22 November 2017

Author Interview: Linda Fairstein

Happy Wednesday everyone!! It's almost time for Thanksgiving and I cannot believe it! This year has completely flown by; however, today I got the most amazing opportunity to interview New York Times bestselling author Linda Fairstein! Last fall Linda Fairstein introduced the plucky, 12-year-old sleuth Devlin Quick to young readers in her first book, Into the Lion’s Den in her popular Devlin Quick mystery series. Devlin Quick returned this November in DIGGING FOR TROUBLE: A DEVLIN QUICK MYSTERY (Dial Books for Young Readers; on sale November 7, 2017) as a modern-day Nancy Drew determined to solve mysteries. Keep reading to find out more about the author, the book, her answers to my interview questions! 

Series: Devlin Quick
# of Pages: 336
Publication: November 7, 2017 
Source: Copy from Publisher
Amazon | Goodreads | Book Depository

Twelve-year-old supersleuth Devlin Quick heads to Montana to dig out dinosaur bones, but instead she uncovers a mystery. After successfully apprehending a map thief at the beginning of summer, Dev is going to spend the second half of her summer vacation in Montana with her best friend, Katie, exploring the outdoors and NOT getting into trouble. But after participating in a dinosaur dig, Katie and Dev suspect that someone bad is in the Badlands when Katie's found fossils are switched out for old rocks. The good news? With Mom back in New York, no one can stop Devlin from investigating! But the fossil thief isn't the only danger here, as snakes, scorpions, and bears abound, making Montana a treacherous place for finding answers. And when the mystery takes Dev and Katie back to Manhattan--to the Museum of Natural History--the case gets even more complicated, even with Dev's friend Booker there to help. Dev has to use her brains, brawn, and yes, okay, the lessons learned from her police commissioner mother if she wants to dig up the truth once and for all.

Ashley: What inspired you to use dinosaurs in this book?

Linda: As a kid, the first great institution I fell in love with was Manhattan’s AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY.  It’s the place I discovered dinosaur fossils and skeletons, and I’ve gone back with every kid – family and friends – over the decades as the knowledge about these giants and the exhibits depicting them have evolved.  Most kids I know are fascinated with dinosaurs, so that part was a natural.  In summer, I spend time every July in Montana, which is home to the largest fossil deposits in North America.  Someday I hope to participate in a dig, but until then Devlin Quick took on that fictional role for me in DIGGING FOR TROUBLE.

AshleyWhat was your favorite book as a child?

Linda: The first book that captured my heart was a volume of Robert Louis Stevenson’s A CHILD’S GARDEN OF VERSES.  I loved the sing-song rhythm of his poems, and it was what my mother often used to read me to sleep.  I think that once I learned to read for myself, my pre-adolescent choice will always remain Louisa May Alcott’s LITTLE WOMEN.

AshleyHow did you select the names of the characters?

Linda: As most writers come to realize, their choices of character names are very important.  We want readers to identify with them, to like our protagonists and fear our villains.  I sometimes use the names of good friends, as a tribute to them.  In this case, DEVLIN is the name of one of my favorite characters in a very old Hitchcock movie – NOTORIOUS.  Cary Grant’s character was called Devlin.  It’s a strong name and an unusual one, and since my Devlin is named for her father, I grabbed it to give to her.

AshleyWhat makes writing a children’s book different from writing a book for adults?

Linda: There are a lot of differences between writing for adults and writing for children.  One is that the vocabulary has to be something that a 10-12 year old kid would use, and so that can be very different.  For me, the plotting is much more fun because my adult mysteries involve murder and very sophisticated forensics, while the kids’ series don’t have that life-and-death intensity.  There is also a lot more light-hearted humor in DIGGING FOR TROUBLE than in DEADFALL, my most recent thriller.  I stay keenly aware of the fact that my audiences for each series is quite different.

Ashley: Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer or is writing your sole job/career for the moment?

Linda: When I started to write fiction in 1996, I was still a prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.  I stepped down from that job in 2002 to write full time, which I do.  But I am still passionate about the issues facing victims of violence, so I keep my license to practice law and accept some cases from time to time.

Ashley: Did any children’s mystery books inspire you to start this series?

Linda: Both of my careers – in law and in literature – were inspired by my devotion to Nancy Drew when I was a young reader.  I envied her courage and her independence, and her loyal group of friends who helped her solve crimes.  My decision to create a twelve-year old sleuth named Devlin Quick is a tribute to my affection for Nancy Drew.

Ashley: What is your favorite part of this book? (Spoiler free if you can haha)

Linda: My favorite part of DIGGING FOR TROUBLE was trying to imagine a situation that would create some peril for smart young kids involved in a dino dig.  I wanted them to encounter a bad situation that could be unraveled by their brains and their moxie, along with a good dose of knowledge about fossils picked up along the way.  I love plotting Dev’s capers.

Thank you so much to Linda for that interview! I really enjoyed learning more about her books and her as an author. If you want to know more about Linda keep reading below! 

Linda Fairstein is best known as the internationally bestselling author of the Alex Cooper mystery series for adults, which have been translated into more than a dozen languages. She first dreamed of writing mysteries in the sixth grade. A voracious reader of Nancy Drew, Linda penned her first caper for kids, The Secret of Apple Tree Farm at the age of 11. Last fall, Fairstein returned to her childhood passion with the publication of Into the Lion’s Den. Prior to writing, Linda worked at the Manhattan District Attorney's office as the head of the Special Victims Unit from 1976 to 2002. She lives in Manhattan, Martha’s Vineyard, and Big Timber, Montana.


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