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Laura Lippman and her latest: I'd Know You Anywhere

With Laura Lippman's new book, "I'd Know You Anywhere," out this week, The Baltimore Sun took a look one of its most famous alums. Lippman talks about the jump from novels to Hollywood -- "Every Secret Thing" is being adapted for film and a TV series pilot is being written for her Tess Monaghan books.

Lippman also discussed her writing style with reporter Michael Sragow. (And don't forget that Read Street is giving away a copy of Lippman's latest, about a child kidnapping victim who is contacted by the criminal years later.) Here are some excerpts from his article:

"The characters that I make the most fun of are usually the closest to me. I have learned that about myself as a writer. If a character is gently mocked in a book, it's because I share something with that character and I feel quite free to do that."

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Lippman says the one who contains the most self-satire is Eliza's older sister, Vonnie, who is frank and cosmopolitan but also insensitive and opinionated. "That's me having fun with myself, as a sister who's so self-important and so histrionic, and everything that happens to her is so huge. Eliza is not at all like me. I always saw her as quietly heroic. She has acquired strength. … The incredible sadness of her life is that she hasn't let anyone else in since she was 15 years old."

Baltimore Sun photo by Karl Merton Ferron

More from the article: At times like that you can see why Lippman would connect to the exuberant side of her girl characters. But why is she hard-wired to troubled young characters like Elizabeth? She says she often gives the "glib, flippant" explanation that "I'm one of those people who never forgave or never forgot any of the humiliations of childhood," even though she had "a very happy ordinary childhood." She also thinks young people are fascinating because "they aren't very good at being disingenuous. They're much more interesting when they're inept." ...

Lippman says she would never try her hand at "broad, larger-than-life, Hannibal Lecter types … that's just not what I do. I can't pull that off. So I kind of go the other way. [Husband David Simon] and I have actually joked that we're drawn to characters who are smaller than life. That's just what I know: people whose dreams are bigger than they are. I'm thinking of Walter now. I get that kind of person, I really do, and I feel for him in an odd way."

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