Monday, January 31, 2005

Interview with Rebecca Pawel, author of the Edgar winning Tejada novels set in Spain
Some tough questions for Rebecca Pawel, the author of the Edgar
winning Tejada crime novels set in Spain

What book would you most like to have written?

Feet of Clay, City Watch or Going Postal, by Terry
Pratchett.  Pratchett is a genius.  500 years from now
he'll be read, or he should be.

Pitch your new book , "The watcher in the Pines," to us in 25 words .

Terrorists or freedom fighters?  Loyal franquista
Tejada battles the "maquis" - who are either bandits
or heroes.  The problem is, his wife disagrees with
his definition.

(Exactly 25 words, as specified.)

What are you reading at the moment?

Elemental, mi querido Chaplin (Elementary, my dear
Chaplin) a Sherlock Holmes pastiche narrated
(obviously) by Charlie Chaplin.  It's written by Rafa
Marin, who translated my first book into Spanish.

What are you working on now?

The corrections on the fourth Tejada manuscript, "The
Summer Snow."  Since that's going to be the last
Tejada book (at least for a while) I'm also looking
around for new ideas.  I have half an idea for a
historical novel about the seventeenth century, but I
don't want to jinx it by describing it yet.

What's the greatest film ever made?

I haven't a clue.  Hopscotch, Singing in the Rain, The
Gay Divorcee and Teachers are all favorites of mine.
In terms of documentaries, I have to say The Sorrow
and the Pity.  Which brings me to Woody Allen's work
(uneven in quality, but I love Deconstructing Harry
and Annie Hall).  Other brilliant but uneven
directors: Fellini, Almodovar, Michael Moore.

You're going to die tomorrow. What would you do

Go to school, and write sub lesson plans if it's a
work day.  Organize and finish manuscripts if it's a
weekend or a summer vacation.  Finally get my will
properly signed and witnessed.  If time, clean
apartment so that I will look like a falsely neat
person for whoever goes through it.  If not, skip to
step two: Write love letters, and make sure I eat all
my favorite foods.

What music would you have played at your funeral?

I've never been to a funeral, so I don't know.  (My
family isn't religious.  We've always just done quiet
cremations, and then had friends drop by the house to
pay respects on a given day.)  But I'll go with
Langston Hughes; "Tell all my mourners, to dress in
red/Cause there ain't no sense in my being dead."

What's the most terrifying thing that's ever
happened to you?
When I thought a close family member might have a
terminal illness.  (False alarm, fortunately.)

What's the most ingenious crime you've got away

If I tell you, I won't have gotten away with it.

What's your most treasured possession?

Practically speaking, my computer.  It has my entire
life on it; everything from short stories to lesson
plans to love letters.

What would you most like to have invented?

I have no idea.

If you could change one thing in the world what
would it be?

Do poverty and injustice count as two things?