So far this week, Marcia Clark has appeared on Good Morning America, NPR’s Morning Edition, WPIX and Good Day New York. The Los Angeles Times published a feature on the origins of her novel. The Richmond Times-Dispatch praises how “Clark develops her plot with ingenious twists and laces it with plenty of humor and a bit of romance….the writer’s pen is a perfect fit in Clark’s deft hands.” The Boston Herald runs a Q&A with Clark as well and the Hartford Books Examiner calls GUILT BY ASSOCIATION “a dazzling debut that marks the emergence of a new literary luminary…Our verdict: It would be criminal to miss this book.” And, don’t miss rave reviews from Jen’s Book Thoughts, Linus’s Blanket, Bermuda Onion, Booking Mama, and Pop Culture Nerd. Here, Marcia tells us a bit about the origins of the novel.
I’d dreamed of writing fiction since I was a kid, and every so often, ideas for books would occur to me, but I never actually made the commitment and put pen to paper. Then I became a criminal lawyer. And a few years later, I joined the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office. And so came the stories, the people, the adrenaline rush of trial; suddenly I was awash in the best material any writer could hope for. But I was in the thick of it, too busy living the ride to step back and write about it.
It wasn’t until years later, after I’d written scripts for television, that I found myself thinking seriously about finally writing a novel. And then, inspiration came from an unexpected source. A friend recommended the series of novels, “Tales of the City” by Armistead Maupin. From the very first page, I was entranced with the beautiful, exciting, warm and witty world he’d created, a world filled with fun, quirky and interesting characters. That’s when I realized that it was time to write that novel, and that what I really wanted to do was revisit my happiest years as a prosecutor, and create a world that would be an ongoing series with recurring characters who’d – hopefully – also be fun, loveable and interesting.
So, in Guilt by Association, I created a family that consisted of prosecutor and protagonist Rachel Knight, and her best friends, Detective Bailey Keller and prosecutor Toni LaCollette. Together, they deal with all manner of crime: murder, mayhem, rape, child prostitution, gang bangers, and gang leaders – and the most nefarious of foul deeds: office politics. And then of course, there are the womens’ personal stories. I couldn’t leave out their after-hours lives and loves.
I had a blast writing the book and I hope you have an even better time reading it.
Marcia Clark is a former LA, California deputy district attorney, who was the lead prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson murder case. She wrote a bestselling nonfiction book about the trial, Without a Doubt, and is a frequent media commentator and columnist on legal issues. She lives in Los Angeles.
Photo courtesy of ABC News.