Happy Feb

Since we missed the Q&A for January (come on, you were all too hung over anyway, admit it) let’s go with one for Feb.

And our two year anniversary here is coming up next week, shall we have a party?

In the meantime, for those of you who have no questions and are just itching for something to do, how about writing a wiki-book? (heads up thanks to galley cat

A Million Penguins is an experiment in creative writing and community. Anyone can join in. Anyone can write. Anyone can edit. Let’s see if the crowds are not only wise, but creative. Or will too many cooks spoil the broth?

Posted in


  1. Maria on February 1, 2007 at 5:45 pm

    Glad to here the BSI meetings went well. On that note, I love your Russell series and was wondering who you base your Holmes on? Doyle, Brett, Rathbone? Your own concept of what the detective would be like. Just curious.

    Thanks for the time!

  2. KLCtheBookWorm on February 1, 2007 at 6:08 pm

    Yeah, I have a question for this month! Did you base the outfits that the Elves created for Mary in A Monstrous Regiment of Women on actual outfits or pictures of actual outfits. I would like to create one of the outfits (though probably not the evening gown).

  3. WDI on February 1, 2007 at 8:59 pm

    Ooooh – thought you’d never ask! I’m curious about what draws you to the 1920’s/WWI era. You’ve explored it, one way or another, in both the Russell books and in Folly, and of course it’s the setting for Touchstone. On a related note, either I’ve become more sensitive to its appearance, or more authors are turning to that time period for their books. Aside from Anne Perry, I’ve recently run across 3 other mystery writers whose series are set in that period. Do you see a similar convergence and, if so, do you have any thoughts on why that era is capturing the imagination these days?

    Tangentially, I’m hoping that reading more about it will help give me a sense of connection with my paternal grandfather, who was one of the last doughboys to go to Europe from the U.S. I only met him a scant handful of times as a child and never really knew him except for snippets . . .

  4. Elisa on February 1, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    Since you won’t be burning the candle at both ends getting a book out this year, what else will you be working on? Besides keeping life, family, home, and health together.

  5. Kathleen on February 1, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    This question is actually for the Old Testament historian (if you don’t mind changing hats), and was actually sparked by “A Letter of Mary”–what was the extent of literacy among the jewish people at the time of Christ? Christ read from the scriptures, several of the apostles (and Mary Magdeline, according to your book) could read and write.This seems to indicate a higher level of literacy among the lower classes than we usually associate with ancient societies; certainly higher than among the same classes during Europe’s Middle Ages. Was it particualr to Israel, or did their neighbors have comparable rates?
    One reason I love your books is you do bring such interesting questions to mind–but then I need the answers!

  6. Anonymous on February 1, 2007 at 11:27 pm

    I think the Holmes/Russell energy really lends itself to the short story medium. Have you thought about publishing an anthology based on some of their adventures?

  7. Anonymous on February 1, 2007 at 11:44 pm

    Will we find out what happens to Russell/Holmes in the large gap of time between Monstrous and Letter of Mary? The other books follow one after another within less than a year span (excluding O, Jerusalem).



  8. Chris on February 2, 2007 at 11:27 am

    I’d love to ask you about ideas…! When you are deeply involved with creating a book in, say, the Russell series, what do you do with the ideas that come to you during this time but which don’t fit the story? Do you have a ‘filing’ system to keep them dormant until they can be used?

    Thanks, Chris – Edinburgh

  9. Ellen C on February 4, 2007 at 1:42 am

    Lately, I’ve been thinking about the convention (and I’m not sure whether it’s purely literary or not) of proving that the perpetrator of a crime is indisputably guilty and then, if that person is of a certain rank or dignity, leaving them alone in a room with a pistol, where they typically oblige their accusers by shooting themselves.

    Lord Peter used this strategy in _The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club_ and applied a variant in _Murder Must Advertise_. I’m embarassed to admit that I haven’t read enough of the original Holmes stories to know if he ever resorted to it.

    While I can see that encouraging a criminal to commit suicide is appealing on several, not-entirely-civilized levels, it seems inadequate as a solution to the problem of determining and dispensing justice. I’m wondering what Russell thinks of it.

  10. corgimom on February 5, 2007 at 4:00 am

    Well, being as I’m the only reader of your blog who is truly a party animal, I’ll save my question and greatly encourage the two-year blogiversary party next/this week!

Leave a Comment