From The Booking Desk:
Last night was a lovely event at The Enoch Pratt Central Library featuring Deborah Crombie in conversation with Marcia Talley. I was lucky enough to attend with my friend and co-worker, Angela, and we both had a wonderful time.
The event was held in The Edgar Allan Poe Room on the second floor of the Library. It was the perfect venue. There is nothing like talking about books while surrounded by shelves filled with classic examples from a master of the craft. I will say that it was terribly warm in the library, but I will forgive them since we are in that weird “in between seasons” period here in Maryland.
The conversation was structured very informally, which worked very well since Deborah Crombie and Marcia Talley are good friends – such long-term friends, in fact, that they couldn’t even remember in what year they had met. They did talk about how the two of them and their mutual friend, the great Kate Charles, often get together to discuss plot ideas for their novels.
Much of the early discussion focused on how time works in both of their books. Deborah was talking about how she made a decision very early on to not have her characters age in real-time. Deb talked about how relatively little time has passed even though she has written sixteen books in the series. Marcia talked about how she started with her main character, Hannah Ives, a bit too old, so she has had to fudge things a bit in later books.
The next major topic of conversation was the various research adventures they have both had. These stories are best heard directly from the authors, but suffice it to say that Deb talked about her first time rowing in a skul boat and Marcia relayed a time when they were talking about murder methods in a restaurant and the folks at the table nearby promptly shuffled out of the dining room.
Of course, Deborah talked a bit about the plot of her new book, To Dwell in Darkness. This time Duncan and Gemma are investigating a bomb explosion in a famous train station in London. There is also a sub-plot involving their children discovering a litter of kittens, which sounds delightful in its “normalness.”
Both ladies talked about the successes they have had using the Scrivener writing software program. They made it sound like a great tool for writers at all levels and styles. I was able to ask Deb about her titles – which for the record, I think are some of the best in the industry. She said the she thinks of them very early in the process and called her titles Crombie-esque, which she found difficult to explain, but which those who know her titles will no doubt understand.
Afterwards, both authors signed books. I finally picked up To Dwell in Darkness, which I had been putting off since I knew this event was happening. I also grabbed a copy of Marcia’s latest, Tomorrow’s Vengeance. Mystery Loves Company (a great Maryland crime fiction bookstore) was handling sales for the event, so I also picked up a copy of Homicidal Holidays, the new short story anthology from the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime. Marcia was a co-editor on this collection along with Donna Andrews and Barb Goffman. I will get more autographs in that anthology at the upcoming Howard County Library event celebrating the folks involved.