There’s every chance you haven’t noticed this yet, but my latest Kirkus Reviews column—this one focused around an interview with Walter Satterthwait about his second delightful Lizzie Borden whodunit, New York Nocturne—was posted this morning. You’ll find it here.
As frequently happens, the interview material I had available exceeded what I could use in Kirkus (though not by much this time). So, as a bonus for Rap Sheet readers, I am embedding my last three questions to Florida author Satterthwait below.
J. Kingston Pierce: Over the last 20 years, you’ve had to give up two different series—one starring
Santa Fe, New Mexico, private eye Joshua Croft, the other
featuring Pinkerton agents Philip Beaumont and Jane Tanner. Did poor sales figures doom both of those series, or were there other issues involved?
Walter Satterthwait: The Joshua Croft novels ended just about exactly where I wanted them to end—in a
kind of uncertainty. As for the Pinkertons, I may see both of them again. When we saw them last, they were on their way to Greece. There was a lot of stuff going on in Athens in the early 1920s, and, so far as I know, no one’s ever
written a thriller that used any of it.
JKP: Are you currently laboring over a different work of fiction? If so, can you tell me something about its storyline?
WS: It’s another story about New York at night. That’s about as much as I can say. It’s never a great idea, I think, to talk too much about the stuff that’s not finished. To some extent, talking about it can drain away the energy you might need to finish it.
JKP: Finally, if you could have written any novel that doesn’t already carry your byline, what would it be?
WS: Pale Fire, the [Vladimir] Nabokov novel that purports to be the editor’s notes to a poem of 999 lines. Like Lolita, it’s a very nearly perfect book, but the monster at the heart of Pale Fire isn’t quite as monstrous as the monster in Lolita.