[Updated, 2014 version.]
This mini-interview originally appeared on the Sisters in Crime Blog on December 6, 2010.
SinC: Is there anything you’d never leave home without?
DS: The thumb drive my books are backed up on. [Update: Stet.]
SinC: What do you wish you had more time for?
DS: Travel. [Update: Reading recreationally. As in not for research.]
SinC: Is there anyone from the past you would like to talk to for just 15 minutes?
DS: Shakespeare. [Update: Cleopatra. With an armed guard at my side.]
SinC: If the F.B.I. had to give you a new identity, what name would you choose?
DS: Wilhelmina Eleutheria Prendergrass. Or something equally unmemorable. [Update: Stet.]
SinC: Favorite food?
DS: Popcorn. [Update: Buttered. Lots of salt. Otherwise what’s the point?]
SinC: Favorite drink?
DS: Water. [Update: Yes, true. Believe it or not. I grew up drinking Seldovia water. Accept no substitute.]
SinC: Favorite dessert?
DS: Chocolate anything. [Update: But ONLY chocolate. Not orange chocolate or s’mores (Marshmallows. Gah.), just plain chocolate. And not dark, either. Milk. Hershey’s, Cadbury’s, Godiva. I turn up my nose at no chocolate.]
SinC: If you weren’t a published author, what would you be?
DS: An unpublished bag lady. [Update: Stet.]
SinC: If you could be one of your characters, who would it be and why?
DS: Star Svensdotter, because she gets to go to Ellfive, the Asteroid Belt and Mars. [Update: Stet. I’m gonna die wanting to have been off-planet just once.]
SinC: What independent bookstore is closest to the place you spend a good portion of your time?
DS: The Homer Bookstore.
SinC: Who owns the store and when did it open?
DS: It’s owned by Jenny Stroyeck, Sue Post and her brother, Lee Post. If I have the story right, Jenny and Sue moved from Anchorage (pop. 320,000) down to Homer (pop. 10,000) about 15 years ago when they were invited to become partners with Lee in the bookstore. The store was in the large strip mall that also contained the main grocery store. When the grocery store wanted to expand, the bookstore bought an old house on Pioneer Avenue and remodeled it, with apartments to rent out upstairs. It’s great to the eye both inside and out; bright, cheerful, inviting. It’s sort of like Cheers, you walk in and everybody knows your name.
SinC: What’s the specialty of the shop?
DS: They’re a full service bookstore, stocked with everything from general fiction to cookbooks. They have a large Alaska section for tourists, of course, a good selection of maps, and if they don’t have it they can order it for you.
SinC: Where can we find The Homer Bookstore online?
SinC: What’s the most recent purchase you made there?
DS: Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff. [Update: Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!: The Story of Pop Music from Bill Haley to Beyoncé by Bob Stanley .]
SinC: How much snow is on the ground in Homer today (Friday, 12/3)?
DS: The forecast is for four inches of snow today, turning to rain this afternoon. Bleah.
SinC: How much daylight are you seeing each day?
DS: Five and a half hours.