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Author
LibbyfhLH
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎05-19-2010
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Re: Please welcome author LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

Hi again, Eadie.

 

You asked about which of my books to read first. All of them --technically -- are written to be stand alones so if it's easier to read A PICTURE OF GUILT, go ahead. I'd recommend starting with AN EYE FOR MURDER, though. It's the first, so you'll get a good handle on all the characters.

 

 

 

Inspired Wordsmith
eadieburke
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Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: Please welcome author LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

 


LibbyfhLH wrote:

Hi again, Eadie.

 

You asked about which of my books to read first. All of them --technically -- are written to be stand alones so if it's easier to read A PICTURE OF GUILT, go ahead. I'd recommend starting with AN EYE FOR MURDER, though. It's the first, so you'll get a good handle on all the characters.

 

 

 


 

That's a great idea! I will start with "An Eye for Murder"! Thanks!

 

Eadie - A day out-of-doors, someone I loved to talk with, a good book and some simple food and music -- that would be rest. - Eleanor Roosevelt
Author
LibbyfhLH
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎05-19-2010
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Re: Please welcome author LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

Re: My favorite books, TV shows, etc,...

 

That's sooo hard. I hate these kinds of questions because it makes me choose. And I don't want to. But, okay....Let's see....

 

TV shows: I'm in the middle of  MI-5 fever. (The British "24" and it's a LOT better). Have seen all the seasons up till now, so I have to wait probably for another year.Clearly, I'm not happy about that. I also watch WEEDS and used to watch THE SHIELD regularly. I'm sorry it's ended.

 

Films: That's really hard. My top 5 of all time are The Godfather (both Pt 1 and 2), Casablanca, Chinatown, The Battle of Algiers, and, although it's not crime fiction, Citizen Kane.

 

Classic authors: DOrothy Sayers, Helen MacInnes, Ross Thomas, John Le Carre, Len Deighton, Raymond Chandler, JAmes Cain, Dashiell Hammett, and once in a while, Poe.

 

Contemporary Authors: Now that's a really tough call... Robert Crais, Karen Slaughter, Daniel Silva, Sean Chercover, Kent Krueger, PEter Robinson, Val McDermid, Lee Child, Sara Paretsky, MEgan Abbott, Don Winslow, James Hall... the list could go on all day...

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Please welcome author LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

 


LibbyfhLH wrote:

Re: My favorite books, TV shows, etc,...

 

That's sooo hard. I hate these kinds of questions because it makes me choose. And I don't want to. But, okay....Let's see....

 

TV shows: I'm in the middle of  MI-5 fever. (The British "24" and it's a LOT better). Have seen all the seasons up till now, so I have to wait probably for another year.Clearly, I'm not happy about that. I also watch WEEDS and used to watch THE SHIELD regularly. I'm sorry it's ended.

 

I think they call MI5 "Spooks" over there. I watched the first season (maybe 2), but a couple things stopped me watching it. That scene with the deep fryer, for instance. A little too graphic for me.

 

Films: That's really hard. My top 5 of all time are The Godfather (both Pt 1 and 2), Casablanca, Chinatown, The Battle of Algiers, and, although it's not crime fiction, Citizen Kane.

 

Really an interesting selection there!

 

Classic authors: DOrothy Sayers, Helen MacInnes, Ross Thomas, John Le Carre, Len Deighton, Raymond Chandler, JAmes Cain, Dashiell Hammett, and once in a while, Poe.

 

I'm with you on Poe. When I was a teenager, I loved The Telltale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado, etc. but I don't read him much now.

 

Contemporary Authors: Now that's a really tough call... Robert Crais, Karen Slaughter, Daniel Silva, Sean Chercover, Kent Krueger, PEter Robinson, Val McDermid, Lee Child, Sara Paretsky, MEgan Abbott, Don Winslow, James Hall... the list could go on all day...

 

 

Oooh, GREAT list! I've read almost all of those authors, but I'll definitely check out the ones I've missed. THANK YOU!


 

 

Distinguished Bibliophile
pen21
Posts: 3,653
Registered: ‎03-23-2009
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Re: Please welcome author LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

Libby,

Welcome to the Mystery Board. I have been taking it easy over the long weekend and just started reading this thread. Your books sound very interesting. I will take a look at them.

Luanne

Author
LibbyfhLH
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎05-19-2010
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Re: Please welcome author LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

Thanks, Luanne. I appreciate it. They are all on ebook formats of one sort or another... if you lean that way.

Distinguished Bibliophile
TiggerBear
Posts: 9,489
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Re: Please welcome author LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

Well gee in league with, compaired to, and given the nod by my favorite mystery author (Paretsky); I'm going to just have to look into one of your books.

 

Any idea where I should start?

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Please welcome author LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

 


TiggerBear wrote:

Well gee in league with, compaired to, and given the nod by my favorite mystery author (Paretsky); I'm going to just have to look into one of your books.

 

Any idea where I should start?


 

 

Hi Tigger - thanks for joining us. This is Libby's first book:

 

 

An Eye For Murder

 

 

Moderator
becke_davis
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Re: Please welcome author LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

Libby - Awhile back, I asked friends in my local writer's group to suggest questions I should ask our featured authors.

 

This is what they came up with:

 

1) What of the five senses do you tap into most when you're writing?

 

2) What favorite book of yours do you wish you had written?

 

3) What do you think about the show Castle? Who do you think is hotter, Nathan Fillion or Gerard Butler? (Don't blame me, I didn't come up with these questions!)

 

4) Do you watch mystery TV shows and/or movies? If so, which do you like best?

 

5) If you were casting your books, who would you choose?

 

6) Are you a plotter or pantser? Do you know how your books are going to end or do you figure out as you write?

Author
LibbyfhLH
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎05-19-2010
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Re: Please welcome author LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

And the first book of my second series (With Georgia Davis) is EASY INNOCENCE.

Easy Innocence

  

 

 

 

Thanks for asking TiggerBear!

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Please welcome author LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

 


LibbyfhLH wrote:

And the first book of my second series (With Georgia Davis) is EASY INNOCENCE.

Easy Innocence

  

 

 

 

Thanks for asking TiggerBear!


 

Thanks for clarifying, Libby! Did I mention I love the Chicago scene on the cover of AN EYE FOR MURDER? Very cool!

 

Distinguished Wordsmith
maxcat
Posts: 4,012
Registered: ‎11-01-2006
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Re: Please welcome author LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

[ Edited ]

Hi, Libby. I was reading everything Becke wrote about you and your books. I have not read any of them, but one book did draw my attention. That was Doubleback. It sounds really good and I will get it and read it. Where do you get your ideas for books such as Doulbleback?

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
Author
LibbyfhLH
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎05-19-2010
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Re: Please welcome author LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

Hi, Maxcat. Thanks for asking about the ideas for DOUBLEBACK.

 

Most of the ideas for my stories come in pieces. As did DOUBLEBACK. I'd conceived the first chapter from the getgo... if you knew me at all, you'd know I'm slightly (ok, maybe more than slightly) neurotic. I hate to fly. I despise bees, and the thought of being trapped in an elevator makes me crazy. Sooo... that is the first chapter of DOUBLEBACK. You can read it on my website:  www.libbyhellmann.com (I'd be interested in what you think, btw..)

 

I was writing DOUBLEBACK during the time that Blackwater was being raked over the coals for what they'd done in Iraq. Their president, Eric Prince, kept saying his employees really weren't military, so they shouldnt be held accountable to military law. Then he turned around and said, well they're really not civilians either, so they shouldn't be accountable to civilian law. The Catch-22  bothered me, so I started to play the "what-if" game that I think all novelists do... what if  security contractors were operating in the US? I did the research, found out they were, and also discovered the ambiguous, gray areas that they thrive in, particularly on the US/Mexico border. That research became grist for the plot of DOUBLEBACK.

 

Does that answer your question?

Author
LibbyfhLH
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎05-19-2010
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Re: Please welcome author LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

[ Edited ]

Hi, Becke. Boy do you ask tough questions! (I love them, actually...) So here goes...

 

1) What of the five senses do you tap into most when you're writing?

 

I used to be a filmmaker, so sight is my major sense. Then comes sound, as you might expect. However, I'm very aware that novels allow authors to tap into the OTHER 3 senses, so I'm delighted to deal with smell, touch, and taste. The challenge is not to overwhelm the reader with too much. It's a delicate balance, actually, because I believe our sense of smell is possibly more powerful than any other sense. Try to describe a good smell... a bad smell.. somehow I don't think we authors do it justice. It's similar to music. My biggest challenge as an author (I kid you not) is writing in words how music makes me feel. I've never seen anyone do it really well. In fact, if you and your book club members know someone who describes music well, I want to know about it. I'll eat it up. (not to mention that other sense...)

 

2) What favorite book of yours do you wish you had written?

 

That's too difficult. It changes with every good book I read. Currently, I'm in love with Carlos Eire, who wrote WAITING FOR SNOW IN HAVANA. His prose is just exquisite. That's what draws me... poetic, charming, expressive prose. Perhaps even more than story. You know what they say... (whoever "they" are...) There are only 2 stories in books:

 

-- a person goes on a journey

-- a stranger comes to town

 

The execution of those stories, however, makes all the difference.

 

 

3) What do you think about the show Castle? Who do you think is hotter, Nathan Fillion or Gerard Butler? (Don't blame me, I didn't come up with these questions!)

 

I'm sorry to say that I don't watch CASTLE. Or any of the other law and order shows. WIth the exception of Spooks/MI5, 24, and the SHIELD.

 

4) Do you watch mystery TV shows and/or movies? If so, which do you like best?

 

See above. Although going to movies is one of my favorite things to do. Btw, THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE opens Friday in selected theaters across the country. Not that I've been counting the days or anything.

 

5) If you were casting your books, who would you choose?

 

Oh, this is such a fun question. And it's changed over the years. I started with Marisa Tomei as Ellie, but she may be too old now. Now I think Mary Louis Parker (of Weeds) would be fabulous. Or maybe even Elizabeth Perkins (gotta love Celia!)  For Ellie's father, I'd always pictured Ben Kingsley, but I'm open to Alan Arkin too. For the Georgia books, I see Holly Hunter or Hope Davis or Gynneth Paltrow although she's getting a bit older as well. Dakota Fanning could be Rachel (Ellie's daughter). Mark Ruffalo could be Luke (A SHOT TO DIE FOR)... sigh.

 

6) Are you a plotter or pantser? Do you know how your books are going to end or do you figure out as you write?

 

Another great question. I have to plead the 5th here. Mainly because I'm all over the place. Before I start writing, I THINK I know who did it and why. But the writing process is so close to the bone in terms of the human condition and what motivates people to take the extreme measure of murder, that it can change. What seemed so logical at the beginning of the book can turn out to be too obvious by the end. In the book I just finished, for example, I literally changed the villain  FOUR times. (And there were only 6 characters involved). The only way I settled on one perpetrator was by brainstorming with another author (my muse)  to  determine who really did it and why. That's happened in several of my novels, actually. 

 


Distinguished Bibliophile
TiggerBear
Posts: 9,489
Registered: ‎02-12-2008
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Re: Please welcome author LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

 


LibbyfhLH wrote:

And the first book of my second series (With Georgia Davis) is EASY INNOCENCE.

Easy Innocence

  

 

 

 

Thanks for asking TiggerBear!


 

Thank you both. It's increasing difficult with some series to find their starting places. Helps to get it direct from the source.

 

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Please welcome author LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

 


LibbyfhLH wrote:

Hi, Maxcat. Thanks for asking about the ideas for DOUBLEBACK.

 

Most of the ideas for my stories come in pieces. As did DOUBLEBACK. I'd conceived the first chapter from the getgo... if you knew me at all, you'd know I'm slightly (ok, maybe more than slightly) neurotic. I hate to fly. I despise bees, and the thought of being trapped in an elevator makes me crazy. Sooo... that is the first chapter of DOUBLEBACK. You can read it on my website:  www.libbyhellmann.com (I'd be interested in what you think, btw..)

 

I was writing DOUBLEBACK during the time that Blackwater was being raked over the coals for what they'd done in Iraq. Their president, Eric Prince, kept saying his employees really weren't military, so they shouldnt be held accountable to military law. Then he turned around and said, well they're really not civilians either, so they shouldn't be accountable to civilian law. The Catch-22  bothered me, so I started to play the "what-if" game that I think all novelists do... what if  security contractors were operating in the US? I did the research, found out they were, and also discovered the ambiguous, gray areas that they thrive in, particularly on the US/Mexico border. That research became grist for the plot of DOUBLEBACK.

 

Does that answer your question?


 

That is a very scary concept, Libby. The trouble with fiction -- in that it can be so frightening -- is that it often hits uncannily close to the truth.

 

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Please welcome author LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

 


LibbyfhLH wrote:

Hi, Becke. Boy do you ask tough questions! (I love them, actually...)

 

Thank the members of the Ohio Valley RWA chapter for these. I need to ask them for some new questions - they always have fun ideas!

 

So here goes...

 

1) What of the five senses do you tap into most when you're writing?

 

I used to be a filmmaker, so sight is my major sense. Then comes sound, as you might expect. However, I'm very aware that novels allow authors to tap into the OTHER 3 senses, so I'm delighted to deal with smell, touch, and taste. The challenge is not to overwhelm the reader with too much.

 

That's a really good point!

 

It's a delicate balance, actually, because I believe our sense of smell is possibly more powerful than any other sense. Try to describe a good smell... a bad smell.. somehow I don't think we authors do it justice. It's similar to music. My biggest challenge as an author (I kid you not) is writing in words how music makes me feel. I've never seen anyone do it really well. In fact, if you and your book club members know someone who describes music well, I want to know about it. I'll eat it up. (not to mention that other sense...)

 

I think it can be hard to describe the senses in a way that is both unique and universally understood. Writing isn't easy!

 

2) What favorite book of yours do you wish you had written?

 

That's too difficult. It changes with every good book I read. Currently, I'm in love with Carlos Eire, who wrote WAITING FOR SNOW IN HAVANA. His prose is just exquisite. That's what draws me... poetic, charming, expressive prose. Perhaps even more than story. You know what they say... (whoever "they" are...) There are only 2 stories in books:

 

-- a person goes on a journey

-- a stranger comes to town

 

Oh, I love this!

 

The execution of those stories, however, makes all the difference.

 

 

3) What do you think about the show Castle? Who do you think is hotter, Nathan Fillion or Gerard Butler? (Don't blame me, I didn't come up with these questions!)

 

I'm sorry to say that I don't watch CASTLE. Or any of the other law and order shows. WIth the exception of Spooks/MI5, 24, and the SHIELD.

 

Those are good ones!

 

4) Do you watch mystery TV shows and/or movies? If so, which do you like best?

 

See above. Although going to movies is one of my favorite things to do. Btw, THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE opens Friday in selected theaters across the country. Not that I've been counting the days or anything.

 

I'm looking forward to that one, too. Have you seen the trailer?

 

5) If you were casting your books, who would you choose?

 

Oh, this is such a fun question. And it's changed over the years. I started with Marisa Tomei as Ellie, but she may be too old now. Now I think Mary Louis Parker (of Weeds) would be fabulous. Or maybe even Elizabeth Perkins (gotta love Celia!)  For Ellie's father, I'd always pictured Ben Kingsley, but I'm open to Alan Arkin too. For the Georgia books, I see Holly Hunter or Hope Davis or Gynneth Paltrow although she's getting a bit older as well. Dakota Fanning could be Rachel (Ellie's daughter). Mark Ruffalo could be Luke (A SHOT TO DIE FOR)... sigh.

 

I'm with you on Mark Ruffalo!


6) Are you a plotter or pantser? Do you know how your books are going to end or do you figure out as you write?

 

Another great question. I have to plead the 5th here. Mainly because I'm all over the place. Before I start writing, I THINK I know who did it and why. But the writing process is so close to the bone in terms of the human condition and what motivates people to take the extreme measure of murder, that it can change. What seemed so logical at the beginning of the book can turn out to be too obvious by the end. In the book I just finished, for example, I literally changed the villain  FOUR times. (And there were only 6 characters involved). The only way I settled on one perpetrator was by brainstorming with another author (my muse)  to  determine who really did it and why. That's happened in several of my novels, actually. 

 

I love brainstorming! It's always surprising what comes up!

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to all these questions!

 



 

 

Distinguished Wordsmith
Fricka
Posts: 2,237
Registered: ‎05-04-2010
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Re: Please welcome author LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

Hello, Libby,

Welcome to the Mystery Book Club here at B&N. I think most of the intelligent questions have already been asked, and I'm just getting ready to go watch David Suchet discuss his role as Hercule Poirot, and what it was like riding on the Orient Express, so my little grey cells are not concentrating so well on asking you anything profound. I'm looking forward to reading your books, and then maybe I will have something more insightful to contribute here.

 

" A murder mystery is the normal recreation of the noble mind."--Sister Carol Anne O' Marie
Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Please welcome author LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

 


Fricka wrote:

Hello, Libby,

Welcome to the Mystery Book Club here at B&N. I think most of the intelligent questions have already been asked, and I'm just getting ready to go watch David Suchet discuss his role as Hercule Poirot, and what it was like riding on the Orient Express, so my little grey cells are not concentrating so well on asking you anything profound. I'm looking forward to reading your books, and then maybe I will have something more insightful to contribute here.

 


 

Oh, I was watching that, too! I'd love to ride on the Orient Express but NOT the part that goes over that 600 foot high bridge!

 

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Please welcome author LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN