1. What is your favorite word?
I have two: haptic and purl. Haptic is a scientific term having to do with tactile sensitivity... but a friend and I have adopted it to mean touchable, as in, "Oh, baby, he's haptic." Purl is a lovely word for a lovely sound—it is the sound a bubbling brook makes.
2. What is your least favorite word?
No. Don't tell me no. If it requires work, let's roll up our sleeves and make it happen, but I hate hearing no.
3. What is your favorite word that sounds like a curse word but isn't?
I don't have one... but I do have a word that sounds vulgar and isn't. I lived in Los Angeles for awhile and was shocked to discover a major thoroughfare named Sepulveda Boulevard. Parents, don't let your children play on Sepulveda.
4. What sound or noise do you love?
Two come to mind. A kitty purring... an intimate sound of approval and affection. You can't make a cat purr, and you can only hear it if you're close by. Also, my husband (who as you may know is a professional musician) practicing bass trombone or tuba. I'm in my little office writing and he's in the other side of the apartment practicing... it's a visceral signal that all is well with my world.
5. What sound or noise do you hate?
Heavy metal, rap, Musak, and people talking on their cellphones on trains or buses.
6. What turns you on when you're writing a mystery novel?
Nailing it—writing an unambiguous sentence.
7. What turns you off when you're reading a mystery novel?
Errors in logic, plot points that seem contrived, and/or uninteresting characters.
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
None comes to mind... I've tried many jobs over many years. I'm very fortunate to have found two careers I like a lot—corporate training and writing.
9. What profession would you not like to attempt?
The worst job I ever had was feeding data cards—does anyone remember "Do not fold, spindle, or mutilate"?—into a reader. Mind-numbingly boring. Excruciating. I lasted an hour. Cocktail waitressing was pretty bad, too.
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear Rex Stout say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
I loved your last book. I've got some Jack Daniels. Want a drink?
11. If you were an antique, which would you be, and why? (How much would you bid for yourself at auction?)
I'd be an 18th century, beautifully cared-for, rare book—something of substance like a first edition of Dr. Johnson's dictionary. Why? I'd be valued for what was outside and inside. How much? Priceless. A bidding war would explode.
12. And most importantly, which is your favorite dessert?
I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but chocolate chip cookies are always welcome.