Sunday, February 22, 2009

Linda Fairstein - Lethal Legacy Tour

Linda Fairstein is the author of the internationally bestselling crime novels featuring Manhattan's sex crimes prosecutor, Alex Cooper. LETHAL LEGACY, published on February 10th, is the eleventh novel in the award-winning series.

Fairstein, who lives in Manhattan and on Martha's Vineyard, held that same prosecutorial job for thirty years. She is also the author of SEXUAL VIOLENCE: OUR WAR AGAINST RAPE, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

She's also a legal commentator for the major television and cable networks. Her website is

Linda Fairstein - Touring

I’m one of those authors who simply loves being on a book tour. My prosecutorial life (thirty years in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office) was as wonderfully collegial as I try to show through Alex Cooper’s relationships with her friends in the office and the NYPD. The writer’s life is often quite solitary – a really good day is when no one calls or shows up in the ‘bat cave’, where I hibernate to do my work. So I love the moment when the boxes of new books are opened (just two weeks ago, on February 10th) and they pop onto shelves in libraries and bookstores, while I get to travel around and talk to the nice people who love to read as much as I do.

This time, the meanderings have been especially delightful. The night before the tour began, the dazzling New York Public Library…the setting for Coop’s latest caper…feted me with a wonderful event and cocktail party. One of my favorite writers, the brilliant Anna Quindlen, interviewed me in front of a live audience – about both careers. It was lively and wonderful fun (and I think you can find it shortly on the website, as well as my own). Frankly, after all the deadly discoveries I made at that elegant library, I really wasn’t sure they would ever let me in the front door ever again.

I wrangled with Don Imus – which is always a hilarious experience for me; got bounced from the TODAY SHOW because A-Rod’s steroid story broke (grrrrrrrrrr – and I’m a Yankee fan, too); and have gotten a lot of media requests because of my legal specialties – sexual assault and domestic violence – so you’ll catch me commenting on many of the breaking news stories, with a bit of the book jacket showing on screen.

My first day is always in Manhattan, doing local media and bouncing in and out of bookstores like a complete maniac to sign copies and greet my favorite booksellers. A delightful aspect of this tour has been how many other authors I’ve gotten to hang out with in just these first ten days. The fabulous Karin Slaughter came to my first signing in New York (I think she’s smart and funny and a really fine writer)…so I dragged her to dinner later that night to celebrate the launch. Then down to Washington, DC, where my beloved friend Jane Stanton Hitchcock entertained me at home between signings. She is Alex Cooper’s great pal, Joan Stanton – and the author of wonderful books like SOCIAL CRIMES…and this coming summer’s perfect read – MORTAL FRIENDS.

Then it was off to Denver – a great book city and the chance to have my two grandsons be my valentines on Saturday night. At my signing at Murder by the Book, one of my ‘fans’ turned out to be CJ Box’s mother-in-law, so she didn’t even have to twist my arm to get me to buy his latest. Phoenix next – I just love the Poisoned Pen, and Barbara Peters has been one of my biggest rooters since the very first book in the series. She pulled out quite a crowd for me…also podcast on her site…and then, at dinner, Dana Stabenow showed up, so we got to talk crime all night – and Dana signed her latest for me – WHISPER TO THE BLOOD. Still a hoot for me to meet the authors whose books I love to read.

Less than twenty-four hours in sunny Phoenix, and on to the deluge that happened last week in San Francisco. At M is for Mystery, I did a duo event with Leighton Gage, whom I had not met before (but if you can catch him on tour…go listen – he’s so interesting and charming), and got on the plane with his second in series, BURIED STRANGERS. It’s quite a terrific tale…and for those of you who love to be transported to a new locale in your books, he gives us Brazil with a marvelous sense of place. In the audience at M was a debut novelist named Kelli Stanley, whose first book was the well-received NOX DORMIENDA – a long night for sleeping. It’s next up on my TBR pile and such fun to meet a bright young author who is already finished with her second manuscript.

I only had one weird moment on the trip (so far). After a night at the Poisoned Pen and a divine home-cooked meal by Barbara Peter's husband, Rob Rosenwald, I got to my very fancy hotel room. It was almost midnight, and I was unpacked and undressed when I noticed that the lock on my door was broken. Not only did the prosecutor in me freak out a bit, but this month, in the column that I frequently write for COSMOPOLITAN Magazine, the cases I used were all crimes that happened to women traveling for business - attacked in hotels. There was no one from maintenance around to fix the lock, and way too late to change rooms. If you could have seen me barricading the door with chairs and tables - well, it was quite a sight. Coop would have been much more fearless, I'm sure. Then I opened the mini-bar to shore myself up with a Dewar's, only to find that the turn-down service did not include a bucket of ice. I drank it neat...and it helped!

As I write this, I’m enjoying a two-day rendezvous at home with my husband, and will hit the road again this week for points south. I love meeting readers, talking about books, getting recommendations of what to read, and finding all these other talents along the way. Crime writers are all my muses, along with the librarians to whom LETHAL LEGACY is dedicated…and I will joyfully get on with my meanderings for the next several weeks. Hope to bump into some of you along the way. Thanks to Kaye for inviting me to her site!

New York Public Library Lions Patience and Fortitude. The marble lions were designed by
sculptor Edward Clark Potter and carved from Tennessee Pink marble by the Piccirilli Brothers in 1911.

Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia named the Library mascots Patience and Fortitude for the attributes he thought every New Yorker should possess.


caryn said...

Hi Linda,
I've heard other authors speak with fondness of "the book tour experience" and I'm sure it would be fun to meet your readers and other authors, but when I see the schedules you all keep during the tours, I'm amazed. What stamina you all have!
I too am a big fan of Jane Stanton Hitchcock and delighted to see she has a book coming this summer. Yea!
I'm something like 67 on the library list for Lethal Lagacy and have been faithfully checking your website to see if you'll be at a bookstore near me or at least one I order from regularly to buy a copy. (So far, no luck.) I think big libraries are a perfect setting for a really creepy murder, so I'm surprised the setting is used more often.
Caryn in St. Louis

Anonymous said...

Hi, Linda:

Your book tour sounds like such fun. Glad it's all working out.

I keep up with you (sorta) in Liz Smith's gossip column.

Best of luck with the new book.

Pat Browning

Jen Forbus said...

So glad to hear you are having a great tour, Linda! Except of course for the hotel snafu. I'm bound and determined that ONE of these book tours I'm going to be able to make a "stop" and meet you in person. Until then, thanks for things like posting on Kaye's blog and your personal responses on your site. Enjoy the rest of the tour!

Caryn, you're in for a real treat when Lethal Legacy comes in for you. I think it is my favorite Coop novel yet!

Jen Forbus

Anonymous said...

Dear Linda,

Interesting and charming is YOU.
But SF was fun, wasn't it?


Anonymous said...

I've apparently had my head in the sand for the last month or so, because I didn't realize your newest book was out already. What a nice surprise - I can't wait to read it.

Anonymous said...

I love that you barricaded the door, a la Coop, but I think that it would have taken a lot more than one drink to get me relaxed!

Wish I could have seen you this time around. Will have to catch you next year, or you have to get them to put Sacramento on your tour! It is sooo much closer.

L.J. Sellers said...

Thanks for a fun post. The best part of being a writer is getting to know other writers, who are terrific people. I'm so jealous that you were interviewed by Anna Quindlen. I her love her columns.

Anonymous said...

Last October I was invited to be the guest speaker at the Lincoln County Library system's annual mystery program called "Dark and Stormy Night" in Lincoln City, OR on the beautiful Oregon coast. Not only was I getting a free night's stay in a deluxe room right on the ocean, AND a huge gift basket filled with goodies, I was also getting paid two hundred bucks to speak for thirty minutes. A week before the speech I went out and bought a new sport coat; a really classy, manly garment in a luxurious fabric and color called "Bamboo." It's a six hour drive from where I live to Lincoln of the preeminent destination spots on the west coast...and as usual on the day I left I packed at the last minute and even had to bend the speed limit a little to get there on time. I only had twenty minutes to get ready once I checked into my motel room, and when I laid the sport coat out on the bed I had one of those "Aha!" moments when I spotted a garment tag dangling from the left sleeve. I snipped it off with my little shaving kit scissors, breathing a huge sigh of relief thinking about what a complete dork I would have looked like during my talk with that little tag fluttering from my sleeve. I rushed off to the library, knowing I looked SO damn good in my faded blue jeans, dark sport shirt, and my awesome mew Bamboo sport coat! The talk went very well (they could hardly shut me up) and afterward I sold about ten books during a book signing. When I got back to my room, and shucked off the coat, I hung it on the back of a chair. I rummaged through my gift basket and came up with a couple of bottles of Oregon handcrafted beers and opened one. I was sitting at the little table in my room, savoring my beer and basking in the glow of my hugely successful, big shot author appearance, when I spotted it. Horror of horrors! Sewn on the underside of the sleeve cuff, the same sleeve I'd snipped the dangling tag from, was this HUGE, white rectangular tag with my size on it in bold, black print: 46R. Yes, that's right boys and girls. I'd spent my entire talk flailing my arms around in the air, and gesturing to make a point...with that sewn on tag flashing at the audience like a semaphore signal. What a DORK!

Anonymous said...

LOL. It could only happen to you, Ken.
Pat Browning

Wendy said...

Great to hear from you here! I am loving LL; I'm with Robin-Dewar's or not, I'm not sure I could have fallen asleep with that broken lock thing going on! The NYPL party sounds like a dream come true. HOW COOL is that?? BTW, all the librarians out here in library land are loving this one!!

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

A HUGE Thank You to Linda for stopping by!
How cool was that?!

Kelli Stanley said...

OK, I'm firing my Google Alert, which was apparently asleep on the job! ;)

Linda, thank you so much for your support, generosity and inspiration!! You are not only a writer's writer ... you are most definitely a writer's friend. :)

Take care, and I can't wait to pet those lions in July when I'm in NYC!