampshire Public Radio’s “Word of Mouth”. She’s also appeared on C-SPAN’s BookTV, Minnesota Public Radio’s “Midmorning” and NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered to speak about crime fiction and the publishing industry.
Weinman’s short fiction has appeared in DUBLIN NOIR (Akashic Books), BALTIMORE NOIR (Akashic Books), DAMN NEAR DEAD (Busted Flush Press), EXPLETIVE DELETED (Bleak House Books), A HELL OF A WOMAN: An Anthology of Female Noir (Busted Flush Press), LONG ISLAND NOIR (Akashic Books) Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.
Previously she reported on the publishing industry for DailyFinance and wrote “Dark Passages,” a monthly online mystery & suspense column for the Los Angeles Times, and “The Criminalist”, a monthly online column for the Barnes & Noble Review. Earlier in her career she was the Baltimore Sun’s crime fiction columnist and an editor for mediabistro.com’s publishing industry news blog GalleyCat.
In a parallel life, she completed her M.S. in Forensic Science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice of New York in February 2004 and still harbors faint hopes of actually making use of her degree someday.
From October 2003 through January 2011, Weinman created and maintained the popular blogConfessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind, which USA Today hailed as “a respected resource for commentary on crime and mystery fiction”. The blog has been mentioned in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the Christian Science Monitor, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Ottawa Citizen, Library Journal and the India Times Business-Standard.