Watch Out, Jessica Fletcher, Here I Come

Press Conference

Author Casey Daniels once referred to an event in a mutual friend’s writing career as a “Murder She Wrote” moment.  Not because our friend Diane found a dead body or solved a murder (although she certainly has written wonderful novels about both) but because she had actually been treated like the star she is during a visit to Manhattan.  Jessica Fletcher, star of the classic television series about a mystery novelist, was always treated like a celebrity, no matter where she went.  And Jessica went everywhere.

Let’s face it, most of the time we author-types are  found at home in front of our computers wearing sweats, not false eyelashes.  We don’t spend our days with glamorous people, and most of us don’t need disguises when we shop for discount canned goods at the supermarket.  We’re so ordinary people not only don’t recognize us, they don’t believe us when we tell them what we do for a living.  This keeps us blissfully modest and our sneaker-clad feet solidly on the ground.  But every once in a while. . .  Voila, Jessica Fletcher for the day.

Photographers at the photo shoot

This past week I had the opportunity to visit Germany to help publicize the film version of my novel Rainbow Fire.  I landed on Sunday and left on Thursday, and in between I gave interviews and met with publishers and the good people at both ZDF (the network) and Polyphon International (the producer.)  I was wined and dined and most “Jessica Fletcher” of all, I had my photo taken during our press conference by a group of about 15 professional photographers.  Flat out amazing.

Most fun of all I even had a professional makeup artist for the shoot, who took my “I want to look like me, only better” advice to heart and did her best to make it happen.  She also rescued me when my curling iron–plugged into a converter I’d brought along–overheated and threatened to singe my hair.  Remember the scene in Little Women when Jo leaves the curling iron in the fire too long, and off comes one of Meg’s beautiful curls?   Close call and a warning that converters don’t always, well, convert.

Helmut with creative producer and gourmet cook, Carsten Kelber

I loved meeting the two male leads in the film.  Wayne Carpendale, who plays Dillon and Helmut Zierl, who plays Jake were both charming.  In the book Jake’s in a coma in the hospital most of the time, and how glad am I that in this version, Helmut got a larger role.  Of course the book’s about opal mining in Australia and the film’s about treasure diving in New Zealand, but you see the connection, right?  A change here, a change there. . .

Emilie and Wayne with the German edition of Rainbow Fire

Part of the fun was getting to meet the great staff at my German publisher, CORA Verlag.   Stefanie Kruschandl is my German editor, and she and editor Bettina Steinhage were so knowledgeable about my books.  I particularly enjoyed finding out what sells best in Germany.  CORA Verlag publishes not only my MIRA novels, but also my Ministry is Murder series.  They are particularly fond of Aggie, which was delightful to hear.  They treated me to a wonderful dinner at the Hamburg harbor (2nd largest in Europe) and an evening of good conversation.

Publicists Conny of CORA Verlag and Tina with Polyphon organized non-stop interviews.  The journalists I spoke with were unfailingly polite and interested in what I had to say.  I loved my interview for Tina magazine in particular since my daughter-in-law is Tina, too.

Emilie and Markus Dietsch from Tina magazine

Stefanie, Tina and Conny

So I’ve had my Murder She Wrote moment, and actually almost a week of them.  My thanks to everyone in Germany who worked so hard to make my stay there the delight that it was.  Back to sweats, cheese sandwiches and constant trips outside with the crazy beagle, as I write my next novel, but trust me, I’ll trot out these memories often.


  1. Diane Chamberlain on March 26, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    This is so, so so cool, Emilie! Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip with us.

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