Laura Lippman @ The Ivy Bookshop

From The Booking Desk:

Last November, I read the new Tess Monaghan novel by Laura Lippman.  Since then, I have anxiously awaiting the time when the public at large would be able to experience Hush Hush.  That moment is now upon us.  Last night, Laura Lippman appeared at The Ivy Bookshop in Baltimore to celebrate the launch of Hush Hush and as any event with Laura is bound to be, it was a smashing success.

 

In just a moment, I will bullet-point some of the highlights from the event.  But before I do that, let’s recap some of the recent Laura Lippman activity here at BOLO Books:

 

Now, let’s take a look at some of the topics covered by Laura Lippman at The Ivy event:

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By six o’clock, the seats at The Ivy Bookshop were starting to fill. The event wasn’t scheduled to start until seven, Laura arrived a bit early and promptly took her seat at the front of the room. While she started talking informally, the cash register could be heard ringing in sales of Hush Hush for the excited attendees.

  • Laura was given condolences on the death of her father (late last year) and this led to a discussion about the new Baltimore Sun reporter who was tasked with writing her Dad’s obituary. Laura said that this person must have felt intimidated because at one point she had Laura Lippman on the phone in one ear and David Simon at the other ear – here in Baltimore, this would be nerve-wrecking for anyone, least of all a new reporter fearing that one mistake could be the end of a career. Laura laughed at this and said that while David is somewhat a “personage,” she (and he, as well) really don’t hold themselves in very high esteem – “because that is what being from Baltimore is all about.”
  • Laura also mentioned learning about the death of a friend’s parent much later after the fact. She noted that in our modern world it seems that we either know things instantly or we learn them much later. This was an interesting observation that after thinking about, I tend to agree with.

At this point, the launch event (proper) began.  It is easiest if I just bullet point some of the highlights.

  • Laura does feel that Hush Hush is a great place for those new to the Tess Monaghan series to begin. Both she and Tess have improved over the years.
  • When deciding to return to Tess, she realized that she had to go right directly at the problem that had been causing her to not write about Tess for years – that is, Tess being a mother. For Laura, the story needed to be ABOUT that.
  • The Andrea Yates case was part of the inspiration for Melisandre Harris Dawes. In fact, Laura discovered that Yates has a roommate who also killed her child and found out some stuff about her life after returning home (from prison). She was unable to live a “normal” life because as much as she tried to hide her past, people always found out. With Melisandre, Laura wanted to write a character who wanted the world to look at her and what she had done, rather than trying to hide it.
  • Even though Laura outlined The Girl in the Green Raincoat – required by contractual agreement – and found that process to make the writing of the book so much “easier,” she can’t make herself outline her novels when it is not required.
  • Laura feels that the heart of Hush Hush is embedded in the scene at Eddie’s Deli where Tess is trying to buy some wine while Carla Scout is throwing a tantrum in the middle of the aisle.
  • Laura herself has never felt more judged than she felt when she became a parent. People will say things to a parent that are just plain rude and unacceptable.
  • Of course, Laura was asked about bringing Tess to movies/tv and she said that there have been options, but that nothing is currently in the works. Laura did say that at this point, if the Tess series does come to the screen, she would like to be the one to write it. Personally, I’m not sure why a production company or cable station hasn’t jump on this yet, so if any of you are reading this – GET ON IT!
  • The feminist Laura came out when she was discussing how her husband, David Simon can be profiled in a very long article for a major news magazine and never be asked about work/life balance or what it is like to be a new parent, while she (and most women) are always asked this question.
  • She talked briefly about her stand-alone novels and how the sadness of them is that she has to leave the characters knowing that she won’t write about them again.
  • Finally, Laura did say that Tess is likely to be back, but that at some point, she does feel that she will need to “retire” the character.  She also wants to write some Tess prequels about Tess’s parents.

All in all, a very entertaining and enlightening evening at The Ivy Bookshop.  If you get a chance to see Laura Lippman on this book tour for Hush Hush, don’t miss the opportunity. You are sure to have a great time!
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