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from national public radio this is the fine print and exploration and celebration of the written word i'm rebecca bain twenty years ago a struggling writer named sue grafton found herself embroiled in a very messy divorce frustrated hurt better she would daydream about ways to kill her soon to be ex husband's her favorite solution put poisonous oleander into this anti histamine capsules the divorce was finally resolved but sue grafton still had this nifty means of murder rattling around in her hair she decided to use it as a plot device in a book creating a gutsy wisecracking female private detective named can see no one she titled that book a is for alibi and the rest is publishing history seventeen books later both kinsey and sue are still going strong effect which delighted they're millions of fans city's latest book is q is for
quarry which she'll be discussing over the course of this next half hour i hope you can join us so i'd like to begin with your author's note which is how you conclude cue as for cory and you describe what the catalyst for this book and that's a story that was told to you by some friends about another jane doe and if you don't mind i would love it if you would share that with listeners i'd be happy to i was at a party in the fall of two thousand pages finish p is for paralyzed ship the manuscript off to my publisher and conversation turned as it often does in my life too what was i going to do next and people like to guess about my titles i suspect that had been flirting with the word quarry because i happened to be sitting next to a fellow named dr robert failing who is a retired forensic pathologist who work as a contract pathologist for the county of santa barbara and he mentioned that there was a jane doe or not identified
homicide victim of a young woman who had been stabbed to death her body was found august thirtieth nineteen sixty nine he did did the autopsy and he said it had baffled him that she was never again if i did because her teeth were so unusual she had buck teeth an occlusion and a crooked it she had eighteen amalgam fillings that day and another forensic dentist believes were done at the same time a team feelings at the same time makes my skin crawl raises and they think the feelings were pretty and maybe two years before her death which means some way suggest socialized medicine if you think about it it anyway doctor failing said we do still have her job bones or would you like to see them what an invitation so we went out to this set of our county sheriff's department of commerce office i saw the jaw bones he introduced me to a sergeant detected built her and chief deputy brusco raul who is so i think the commander of the criminal investigation division
and the three of us began to sit and talk about this young girl in the course of that in my many conversations with built her he mentioned the possibility of examining the body which had never been done nobody can remember an occasion but it offered to underwrite it because it was the end of the fiscal year and the department had no money for something like this on a case it's thirty three years old it's not exactly pressing business so the body was examined and this young girl's skull and the jaw bones were sent off to their ipad can't live in norman oklahoma and she did that weekend traction and clay of what we believe this young girl look quite so my job as a fictional us was to take the basic information and push it into different territory even include for pictures of this reconstruction of the real life yes django in hopes that someone will see them and get in touch with the police and say i know who these young woman is has anyone
labeled at i've been on the road since october fourteenth but i am gonna put a call through to build her he increased parole will vote since retired just breaking my heart you're have this wonderful source elsewhere she'll keep in touch with me at any rate it was wonderful working with them and if the back of the book there is also have a website for the sheriff's department they are going to put an eight hundred number or in place and so if people had information they can call without incurring expanse so why do you think these young woman touched you so profoundly that you end up making heard the pivot of this book paying to have hearings indeed paying for her to be reburied which and just as an aside was so sweet it was so sweet a local mortuary donated a hearse and a coffin for her we drove up to long poke where she had a racially been buried in a muddy bank assess the way they did it all those years ago that tom branson the sheriff's department came out for her funeral the chaplain said some words i spoke
and built turner spoke she had flat where she had music and i felt we laid her to rest with as much dignity and respect as we could generate and i said at the time that would power sheikh hamza thirty three years after her death all of those are assembled her in her behalf and that we have now launched what we hope is a campaign to find out who she is and i'm much or will ever know who killed her that sometimes if you know who the victim is you can start asking the right people the right questions just as kinsey i had to think and this may or may not be the case but there's so many tragedies out there are so many young women young men who are murdered whenever know we don't know to whom they belonged where we don't know that they'll ever be identified that it becomes like a plane crash and rio in two hundred people were killed and we can take it in that's right but
one person the death of one person can be profoundly moving and what's also true i think is that the police agencies the police department sheriff's department they'll have cold cases in their files annotating never we give somebody and i'll moment will pull one of those files out we think it is because we want the end of the story we want the third act we want the denouement it's very difficult to have these open ended questions about a human being so i suspect you're correct in that one individual is easier to relate to van the masses that must be out there that you think about her family she was somebody ski and shoot somebody went to high school with her she went away work at the local dairy queen and all these years i think her family has been thinkin whale she always was a wild one or whatever they rationalize to explain her silence for the tragedy and just the fact that you never know you never know if the door is going to open your trials go and walk back through that i
can imagine the hill that well i wonder you know if we find her family it will be hard for them to know there is something about imagining your loved ones are still alive in the hangars you up for every we're never free of that and in some ways to actually more for her it will be appropriate if we find these people but i do wonder if the family for the aperture when the book you even have the girls foster mother who never liked her you know you want her writing those who resisted her even being in their tiny little house i sang to kinsey i always imagined her married with children some wearing and i thought well that's human nature attorney we don't want to imagine someone today or whatever we want to imagine a good life for them in if we didn't like them again we have to remember it seemed like they were for yesterday to may nineteen sixty nine it was to fly were children in the hit these
kids were on the road there were runaway say were all migrating to san francisco as i heard about sex and three didn't dope then free clinics and three fifth in its it sounded like the great love in of all time so i suspect there are many other kids who never made it home before we talk about two years for cory per se i would like to talk a little bit about how you manipulate time in her kinsey milhoan series because i have to wonder how difficult it is to put yourself back in the mid to late eighties which it's not that long ago and yet was before peace sees himself or digital broadcasting was before compact disc players leis i mean it was it was a totally different times yes and it is curious to do research which i must do about a time period that to me seems quite recent that happened to me in many ways as the years go by mr milhollin will age one year for every tune hair looks the rest of the circle of a dark celebrated aging
process that if i finish the series in two thousand and fifteen it's got to be ancient history on libya and historical fiction writers so i pod be taking notes even now but you know i have to put her in a stately mansions that family retainer right family is becoming more and more important to this series and kinsey is finding the fact that she has family she never suspected she had family and now she's discovered a slew of cousins couple of ants and a grandmother she is irritated by the fact that they have come into her life yet she can't help herself either she's also fascinated and there's to me a very poignant section in the book where her aunt has sent her a photo album that details the family's life right up until the time her mother runs away to marry her father yes and at that point the picture stop the pages are blank after that it sort of end of story i know when he first began this series you couldn't have
maybe did and anticipating where you would be morons the time but i wondered how far ahead you plot these sorts of twists and turns in kansas was no sign cheryl a generate from book to book when i came up with the idea of conceding finding some of her family i honestly didn't know until i got to j is for judgment and then i did it almost on a whim i follow wouldn't be fun it can see investigated her own history and she finds out by accident about the connection between herself and these relatives of them on polk and does the research she is very disconcerted an almost enraged because she has always felt that she was this a loner and to discover this whole family constellation is very unsettling she finds out that other cousins called her aunt janet amgen and
other cousins eight the peanut butter and pickle sandwiches and so i think from her perspective some of what she values as special one unique about herself are just public domain in these family members she doesn't know so she's very resistant and very hostile toward they make the richer after a richer and she's having very little of that body it took me until this book to figure out where that was going down one of my thoughts along the way is that most family feuds do not get settled very easily anyway so that took me till he was for quarry that's even faster than most family portrait out their differences but i finally did this book began to see a way that i could be resolved you know satisfactory manner because have my readers thanked the grandmother is a skunk and they have nothing to do other than the other hand my readers are all couldn't she just have a little reconciliation so there are steps that i
know i can map now but i probably won't do it with our i find that i get bored with certain things and so why wait till i'm interested myself you know not just you know skip a book or even before we bring the family back in and actually i think that's do not need military this year millions of readers did but i think that's smart because she has to have time to assimilate their fall the stuff was hitting or whatever say yeah look it would be too much for her and too much for us god is moving really too fast you know i like to keep can see someone isolated i think as part of her nature that she works out her emotional life all by herself thank you like a five year old that at the same time i know that by the time i get to see is for zero readers need to know the end of the story so that they can project beyond the end of the alphabet know the truth is if i get to see is for zero and kinsey milhoan has more tales to tell i hope she'll choose me to tell him
our conversation with sue grafton author of the series will resume packet this brief time now i hope so support for the fine print comes from real estate brokers helicopter and jane smith of sharon langford and associates entrusted to sell some of the most cherished homes in nashville three and three sixty six hundred for on the word as jane and helen realtors dot com
it's bad you also have a brief mention into as for cory of something i have never heard kinsey say before and that is do you want to have children and kinsey said well i don't know maybe and i'm not who is an acc i don't put words in her mouth and i don't tell or she tells me and i honestly don't know where she's going and part of the fun for me and part of the challenge is to just be proud set for her so that she can work through some of these issues and we'll see where it goes from there is back up a little bit here you talk about the real life django and how you incorporated this into the story if
you would give listeners a little more of what she was for cory is about q is for quarry in part deals with lieutenant condo and whom we have seen in this book from the beginning and you know in some books she's a lawyer present and another's nobody's more surprised than me that he suddenly step dig into sage center for congo and has been put on medical disability from the police department he comes to her and tells her about his friend and mentor stacey all a fan who is recovering or perhaps a relapse and you have non hodgkin's lymphoma so here these too old we're horses these two cops one from the sheriff's department and the police department very fond of one another but very cantankerous the two albums so it's sort of like kinsey mohan meets grumpy old man each independently suggest to her that if they re engage in this case it will help the other buck up and be a little less depressed she's a look at adam gordon don't you know you say in
that about you is it's very amusing that they're looking out for each other that they ask her to do the leg work since neither of them is an excellent hell and land have gone out to the desert to california arizona border in pursuit of this quarry it was fun for me did many twists and turns in my own mind because what you see in the book itself is not what i intended that characters have their little way so that let me know that you had misunderstood what they're therefore so i was happy to let them take me on this journey i wondered if perhaps since you'd work so closely with and enjoyed so much your relationship with the m forensic pathologist and the policeman both use a retired now which means they are of a certain age that that perhaps caller doug and his relationship with kahn and as stacey it is possible i am a huge fan of law enforcement i love this arab or replaced a part of the santa barbara county sheriff's department they are among just a low commercial forum their chins intelligent
dedicated good natured honest people i think some of that comes through and can seize relationship with condo and stacey all banned just the sounds to good cops still doing their jobs so it was fun for me i learned so much built her was such a whole to me he was so patient i have the silliest question is but i didn't know the answers and this was my good source i have to say i really enjoyed them coming and this book is you said we seen condo wilson's book one that we've seen grumpy oh man is exactly what a god awful kersee is beyond there's to be a very poignant moment where he is in the hospital he said a heart attack yes and he has told the hospital authorities they can see is his next of can turn and i thought boy who would've thunk it you know all those books ago but she has become in essence these two men have no one else either that's why khan's wife is dan stacey never married they don't have children i can see is like salmon that in that they are all three isolated
individuals and may a form their own little tiny family for the duration of this book and i think we can all appreciate to their need to get away from each other yes with guys leave to go back to santa teresa hinze he feels this little bit of depression that they are gone and also this great sense of relief that they're gone but i can sure identify less likely and the two emotions get very tangled up together death and health played big factors in this book and not just murder yes but contemplating your own death as you said stacy oh minor might not have a recurrence of his cancer kahn has certainly had a heart attack in his lifestyle is not conducive to him continuing her much longer if he doesn't change it is this just something that it seemed right at this particular time for this book you know so why is an ice think some of those issues are always with us i think my
generation were watching my parents happen to be deceased but many of my friends are watching their parents go downhill and i think we all get to choose how playoff the remainder of our lives if we're lucky we get to choose that and i think it's a legitimate question what do you do when the quality of life begins to recede named khan and stacie often disagree about how we should think about that i think lindsay becomes the intermediary between them so that's that's a nice way of looking at the questions we can tell how the koalas are absolutely no we will not tell how that is resolved we will say however her but you have raised a junk food consumption to new heights i'm curious or outlier it proud well again this is something i discovered as in the writing of the book stacy off and has never been exposed to junk food and he runs and kinsey milhoan has the queen of quarter pounders news if nothing else he gets on a re up eating junk food and the she has to follow him from our bees to
burger king neptune d so she is and haven't and he's he's gaining weight for a change in color back in size and the laugh i thought only in one of these books with junk food become a healthy source of interest has a meltdown at one point she is stacey and she says to him i never thought of junk food is life affirming but there you have it you know question you know make your home in both local and mr to pseudo california and i talked recently with the fannie flagg who is also making her home half the year in alabama and the other half of the year in california and she said she thinks at some point in your life you do on a go home again i think so i never thought it would happen to me i love kentucky a runner's twenty one years old analyst like you couldn't get me out the door any faster i just felt i needed to get away in order to pull myself together to see who i was but in nineteen ninety three i went back to lawful with my husband
because university of lore was honoring me is a distinguished alumni which is very amusing as i was not a distinguished didn't but dow's one afternoon just to amuse ourselves we went out looking at realestate and saw thirteen houses in the second one hour walkout this my house and so we saw a tuesday end made a deal by friday but what i'm discovering is that for one thing the weather is ever so much more interesting in kentucky california this was not as good weather which i like one umpire but i loves thunderstorms along the changing seasons i loved the sense of whether a trauma from day to day and i'm connecting with people i went to high school or when people went to college where and so there's a real sense of what my roots are and i treasure that i never thought it would be true the process itself do you write every day do you have a routine all
of the above yes i write every day and certainly more intensely as the book for say ah keep a journal for each book that i write and with that i log and every day on the computer i give a line or two what about what's happening in the world because i think rain effects or work migraines effect or refer cat is sick all of that plays into how we perform and how well we do whether we're but generally the journal is like a long one a letter that are right to myself full of hand wringing and comments about my faith i play suppose and what if i imagine every conceivable combination of people murder motive and as i proceed from day to day is like playtime and i go in there and i play with ideas i record everything because i had my age are probably at anybody's age you have an idea you think i won't remember that you don't i have to write it down in my theory being that rating happens on the page it didn't happen in your hand you can have it as in there
are so complex and rich and interesting and amusing you can't get them on paper you know have a book so i try to get as much of that on paper as i can if i do research i come straight back to them ashamed lay it all in if i had a question was fertile phone calls and he'd make later all of that i put into the journal also if i am in the middle of one book and have another idea a quick lead in the drawdown never could find it again and that written down somewhere so that goes on simultaneous war of the rating and what i find is that some days i sit down and i can hear a whole chunks a dialogue office les again and i know or even take place too many chapters later so laden with no attribution i don't do he said she said i can hear it and i put it down in the journal then in the scene comes along i just lifted up transport it to the chapter i'm workin on him in business i'm glad you're not using the smith corona well i love computer so
much when i will work all milo portable smith corona which i hadn't royal portable so prissy about white allen i would hold the sheet up and if there's too much white man i'd have to re type that and of course if you delete in eleven lions i would screw up your page nation so i got so i could exactly and vandals bottom lines to replace the ones i had to read it and i thought this isn't writing this is not a good idea but the computer has freed me up my pages are just as neat as though i had a secretary that you re write as you go on i do and i am very obsessive about that for one thing i am just not the carburetor who can do a rough chunky clunky draft and then go back and clean it up if it isn't right i can proceed because each piece you build is affected by the ones before if i'm slightly off track and i keep forging ahead i'm gonna be on a tangent that a we're often the entirely wrong direction so i find that i have to work with
each piece of that and tell it seems right to me that's ongoing now sometimes be in chapter eighteen are read chapter to go off that needs cleaning up a little housewife a little creative house like for you since you can get bored very easily and i know readers out there was trepidation are saying tell us are not going to get bored with kinsey time so you can see is an extension of yourself an omelet any of us to get bored with ourselves only thing i get bored with myself in the end the only area is why do public speaking again for board for myself say the same and so i'm constantly thinking of new ways to go about it so that i can be entertained at the same time i'm attempting to entertain somebody else bert kinsey i understand in some sense of the word that she is an extension of may that she really seem so separate and i've really tentatively she's real abuse may of
grafton whose latest to the mill history is titled cusack as for cory ann does include our problem for this week you enjoyed it and i hope you'll join me next week as well when to get to check out a fine plan for national public radio i'm rebecca fyffe with is produced by rebecca bain and scott smith for national public radio partners of the program are available on compact disc at a cost of twenty dollars to order collar business office monday through friday six one five seven six to nineteen oh three you can hear the fine print any time by visiting our website you'll find more than two years worth of programs archived there can also find more information about the fine print book club including the complete list of club selections the addresses w w w dot w p l n o r n i
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The Fine Print
Program 02 36 Guest Sue Grafton Book Q is for Quarry
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An episode of WPLN's The Fine Print featuring host Rebecca Bain discussing an author's work with the author.
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Guest: Grafton, Sue
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Chicago: “The Fine Print; Program 02 36 Guest Sue Grafton Book Q is for Quarry,” 2002-11-02, WPLN News/Nashville Public Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 12, 2024,
MLA: “The Fine Print; Program 02 36 Guest Sue Grafton Book Q is for Quarry.” 2002-11-02. WPLN News/Nashville Public Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 12, 2024. <>.
APA: The Fine Print; Program 02 36 Guest Sue Grafton Book Q is for Quarry. Boston, MA: WPLN News/Nashville Public Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from