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Hello, Liza. It's been forever, but do you remember me? I still have the pleasure of being friends with Gail and Alistair Romanes, so I still have occasional news of you. But not from the horse's mouth. Ellen Ryerson
Loved Rift and Dupe. Could have used some help with English slang such as "bobs your uncle"
Loved way you end your books
Thanks for the comments, Anonymous Poster. They're appreciated. LC 3 March 2017
Liza, I just read Miss Terry and enjoyed it very much. I was wondering, where you drew your inspiration from? How did you come to portray a young British woman with a migration background? Her need to fight so hard to assert her British-ness touched me particularly - being myself a second-generaton immigrant, this is a life-lasting topic for myself and some of your sentences made me wince, but in a good way :) - Thanks, Edina
Dear Edina, I am a second generation immigrant too. Thank you for writing. It's good to feel understood. Very best wishes... LC 6 October 2016
Liza, I have loved your books, have quite a few of them. They're among the ones I don't pass along to others but keep for possible rereading (a bit of a dream since I also write mysteries and always have scores of new books by friends stacked up). Question: RIFT is set in Ethiopia and East Africa. You don't have a paleo background, but did you get introduced to the Rift Valley by researchers, or meet any while you researched/traveled? - Susan C Shea
Thank you for the question, Susan. I've never been asked that before.
You're right, of course, I have no paleo background. What I had/have is a non-scientific, aesthetic, love of fossils.
The trip I took to East Africa was exactly as described in the book, and I happened to take with me The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. As events in Ethiopia unfolded I became more and more struck by the knowledge and observation TE Lawrence displayed under absolutely grotesque circumstances.
Having, myself, failed to take in the geological significance of the Rift Valley I'd been travelling through, when I got home, I found a Geology 101 book called Understanding The Earth, and tried to make a dent in my profound ignorance.
I didn't begin the book till about 12 years later, and then the Rift,, the volcanic instability, became a a running trope for the violence of revolutionary Ethiopia and the confusion in Fay's mind.
So no, I never met any researchers at the time, or anyone useful in that respect. I simply passed on to Fay the random auto-didactic knowledge I'd acquired in the intervening years. I wasn't a writer when I took the trip, but I had taken a camera and a notebook. Also I have a pretty fair visual memory. But while writing, I read Dervla Murphy's and Ryszard Kapuscinski's books on Ethiopia which were enormously helpful.
All very best wishes, LC 6 June 2016
Thanks for you answer, Liza. How nice of you.
Yes, reading your novels is like adding spice to an otherwise bland vegetarian meal - it makes all the difference.
I do feel a bit silly just bursting about my pleasure of having discovered you ;-) ….
Normally people have "a problem" or "a question". However, my enthusiasm tells me how fed up I am with all this sensless violence in crime fiction today or with the kind of city porn I used read about Venice, for example.
I have written the first draft of my first crime novel and intend rewrite it during the summer. I had a similar approach for a story here in Berlin but readers felt uneasy with my unemployed 'would be' detective Sophie and her friends from Big Issue. And of course I do not nearly know enough about life on the streets. But hey - your writing is a great encouragement to me. I would love to give you a big hug if I could!
Best wishes from Berlin, Anja
your work is a revelation to me. So entertaining, funny if not wise. Crime without women being endlessly tortured - I can hardly put into words what a relive that is!!
Lots of love from Berlin, Anja
Thanks, Anja. Yes, I too am completely fed up with the torture-fodder status of women in so many crime stories. LC 25 January 2016
I just discovered your wonderful books and am so sad that after Musclebound, there were no more Eva Wylie books. I'll never forget her and will not get rid of my three books. Wonderful. I worry about her...
Thank you for the generous comments, Wendy. I worry about Eva sometimes too. LC 8 March 2015
Go on, nameless reader. Lash out and buy a new copy of Monkey Wrench and give the poor author a few pence in Royalties.
Years and years after loving Bucket Nut, I found a signed copy of Musclebound in a secondhand bookshop in Covent Garden last week. Another wonderful read. Now I am hoping that MonkeyWrench will turn up somewhere unexpected.
Eva is one of my all time favourite characters.
You are such a good writer - I can't remember which book of yours I read first (was it Rift?) and then I discovered Bucket Nut, and Gimme More - brilliant. Thank heavens for the internet so I can find your books when my *!#* local library doesn't have them.
Lady Bag is heart wrenching. Such a fine book. Question: Which of your novels did you find hardest to write? Kent Schroder
Good question. The trite but true answer is always, 'The one I'm writing now.' But the other true answer is Ballad of a Dead Nobody -- because of the structure. It's built up out of small interviews and attitudes. Characters have absurdly different descriptions of the central (missing) singer and the circumstances that led to her death -- so different, that you realise they're talking about themselves rather than the subject. And you keep wondering how any larger truth can possibly emerge. It was like trying to build a house out of pebbles and paste. And thank you for the review on Amazon, Kent. Best wishes, Liza 7 January 2014
I realized that I wrote "listen" to your wonderful books when I meant read. However, i did read some out loud to my grown daughter sans British accent! I'm reading Ladybag first on my phone's Kindle. Love the homeless Londoner with rescued Greyhound perspective. And short chapters to mirror the energy level of the character. My trip is a flight this time. So nothing to interrupt a long read! Thank you for writing these great books! I will ask my friends to check out the Kindle versions. I have connections to the rescue Greyhound folks who would love Ladybag. Adrienne
I forgot to sign my comment just now and keep up the great work! Adrienne Evans, from Texas
I just now got the electronic versions of Lady Bag, Ballad of a Dead Nobody and Miss Terry to listen to on a business trip. Yay! Can't wait! Would you please ask your publisher to arrange to have your books in audio form downloadable, and especially from Audible.com? Your work is absolutely wonderful read aloud. I've spent many trips listening to my favorite short story, Lucky Dip, read aloud. It's out of print now and the audio version I heard was on cassette. I know I'm asking a lot but just think of the joy your readers would have if this could come to pass. Happy solstice and Hanukkah and Christmas and New Years!
Dear Adrienne, I knew it was you even without your signature. Actually I didn't know that the titles you mentioned were in audio. Perhaps it happens automatically somehow. All I can say is that shortly everything will be electronic, including Lucky Dip - but I don't know when. I seem to be the last to be told. I'm so glad you're still enjoying my work and telling me about it. Keep driving safely. Love, Liza 9 December 2013
I have just re-read - with great pleasure - Bad Company. I cant be the only person who wonders what happened to Anna (and Eva for that matter) and what she does now. is there any chance of finding out?
an elderly admirer
Dear Russell, Thankyou for writing - that's kind. About Anna Lee: oddly, I had a new short story published recently in the UK in an anthology called 'Deadly Pleasures' (Severn House) which deals, enigmatically, with what might or might not have happened to her. Best wishes, LC 30 November 2013
I have my original copy of Bucket Nut - bought way back when - and she resides in my head still.
Thank you for Eva
Thanks for telling me, Fiona. What a cheer up! LC 11 October 2013
way back when i purchased your first Anna Lee in England and eventually bought all of them. You stiill are my heroine and as I approach 65 with some internet savvy, i keep buying them for those who appreciate great writing.
It's so good of you to write and tell me this. I feel encouraged. LC 17 July 2013
I'm going crazy waiting for more books from you. Why can't you be more prolific? Why aren't there ten Eva Wylie novels like there are twelve or whatever Jack Reacher novels? Or fifty or whatever of Robert B. Parker's Spenser stories? Please, please, please make a study of how you work your magic--how you shape a scene, fit your ideas into it, and lend it rhythm--and indulge it and me and you all day every day for the next thirty years. I love you, Liza. Yours, Ken
Dear Ken, See, this is the problem when you don't indulge in ritualistic behaviour or writing by rote. You never know how to do a thing, cos in certain real ways you've never done it before. In fact, you're forever inventing the wheel. It makes life exciting, sure, but it scares you half to death too. And worse, you end up with 5 books while the clever ones write 50. That said, there may well be a new book out next year, called Miss Terry. Hugs. LC 30 December 2011
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The Anna Lee series
The Eva Wylie series
The other stand-alone novel...
The story collections I co-edited for Britain's Crime Writers' Association.