Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Meet Karen Olson, Mystery Novelist
If you like mysteries with original flair, great dialogue, and sassy humor, let me introduce novelist Karen Olson. I recently read Shot Girl, featuring newspaper reporter Annie Seymour, and thoroughly enjoyed it. (And as I may have mentioned recently, I don’t finish many of the novels I start.) Shot Girl opens with Annie musing over the dead body of her ex-husband. Who can resist that? Then it gets rolling when the police, while fetching flip-flops from her car for her, find a gun that matches the shell casings by the body. This fast-paced delightful tale is the last installment in the series, but Karen is busy writing another set of mysteries starring a tattoo artist. Sounds like more good fun. Karen was also sporting enough to answer a few questions.
What is the elevator speech for the novel you’re writing now?
The book I'm working on right now is Pretty In Ink, the sequel to The Missing Ink, which will be out in July. Since I'm still not sure just what Pretty in Ink is about (I don't outline and work by the seat of my pants), here's my elevator speech for The Missing Ink.
Las Vegas tattooist Brett Kavanaugh gets mixed up in the disappearance of a woman who was last seen in Brett's shop making an appointment for devotion ink to surprise her fiancé, whose name is not the name she wanted on the tattoo.
What is your best moment as a novelist?
While I'm writing and the story begins to build momentum and it takes on a life of its own.
What is your worst moment as a novelist?
Worrying about whether I'll get another contract.
If you could get one do-over in your career, what would it be?
I might not have given Annie as much of a potty mouth. I had no idea how people would react to that, and while it's not gratuitous at all, I do know I've alienated some readers because of it. I do feel like I've got a second chance with The Missing Ink, though, and there is no cursing in that book at all. We'll see if it makes a difference as far as readers are concerned.
What was the last book you read that made you think “I wish I’d written that”?
Stewart O'Nan's Songs for the Missing.
Where can we find you on the web?
kareneolson.com and Wednesdays at First Offenders
Readers: Don't you think Karen should let her tattoo artist swear just a little? Do you have a tattoo? Would you read a mystery about a tatooist?