Sunday, August 14, 2011


That's what you'll have when you become a fan of Libby Fischer Hellmann!

In all of my other Authorpalooza interviews I've posted the author bio last, but I'm changing it up a bit here so you can see the wealth of books available from this very busy lady right up front! Here goes:

     Libby Fischer Hellmann is a transplant from Washington, D.C., where, she says, "When you're sitting around the dinner table gossiping about the neighbors, you're talking politics."
     She has published seven novels. Her most recent, Set the Night On Fire (December, 2010), is a standalone thriller that goes back, in part, to the late Sixties in Chicago. It was shortlisted by ForeWord Magazine as one of the Best Books of 2010 in the mystery suspense category.
     She also writes two other award-winning crime fiction series. The first, which includes 4 novels, features video producer and single mother Ellie Foreman. Libby describes them as a cross between “Desperate Housewives” and “24.” Her second series features Chicago PI Georgia Davis, and is a harder, grittier series. There are two novels in that series.
     Libby also edited the acclaimed crime fiction anthology, Chicago Blues, and has published an e-collection of her own short stories called Nice Girl Does Noir.
     She was also National President of Sisters in Crime, a national organization committed to strengthening the voice of female mystery writers. Hellmann also blogs with "The Outfit Collective" at
     Libby lives in the Chicago area and says they’ll take her out there feet first. 

Cool stuff, right? So without further delay, I am thrilled to present Libby Fischer Hellmann:

LC: Hello Libby, and welcome to the August Authorpalooza! I'm so happy to have you here with us today. Although your bio pretty much sums it up, can you give us a brief description of your writing and the genres it falls into?
LH: I write crime fiction thrillers. They’re mysteries but have a lot of suspense and action, and many critics call them mystery/thrillers. Actually, I don’t really care what people call them, as long as they enjoy reading them.

LC: I'm sure it's a tough genre to classify. Like you said, it could be called so many different (yet accurate) things. How long have you been writing? Have you always known that you wanted to write?

LF: About 15 years. And no, I never had any intention of writing books. I was going to be a film-maker, the Lina Wertmuller of the United States. But life had other plans for me, and over time, I gravitated back to the written word.

LC: We're glad you did, but being a film-maker would be cool, too! (That's what my daughter is going to school for, as a matter of fact!) Speaking of films, what is your favorite movie of all time, and why?

LF: The Godfather. It has everything: good, evil, conflict, great characters and acting, and wonderful storytelling.

LC: And if a big-shot Hollywood producer offered to turn one of your books into a motion picture, who would you want to play the lead roles?

LF: Oh, gee. It depends which book. I think Marisa Tomei would make a great Ellie Foreman. George Clooney would be a great Luke. Georgia Davis could be Gwyneth Paltrow.

LC: Based on the strength of these actors, I'd say you have some amazing characters! So, If you were stuck on a desert island with one of your characters, who would you want it to be, and why?

LH: Georgia Davis. She’s resourceful and could figure out a way to get us off the island.

LC: Awesome! Just for fun, where is the most exotic or strange place you've ever traveled to?

LH: No place exotic. Yet. But I’m going to Cuba next February.

LC: Ooo! That sounds pretty exotic. You might just find a stowaway in your luggage. (Fair warning). So tell us, what do you like to do when you're NOT writing? (Which doesn't sound like it's too often!).

LH: Read. Work out. Watch movies. Listen to music.

LC: And do you have any strange habits or rituals when you write?

LH: Not so strange, but I have to be on a computer. My fingers are much faster than the pen.

LC: I TOTALLY know what you mean. I write at about seven words per minute with a pen! What, would you say, has been your greatest triumph as an author?

LH: That actually happened before I was published. I’m in a writers’ group.We generally read our own material out loud, then we go around the room and everyone gives their opinions. When I started, everyone had something negative to say about my work. Then, about 18 months later, I started what would become my first published novel, AN EYE FOR MURDER. I read the first chapter (Ellie picking up her daughter at school) and the room was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Afterwards the woman who’d been hardest on me said, “That was terrific. You found your voice!” That moment is still my greatest triumph. Btw, 15 years later, I’m still in the same group.

LC: What a wonderful story! Alright Libby, just one last thing...The heat is on! Here's your chance to SELL IT! Tell us why we would enjoy reading your books.

LH: I’d like to convince you to read EASY INNOCENCE, my 5th novel. Are you the mother of a girl? Is she a teenager? Was she? Will she be? Then you need to read EASY INNOCENCE, a mystery which shows how far high school girls will go to be accepted by their peers. And it’s pretty far. Georgia Davis, my Chicago PI, investigates the murder of a suburban high school girl during a hazing incident. The story is set in an affluent suburb, but what’s going on under the radar has ramifications well beyond the suburbs. I wrote it when my own daughter was starting high school -- as a single parent, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to navigate both of us through the turmoil. Happily, my daughter is a lovely 23 year old now. So we survived. I’m not sure about the girls in the novel, though.
You can learn more about Libby Fischer Hellmann's work on her Independent Author Network page! So, go on...hop to it!

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