Ep. 122 – Write Murder Madness with Jan Burke and Marcia Clark

September 25, 2015

Authors Jan Burke and Marcia Clark return for “Write Murder Madness” to discuss their favorite mystery and detective novels. Plus, adorably incompetent critic-at-large Jordan Ampersand’s ongoing effort to derail the publication of Eric Shaw Quinn’s new novel “Write Murder” leads him to examine the mysteries of book signings in “Jordan Ampersand Investigates.” And Christopher and Eric offer their exasperated take on current headlines in “The Not Report.”

This is worse than court.


The Dinner Party Show Podcast — Ep. 122
Jan Burke and Marcia Clark Interview Transcript

{This transcript is the interview portion of Episode 122}
{This transcript is provided as a courtesy and was transcribed as best as possible. Any errors or omissions in the transcript are unintentional. The recorded audio file of the podcast episode is considered the master of what was said.}

Announcer: You are listening to The Dinner Party Show with Christopher Rice and Eric Shaw Quinn. And now it’s time for The Dish. We hope you kept your silverware.

Christopher Rice: Welcome back to The Dinner Party Show. I’m Christopher Rice.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I’m Eric Shaw Quinn.

Christopher Rice: And the lovely Jan Burke is joining us.

Jan Burke: Hi everyone.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Hi Jan.

Jan Burke: Hi.

Christopher Rice: And the chair next to Jan is empty unfortunately. I was going to say this was a Dinner Party Show first, but actually it is the second time we have had a guest arrive mid-show. Can anyone out there remember the first time? Can any of our party people remember?

Eric Shaw Quinn: Right. Do we have a prize?

Christopher Rice: No. I can remember. I’m going to spoil it for you. It was Laura Benanti when we used to do a two hour show. She showed up for the second hour and came…

Eric Shaw Quinn: She came straight from the plane I think. She came from the airport straight to here. It was a storm or something. New York was totally snowed in…

Christopher Rice: Well, we knew she was going to be late. The other guest was Chad Hodge, who has been on the… TV writer, had been on the show several times, and they had done the Playboy Club together. And he said, “I’m bringing Laura, but she’s going to come in late. So it’s just going to be exactly like an actress…” And I see Marcia Clark coming through the studio now.

Eric Shaw Quinn: She’s running down the halls. Yes. We’re tempted to maybe on her frequent diner card…

Christopher Rice: We’re going to give her half a fork on the frequent diner card. And we’re acting like it’s not significant that Jan is here and Marcia’s here. She’s coming on. She’s on the show. She’s on the show.

Marcia Clark: I wanted to see carnage. I wanted to see bloodshed because with traffic that bad there better be limbs flying.

Eric Shaw Quinn: We’re live. We’re live. We’re live.

Christopher Rice: The video’s not live. You can ignore the cameraman putting the camera in your face, but welcome back to the Dinner Party Show, Marcia Clark. We’re glad you’re here.

Marcia Clark: My apologies. Oh my God.

Jan Burke: It’s LA. There’s carnage somewhere. Marcia, Marcia. Marcia.

Marcia Clark: So be of good cheer, right?

Eric Shaw Quinn: Cheer up. Somebody’s dead somewhere.

Christopher Rice: Somebody’s dead.

Eric Shaw Quinn: You used to be the DA, you know.

Marcia Clark:  I still know. I’m still practicing.

Christopher Rice: Pull that microphone up to your face and get those… Yeah.

Marcia Clark: I’m sorry. Here we go. Here we go.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Get her on the show.


Christopher Rice: Everyone remembers very fondly the first time you all came on the show together.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Oh my God, one of my favorite things we have ever done on the show.

Christopher Rice: And Jan, you brought with you that time… We don’t want to call them goofy murders, but they were strange murders.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Wacky crime blotter.

Christopher Rice: And we felt a little weird and hanky afterwards because we were-

Eric Shaw Quinn: I didn’t, I thought they were hysterical.

Christopher Rice: We were laughing about people dying. But this time you have brought a selection of headlines of a similar nature, but maybe not quite exactly the same thing.

Jan Burke: Yeah. I thought we’d start out with just the merely, you know, mayhem and wounding kind of things.

Christopher Rice: Okay. Mayhem and wounding.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Right. The sort of thing one encounters on a drive through Los Angeles.

Jan Burke: Well, one of my favorite things is sort of the armadillo revenge month, which happened a few months ago, where a guy in Texas shot an armadillo and the ricochet came back and hit the guy in the head.

Christopher Rice: Whoa.

Jan Burke: Yeah. He wasn’t killed by the ricochet and we don’t know the fate of that armadillo, but it was the second time armadillos had made the news for something like this because in Georgia, and this is really spectacular, in Georgia, a guy shot one and the ricochet went through the, this is going to shock you, the trailer. This took place in a trailer park.

Marcia Clark: Oh, I could not see that coming.

Jan Burke: It went through a trailer into the recliner in which his mother-in-law was sitting and shot her in the back.

Christopher Rice: Did she-

Jan Burke: She survived.

Christopher Rice: Oh. Which is worse for him.

Jan Burke: I’m not sure the marriage is surviving.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Certainly not Thanksgiving.

Marcia Clark: So the message to be taken from all this, children, is don’t shoot the armadillo.

Jan Burke: Yeah, leave the armadillo alone.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Or they make a great cover story if you’re planning to shoot your mother-in-law in the back.

Marcia Clark: That is an excellent point.

Christopher Rice: I just fired at that armadillo. I wasn’t shooting at you.

Marcia Clark: Ossifer!

Jan Burke : Sure, there was an armadillo.

Eric Shaw Quinn:

It was a ricochet.


Christopher Rice: That’s a good one.

Jan Burke: Yeah. Yeah. The other one was the guy who wanted to kill a spider with a lighter, which might’ve worked out cruelly but okay…

Eric Shaw Quinn: That’s a little twisted.

Marcia Clark: Why do you want to?

Jan Burke: Except he did this in a gas station while he was pumping gas.

Marcia Clark: Oh my God.

Jan Burke: And caused-

Eric Shaw Quinn: Yeah, this is a Darwin Award nominee.

Marcia Clark: This is definitely. Yeah.

Christopher Rice: Yeah. This is a Darwin Award evening, I think is what this is turning into.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Clearly.

Christopher Rice: Is this the story we’re seeing the video of? I clearly haven’t watched this video, but I see the still of the guy at the gas station surrounded by flames. He was trying to kill a spider.

Jan Burke: Yes.

Eric Shaw Quinn: With a lighter while he was pumping gas.

Jan Burke: With a lighter.

Jan Burke: Yeah.

Eric Shaw Quinn: And so he set the gas on fire is I guess the-

Jan Burke: Yeah. I mean, I didn’t hear that his mother-in-law was in the car or anything, but that was his-

Christopher Rice: No, I’m sure-

Marcia Clark: What happened to him? Did he shuffle off his mortal coil?

Jan Burke: No, he survived that.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Did his car?

Marcia Clark: That’s in a way really too bad…

Jan Burke: The gas station owner is probably a little ticked off at him but yeah.

Christopher Rice: The gas station owner wants your number, Marcia.

Eric Shaw Quinn: It was his own car. So the car is history? I’m getting the picture. I haven’t seen the video. Forgive me.

Christopher Rice: I haven’t seen the video either. The videos on the internet are so upsetting I just look at the still and I go, yeah, I’m not watching that. I don’t want to see a guy…

Marcia Clark: You know I don’t understand this being cruel to animals, insects, all the… What is up with that? Why’s that a thing? What’s going on here?

Christopher Rice: We’re in a rash of snake videos, which I can’t tolerate. And it was, I guess because we were in heat wave here for so long.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Oh, really, that just breaks my heart.

Christopher Rice:  Shut up, you’re going to bring up my snake book again!

Eric Shaw Quinn: He wrote that damn book…

Christopher Rice:  With the snake in the car…

Eric Shaw Quinn: …with the snake attack in the car in the water. It was the most… If it hadn’t been him, if it hadn’t been his book. I would never have finished reading it.

Christopher Rice: It’s terrible. It’s terrible. And I’m really sorry.

Eric Shaw Quinn: And what’s the name of it… The Heavens Rise .

Christopher Rice: The Heavens Rise.

Eric Shaw Quinn: It’s available at thedinnerpartyshow.com.

Christopher Rice: It’s a nice plug that you always do. But there was all these videos that I… Twitter and Facebook now do this auto play thing where it just starts playing automatically and you can’t stop it. And it was like these people found a rattlesnake in their laundry room. And I’m running away from the computer because I can’t stop it in time. All right. That’s my snake story of the week.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Okay. That’s enough snake stories. Any more wacky crime blotter?

Jan Burke: Well, I’ll give you a couple of just news stories I thought were… One was the headline from Wisconsin that the Wisconsin Supreme Court held a moment of silence for crooks and it turned out to be there was a…

Eric Shaw Quinn: Uh…okay. Because where would they be without crooks?

Marcia Clark: Exactly. I guess so. That’s true.

Eric Shaw Quinn: They’d have to go out of business.

Jan Burke: And it turned out to be there was a Justice Crooks, and the headline writer…

Christopher Rice: Had some fun.

Jan Burke: …had a little fun and left out the guy’s title.

Marcia Clark:  Yeah It’s almost too easy. That crime writer is a little too-

Jan Burke: And to me… Well, it’s a toss up here between the Nutella war at Costco and the Pope’s drinking water. But since we are short on time…

Eric Shaw Quinn: No, no. Nutella war?

Jan Burke: At the Burbank Costco, a 24-year-old man…

Christopher Rice: I had nothing to do with this…

Jan Burke: …punched a man in his seventies in the face because they were having Nutella on waffles as the little sample thing.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Oh, yeah. Tasty, I love that.

Jan Burke: And this guy, the 24-year-old, took three of the four remaining samples. And when the elderly man reached for the fourth one, grabbed his wrist and the elderly man had the nerve to say, “Hey, you know…”

Christopher Rice: You’re grabbing my wrist.

Jan Burke: Boom, gets decked.

Eric Shaw Quinn: And punched him out because he was unwilling to share.

Jan Burke: Right, right.

Christopher Rice: Now, in all fairness, if you ever had Nutella on a waffle, because it’s really good.

Marcia Clark: Is it really good?

Eric Shaw Quinn: Yeah, it is really good. I’m not sure if it’s punching in the face good, but-

Marcia Clark: I think it’s all different now.

Eric Shaw Quinn: It’s so good. That could be their new tagline. It’s so good you’ll punch somebody in the face for another bite.

Jan Burke: Maybe during the 11 years this guy may spend in prison for doing that, they’ll serve him some.

Christopher Rice: Is that what we think? Will it be 11 years, you think?

Jan Burke: Up to, could. Cause it’s a little elder abuse.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Then he can be the official Nutella spokesperson, this man would go to prison for 11 years for Nutella. Okay. So what’s the other one?

Jan Burke: The final one is that a congressman swiped the Pope’s water glass after the Pope spoke…

Eric Shaw Quinn: Do we know which congressman?

Marcia Clark: Congressman Brady, it would have to be Democrat, in New Jersey.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Because that’s the big divide.

Jan Burke: He’s apparently a devout Catholic and was so excited he watched the Pope drink from this glass and then apparently hurried up and took the glass with him and took it back to his office.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Did John Boehner punch him in the face?

Jan Burke: I wondered if John Boehner’s tears might have been in there as well, but that would’ve really-

Christopher Rice: The tears of a clown. Well, you know what? I understand. My grandmother did a similar thing when we were on a plane with Mother Teresa. Yeah.

Eric Shaw Quinn: She took her drinking glass?

Christopher Rice: No, Mother Teresa got up to use the lav, and when she finished my grandmother-

Eric Shaw Quinn: Where is this going?

Christopher Rice: Made a beeline for the lavatory as if being the first one on that toilet right after Mother Teresa was going to be an important thing.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Bless my bottom.

Christopher Rice: And my grandmother is not Catholic by any means, but Mother Teresa, she cuts across all barriers.

Eric Shaw Quinn: She’s very popular.

Christopher Rice: And the flight attendant’s response before my grandmother got in the bathroom was, “I wiped down the toilet.”

Marcia Clark: I saw you coming.

Christopher Rice: Don’t you try to get a posterior blessing from a Delta Airlines’ toilet.

Eric Shaw Quinn: A contact blessing.

Christopher Rice: I’m glad my grandmother doesn’t listen to the show. That’s good. But she did it.

Eric Shaw Quinn: You can’t get blessings off of toilet seats.

Christopher Rice: Yeah, exactly.

Marcia Clark: You shouldn’t, wanyway.

Jan Burke: I don’t think you can get them out of the Pope’s drinking glass either. Really, frankly. I’m thinking-

Eric Shaw Quinn: I guess whatever, souvenirs are souvenirs, but that’s a little twisted.

Marcia Clark: Yeah.

 Christopher Rice: Well, you know, Catholics are always about the relics, right?

Eric Shaw Quinn: So he is Catholic? So that would be he’s devout. So I guess it does have the blessed drinking glass of our savior or whatever.

Jan Burke: I know a lot of Catholics that would’ve left it up there on the podium.

Christopher Rice: It’s the Pope’s saliva. It belongs up there.

Eric Shaw Quinn: It’s a water glass.

Marcia Clark: But this Pope is so beloved. This Pope like is the rockstar of all time. Really, not kidding.

Christopher Rice: Yeah he really is.

Marcia Clark: And he’s kind of amazing.

Eric Shaw Quinn: It has been the only story on the news this week. We were just commenting on it earlier. It’s been the endless…

Marica Clark: Yeah, yeah, right.

Eric Shaw Quinn: And I wish that they had taken more time to report on the things he was actually doing. He spoke to a joint session of the Congress and he spoke to the UN General Assembly, I guess it is. But the footage was of everybody in Central Park. I’m sure there are a lot of people in Central Park and that’s really great, but that’s not actually the story.

Christopher Rice: Yeah. All right and enough about the Pope. We have two wonderful, talented women who are not the pope here on the Dinner Party Show.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Right here for Write Murder Madness.

Christopher Rice: Yes. As you may know, we are celebrating the countdown to the release of Eric Shaw Quinn’s first murder mystery, Write Murder.


Eric Shaw Quinn: Yay.

Marcia Clark: Yay.

Jan Burke: Woohoo.

Christopher Rice: And so along those lines, we are asking both of you to list your top three favorite mystery novels of all time. And we are going to compile all these, we had some other guests do this as well. And then we’re going to post them to the favorite section at thedinnerpartyshow.com.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Excellent.

Christopher Rice: So who do we put on the spot first? Marcia, since you arrived late.

Marcia Clark: Dammit! I arrived late, and of course I bitched to you in email about this.

Christopher Rice: Yeah, yeah.

Marcia Clark: You’re killing me, dude.

Christopher Rice: I know, right?

Marcia Clark: I can’t do this.

Eric Shaw Quinn: It’s so hard to narrow it down to three. I know.

Marcia Clark: It’s not fair.

Eric Shaw Quinn: We were talking about that last week. Well, we’ll allow some fudge area.

Marcia Clark: [inaudible]

Eric Shaw Quinn: I had to disqualify… I had to choose. But you can sort of fudge around in there a little bit.

Marcia Clark: Well, okay, so I mean, I’m totally… This is not is because she’s your mom but The Witching Hour is one of my top all-time great, crazy-making love this book.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I hadn’t thought about that.

Christopher Rice: So we’re going to call that a mystery, okay?

Marcia Clark: I do.

Christopher Rice: Okay.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I think it is, really. Disappearances and-

Christopher Rice: The mystery of what Lasher is.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I hadn’t thought about it, but I guess you’re really sort of right. There is a great deal of… It’s written very much like a thriller.

Christopher Rice: God knows I’m not going to stand on ceremony if my mother’s listening on this one.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I hadn’t thought about it, but I think that’s a really interesting choice for that category.

Marcia Clark: Thank you very much. I mean, I just had to go for what do I just absolutely love? So another one that… James Elroy, of course.

Christopher Rice: Okay.

Marcia Clark: LA Confidential. I hate to be so predictable, but it really is terrific. I love all his books but that one kind of was more the iconic one for me.

Eric Shaw Quinn: The classic. Yeah.

Marcia Clark: Okay. So here’s where the fudging comes in.

Christopher Rice: Okay.

Marcia Clark: Hey, by the way, I want to say, okay, thinking your mom-

Christopher Rice: You’re deflecting. I can see it in your eyes.

Marcia Clark: I’m not, No. I just thought of something. And I think of things so rarely that I want to commemorate the occasion, but you have one of my favorite all-time favorite script Hollywood writers on your show all the time, Bryan Fuller.

Christopher Rice: Yeah. Yeah.

Marcia Clark: I didn’t know that. I love him so much. It’s crazy.

Christopher Rice: He’s wonderful.

Marcia Clark: Oh, he’s amazing.

Eric Shaw Quinn: You’re one behind him on the Frequent Diners category.

Christopher Rice: We have a Frequent Diners’ graphic. People who have been on the show a whole bunch, and we counted and you’re one behind him. Although, because you were late, we may give you half a fork instead of a whole fork.

Marcia Clark: I’ll make up for it. I’ll make up for it by giving you more names.

Christopher Rice: Right, right, right.

Marcia Clark: The pressure.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Yeah, because it’s really… It’s a very high stakes competition.

Marcia Clark: It is high stakes. This is worse than court. Wait.

Eric Shaw Quinn: You heard it here, folks.

Christopher Rice: That’s a pull quote, “Worse than court,” Marcia Clark on the Dinner Party Show.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I’d rather retry OJ than be on that goddam show again.

Marcia Clark: You know, kind of. Another one is Fingersmith by Sarah Waters.

Christopher Rice: Oh, okay. I haven’t read it.

Marcia Clark: Phenomenal. If you haven’t read her, read her, she’s a Brit, so we don’t always know all the good writers. She’s written a bunch of stuff, but The Fingersmith is kind of amazing. An amazing book. And she does a lot of period work. So another one, Concrete Blonde by Walter Mosley.

Christopher Rice: You did three, you’re in the clear. You made it, but Concrete Blonde by Walter Mosley. Okay.

Marcia Clark: Making up for my late-itude.

Christopher Rice: Yeah. Absolutely.

Christopher Rice: We’ll post all of them.

Eric Shaw Quinn:  That’s a great list. And I love the idea of including The Witching Hour.

Christopher Rice: You just like my mom like we all-

Eric Shaw Quinn: I really do. Actually I’m crazy about your mom, but that’s not really it, it’s one of those things where it’s… It’s like I was watching Donny Darko.

Marcia Clark: Yes.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Not Donnie Darko. What’s the… Is that the right one?

Marcia Clark: No, what’s the name of the…

Eric Shaw Quinn: The one where…the one with the…

Marcia Clark: I know. Yeah.

[Marcia Clark sings a tune.]

Eric Shaw Quinn:

It’s our neighbor, Johnny Depp.

Christopher Rice:


Eric Shaw Quinn:

And he’s… Is it Donny Darko? It’s Donny-

Marcia Clark: No, it’s Jake Gyllenhaal.

Eric Shaw Quinn: No, no, no.

Christopher Rice: What’s happening?

Eric Shaw Quinn: I’m talking about the movie. It’s a movie where he plays an undercover cop.

Christopher Rice: Donnie Brasco!

Marcia Clark: Brasco.

Christopher Rice:

Very different movie. No, crazy-

Eric Shaw Quinn: I was watching a movie and about halfway through I went, oh my God, this is written like a romance. They meet in a bar and you see the development of the relationship and they eventually break up and one of them is destroyed by… It’s like, oh my God, they wrote this as a romance…

Marcia Clark: Trippy, huh?

Eric Shaw Quinn: Sometimes writing something out of context and suddenly seeing Witching Hour as a thriller, it’s like oh, that’s a perfect description. It really is.

Christopher Rice: We’re going to take a short break here on the Dinner Party Show.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I’m not. I’m going to keep right on talking.

Christopher Rice: And then we’re going to be back with Jan Burke’s favorite mysteries. And then we’re going to ask you that Johnny Carson question of what you’re both working on now. All right.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Oh.

[comedy sketch]

Announcer: You are listening to The Dinner Party Show with Christopher Rice and Eric Shaw Quinn, where dessert is the most important meal of the day.

Christopher Rice: Welcome back to The Dinner Party Show. I’m Christopher Rice.

Eric Shaw Quinn: And I’m Eric Shaw Quinn.

Christopher Rice: And joining us for this installment of Write Murder Madness is Marcia Clark and Jan Burke. Thank you, ladies.

Marcia Clark: Thank you for having us.

Eric Shaw Quinn: You are as mad as any murderer we know.

Christopher Rice: The book that you mentioned, Blonde Faith, by Walter Mosley.

Marcia Clark: That’s it. Thank you so much.

Christopher Rice: We have a title correction. Blonde Faith by Walter Mosley. So Jan, your three favorite mysteries we’ve already heard from Marcia.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Shut up, Marcia.

Jan Burke: Well, the first one is one that I mentioned. The last time I mentioned it around you, we were on a panel about sex and the mystery.

Christopher Rice: Oh, were we?

Jan Burke: And it’s Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett

Eric Shaw Quinn: John Wilder picked that last week.

Christopher Rice: Our previous guest… No, he picked The Dane Curse, I think.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Oh, did he?

Christopher Rice: Yeah, I think he picked The Dane Curse. So, Red Harvest.

Jan Burke: So Red Harvest is a first novel, and it’s astounding when you read it to think about that while you’re reading it. It’s an amazing work, and it has one of my favorite characters in all of crime fiction in it, Dinah Brand, who’s just no good and yet completely lovable.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Love that.

Marcia Clark: Completely lovable.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Just no good.

Christopher Rice: That’s wonderful.

Jan Burke: And it has some of the sexiest scenes without there actually being sex in the book just because of the exchanges between her and the continental op. And so that would be my first. I re-read Josephine Tey’s Brat Farrar every year just to humble myself completely because I’ll never be that good. But it’s just a fantastic book of small setting relationships and the tension is just incredible throughout it. So I love that book. Finally would be, and it’s so hard for me to pick one, but I love Charlotte Armstrong. She wrote from the forties to the sixties, or I think early seventies. And she has two, One Dram of Poison, which I really love, which won the Edgar, but I have to say probably a little bit better than that I love Chocolate Cobweb, which is a story of a young woman who sort of on a pretext visits a famous artist, and while she’s there, sees an attempted murder of his son and she has to insinuate herself in the household then on a more lasting basis and convince the son that he’s in danger. It’s just very tense, very well done and with twists that you just don’t see coming.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I’m going to get a great… The thing that I’ve loved about asking people this question is, I love this genre and I’ve gotten so many answers of books that I haven’t read.

Christopher Rice: There’s so much of it.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I’m getting a reading list out of this.

Christopher Rice: But there’s so much mysteries.

Eric Shaw Quinn: …from people like you guys who are experienced. Write Murder is my first time trying this genre. So the books that you guys recommend, if that was what taught you guys-

Christopher Rice: And I’m being corrected by Shea Butters, John Wilder did in fact pick Red Harvest as well. So that’s two votes for Red Harvest, even though it’s not a competition.

Marcia Clark: Got to read that. There we go.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Last week when he said it was like, well, I don’t know that book. I’ll have to look into that. But to hear it twice now-

Christopher Rice: Nobody’s talking about my man Ross McDonald. He’s my personal favorite.

Jan Burke: Oh, I love him.

Marcia Clark: He’s wonderful. He’s wonderful.

Jan Burke: This is when you name three, you say…

Marcia Clark: You know, that’s the problem. And inevitably somebody says, “What about…” And then you go “Oh.”

Eric Shaw Quinn: And there were the standards like that. But I understand that those offbeat personal favorite, where you read it and you went, “That was actually really amazing.” [All are agreeing] It steps away from the crowd. That’s where favorites are. You can certainly have… God, I love finding a prolific author where it’s like… And now I can just read these books.

Marcia Clark: You can binge.

Eric Shaw Quinn: For months.

Christopher Rice: But if they’re dead, you don’t want to finish. I remember I motored through Chandler and I was like, I’m not going to see him at Bouchercon. He’s not around anymore. There are going to be no more. I should have slowed down and savored it. I’ve actually not read all of Ross McDonald for that reason because I want it to last.

Eric Shaw Quinn: The Confederacy of Dunces conundrum. I would only read a chapter a day because I wanted it to last for as long as possible, because there weren’t going to be any more books.

Christopher Rice: Yeah, absolutely.

Marcia Clark: I get it.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Yeah

Christopher Rice: All right. So let’s go to the standard interview question. What are you working on next, Ms. Clark?

Marcia Clark: All right, so finally I get a softball.

Christopher Rice: What do you think of puppies? Are you pro-puppy or anti-puppy?

Marcia Clark: It depends on the puppy. I don’t know, Chris.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Make it difficult, Marcia.

Marcia Clark: Well, it does. I mean…it’s a lawyer thing. Sometimes. But anyway, I just finished my fifth novel, that’s new series starting with… It’s Samantha Brinkman, defense attorney with a very troubled past. She’s a tough ass, but she’s wild. And she was a wild child who somehow pulled her shit together and wound up becoming a lawyer. But she’s got some very interesting quirks to her.

Christopher Rice: Excellent.

Marcia Clark: And so in the first book, it’s going to be Blood Defense, it comes out April 5th on Amazon. I’m with Amazon.

Christopher Rice: Oh, welcome to the club, Miss Clark.

Marcia Clark: I did. You did it too, right?

Christopher Rice: I did it, yeah. The Vines was published by 47North, and my back list was brought out by Thomas and Mercer. Yeah.

Marcia Clark: So far I’m really loving it. I was afraid to do this and all that, but… And you know what? Oh, we had an author dinner and I met somebody who knows you.

Christopher Rice: Oh yeah.

Marcia Clark: He’s with Amazon too.

Christopher Rice: Yeah, absolutely.

Marcia Clark: I bet you know who it is, now I can’t wait.

Christopher Rice: It’s an interesting crew of people. And it is-

Eric Shaw Quinn: Somebody from Amazon or another author?

Marcia Clark: No, another author.

Christopher Rice: Yeah, the authors. Amazon does a lot of filming out here in LA for their YouTube channel called Kindle’s the Most Wanted, excuse me. And they were out here and they had a big dinner. And I was actually supposed to be at that dinner but I had something else to do. I think I had to clean out Eric’s closet or something. I don’t know what it was. It was something-

Marcia Clark: You were very much missed.

Eric Shaw Quinn: My closets are very well organized. [background talk] They’re packed but they’re very well organized.

Marcia Clark: Thank you.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Congratulations. I hope that’ll be an exciting new development.

Marcia Clark: It is. But they want two books a year. So I’m already… I’m copy editing the first one, and I’m writing the second one because they-

Eric Shaw Quinn: Honestly, I love having deadlines. I get more done with deadlines. I even give myself deadlines because writing to a deadline gets things done.

Marcia Clark: It’s absolutely true. It’s really true.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Yeah. You’ll be more prolific for their asking.

Marcia Clark: Yeah. Yeah. Oh no. You know what? I always wanted to do two books a year because I think it’s a really bad thing that authors disappear for an entire year. And if they really like your stuff, then they want it more quickly. People are used to binging now, so it’s not-

Eric Shaw Quinn: It builds your inventory faster that way.

Marcia Clark: That’s also really true.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Are you taking… Is your list going to stay where it is? And you’re going to start a new list with them or…

Marcia Clark: We’ll I think what they’re doing with Chris, maybe they’ll still be… The books that I already wrote, the Rachel Knight series, the first four will still be selling through Amazon.

Christopher Rice: Oh yeah. But they’ll remain with your former publisher, right? Absolutely. Totally. Just Jan Burke, what are you up to? You’re being very quiet over there.

Jan Burke: I was fascinated by Marsha’s answer. I’m finishing up my chapter for an amazing book called Anatomy of Innocence, which is collecting the stories of people who are exonerated and telling different aspects of their life while imprisoned and talking about that.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Wow. That’s a really interesting subject.

Jan Burke: And what happened to them and their cases. And I drew an amazing man named Alton Logan, who spent 26 years in prison and due to a crooked group of cops in Chicago in part, but also because he was… There were attorneys who through attorney-client privilege could not reveal that they had an affidavit from their client saying that their client was the one who had done the crime.

Christopher Rice: Whoa.

Marcia Clark: Oh my God.

Jan Burke: And they, by law, because of ethics, could not reveal that. But had got him to agree, well, after he was dead, if Alton Logan was still alive, they could come forward.

Eric Shaw Quinn: They could release the information. Oh my God.

Jan Burke: He’s an amazing man. And how he dealt with those 26 years and all that, it’s an amazing story. So I’m finishing up that, and that will be out next year, that whole collection. I’ve got some great authors lined up working on that.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Anatomy of Innocence.

Jan Burke:  And then I’m on an Irene.

Marcia Clark: So does each author take a different story?

Jan Burke: Yes.

Marcia Clark: So your chapter is that guy?

Jan Burke: Yeah. I’m paired with him but other writers are paired with other exonerated-

Marcia Clark: That’s great.

Eric Shaw Quinn: What a great idea.

Marcia Clark: It’s a great idea.

Jan Burke: Yeah. Yeah.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I love that.

Jan Burke: Yeah. And just seeing how people end up wrongly convicted, I think it’ll be really good. And also, the great thing is this benefits After Innocence, which is a project that helps people go on with life after they’re exonerated.

Eric Shaw Quinn: That’s an interesting… Yeah. Very PTSD kind of situation to be in. The Shawshank, right, I can’t stand out I’ve been out of prison now…

Jan Burke: Well I mean, a lot of these people lost their youth essentially to prison. So I’m doing that and I’m working on another Irene, so.

Christopher Rice: Excellent. The Irene Kelly Mysteries are your long running series for which you won an Edgar Award for Bones, which is available at thedinnerpartyshow.com. Always be selling.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Right, right.

Christopher Rice: Absolutely. Well, this is wonderful. It was so great of you all to come back and help us celebrate the imminent publication of Eric’s book.

Eric Shaw Quinn: My joining the ranks.

Christopher Rice: We’ve gone 15 whole minutes without talking about Write Murder.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Oh my God.

Christopher Rice: Write Murder. W-R-I-T-E Murder. Excellent.

Jan Burke: I’m really looking forward to it.

Marcia Clark: It’s great. It’s going to be wonderful.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I hope so. I hope everybody’s going to enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed doing it. But I’ve always been a huge murder mystery fan. Well, who was your first, who got you hooked?

Christopher Rice: Your gateway drug.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Nancy Drew. Literally Carolyn Keene. Have we talked about whodunit before?

Marcia Clark: Nancy Drew. Nancy Drew. I mean, that was it. And I was like five years old.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Yeah. Kid.

Marcia Clark: Yeah, I mean I was hooked, that was it. I think that’s why I became a prosecutor.

Eric Shaw Quinn: You could read one in a morning. You could read the whole mystery in the morning. I love the ones with maps in them and floor plans and stuff.

Christopher Rice: You love maps.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I do. I do love maps. What about you? What was your gateway mystery?

Jan Burke: The Sherlock Holmes stories…

Eric Shaw Quinn: Oh yes.

Marcia Clark: Oh those are great.

Jan Burke: …definitely developed a love. But the one that made me see was, again, Hammett…Chandler, Hammett. Those two made me see what else crime fiction could be.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Right. What was possible.

Jan Burke: I think we all had that kind of experience of sort of, you’re thinking it’s along this line. And then somebody comes along and says, “Well, look at this.”

Eric Shaw Quinn:  Yeah. Yeah.

Marcia Clark: We had to get past Nancy Drew because I mean, even by the time I was six or seven, I realized there’s kind of a formula here. Because every time her dad goes out of town, ooh, a murder falls in her lap.

Eric Shaw Quinn: There’s going to be trouble.

Christopher Rice: And somebody pointed out, I would love to take credit for the line that is clearly her father who’s committing all the crimes because everyone… I don’t remember, it’s like a joke and something like her dad did it. I think maybe it was in a Kevin Williamson movie. Obviously.

Jan Burke: I’ve also referred to her as the girl with the titanium cranium. Because she gets hit on the head. By now, she’d really just be a veg somewhere.

Marcia Clark: And she’s also got OCD. You do notice in every chapter, every five minutes, she showers and changes. She showered and changed. She showered and changed. She showered and-

Christopher Rice: I get it, I have OCD. I have OCD.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Well, Agatha really sort of transported me. I came and Carolyn Keene brought me in, or whatever her name actually was. But Agatha Christie, like you, it just was…

Marcia Clark: She was great.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Yeah. We were talking about it before the show. There was a level of social commentary happening in the context of these other stories. It was like the murders were a way to look into the lives of these other people and see them in a different light or under stress or not at their best. And I really… That’s always stuck with me. That was an aspect of it. Because in the end, the dead people are dead. They’re not going to be a part of the story. [Others agreeing] It’s going to be the suspects and the investigation that makes for the rest of the story. Are you ready to do… Christopher’s looking at a piece of paper he’s ready to read from.

Christopher Rice: We have to tell people about what’s happening on the show next week. Because it’s very important.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Right. It is. It’s very important. It’s release week.

Christopher Rice: It’s our Write Murder release party. But here’s what that means, party people. You can call our party line at 323-PEZ-TDPS. You can always call our party line. But the most original congratulatory message for Eric is going to win a prize. And we are leaving it up to you on how to interpret original, which is a terrifying mistake that we shouldn’t be making.

Eric Shaw Quinn: But that’s how we roll. That is so how we roll here at The Dinner Party Show. Cannot wait to see how that manifests.

Christopher Rice:  We’ll see. We will see. We will see.

Eric Shaw Quinn: We will. And we are pretty perverse in our judgment choices.

Christopher Rice: Yeah, we are. Yeah. We did something-

Eric Shaw Quinn: But we’ll share them with everybody. And then… I don’t know, maybe we’ll let everybody decide what the most original is.

Christopher Rice: We’ll talk about this in our production meeting, Eric Shaw Quinn.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Production meeting over lunch on Tuesday. But meanwhile, that’s the plan. And then the book actually comes out on the first.

Christopher Rice: October 1st, which is this Thursday. It goes on sale from all major retailers.

Eric Shaw Quinn: On Thursday, so we’re excited about that. Try to have all the options up there for you by then.

Christopher Rice: Yeah, absolutely. And yeah, it’s a very exciting time here on the Dinner Party Show. Lord knows it took you long enough to write this thing. So we’re finally getting to market-

Eric Shaw Quinn: Swear to God, he loves saying that.

Christopher Rice: I was like, whatever. I wrote three romance novellas in the time… No, I’m just kidding. I’m giving him shit.

Jan Burke: We’ll have to talk, Eric.

Christopher Rice: He once did, I want to say you were doing those tie-ins for Queer as Folk. I think you had four books come out in one year. And I spent two years writing one, anyway.

Eric Shaw Quinn: I wrote four books in 18 months.

Marcia Clark: Oh my God.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Yeah. And then I wrote this one the following six months. It’s just taken this long to bring it out. So let’s not be too-

Marcia Clark: He’s quick.

Christopher Rice: The real story comes out here at the Dinner Party Show. Well, we only have 400 more episodes to talk about it.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Right. So more soon.

Christopher Rice: Jan Burke, Marcia Clark, thank you for joining us again.

Marcia Clark: Thank you!

Jan Burke: Thank you!

Eric Shaw Quinn: Thank you for enduring that traffic.

Christopher Rice: We’re going to give you a full fork on the frequent diner card.

Marcia Clark: Thank you in spite of everything.

Christopher Rice: Absolutely.

Eric Shaw Quinn: After hearing about that drive.

Christopher Rice: Thank you Party people. I’m Christopher Rice.

Eric Shaw Quinn: And I’m Eric Shaw Quinn.

Christopher Rice: And you’ve been listening to The Dinner Party Show.

Eric Shaw Quinn: Thanks.

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