Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Most Novel Woman: Laurie R. King

Last week I had the honor of attending a book reading at BookShop West Portal featuring Laurie R. King.  A truly fangirl moment for me as she is my idol in many different ways.  She would probably scowl at this or wave her hand and laugh it off, but it's my blog, I can offer a virtual squeal if I wish. 

First, she is a magical writer -- having crafted several entertaining mystery series, my favorite being the Mary Russell novels.  They feature a woman who is strong, intelligent and not always lovable.  She is also the only living person who can match -- and often trump --- Sherlock Holmes' detective abilities.  She is also his wife, so there.

I fell for Ms. King's writing after reading The Beekeeper's Apprentice which begins with the sumptuous line of "I was fifteen when I first met Sherlock Holmes, fifteen years old with my nose in a book as I walked the Sussex Downs, and nearly stepped on him."  The rest of the series flew by, and now I am in the middle of her latest, Garment of Shadows.  She does her homework.  She researches.  She can write -- lord, can she write.  Too much of what I've read lately has left me feeling like I've just bit on aluminum foil.  She proves you can have a bestseller and not sacrifice the prose.

Second, she is a role model for writing mothers (well understanding the often mind-numbing tasks required in that career and balancing it with the ability to disappear into fiction) and a role model on how to continue to grow as a woman.  I've often written about the invisibility of turning forty, but as I sat and listened to Ms. King I felt like a student that had fallen into a well-loved class.  She is well traveled and well educated but she is also quite savvy (who knew she was aware of Cumberbitches?)  She is also witty and laugh out loud funny.  The one thing I regret about the evening is that the bunch of us didn't take her out for drinks.  Listening to Ms. King speak is something I doubt I could ever tire of.


  1. That is so awesome you got to meet one of your favorite writers! And how wonderful that she's as great a person as a writer.

    Cumberbitches, hahaha...guess who just Googled (to make sure it was what I thought it was) & is now the newest follower. :)

  2. "Any woman who has a deep fasination with the wonderful, beautiful, talented English stage and on-screen actor Benedict Cumberbatch"

    So I followed Nicki's advice to google that but I don't know who Benedict is so I'm still lost!

    That's lovely you got to spend time with your idol. Squee away--I'd be doing that too if I met romantic suspense writer Pamela Clare.

    Hope there aren't many tin foil books in your future!