Sunday, September 02, 2012

Scene of the Crime with Author Louise Penny!



If you've never had the pleasure of reading a book by Louise Penny, you're missing out on a little slice of heaven. I remember picking up her very first book, Still Life, and coming up for air a few hours later, feeling pleasantly disconnected from the world around me. As each new book arrives, I have the very same reaction.

I got in touch with Louise shortly before she was to leave on her The Beautiful Mystery book tour, and when she said yes to an interview, I did a happy dance that I hope never makes it to YouTube.

Louise Penny
Monday evening I'll be going to the Poisoned Pen to see this wonderful writer, and I will share the experience with you. In the meantime, here are a few links about Louise Penny just in case you'd like to know more about her:


Now, on to the interview!


What was the very first book you remember reading and loving? What makes that book so special?

I remember reading Charlotte's Web - perhaps one of the first books I read by myself just for pleasure.  I adored it and discovered the power of books to transport and to heal.  To create community and expand emotions.  It transformed my life - and I got to pay homage to it in my book The Brutal Telling.



Outside of your writing and all associated commitments, what do you like to do in your free time?

I love to travel with my husband Michael, mostly to the UK.  We rent a place in London and just walk.  Of course, I also read, but one sadness in this otherwise amazing and surprising life, is that I find I can no longer read crime fiction for pure pleasure.  Part of my brain is always analyzing.  So I tend, now, to read non-fiction.


If I were to visit your hometown, where would you recommend that I go? (I like seeing and doing things that aren't in all the guide books.)

Quebec in autumn
I'd suggest coming in the autumn, when it looks like Quebec has been turned into a glorious work of stained glass, with all of nature turning amber and giddy yellows and deep reds and the air is filled with the sweet smell of ripe apples on the trees and the musky scent of wood smoke from the first fires in hearths.  I'd suggest you find an outdoor cafe, wear a sweater, and just drink it all in.






You have total control over casting a movie based on your life. Which actor would you cast as you?

Isabella Rossellini
Isabella Rossellini.  She's beautiful and elegant and how I see myself inside - below the layers of insecurity.


Who is your favorite recurring character in crime fiction?

Dr. Watson







Name one book that you've read that you wish you had written. What is it about that book that made it come to mind?

In all of fiction it's To Kill a Mockingbird, for the gentle setting and brutal and unwavering honesty of the themes. In crime fiction it's anything by Josephine Tey.


How did you celebrate when you first heard you were to be published? What did you do the first time you saw one of your books on a shelf in a bookstore?

I fell on my knees - then we went to our favorite country inn nearby.





On Sale Now!

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview, Louise-- I know how busy you had to be! All of us certainly appreciate the opportunity to get to know you a little better.

The best of luck with The Beautiful Mystery; it is a wonderful book. 

May your book sales do nothing but increase!


18 comments:

  1. Cathy, how exciting that you'll get to see Louise this evening. I know you will have a great time. I bet the event is very well attended.

    My mystery book group was lucky enough to get to talk with Louise by phone several years ago. She was so gracious and kind. It really made an impression on the group and members still talk about it like it was yesterday.

    Wasn't this latest book wonderful? Loved it. Loved it. Enjoy your evening!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, her latest book is marvelous. I'm heading out extra early this evening because I'm expecting the place to be packed!

      Delete
  2. This was wonderful! Now I want to go to Quebec!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great interview, Cathy! I did notice her book (product placement) at the movies the other night :) I have never read any of Penny's books, but definitely need to change that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, you most definitely do, Missy! LOL

      Delete
  4. Wow, I just called my husband into the room to see the picture of Quebec, shouting to him, "We're GOING!!!" How beautiful! I don't think I could write - I would just sit there and gape!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hopefully neither of us would be catching any flies because I would be sitting there gaping right along with you!

      Delete
  5. Love Louise Penny's books, will be ordering this one for the library. The town of Monroeville where the author of "To Kill A Mockingbird" lives is in the same county where I live, about 30 minutes away. They put on the play every year outside and inside the old courthouse there, its wonderful to watch!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That certainly does sound like a marvelous experience, Dorothy!

      Delete
  6. What a lovely interview -- and a gorgeous, evocative description of Quebec. I can see that I need to add Penny's books to my TBR list; her interests are similar to mine, and she has a wonderful way with words.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From the bottom of my heart, I certainly hope you do add one of her books to your reading list, Lark. They are superb.

      Delete
  7. Enjoy the experience how great you get to meet her. She is one of the authors I continue to say try and I haven't yet.

    The picture of Quebec, gorgeous.......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we've got enough of us just from these comments to hire a bus and head on up there to ooh and ahh over all the wonderful scenery! (Please stop procrastinating and give one of her books a try!)

      Delete
  8. Wonderful interview with a lady I greatly admire. She is everything I had hoped to be, beautiful, a disciplined and extremely talented writer, gracious, and friendly in a humble way. I love following her blog and keeping up with the doings of Louise and her husband and their dog. The picture of Quebec heightens my anticipation of our own colorful autumn here in PA.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The San Pedro River (not too far from Tombstone and Bisbee) is lined with towering trees on either side. It looks so strange, this sudden lush and verdant shade appearing on the desert floor. In the autumn, those trees turn the San Pedro into a ribbon of gold. Fall can be such a time of beauty.

      Delete
  9. I'm two books behind in the series, just about to start Bury Your Dead. It's set in winter, so I haven't wanted to start it while we've been having our hot summer! lol I really love this series, Inspector Gamache is a wonderful lead character, and each book gets better and better. Thank you for the lovely interview with her, I enjoyed hearing some more from her.

    As a side note, not just Quebec looks like that, but so does here in Ontario, and the Maritime provinces. It's glorious here in the fall!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan, I hate cold so much that I tend to read books set in areas with harsh winters during the summer, so I can sit out in the pool and remind myself not to shiver!

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to make a comment. I really appreciate it!