Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Author Interview: Kimberly Reid
What would be the hardest thing about being the daughter of a private investigator for you?
I really am the daughter of a retired police officer and private investigator so I can tell you without a doubt the hardest thing was being worried whether my mom would come home each night. She became a police officer for the Atlanta Police when I was young enough to think it was a cool job without fully understanding the danger involved. Back then, Atlanta was called the crime capital of the country. It wasn’t until I was ten or eleven that I realized just how dangerous the job was and I worried about her all the time after that. I was in grad school when she left law enforcement, so that was her job pretty much my whole childhood and early adulthood. When my mom began doing private investigation work, I was actually relieved.
What was the biggest mystery you had to solve when you were a teen?
The biggest mystery I wanted to solve was one of my mom’s cases. When I was thirteen, she was assigned to a task force created to track down a serial killer who terrorized metro Atlanta for nearly two years. I was always snooping on that case, asking questions, sneaking into my mother’s work. I was obsessed, so much so I wrote a non-fiction book about it called No Place Safe.
If you could pair Chanti and Marco with any character from any book, who would you pick for each?
This question is hard because I can only imagine them with each other!
I would pair Chanti with Bobby from The First Part Last by Angela Johnson. The book is very different from mine in tone and subject matter, but I really like that character, the way he evolves to meet his changing circumstances. Bobby is a sixteen-year-old boy who becomes a father and eventually accepts that responsibility. Chanti’s parents became pregnant with her when they were still in high school, but the outcome was very different. Her non-existent relationship with her father will impact her over the course of the Langdon Prep series. With Bobby, Chanti would have a chance to see a different version of young fatherhood than what she experienced.
For Marco, I’d pick Emma, the title character from Jane Austen’s book. Emma’s three years older, but she’s kind of an immature twenty-year-old by today’s standards, so it might work. Chanti and Emma have some of the same challenging personality quirks that drive Marco crazy: often in other people’s business, overanalyzing situations, sometimes reading too much meaning into events or actions. Emma displays these quirks while playing matchmaker, Chanti while playing detective, but Chanti is better at sleuthing than Emma was at matching. Marco won’t accept Chanti’s quirks, but Mr. Knightley falls for Emma in spite of them. Maybe Emma knows something Chanti doesn’t about getting a guy to love you, flaws and all. I’d like to see if she could work her magic on Marco.
You’re lost in the jungle with Chanti. What happens?
We both grew up city girls so it would have to be a Lost or Castaway situation for us to ever be in a jungle. But now that I think of it, I have been in a couple of jungles – well, rain forests – so I suppose it could happen. First we’d both freak out for a second, then realize we’re former Girl Scouts and I was once a project manager, so we did a risk analysis before leaving for the jungle and created a contingency plan. We’d each have cell phones (possibly a satellite phone), GPS tracker, backpacks with food, tent, water, flares, first aid kit, potable water pills, heat source, etc. We’d have let several people know where we were going—including map and GPS coordinates—and when they should expect our return. There would be people looking for us soon, once they got over the shock that we went into a jungle in the first place. So we’d find some good shelter, devise some type of weapon in defense of wild boar/ The Predator /Freddy Krueger (we’re daughters of cops, you know) and hang out until we were found. I imagine we wouldn’t be lost for very long. Seriously—ask anyone who knows me well and they’ll tell you I go a little overboard with the prepare-for-any-catastrophe thinking.
What kind of cookie would you describe yourself as?
I’ll go with chocolate chip made with Godiva chocolate and macadamias. I think I’m mostly a regular Joe-ette—nothing fancy—like chocolate chip cookies. But I’ll admit to having my high-maintenance moments.
Thank you, Kimberly, and congrats on the release!
Posted by Kari Olson at 1:00 PM