Thursday, March 29, 2007

Lunch With Agatha

Hi Y'all! I'm J.B. Stanley and I write the supper club mystery series. I am very proud to be listed among the wonderful writers on this blog. I live in Richmond, VA and have just finished lunch, so here's an appropriate lunch posting:

Book Ends, my literary agency, has a wonderful blog that I read regularly. To check it out, visit . Anyway, one of the agents will occasionally interview an author client on their blog and one of the questions that has appeared goes something like Which four authors (dead or alive) would you most like to have lunch with? Well, I thought that would be a great blog topic as I’d love to see whom you all would like to break bread with. Here are my choices:

  1. Agatha Christie. This choice probably comes as no surprise. The woman is the Queen of the Mystery. I have read and loved every Hercule Poirot book and at least read most of the Miss Marple books. I’d love to talk to Agatha about how clever her mysteries are. Unlike many modern mysteries, I can rarely guess who the killer is. All of Agatha’s characters are always complex and difficult to read. I usually make an incorrect judgment about one of them and then, Dame Christie draws back a literary curtain and reveals how her subtle clues led Poirot or Marple to the true villain.
  1. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Honestly, I’ve had a crush on this man since I was in high school. It all started when I choose to do a book report on The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald’s photo was on the inside cover of the paperback I owned and I thought there was something so intriguing about the handsome, young man. When I started researching his bio and discovered that he and his famous flapper wife, Zelda, led a tumultuous and tragic life, I was even more fascinated. I guess I’d like to see Fitzgerald as he was before he surrendered to alcoholism – back when he was courting his wife and writing such beautiful novels.
  1. Michael Crichton. Writer of the TV series ER, novels like Jurassic Par, Timeline, Andromeda Strain. He’s just so brilliant, so multi-talented. I’d love to listen to him talk about how he conducts his research. This man jumps from replicating dinosaur DNA to time travel to biological warfare and everything he writes seems scarily believable. I read all of his books and am always impressed with his depth of research. I know I could really learn something from him.
  1. 2 Outta 3 Bronte Sisters – I know this entry counts as two people, but I couldn’t chose between Charlotte or Emily. I wouldn’t even need them to talk about their works – what woman hasn’t read them with rapture? No. I’d just love to listen to them gossip about their friends, sisters, and the available young men in their circle. I think it would be just like reading one of their novels. I bet they’d even flirt with our waiters and especially with F. Scott!

If I had a bigger table, I wouldn’t mind a chat with Mary Shelley, James Michener, Ellery Queen, Christian Jacq (he writes the historical fiction novels on Ramses the Great), and my all-time favorite writer (whose books are mostly out of print) Mika Waltari (his books are translated from Finnish).

What about you? What authors would you like a lunch date with?


Mark Terry said...

Cool concept. I've interviewed a number of authors, so a couple of those will fit in here.

1. Randy Wayne White. Author of the Doc Ford stories. My phone interview with him was one of those great chats where you get to the end of the talk and say, "Damn, I didn't write down anything." But we sure had a great talk. Randy's a former fishing guide, so he knows how to entertain.

2. Stephen King. Never interviewed him, but I think we could hang out.

3. David Morrell. I recently interviewed him and I was pretty nervous about it. He charmed me and was very relaxed and relaxing.

4. Lest this seem like too much of an old-boy's club, Janet Evanovich, because I think she's another one who could hold her own at the dinner table.

Damn. I hope they all like Mexican. Tomorrow night at 7:30 at Sagebrush Cantina in Lake Orion, MI. Randy, Steve, David and Janet. Don't be late. First margarita's on me.

jbstanley said...

Margaritas? My fav. Can I come?

Candy Calvert said...

As most of you know, I'm seriously Bi-Genre. Meaning that though I'm writing a MYSTERY series, my writing "roots," are in ROMANCE. And I proudly wave the RWA (Romance Writers of America) banner. So . . .
Two years ago at the RWA National conference in Reno our keynote speaker, best-selling author Debbie MaComber, left an index card by every attendee's lunch plate. And she asked us to write down (that very minute) specific GOALS for our writing careers--tangible, touchable, seemingly irrational "dreams come true." Written as if they are already a "done deal." No limits. We were to keep them by our desks, read them often and "see" them happening.

Hang on--let me grab the card. Yes, line 6 reads:

"I'm having lunch with Jennifer Crusie and Janet Evanovich."

Oh yeah. Wer'e laughing, snark-ing, sipping, brashly brainstorming . . . we are SO going to get kicked out of that joint!

Bill Cameron said...

Why not go for broke and get all three of the Brontë sisters together for one big brunch. You can't leave out Anne, after all!

My four? I dunno. I'm gonna have to think about this, though, honestly, if I could join the three Brontë sisters for lunch, I'd go for it.

Mark Combes said...

I had a beer with Randy White once - very interesting fellow. Wrote for "Outside" magazine for a spell and he's got some travel stories to tell...

My off-the-cuff four:

1. Peter Mattheissen: Known more for his non-fiction, but his fiction is spell binding. When I grow up, I want to write like Mattheissen.

2. John D. MacDonald: You might find the Travis McGee series a bit dated, but it's one of the series that got me writing crime fiction. Plus the houseboat thing is cool.

3. Michael Perry: Who? you ask. Look him up. I just discovered him and he writes memoir/non-fiction stuff that is moving and hillarious in the same sentence.

4. Paul Newman: Okay, I'm cheating, but I've always thought he was the coolest dude. When I grow up, I want to write like Mattheissen and be like Paul Newman...

Joe Moore said...

I wouldn’t mind sitting down to a delicious lunch of faber beans and a nice chianti with Thomas Harris. Perhaps he could bring along his friend, Dr. Lecter. A lunch to die for.

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Great question:

Charles Dickens
Stephen King
Harper Lee
Selma Diamond (Yes, she wrote a book and is my muse.)

To be PC, I guess I should have added Keith Raffel since I'm having brunch with him on Sunday.

G.M. Malliet said...

Shakespeare (except we wouldn't be able to understand each others' accents, I'll bet)

Christopher Marlowe. Now THAT would be a lively lunch. Same problem with the accents.

Stephen King

I love Agatha Christie but I doubt she could explain how she created her wonderful puzzles. It might be a quiet lunch compared with ol' Marlowe.

Julia Buckley said...

I'm sure I'd pick a different four every day, but my number one will always be:

1. MARY STEWART; my long-time idol.

then, some of these:
Sparkle Hayter (I think she'd be a hoot), Albert Camus (I'd have a ton of questions), Shakespeare (ditto), Ross MacDonald, Sue Grafton.

And if we're drinking, I like Pina Coladas.

jbstanley said...


I love Mary Stewart too. In fact, she's going to come up in my next blog. Stay tuned, my dear.

G.M. Malliet said...

I think if we're drinking you have to go to

Gin (no pun intended)

Mark Terry said...

When you have lunch/dinner with Harper Lee, ask when the sequel's coming out?

Tequila Mockingbird?

Nina Wright said...

Forget lunch. I want an invitation to the *bacchanal* that includes all these icons. And I want to add Mark Twain to the guest list, along with P.D. James, Ruth Rendell, and James Lee Burke.

Thank you, J.B., for a terrific topic and inspiration for further rumination. I'm already thinking about fictional characters I'd like to have lunch with. Or maybe way more than lunch....

jbstanley said...

Dear Nina,

You brilliant woman! The fictional character lunch is my next blog - it's already written. So start thinking about comments for that one and I absolutely concur about P.D. James. My diction would improve instantaneously by simply being near her.