Friday, November 20, 2009
Five Random Questions with KAREN OLSON
Karen Olson is the Shamus-nominated author of the Annie Seymour series, set in New Haven, and the Las Vegas-based Tattoo Shop Mysteries, featuring tattoo artist Brett Kavanaugh. She is my friend, and agreed to answer Five Random Questions while I get ready for company this weekend. Before I go, though, happy birthday to my twin sister Kathy, who will always be four minutes older than I am.
1. Why is pizza such a big deal in New Haven, and what's the issue?
There is no pizza better anywhere than New Haven. Here we've got what we call the Trifecta: Sally's, Pepe's, and Modern. I personally prefer Sally's, which has a thinner crust than the others. And it's the sauce that makes it, sweet and tangy all at the same time. The great thing about Sally's is that the pizza comes out on big cookie sheets, they give you a pile of paper napkins and some silverware and that's it. You just dive in. I prefer the white clam pie, but the sausage is outstanding, too. They do have a tuna pie on the menu but I don't know of anyone who's ever ordered it. It just sounds too weird.
2. If you could be reincarnated as an animal, what kind of animal would you want to be?
I would love to come back as one of my own cats. They've got the life: sleeping all day, getting fed regularly, people to play with when they choose.
3. What is your favorite thing to do in Las Vegas?
Since I've only been to Vegas for six days total in my whole life (two days the first time, four days the second, several years later), there are things in Vegas that I haven't seen that I'd like to. Like the Star Trek museum, or the Liberace museum, or the place where they dump all the old neon resort/casino signs. I do love to wander the resorts because everything's so over the top. The Venetian is just crazy, with the Renaissance dancers and the canal and the gondolas.
4. What as-seen-on-TV product do you secretly covet?
The Snuggie. Don't tell my family. I make fun of it, but I tend to be on the chilly side most of the time and would love to wrap that thing around me.
5. Which one of Henry VIII's wives would you most want to have dinner with?
This one is a tough one, because there are questions I'd like to ask each of them. Catherine of Aragon: Did you really never have sex with your first husband, Henry's brother? Anne Boleyn: Any truth to the rumors you have a sixth finger? Jane Seymour: You're not as innocent as you seem, right? Anne of Cleves: You played your cards right and became Henry's "sister." Did you plan that or did it just evolve into something that saved your neck? Catherine Howard: How stupid can one girl be?
But I think I'd want to have dinner with Catherine Parr, who outlived the man and then married the man she truly loved (although he was a cad and went after Elizabeth, so there's no accounting for taste). Catherine Parr was actually published, very unusual for a woman of her time. She was very outspoken about her religion, but didn't have any of Anne Boleyn's antagonism. She was incredibly intelligent, although most of Henry's wives were. It was interesting how he chose women who were smarter than he was. Except, of course for Catherine Howard. But she was a kid.
Thanks, Karen! You can visit Karen online at the First Offenders blog. Buy The Missing Ink from The Mystery Bookstore, and look for the second Tattoo Shop mystery, Pretty in Ink, in stores next spring!