April questions

Q: Are we going to see any more Martinelli books in the future? And why was there a six year period between Nightwork and The Art of Detection?

A: There should be another couple of Martinellis off in the future somewhere, not at all sure when. And the long gap was due to a combination of Only So Many Hours in the Day and the relative popularity of the two series. I can only write a book a year (and before you jump up in your seat and wave your hand at me, yes, three years I had two books out, but I hadn’e2’80’99t written those during that year.) The Russells were building in popularity and deserved an extra boost of two books in a row. And I also wanted to do stand-alones. If TAoD does really, really well, maybe they’e2’80’99ll ask me to do another sooner.

Q: Erin writes, Yay! Question time! I reread BEEK for the sixth time (Mary Russell is my finals week inspiration) so I thought of a question in the middle of March and have been waiting=) Was writing OH JERUSALEM any easier or faster compared to your other novels? With the skeletal outline for it already set up in BEEK, I mean. It seems like it could have gone either way: on the one hand the outline is already there so you know where the story is going, but on the other hand you have to stick with an outline that you’ve already given to readers, which would limit what you could do with the plot.

A: Hm, I’e2’80’99d never thought about that. I’e2’80’99d say the ‘e2’80’9coutline’e2’80’9d in BEEKEEPER is so sketchy as to be nonexistent, since it mostly says what the trip to Palestine did to her, not so much what she did during the trip. And as I remember, a couple of the mentioned events were a real pain when time came actually to work them in. (Not quite so bad as building LOCKED ROOMS around the various events mentioned in previous books about her childhood’e2’80’94hint for would-be series writers: keep notes.)

Q: Riobonito wants to know, Will Beekeeper’s A. be made into a movie?

A: Beekeeper’e2’80’99s A., second cousin to Trespassers W.? Over the years a lot of producer types have expressed an interest in the Russell books. There are problems, in dealing with a writer and her agents who make it clear from the start that they’e2’80’99re going to be possessive about the characters, in getting around the potentially kinky aspect of a man in his fifties and a girl of fifteen. Add in the high cost of filming (a) historical movies (b) set in foreign countries, and it’e2’80’99s a daunting task. Which simply means that anyone who finally ends up with the project will be there because they adore the characters. Right?

Q&Q: Mousie has two questions.1) What is in the “warm and slimy” skin dye Holmes uses on Russell in Beekeeper’s? 2) You have told us what Holmes and Russell like in music, but what are your musical tastes?

A: Something from Holmes’e2’80’99 own laboratory cook-book’e2’80’94how would I know? I’e2’80’99m no chemist. But knowing Holmes, it’e2’80’99s sure to be disgusting.

And as for musical taste, mine runs a gamut from Medieval to the sixties, but music isn’e2’80’99t a big part of my life. I like quiet, so the only time I listen to music in when I’e2’80’99m driving somewhere. And because I live in the back of beyond, most radio stations fade in and out so much, my listening is limited to what I already have in the box. I’e2’80’99ve played the piano, the guitar, and the alto recorder, but none of them in years.

More Q&A in a couple days’e2’80’94tomorrow I’e2’80’99m hitting the ground running, with an interview in Berkeley on my way to a library event in Sacramento.

And it’e2’80’99s raining. It will rain until June.

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  1. elisa on April 4, 2006 at 3:04 pm

    June? It’s going to rain until JUNE!!!? We installed a sump pump 18 months ago and I put it on a timer so it wouldn’t kick on under my bedroom at night. When the timer turns on in the morning, the pump runs and run. I’m a gardener and I’m grateful there will be water for veggies this summer. But I think all the above ground resevoirs are full. And my peach tree is still trying to bloom. June. Sigh. Thanks for answering the questions. And Jim, it’s not going to be easy but you will be OK.

  2. 2maple on April 4, 2006 at 4:31 pm

    Well, despite being deluged with what’e2’80’99s left of the storm that just ripped up the center of the country today and SNOW in the forecast for tomorrow; the maple syrup run is just about over, the crocuses are just up and the bee’e2’80’99s have been flying and finding pollen somewhere (pussy willows and crocuses, I think)’e2’80’a6winter’e2’80’99s over & it’e2’80’99s high ‘e2’80’9cmud season’e2’80’9d in Maine with hope’e2’80’99s for spring ‘e2’80’a6

    Hope you get a sunny day soon, it’e2’80’99s such a sanity saver’e2’80’a6

  3. Jan on April 4, 2006 at 7:31 pm


    There was talk about Folly being made into a TV movie….is that still a possibility?

    Are there any other possibilities of either TV or regular movie of any of the stand-alone books?

    I think Martinelli would be a great TV series, too…

  4. Erika on April 4, 2006 at 10:19 pm

    June?? Well, I like my redwoods and greenery, but with that sort of rain, we’ll be building our own Space Needle and declaring ourselves the Seattle of the South.

    June. Wow.

  5. Anonymous on April 4, 2006 at 11:57 pm

    Brrrr, a chill just went thru me! JUNE? Guess I will have to curl up with a good book by you and wait for the sun. Plays havoc on showing property, though. Thanks for your generous spirit.

  6. AlyssC01 on April 5, 2006 at 6:37 am

    hehe, we’re not going to have rain till june.
    We’re not that lucky. 🙂

    Will you ever bow under the evergrowing pressure that authors are suddenly put under and allow someone to make one of your books into a movie?

    🙂 What I’d like to add is that you needed bother if you think your readers want it. I think it’s one of the worst things that could happen to a reader is when they see their favorite character, which they have their own image of and ideas, portrayed by a popular actor with an edited script and “fancy special effects.”
    With the sudden trend for book-movies i feel as if the literature world was loosing something.

  7. Vicki Larson on April 5, 2006 at 1:15 pm

    I agree with the idea that a movie is a really terrible idea. All that wonderful stuff in my head being (always) misinterpreted by some bonehead director and actors. Please don’t do it. When PBS made the Elizabeth George books into TV movies it was a travesty, in my opinion. I suffered, and then just learned never to watch. NEVER take away MY picture of Russell. I couldn’t bear it.

  8. riobonito on April 5, 2006 at 2:32 pm

    I’d love to the see the Russell Books made into movies or mini-series, but only if done splendidly~! I don’t think we have to worry about it tho, as Laurie has graciously answered my query. Thanks Laurie!

  9. Maer on April 5, 2006 at 10:25 pm

    On the subject of making BEEK, or anythng from the Kanon, into a movie/miniseries, I have to fall in with the crowd that feels it should be done only if it can be done ‘right’. I have lost count of all the cringe-inducing travesties that I’ve seen in my life. (Seven Per Cent Solution, anyone?) I do hope that should the BEEK visualization come together, that it is done with all due respect for the characters and the material. That said, I personally think that the best format would be a television miniseries, with a minimum of 22 episodes per season.

    I also have my own mental picture of the characters and a rough soundtrack, to boot, but am willing to set both aside to see a well-done version by someone else. There is also the irresistable, albeit snarky, fun of critiqueing another’s mistakes in their version of your favorite book…but that’s another story. This post has run on long enough already!


  10. Anonymous on April 5, 2006 at 11:49 pm

    I hate to appear cynical, but I feel pretty sure Laurie’s books will become movies sooner or later. Greed, not just the author’s, but the publisher’s and the agent’s, seems to raise its ugly head again and again. I’d like a nickel for every author who caved under such pressure … in addition to the lure of greater fame and mega-greenbacks. I would not go to see those movies, if they were made, for the same reasons stated by others above. I think people are either readers, or they are movie-goers. I’m a reader. Iris Lady

  11. riobonito on April 6, 2006 at 2:46 am

    Oh I’m a reader and love a good movie too! So like a few of you, I’d enjoy seeing a lovely Russell movie or if I had my druthers, a long mini-series,(BBC anyone?), and hey there isn’t anything wrong with making money or spending it either! I think that is a good thing too! So that is my ‘two cents’..not too much money tho..:o)..p.s. iris lady, I just planted my first “bloom more than once Iris”! I see it bravely coming up amongst the heavy rains, hail and snow of good old California, oh boy!

  12. Anonymous on April 6, 2006 at 4:59 pm

    riobonito – you will be able to enjoy lots of beautiful reblooming irises if you live in California. Here in Virginia, we don’t get many rebloomers, because the weather gets cold (frost) right about the time the plants are ready to rebloom. Joe Ghio at Bayview Gardens in Santa Cruz breeds and sells lots of beautiful irises you might want to try.

    Laurie … I apologize for using your blogsite to respond to another blogger, but I don’t have (or want) a blog identity that allows me to do this another way. I’ll try not to do it often. Iris Lady

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