More Infrequently Asked Questions–From the sublime to the ridiculous

I had so much fun answering questions a few months ago that I decided to ask for more on my Facebook Page to go with some I’ve saved from emails.   In the future, if you have a question that’s not answered on my website at my FAQ (under Bio at the top), please email me to ask directly.  You should see FAQ when you pass your cursor over Bio.  If you don’t, the Internet gods are playing tricks.  Sometimes I see it, and sometimes I don’t.  My webmaster is trying to fix this.  If you don’t see it, please shoot me an email to forward to him so he’ll know I’m not crazy–which he doubts.

Which brings me to question number one.

What drives you absolutely, blooming nuts, and how do you deal with it?  Funny you should ask.  Technology!  My Internet’s going on and off, and Comcast not only has no idea why, they, too, think it’s in my head.  Then to add insult to injury, the new DVR we got from them comes with no instructions.  They assured me we need none, even though it’s not working.  I won’t go into my manifold past problems with my phone company–you can see them in a prior blog–except to say that after complaining to everyone in the entire Northern Hemisphere, I’ve been asked to testify in Richmond at a hearing about the company’s poor service record.  I plan to be there. 

Are you as vindictive as you sound?  Nope.  I just think things I’m paying for should work.  Call me. . . nuts (someone’s already done that, see the question above.)  BTW, Comcast techs are some of the nicest people out there.  We’re practically on a first name basis.

Both Happiness Key and Fortunate Harbor have long sections about the pleasures of pie.  You have pie recipes on your website.  Is pie one of your favorite foods?  Oddly, no.  But cupcakes–a real weakness of mine–were already well done (no pun intended) by others.  And pie is so versatile.  I am inordinately fond, though, of any pie with chocolate in it.  And occasionally, Key lime.

Do you write in your PJs?  I’ve been known to go to the computer in the morning wearing my bathrobe.  It’s that kind of job.  Ideas come at all times and in all places.  Of course, it’s hard to explain this to the UPS man when I have to sign for a package.

Do you plan to write a sequel to Prospect Street?  Most likely that will not happen, but I never say never.  Just discovered that a series of three novels I’m finishing now (Berlin Noir by Philip Kerr) was followed up many years later with more in the same series.  It can happen.

Which of your characters do you admire most and why?  Wow, great question, but then it comes from the great Casey Daniels, author of thrills, chills and mystery.  If I spent hours on this, I might come up with a different answer.  But the first character who comes to mind is Grace Cashell of Sister’s Choice, book five of the Shenandoah Album series.   Grace sets aside plans for her life and pitches in to raise her nephews, surmounting great difficulties without complaint.  Along the way she pursues her own creative agenda and lives life fully, despite all obstacles.

And finally for today:  How do you choose character names?  I blogged about this nearly a year ago right here.  In addition to the five major points I made then, there’s one more I can make now.  A name has to be unique enough for the reader to remember, and (usually) common enough that it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.  Sometimes you need a sore thumb, but you must have a good reason.  Naming characters is just as difficult as naming children.  And let’s not forget I don’t want to use the same names in book after unrelated book.  So my store of possibilities is narrowing.  Maybe we’ll have some polls here when I begin my next series.

Thanks for asking.  I’m always up for answering more questions in another IAQ blog.  The more colorful (as opposed to embarrassing) the better.


  1. Merry Lu on October 28, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    I am now hungry for pie. Either chocolate or Key lime would be wonderful. 🙂

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