by Lorie Lewis Ham
Mystery author Libby Fischer Hellmann now has her own web series called Solved! It is is a monthly mystery author interview show hosted by Libby and produced by Author’s Voice, itself a division of the Abraham Lincoln Bookshop in Chicago. We took a moment to talk with her about this new adventure.
KRL: How did it come to be, and how did you get involved?
Libby: I host a monthly radio show called Second Sunday Crime on the Authors on the Air network, and I love interviewing authors. Author’s Voice already produces a series of live shows designed to showcase new historical books and artifacts acquired by the bookshop, and they decided to broaden their programming. So they asked me to host a mystery-oriented show. Of course, I said yes.
KRL: What authors have you interviewed so far?
Libby: Michael Harvey (Brighton), William Kent Krueger (Manitou Canyon and Ordinary Grace), and Sara Paretsky (Fallout).
KRL: Have there been any surprises in the interviews?
Libby: Not really. The only surprise is how much fun I’m having.
KRL: How do you decide who you are going to interview?
Libby: We’re just sorting that out. So far it’s generally been authors with new titles whose books are easily accessible. Author’s Voice likes to order the authors’ books so the author can sign them after the show.
KRL: Where do the interviews take place?
Libby: The Author’s Voice studio. It’s a comfortable room filled with bookshelves and a table for interviewee and host. They have a professional grade camera so the resulting show looks quite good.
KRL: How long does it usually take to film an episode?
Libby: Since the show goes live, it only takes as long as it takes, usually about half an hour.
KRL: Who are some of the authors you have coming up still this year?
Libby: Renee Rosen will be here in May—she writes wonderful historicals set in Chicago. Her latest is Windy City Blues. In fact, we’re doing a double. First I’ll interview her, and then she’ll interview me. Cara Black will be my guest in June, with her next Aimee LecDuc mystery set in Paris.
KRL: What has been the hardest part of this?
Libby: Making sure I read the book in advance carefully so I can ask penetrating questions.
KRL: What has been the most fun?
Libby: The entire process is fun for me. My career started in broadcast news; now 40 years later, it seems that I’ve come full circle.
KRL: If you could interview anyone, who would it be?
Libby: That’s a tough one I wouldn’t know where to start. How about Winston Churchill…FDR..JFK…Carolyn Kennedy…John Grisham…Tana French…Katy Tur (NBC)…? I guess you can figure out I’m fascinated by politics these days.
KRL: Are there plans to interview people related to the mystery genre who aren’t authors? Like perhaps screenwriters of movies or actors in mystery movies or TV shows? Or mystery publishers?
Libby: I’m open to the idea, but Author’s Voice is the “Decider.” I think they see this as an added venue to sell books, so I’d bet they’d want someone who’s actually published a book that can be offered for sale. But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t interview forensic experts who’ve just written a book or cyber security ethical hackers. I’d love to get into those areas.
KRL: Where can the episodes be seen?
Libby: That’s the best part. They can be seen live on the Author’s Voice website. After the show, they are available on YouTube forever.
KRL: Is there anything you would like to add?
Libby: I’d love to know who your readers would like to see interviewed on the show! Please write in your suggestions, and we’ll do our best to get them on the air.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.
So much fun!!
Great questions, Lorie!