Kill someone! Great lines from the biggest reviewer of crime.

 In Articles, Branding, crime, fiction, Interviews, writing

“I will never read a normal novel. I just can’t. I won’t. I mean, I keep saying, you know, where’s the body? Kill someone! Let’s get out of here! Let’s move things along!”

I just finished listening to the latest episode of the podcast Criminal, from Radiotopia. If you haven’t heard this podcast, give it a shot – it is well worth checking out. If you know the podcast, and weren’t mad about it, fair enough, but I urge you to listen to The Gatekeeper. It’s an interview with Marilyn Stasio, who writes the Crime Column in the New York Times Book Review.

Stasio is a hoot. She lives in a rent control building on the Upper West Side. She likes to stick her feet out the window, because she doesn’t have air-conditioning. She loves the Alien movie series. And, of course, she loves crime novels.

She says she’ll read any work of crime fiction that she’s sent. Well, she’ll read some of it anyway. So my next call is to my publishers at Tor/Forge….As for the reviews, well, as she puts it, “If I haven’t reviewed your book, chances are, I’ve turned it down. That’s your review. And what do you not understand about no?”

Eeek. Maybe I won’t make that call after all!

But seriously, this is a great little interview by Phoebe Judge. It gives great insight into the mind of possibly the most powerful crime fiction reviewer in the world. And it gives some interesting tips for writers. Such as, what Stasio thinks is cliched, and why she thinks crime novels are so much longer these days (and whether that’s a good thing). It certainly made me think differently about the project I’m working on now. I’d write more, but I don’t want to spoil the podcast for you. Check it out. It really is a corker.

Most resonant line for me: “I don’t care how great your story is, if you can’t write it beautifully, then you ruin the story.”

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