29 October 2009

Varied Voices -- Guest Bloggers Kas and Effie Valentine

Just because Bouchercon is over doesn't mean Word Nerd's giving guest bloggers the boot.

Nope, welcome to Varied Voices, a semi-regular feature of guest posts from a variety of authors and writers. This week, welcome Kas and Effie Valentine. Word Nerd has no idea who the Masked Fedora really is. (All she knows is it's not her...)

Recently, The Masked Fedora had a chance to sit down with writing duo and darlings of the crime fiction set, Kas and Effie Valentine. Many rumors surround these jazz musicians, turned PIs, turned authors––that they are a brother and sister team masquerading as husband and wife (or vice versa), or that they’re just some idle rich folks using hired guns to pen their tales, or that “The Valentines” is a pseudonym for a well-known script-doctor who pays out-of-work actors to “play” the pair at signings.
Determined to get to the bottom of this mystery, Masked Fedora met the pair at their quaint park side apartment for coffee…bringing a half dozen Tim Hortons maple-dip donuts (as instructed).

Masked Fedora: Let’s start with the question on everybody’s mind. Are you two brother and sister or husband and wife?
Effie and Kas Valentine (in unison): Yes.
MF: Can you give our readers any insight into your process?
EV: Writing is the easy part—that is if you don’t count all the dishes thrown. It’s living the writer’s life that’s difficult. Especially adding in the music and the investigation.
MF: Is your work based on your actual cases?
KV: Heaven’s no. Too boring.
EV: Kas did have this actor friend who worked on one of those police shows. We had him over dinner one night, and I joked that he should try a real case. Rayelee Flynn, our crime-solving background actress was born on the spot.
KV: Yes, but that’s fiction. All real PI’s ever work are divorce cases.
EF: That’s how we met, in fact. Mr. Valentine’s services had been retained by a woman who suspected her husband of stepping out. And the husband thought the same, and hired me.
MF: Were they?
EF: You know, I can’t recall. I think––
KV: Are you sure that’s how we met? I could swear it was at the Slippery Noodle.
MF: The Slippery…
EF: Slippery Noodle. It’s a jazz and blues club in Indianapolis.
KV: Yes, I was playing string bass with the Sidney Zweibel trio and this lovely gal hops up on stage and demands that we let her sing “Lullaby of Birdland.” Which, of course, we did…she had the voice of a whiskey soaked angel. Which reminds me… (At this point Mr. Valentine produces a tumbler and a few martini glasses.) Care for a cocktail?
MF: Ummm…it’s nine AM.
KV: It’s okay, these are virgin.
EV: By that he means vodka instead of gin.
MF: So which it?
KV: It’s vodka.
MF: I mean which story. Which is true?
KV: I’m not sure. You pick.
EV: Honestly, darling. You can’t play jazz without being able to improv on the fly.
KV: Or tell if someone’s lying without being a liar yourself.
EV: Or hope to write good fiction unless you yourself are completely made up.
MF: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
KV: (after a pause) Yes…I’d like to add a little more ice to this glass.

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