Friday, May 20, 2011
Murder with Lipstick
Susan: What, if any, of Bethany shows up in Nikki?
Bethany: When I set out to write BULLETPROOF MASCARA I knew I was writing the first adventure of a super-spy, so I really thought hard about the problems I saw with "first" novels - both the first novels of writers and the first novels about a character. One of the problems I saw was that first novels often feature characters that are thinly veiled versions of the author. So I tried to make Nikki as different from me as possible. I don't have red hair, I didn't study linguistics, I don't speak French, I'm not super into speed, I'm taller than she is, my parents are still married and my mom's not crazy. This caused it's own set of problems of course, like having to research linguistics and finding someone to translate French for me. I think where Nikki and I overlap is in our attitudes. I have a strong feminist streak (in case you haven't noticed) and I really believe that women should help each other. I also think we share a bit of the same sense of humor and we both love to travel.
Susan: You have a lot of action scenes in your novels. Does being a runner and a martial artist influence that?
Bethany: Mostly it shows up in the ways that I don't write action scenes! Not only does my dojo have a strong family feeling ("The family that kicks together, sticks together!" is not just a slogan), but my brother and sister-in-law are also instructors there, and if I wrote something that was too unrealistic or inaccurate I'd hear about it. Talk about pressure! The last thing that I want to hear when I come in to teach my class is, "That is not how you break someone's arm!" Well, I don't want to hear it about something about I've written anyway.
Susan: What are some of your favorite books? What's at the top of your TBR stack?
Bethany: Favorite books? That's a long list! Um.... In no particular order, THE BLUE CASTLE (If you haven't read it do it NOW) by LM Montgomery, THE BLUE SWORD by Robin McKinley (or maybe I just like blue...), SNOW CRASH by Neal Stephenson, GUARDS! GUARDS! by Terry Pratchett, THE DEATH IN... series (Zanzibar, Cyprus, Berlin, etc) by MM Kaye, and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST by... Actually I forget who wrote it, but the one illustrated by Hilary Knight. And I'm sure I could think of a dozen more if I thought about it for longer than a minute, but my most recent favorite is THE MANUAL OF DETECTION by Jedidiah Berry. It had a beautiful dreamy quality that was perfectly suited to it's plot.