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Lisa Brackmann Sixty seconds with Lisa Brackmann...


Lisa Brackmann is the critically acclaimed author of the Ellie McEnroe novels (Rock Paper Tiger, Hour of the Rat, Dragon Day) and the thriller Getaway. Her work has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Travel+Leisure and CNET. She lives in San Diego with a couple of cats, far too many books and a bass ukulele.

RTE: Describe yourself in a sentence?

Brackmann: Eccentric, lively, intense and prone to melancholy. Wait, thatís a sentence fragment Ė does that count?

RTE: What's the one record you'd take to a desert island?

Brackmann: I guess I will go with Talking Headís "More Songs About Buildings and Food" because of the huge influence it had on me in terms of understanding what rock music could be, how the songs spoke to me and my own experiences, and how it showed me that music was something I might actually be able to do myself Ė I later taught myself bass, learned how to sing, wrote songs and had a band in Los Angeles for many years.


RTE: What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Brackmann: At various times, a zookeeper, an astronaut, Secretary of State, and always, a writer

RTE: Who's your oldest friend?

Brackmann: I have a bunch of friends from high school, which wasÖa long time ago. Iím also great friends with my mom and my sister, and weíve been friends for even longer.


RTE: If I ruled the world...

Brackmann: I would be a stern yet kind ruler. Iíd make sure we solved this climate change thing, Iíd strengthen protections for endangered species and wild spaces in general, Iíd end extreme poverty around the world, Iíd empower women, create free quality education for everyone and open up opportunities for talented people to contribute to society, no matter what their background. Iíd limit the obscene accumulation of wealth by the very privileged few. Iíd fund the arts. Iíd make it easier for writers to earn a living off their work, thatís for sure!


RTE: Which book do you wish you'd written?

Brackmann: I really canít think of a book Iíve read where Iíve thought, "I should have written this!" There are so many great books out there, but they are great because of the authorís singular talent and experiences. I want to write a great book that could only come from me.


RTE: What makes you angry?

Brackmann: Injustice. Stupidity. Greed. Intolerance. The way we humans are destroying the beauty of this earth. I actually have a rather long list.


RTE: Name your five dream dinner party guests.

Brackmann: Hereís where I confess: I am terrible at any kind of list-making involving favorites, bests, most hated, etc. I guess I will never have a career writing listicles. Generally Iím more focused on whatever/whoever I happen to be reading/watching/having dinner with. But one guest would be Zhou Enlai, the first Premier of the Peopleís Republic of China. He was such a fascinating, ambiguous and ambivalent sort of character. Iíd love to ask him about some of the choices he made.


RTE: Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with?

Brackmann: Right now itís a tossup between Donald Trump and Bill Cosby.

RTE: What inspired you to start writing?

Brackmann: I really donít know. Iíve always wanted to write. I started writing my first novel when I was five years old. It was to be an epic tale of cats who went camping. Unfortunately I did not know how to spell ďtent.Ē


RTE: Where would you most like to live?

Brackmann: Iíve thought about this question a lot, actually. I travel a fair amount, and I love seeing the world. There are many places Iíd love to spend some time in, many more Iíd like to explore. But when it comes down to it, I live in California, and California is pretty awesome. We have some of the most spectacular and diverse scenery on earth, people and cultures from everywhere in the world. We make and grow all kinds of things. And I think in spite of our difficulties, we still keep moving forward. I may already be in that place Iíd most like to live.


RTE: Sum up your latest book in no more than 12 words.

Brackmann: American woman in China just wants peace, canít stay out of trouble


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