Book Talk: Patricia Cornwell on writing about darkness, loss

Thu Dec 25, 2014 9:01am EST
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By Nicholas P. Brown

NEW YORK (Reuters) - In the crime fiction realm, author Patricia Cornwell’s fame may be surpassed only by her brainchild and longtime heroine, forensics expert Kay Scarpetta.

In “Flesh and Blood,” Cornwell’s 22nd Scarpetta novel since the series began in 1990, Scarpetta tracks a mysterious sniper whose crimes seem tied to her.

The author said she’s already begun the next Scarpetta book while juggling other projects, including the crime drama pilot “Angie Steele” for CBS television.

Cornwell, 58, said her work is inspired by pain. Abandoned as a child by her father, she has also battled bipolar disorder and some lawsuits, including one that outed her as gay.

She spoke to Reuters about the character, coming out and the TV pilot.

Q: Why does Scarpetta resonate with readers?  

A: I think people enjoy the way her mind works. And she’s accessible. I think you’d want to have dinner with her. 

Q: Are her struggles informed by your own?   Continued...