Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Q&A with Ann Cleeves

Tammy Kaehler is here today to interview author, Ann Cleeves, a guest of honor of the Left Coast Crime convention. Left Coast is an annual mystery fiction convention for fans. This year it will be held in Phoenix, February 25-28.  

Left Coast Crime 2016, The Great Cactus Caper, is fortunate to honor wonderful Guests of Honor and a Toastmaster. We thought we'd sit down over virtual cups of tea or coffee and get to know each one a little bit. Our first guest is our International GoH, Ann Cleeves.

LCC: What do you especially like about Left Coast Crime? 

Ann: My first experience of left Coast Crime was many years ago in Anchorage. I loved the friendliness of it and the fact that readers and writers shared the experience of being in such a wild place, unfamiliar to most of us. Last year I was in Monterey, that time with my husband, and again we were struck by how friendly everyone was. It was a wonderful opportunity to catch up with booksellers, readers, and writers.

How do you feel about being a Guest of Honor? 
Of course I'm deeply honoured to have been invited to be International Guest of Honour. I hope I can be an ambassador for the convention here in the UK and persuade more Brits to come along to Left Coast Crime.

What are you looking forward to at LCC Phoenix? 
I'm very much looking forward to catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. Writing can be a solitary occupation and it's wonderful to spend time with readers. They're the people who matter most in conventions, after all, and we're all readers with a passion for crime-fiction, with new books and authors to recommend.  Although I've been to Arizona before, I didn't spend any time in Phoenix, so I'm looking forward to seeing the city too.

What should fans, readers, fellow writers know about you? 
That I'm a very lucky woman! I'd been writing (and was published) for many years before achieving any commercial success. I understand something of the frustration of being a mystery writer at the bottom of the pile... A winter trip to my beloved Shetland altered my fortunes. The result was Raven Black, the book that changed my career. Now I write two series.  One is set in Shetland and features Inspector Jimmy Perez.  

Those books have been adapted by the BBC under the title SHETLAND.  A new six-part series will be broadcast in the UK soon. The Vera Stanhope books are set in Northumberland and have been adapted for TV, starring double Oscar-nominee Brenda Blethyn as VERA. Series 6 has just finished filming and should be available in the new year. I have no influence in the TV dramas but I do have a very good relationship with the cast and crew of both shows.

What would you say to new attendees to LCC?

Please come and say hello! I can't wait to meet you.

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