From the Booking Desk:
I first came to be aware of Edwin Hill when Shawn Reilly Simmons told me there was this new book coming out that she thought I might enjoy. That book turned out to be Edwin’s debut, Little Comfort, which I did immensely enjoy (and which went on to be an Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel). Fortunately, I was able to meet Edwin at Malice Domestic and am now proud to call him a friend. Seeing him at the various crime conventions each year is always a highlight. Edwin’s renown continues to spread and The Missing Ones, the second in his Hester Thursby series, is currently nominated for the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel *and* the G.P. Putnam’s Sons Sue Grafton Memorial Award to be presented during the annual Edgar Award Banquet. Edwin’s answers to our weekly questions below will further confirm how fascinating an individual he truly is.
Name: Edwin Hill
Location: Boston, MA
This person from my personal life is such an inspiration:
My grandmother was the town librarian from the forties through the early sixties. She ran all sorts of programs for children and adults that brought the community together. She also had a kooky side, conducting psychic readings and automatic writing.
She retired in the early sixties and passed away in the early nineties, and at her funeral, it was amazing to hear people talk about how she’d inspired and helped them through her work at the library. Even twenty-five years after her death (she’d be 126 this year), many people still tell me how she was able to help them in big and small ways as an integral part of their community.
She was already well into her seventies when I was born, but she published her first collection of poems that year Poems for the Future, many of which were inspired by her belief in extrasensory abilities. I remember her whenever I feel like a late bloomer!
One of the people I admire most in the crime fiction community is:
People say this all the time, but it bears repeating: folks in the crime community are very generous, so there are about a million candidates to choose from, right? I’ve seen Hallie Ephron and Hank Phillippi Ryan mentioned here before, both of whom lent me a hand as a new writer. I also could mention any of the people who volunteer hours of their time to Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Bouchercon, Thrillerfest, the New England Crime Bake, Malice Domestic, and countless other organizations. Then there are people like Dru Ann Love (and you, Kristopher!) who spend so much their free time helping us do what we love.
So even though I quietly name checked a bunch of people there, I’ll limit myself to one.
Sometimes when you meet a person, you don’t know what an impact that meeting will have on you personally or professionally, but it feels special even as it happens. At my first Bouchercon – Toronto in 2017 – I was stupidly nervous. I had sold my first novel the year before (on November 9, 2016 – I was the only happy person I knew that day), and somehow I thought I’d show up at the conference and there’d be a non-stop celebration – for me! There wasn’t. Instead, I spent the first day and half hanging out with myself and feeling like a loser. Then I went to the Nero Wolfe Banquet and met the wonderful Shawn Reilly Simmons, and we hit it off right away.
Shawn’s one of those quiet storms. Of course, she’s the uber-talented author of both novels (the Red Carpet Catering Mysteries) and short fiction. She edits for Level Best books, and she serves on the board of Malice Domestic. She also finds the time to help the many authors who come into her life make new connections and friends, and for that I will be forever grateful!
STALKER ALERT! If this fictional character were real, they would likely need to get a restraining order against me:
Is there anything more attractive than an emotionally distant PI with a dog? Jackson Brodie has had my heart since I first read Kate Atkinson’s Case Histories fifteen years ago. I didn’t love the TV series based on the books, but I won’t complain with the casting of Jason Isaacs.
People are always surprised that I am a fan of this individual (singer, actor, or artist):
I think Tiffany’s “All This Time” is a really good song, and not in an ironic way. I can also recite most of the dialogue from the New Jane Fonda Workout, including the lyrics from Leslie Lilien’s smash hit, “Do It.” Get me started at a cocktail party and you’ll think it’s funny – until it isn’t.
My personal catch phrase is (or should be):
Be grateful. Be tenacious. (Paraphrased from the Fonz himself, Henry Winkler.)
Wow! I love reading these interviews, anyway, but what a joy to see my name here! Thank you, darling Edwin you are one of the bright lights of the mystery world ! Congratulations on your success and fabulous nominations!
Back at you, my friend. I can’t wait to celebrate in New York and Bethesda!
Another new to me writer! Thanks again BOLO
And thank you!
Yes! This is great. And I agree: Shawn is a rock star. Can’t wait to see you this spring, Edwin! Congrats on all your nominations!
We’ll be raising a lot of glasses in celebration, me thinks!
Ed!!!! It’s so great to see you here — you are amazing and generous and lovely!
Thank you, and back at you!
It is always great to see how the crime mystery community helps each other.
I try to emulate many of the folks I mention here, and constantly fail!
Oh, my goodness, I’ll see you next time I’m stalking Jackson Brodie 😉 What a lovely interview. You have definitely done your grandma proud.
I still haven’t read the latest Jackson Brodie novel and am looking forward to it. My grandmother was a pretty amazing woman. One day, I’ll write a story with her at the center.
I’ve yet to get around to reading Edwin’s books but they are on the list. And I’ve sadly missed out on two signing appearances in the recent past.
This interview makes me regret those lost opportunities that much more.
Thanks Jay! I have a few events coming up this spring… check out my web site!: edwin-hill.com/events.