Our reader, Kathy Jund, lives in Southern California. (You may remember her from her coverage of the L.A. Times Book Festival.) She attended Karin Slaughter's event at the Cerritos Library in Cerritos, California and in this blog interview she shares her thoughts on the presentation.
Is this the first time you have attended a Karin Slaughter reading or talk?
No. Actually, I had the extreme pleasure of first meeting Karin Slaughter in the spring of 2010 at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books event where she served on a panel and then met with fans to sign books. As a huge fan, I had also been in email contact back and forth with Karin for a few years and subscriber to her electronic newsletter, which is hilarious!
Tell us about the crowd at the event.
The Cerritos Library is a wondrous building, it was my first time being there and definitely plan to return. With approximately forty fans in attendance, there was an even mix of both men and women. I can say for sure we all hung on the edge of our seats to hear what Karin had to say. Speaking for myself in surveying the crowd, I know everyone in attendance enjoyed this time in Karin’s company immensely. Upon conclusion of her talk, Karin graciously signed books, met with fans, and took in a guided tour of the library.
What did Karin share about any back stories about CRIMINAL including her research about it?
Karin told us she did a lot of live research for this book interviewing women who had come up in law enforcement and related jobs during the seventies. She likened herself to a reporter who got the facts then went home and wrote lies about what she was told...(this was met with much humor by the audience!) Actually, many of the incidences within CRIMINAL came straight from the experiences these women faced everyday in doing their jobs. Karin wholeheartedly attributes the advancement to women in law enforcement to the Mayor at that time, the forward thinking Mayor Jackson, who by the way was the first African American mayor, unheard of in other parts of the country during these times. Karin also went on to enlighten the crowd by saying that she found oftentimes in the women she interviewed that the mere suggestion alone by men that women could not possibly become valuable members of law enforcement was the catalyst needed to make them join the force in the first place. Hence, the creation of Amanda Wagner and those awesome women who would become her life long friends.
Did she tell any other stores or anecdotes that you can share?
I can tell you that Karin has descended from a family of storytellers, from her grandmother and passed down through her father and his siblings. Karin told us it was a very common occurrence for the present she would give her Grandmother for the holidays to be a story she had made up and told her, which would sometimes earn her a spanking, (especially if the story she made up was a really good one.) Karin shared with us that her grandmother was an avid (and secret) reader of True Crime Magazine and would hide them under her mattress and upon the Sunday visits Karin would oftentimes find herself underneath her Grandmother’s bed reading them herself, as caught up in the stories as her grandmother was. As Karin tells it she spent most of her time growing up in the public library, drawn to books at a young age to the delight of her father; however, she will also say the library happened to be the only building to have air conditioning during those hot summer days in at Atlanta. To this day Karin values the hours she spent in the library and is why she stands so passionately in defending the continuance of these much-needed national icons that face the threat of government intervention to close them down and as such has formed and continues to spearhead her “Save the Libraries” campaign.
Were there any questions from the audience that you found to be particularly memorable?
One of the questions from the audience was whether Karin had any inclination of sending her characters off on a mission outside of Georgia and she responded that she is of the mind to keep everyone contained centrally within Georgia, for there were plenty of happenings in which she could draw from right from home. Karin did say, in CRIMINAL, Will had at least made it as far as the airport!
Did she give any hints of what she is working on now?
Karin was quite tight-lipped on the subject of her new book in progress however, with a gleam in her eye she slyly let us know her new book in progress goes by the title “UNSEEN”. In this installment, Amanda sends Will Trent undercover to infiltrate a secret training establishment for agents of the IRS, which is currently facing an “issue” of some sort which left us all intrigued as to the storyline and its outcome. I know I will be impatiently awaiting its release next year!