The Thriller Zone

Welcome to the 158th episode of The Thriller Zone Podcast, where we delve into the minds of the greatest crime and thriller fiction authors of our time. Today, we have the immense pleasure of sitting down with the legendary Patricia Cornwell, the mastermind behind the gripping Kay Scarpetta series. From her humble beginnings as a computer analyst to becoming a best-selling author, Cornwell's journey is as fascinating as the characters she brings to life.

In this episode, we'll take a deep dive into the world of forensic crime fiction, exploring the inner workings of Cornwell's mind and the secrets behind her captivating storytelling. So, kick back and enjoy 30 minutes with one of the finest authors crafting thrillers today, and bear with me as I "geek out" over an amazing talent whom I've enjoyed reading for decades.

Patricia Cornwell: From Computer Analyst to Best-Selling Author

Patricia Cornwell's journey from computer analyst to best-selling author is a remarkable story of career transition and the pursuit of one's passion. With a background in computer analysis, Cornwell brought a unique perspective and set of skills to her writing career.

Her success as a best-selling author, with over 100 million books sold worldwide, is a testament to her talent, hard work, and determination. Cornwell's ability to combine her analytical mindset with her creativity has resulted in compelling and engaging storytelling that captivates readers.

Not only did Cornwell's background in computer analysis shape her writing process, but it also influenced the themes and subject matter of her novels. Her experience in the field of forensics and crime analysis adds depth and authenticity to her work, making her novels stand out in the genre of thriller fiction.

Cornwell's story serves as a reminder that it's never too late to pursue your passion and make a successful career change. She embraced new opportunities and was open to exploring different paths in life, ultimately finding her true calling as a writer.

The Kay Scarpetta series, written by Patricia Cornwell, is a captivating and thrilling crime fiction series that has captured the attention of readers worldwide. Set in Richmond, Virginia, the series revolves around a series of murders involving young couples.

At the center of the series is Dr. Kay Scarpetta, a forensic pathologist who is determined to find the killer and bring them to justice. With her expertise in forensic science and her unwavering determination, Scarpetta follows the path of evidence, using her own instincts to find a murderer who is just as skilled at leaving no trace as she is at finding them.

One of the standout features of the Kay Scarpetta series is Cornwell's attention to detail in forensic science. The series dives deep into the intricacies of crime scene investigations, providing readers with a realistic portrayal of the field. This level of accuracy has been praised by both fans and critics alike, adding to the authenticity and suspense of the series.

Cornwell's writing style keeps readers on the edge of their seats, with twists and turns that keep them guessing until the very end. The series explores themes of justice, morality, and the dark side of human nature, adding depth and complexity to the narrative.

Kay Scarpetta herself is a strong and complex character, who uses her intelligence and skills to solve the most challenging cases. Her determination and resilience make her a compelling protagonist, and readers are drawn to her unwavering pursuit of justice.

With over 100 million books sold worldwide, the Kay Scarpetta series has garnered a loyal fanbase and has been praised by critics for its compelling storytelling and well-developed characters. It has even been adapted into a television series, further cementing its popularity among crime fiction enthusiasts.

For fans of crime fiction and suspenseful thrillers, the Kay Scarpetta series is a gripping and addictive read. From the first novel, "Postmortem," to the latest release, readers are taken on an epic journey through the dark underbelly of Richmond, Virginia's crime scene. For those who are new to the series, now is the perfect time to dive in and experience the thrill of Patricia Cornwell's masterful storytelling.

Be sure to follow Patricia Cornwell on social media for Q&A sessions, updates on new releases, and behind-the-scenes glimpses into the world of Kay Scarpetta. And don't forget to pre-order UNNATURAL DEATH here:

Cornwell's expertise in forensic science shines through in her novels, and readers can trust that they are in the hands of a master storyteller who knows how to keep them on the edge of their seats. The Kay Scarpetta series has captivated audiences for years, and "Unnatural Death" promises to be another epic addition to the series.

Something I was thrilled to learn was how Cornwell's series would be turned into a television series  for Amazon Studios, starring Nicole Kidman as Scarpetta, and Jamie Lee Curtis. If you'd like to read the entire Deadline article, just GO HERE  (Source:

Mark your calendars for November 28th when "Unnatural Death" hits shelves. Whether you're a longtime fan or new to the series, get ready to be enthralled by the gripping world of Kay Scarpetta and her relentless pursuit of justice.

Today's episode has been nothing shy of a genuine honor as I was given a front row seat into one of the greatest thriller fiction writers in the world. I hope you had fun delving into the mind of this brilliant author, while unraveling some of the secrets behind her thrilling storytelling.

I hope you have enjoyed this episode as much as I did, and you can rest assured that I look forward to bringing you more captivating conversations with the greatest crime and thriller fiction authors of our time. To learn more, visit and as always Follow, Share & Subscribe to,, and listen to us wherever you get your podcasts.

Until next time, stay tuned for your front-row seat to the best thriller writers in the world with me, David Temple for another episode of The Thriller Zone!

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For A Limited Only: See Patricia LIVE* and in person with Jamie Lee Curtis on Friday, December 1st at 7PM at Zipper Concert Hall at The Colburn School of Music, 200 South Grand Ave, LA, CA 90012.  *Get Tickets Here:

Home | Patricia Cornwell | Best-Selling Author
Kay Scarpetta Books in Order - Read This Twice
Kay Scarpetta confronts Bigfoot clue in excerpt from Patricia Cornwell's Unnatural Death

The Thriller Zone with David Temple is sponsored in part by Blackstone Publishing.

What is The Thriller Zone?

Join podcast host and thriller author David Temple as he gives you a front-row seat to the best thriller writers in the world. If you like thriller fiction in Books, Movies, and TV Shows, you’ll love The Thriller Zone Podcast.


David T: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the Thriller Zone. I'm your host David Temple and on today's 158th episode of the Thriller Zone, I am beyond thrilled to welcome one of the biggest names in the mystery thriller publishing business, Patricia Cornwell. Patricia has written more than 40 hit thrillers, nearly all of them making the top of the New York Times best selling list.

And she sold more than 100 million copies. In over 120 countries, with a name synonymous with forensic crime and an outstanding reputation like few others, along with mountains of accolades from dozens of other prominent authors, Patricia is the shining example of what hard work, dogged determination and a keen eye for details can do to craft a historic body of work.

So without any further delay, please welcome the internationally known New York Times bestselling author, Patricia O'Connor. Patricia Cornwell, welcome to the show. Patricia [00:01:00] Cornwell. So nice to have you on the Thriller Zone.

Thank you. It's nice to be here.

We have been trying to put this together for over a year, so I'm very honored to have you on the show.

Patricia C.: Thank you. I'm glad this will be fun. I'm looking forward to it.

David T: Before we dive into this tasty read, Unnatural Death. I want to share a little something because I find it so hilarious. And this is how I originally reached out to you back in the day. Was our, uh, one degree of separation, which includes two things, Davidson College in Charlotte, North Carolina.

You attended Davidson. My sister worked there. And, uh, you started your, pretty much your career in Charlotte at the Observer. Yeah.

Patricia C.: I mean, you know, it's, they talk about, you know, what a big world it is, but it doesn't really seem like it a lot of the time, does it? Not at all. How, how can I, how can you keep running into people that have these connections to you?


David T: Well, I remember. If my memory serves me well, you were writing, I think it was an article on [00:02:00] prostitution, because Charlotte, North Carolina is a very chill, uh, bobble belt kind of town. So it was, you know, to have that kind of accolade or, uh, uh, exposure was attention getting back in the day, wasn't it?

Well, that was,

Patricia C.: it was especially a good accolade to have. If you were then going to go write the biography of Mrs. Billy Graham and the only claim to fame you have. It's an investigative reporting award for prostitution. And so, um, now she thought that was funny and I thought it was funny. But the funny thing is, you know, I just would, if you're curious, you just never know what you're going to find out.

And I would see these women sitting on the wall in front of the Charlotte Observer, and I was working from four to midnight. So I was, you know, out there after dark all the time. And I'd go out sometimes, I'd start talking to them. One thing sort of led to another and I realized there was a real story here, especially since, um, I mean, it was, but, but that's the best thing that ever happened to me was being a journalist.

Yeah, that's really and I feel like I still [00:03:00] am. That's I'm always just chasing down information.

David T: When was this moment that came that you said they're not on smoke break, this is something else going on. You know, .

Patricia C.: Well, you know, I would ride around with this police captain and they called him the mayor of West Trade Street, you know, which was the, the bad part.

Yeah, west Trade West back in the day. And once again, because he treated them as humans, as people. And he would stop and talk to 'em. Yeah, I'd be in the car with him and I'd listen to what was going on and I began to get. A sense of what this was like and I started asking some of them questions and then one day one night I mean I was actually talking to one of the pimps and there's a gun on this on the table where he's sitting and I'm Thinking maybe this is not the best idea, but I'm doing it Anyway, well these ladies started telling me so much stuff that I got subpoenaed to court to testify against them now that was a scene because The prostitute in question represented herself, so she did, she examined me on the witness stand.[00:04:00]

Now, that was hilarious. And, and then, here's even worse, after it was over with, I, well, I got to get on the elevator to leave the courthouse, I was by myself, and I ended up on the same elevator with her and the pimp. We wrote a picture of the three of us together, stayed for the courthouse. Like, I was somehow part of all this.

And so... Um, you know, these things you, you, you would never anticipate doing them, but they, they shape you and they teach you to, to, to look people in the eye and talk to them and to be curious.

David T: Yeah, as you mentioned, Ruth Graham, my mind popped back because you grew up or you spent some time growing up in your younger years in Montreat.

And again, I'm thinking of association because I, I can't help it. I'm a Southern boy. So about the time you're in Montreat. In Billy Graham territory, I'm over visiting Lake Junaluska every summer as dad was attending the Methodist conference. Yeah, so the PK preacher's kid, similar thread is, is [00:05:00] not lost on me.

Patricia C.: Well, you know, so you know that part of the world too. And you know, when I was growing up. I mean, my first seven years were in Miami and then from then on until I went on to Davidson, you know, it was basically in western North Carolina and year after year after year, the crime statistics would be zero across the board for the little town where I lived.

There was no, we had one police officer and he, of course, was the chief. Sure. And his name was Pete Post. You couldn't make that up. What a great name for a cop, right? Pete Post. And so, and, you know, he would stop by the house like Norman Rockwell. He'd have coffee, he'd talk with everybody. And I never experienced any sort of violence or exposed to it at all until I started doing the police reporting for the Charlotte Observer.

And I think one of the reasons I was so fascinated by it is I was so horrified by it. Because I've, you know, in many ways... I've been very sheltered. I didn't live in an area where if you walked, you know, if you went for a walk at night, something bad might

David T: happen, right? [00:06:00] Speaking of Charlotte, uh, when's the last time you were there?

Patricia C.: Well, I have family that lives there. So I was there a couple months ago. Okay. Yeah. Back in July, actually.

David T: Yeah. Cause it, it has, uh, it has Bloated. It's not recognizable. Not at all. Anyway. All right. Um, oh, oh, one other thing. I thought this is interesting. I I just learned this about you that you're a descendant of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Uncle Tom's cabin So i'm thinking to myself did you ever as you're growing up with that kind of a legacy background and your love of books Did you feel like you know what?

I think i'm born to do this I

Patricia C.: actually didn't think I was born to do much of anything. I mean i'd seen Everything I tried, I only got so far, and then it would not, it wouldn't, you know, it was DOA, you might say. I mean, my big thing is I wanted to be a tennis player, and when, and, you know, when you get to be about 17 and, and kids are beating you, you know, you're realizing this is not going to be what you do.

And I wasn't good in math, [00:07:00] so, you know, chemistry and all these things, so I knew there were, that would limit fields I could go into, but writing was just something all I did, but getting back to Harriet Beecher Stowe. You know, I heard about her when I was growing up because she was a, my, my great, my grandmother who was born in 1890.

She's a direct descendant from the Beecher family. Her father, I can't tell you right off the top of my head, but her father and Harriet Beecher Stowe's father, they were related. They were like brothers or something. Right. Um, And so I'm not directed from her, but from her family line and, but I didn't really think about that very much.

So I went to visit her home and, um, and after I'd read Uncle Tom's Cabin and when I was walking around her house and looking at the manuscript pages, and I found a weird kinship, um, but. I was very struck by her because by the age of nine, I have a, I wrote a poem about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Now, why would I be thinking about that? Exactly. Because of hearing these stories about her.

David T: But you know, [00:08:00] I have this theory that, especially with somebody of your talent, and it's so funny, you would say that I wasn't good at much of anything, and then I look at you now, just a few years later, and I think of, I'll look at all the things that you're so good at and you have mastered.

I mean, we all know, uh, pretty much the helicopter flying that this, the deep sea diving and the way that you will drill down and dig deep on anything you don't know, or you want to find the real point about. So I find it interesting that early on you thought, Oh, I can't do that. And then now you've become.

So adept at so many different wonderful things, you know,

Patricia C.: well, thank you for that. And it should be an encouragement to people because, you know, when I was in college, there were two things that I absolutely wanted nothing to do with one was death and the other was computers and science. And the only thing about science that interested in me, interested me was.

The, the concepts of it, what it meant, like, if you're looking [00:09:00] at astronomy and you're studying the life and death of a star type thing, but when you want me to do a relativity problem or mix chemicals in the lab, which I kept count on fire the first day I was there, um, those, that was just not my bailiwick and, and so if you told me that years later, I'd be a computer programmer in a morgue, I would say, Okay.

Wait a minute. That's not possible. So, you know, necessity truly is the mother of invention. Sometimes we learn to do things because we have to, you know, when I wanted to learn about the medical examiner's office, and I started doing research after we had moved to Richmond and I realized I cannot. This is so complicated.

You've got the morgue. You've got the anatomical division. Subterranean where all the bodies are stored for the medical schools and then all above are the floors with the forensic labs So you talk about one stop shopping? That's a lot to take in right? So I realized the only way I was gonna be able to learn about this was to get a job there And the only thing [00:10:00] they needed was they're starting to get computerized And they didn't have anybody.

So they said, well, the chief said, why don't you do that? Oh, if only you knew my track record,

you know, you never know what you can do till you try and don't sell yourself short because you might be better at things than you realize. That's

David T: a good point. You know, Patricia, you got to excuse me while I geek out just a little bit. And I would, I can say this with all honesty, I've been working on the show for like two and a half years.

And I said, you know, I think Patricia is the first person that's been on the show that I'm actually nervous about. And I'm like, Am I going to look like a complete idiot when I geek out about how long I've been reading you and, and my first book. So bear with me. Well, see that's

Patricia C.: that skeleton back there.

That's really me. This is my avatar. There's a reason why you've been reading me for so long. You know, there you go.

David T: I'm flashing back to, uh, I can't remember if it was postmortem or body of evidence, but I do remember. It was 90, [00:11:00] 91 because I just moved to LA and I thought, who is this gal writing this kind of science?

And then it was, you know, then it was all that remains and gruel and unusual. Here's what's interesting. I was flying back and forth, back home, East Coast, and then back to LA. And you were that, uh, author that I would always grab. One of the greatest examples of where the best place to grab books, airports.

And so I was reading your books through the years as I'm flying back. My point to that is, it's just amazing the body of work that you have been able to accomplish. And I just, in my opinion, you started that whole CSI thing. I mean, don't, wouldn't you say that's about right? And what

Patricia C.: happened is because of the SCARPETTA series, and when you take these very esoteric subjects of forensic pathology, which is very graphic, but it's also, it's very complicated and abstract if you don't know what you're looking for, because so much of it is something you can't even see when you're in the [00:12:00] morgue.

And not to mention all the sciences and everything. And what I basically did is I made these accessible to people. Yeah. Translated. It's like, I mean, basically I'm like a Rosetta Stone for that type of thing, but I didn't invent it. I didn't create it. And I wasn't smart enough to create CSI either, unfortunately.

But, but that's, but that's where the ideas came from, I think. And it's not because You know, I made something off that whole cloth. It was really that I took these things and made it so you could understand, like, why a scanning electron microscope is not only, um, useful, but it's really super cool. And when you look at it, it, you know, and you realize that you can see something that tells you where this person's been and, and maybe what was in that room.

It's, it's, it's astonishing. That's basically what I've done and what I still do.

David T: Well, and the reason I draw CSI, but besides the fact that your technology or your specialty on all that was about that same time, and I think CSI launched [00:13:00] somewhere around 2000, so I'm thinking you're, you know, you're a dozen books in by then.

Patricia C.: I was about 10 or 11. I was about 10 books in. And then, um, then I was busy with Jack the Ripper. And then next thing I knew, CSI was everywhere. And, you know, there was a lot of

David T: it. Wow. And with an unnatural death, once again, we're up in Digging Deep. And I'd love for you, if you would, because there's a... When I, somewhere I saw the word Bigfoot and I was instantly in.

But I would love it if you'd give us that elevator pitch to my readers so that I don't give anything away.

Patricia C.: Um, basically, it opens with Scarpetta's in the morgue and she's on her way out. And, and, you know, something bad is going on and she's got to meet this funeral director in a vehicle bay and explain that there's a terrible crime scene.

There's these two people that are out camping in the middle of nowhere in the woods outside of, you know, in Northern Virginia. The scene of death is very violent. The man is [00:14:00] like 20 feet down in a mine shaft. The woman is floating in a lake, a polluted lake where these gold mining used to go on 200 years ago.

And they're hiking poles. They're impaled with their hiking poles. And unfortunately, inside that gold mine, very, very close to where the man's body is down in that shaft. There's this big footprint that's left in the dirt, and it's like, I mean, big footprint. And it's like, oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, this cannot be.

And so, Skypasta figured out what's going on here. Now, her first default is always... The predator is usually, um, it's always going to be the human variety. She don't blame old Mr. Bigfoot did anything as nasty as what's going on there, and I'll tell you right up front. It's not a spoiler because I will not have him be falsely accused for one minute and all these people taken out to the woods with their guns.

He did not do anything bad, but he was a witness. But I, I deal with the whole subject of is this thing real? Yeah. What if you found this and what inspired it? It was about a [00:15:00] year ago. I was just going through my tweets or whatever, looking through Twitter. And there was a photograph of a big footprint that was picked up by a surveillance camera in a park in Texas.

And I looked at this thing and I was just filled with wonder. And I thought, what would happen if you found that in a crime scene? I called a homicide detective friend of mine and I said, let me ask you something. You're out in the middle of the woods at a bad homicide scene and you find this, what would you do?

He said, I just keep on walking and pretend I didn't see it. Well, Carpetta will not do that. So, and here's the fun thing about a big footprint. If you found a big footprint or any footprint inside an old abandoned mine, you know, real near the shaft, there's something going in and out that way. Could be there's some weird sounds down there.

Right. Um, but you could, you can look at the dirt and microscopically. You could, you could tell perhaps what season of the year that footprint was [00:16:00] left by pollens and things like that, that would get tracked in. And so there is science that helps us with every bit of this, um, right down to even possibly expecting, um, and explaining why there are sounds coming from the woods, you know, but wood knocking and weird things we associate with Sasquatch, maybe there's another reason border, you

David T: know, back to this.

CSI technology and the fact that you can't, it's, it's nearly impossible to hide anything these days. Do you find yourself still scratching your head when you read stories about people doing these completely insane things to try to get away with it? Knowing that the chances now are better than ever that you're not going to get away with it.

You've got to

Patricia C.: remember that the, the personality type of these offenders that you're alluding to, let's just take someone like the, the person who killed the students in Idaho. Yeah. Um, when you're looking at that type of defender, you've got to take into [00:17:00] account the, the psychology and the, what, what you're dealing with, like, what kind of disorders does this person have?

If you're dealing with a narcissist, a narcissist is not afraid of anything except being caught the same with a psychopath. I mean, they're, they're, they're so full of themselves and they're grandiose oftentimes and they think they're going to get away with something and thankfully, um, a lot of the times they, they do something stupid.

I mean, really stupid, like leave their driver's license inside the backseat of the car where they just killed somebody. I've seen that before.

David T: What do you think, and especially with this particular book, which feels so much different than a lot of your other ones, what do you think your fans, and they number by the millions, what do you think they're going to take away going, this book struck me as different because of this, or I can't wait to read this latest Scarpetta story because of.

I mean, what, do you feel like there's one little thing that you've done just slightly outside the norm on this one? Well,

Patricia C.: I feel that I've stepped up the drama quite a lot in this [00:18:00] book. I just decided, you know, I'm going to let Scarpetta do what I want her to do. In fact, that's not really even letting her, it's more like, you know what, um, maybe somebody else could go down in that mine shaft.

You could bring somebody else in. But then again. If she's got to get a body out, she's going to try to do that herself. Um, but it's really scary when you're being hoisted down into this, this thing and you can hear animal sounds and there's bats flying around and owls, you know, you're going down in this sling, you know, which hitting the size of it.

And then there's this awful body that's caught in the cross timbers of this collapsed mine shaft. And so, what I just thought I was going to do, I said, You know what? I'm just going to put her in a really awful place this time. I'm sorry. It's going to be awful. And I want to see what she does. And then I'm going to throw in Bigfoot to boot.

I want to see how she handles that. Um, and then, how does Lucy handle that? Has when we know Moreno. He's hoping it's true. Sure. He's always looking for Bigfoot. You just don't know [00:19:00] that Bigfoot. He is Bigfoot, but there's a lot of things to get from it. Not the least of which is Moreno. Pokes a stick at the fact that if you have a lot of people feel Embarrassed if they believe in anything that might be paranormal It's Bigfoot or ghosts or UFOs all of which I have a very healthy respect for by the way I would look for Nessie if you if you give me a chance, but don't don't ever think people are stupid Because they might perceive something that you don't and that's very important theme in this book because marinos always felt people look down on him because of some stuff he thinks and it's really, it becomes quite clear that that is the opposite of what you should think of him or or anybody that's involved in what's going on.

So, you know, you, you might answer that question better than I could what people will get out of this 1, but. I think that they'll, I think they'll relate to it because it's like something that might happen to them if they were stomping, romping through the

David T: woods. Yeah. [00:20:00] Well, the one thing I like about Marino is he's so, he's so real and he has this compassionate side of him that doesn't want to show, but I always dig it because of that, between that and his, odd sense of humor.

But the thing about Scarpetta, when you were talking about, oh, would she go down the shaft? I'm like, that's what we have come to expect. You know, without being, you know, superwoman, you know that Scarpetta is always going to stand up and face the music. That's what I love about her and always

Patricia C.: have. That means she likes it.

She did not, she didn't want to go in that life, especially when. Something started tugging on the body like jaws. Like, oh no, but the funny thing is, she should, she's able to detach herself. Um, Marino, not so much. His eyes get this big and he's swimming faster and faster, waiting faster and faster and his...

His special anti exposure suit, but she's, you know, she's got to do it. Someone's got to speak up for these people. Someone's got to help. Yeah. Someone's, you know, that body [00:21:00] drops down that shaft. You'll never find it again. And it matters to somebody, even though the guy was really not a good person.

They're both, um, you know, what those people were wanted by the secret service for humongous international cyber crimes, which is why they'll hold up out in the woods. And so Um, you might say it's poetic justice, but it's fun to play with technology and fool people with it. For example, when these people are gonna die, you know, it's, it's, it's early morning hours, it's raining, it's pitch dark, they're out in the middle of nowhere, and they have trail cameras set up this little path that they burn through the forest with a flamethrower from their, where they live to where this remote place is.

And the sensors, the motion sensors kick off because something's coming down that path. And and this really awful because they can hear it. Yeah Branches being pushed out of the way and even leaves being kicked up, but they can't see what it is. That's doing it little flash of light now and then and that's all explained later, but it it's like Like, it's [00:22:00] creepy, it's creepy, you can imagine, and you wonder, I can't imagine being there in your tent and hearing this coming for you, and there's no way out.

David T: That's the scariest part, I mean, I can't, there's nothing scarier, which is scarier, broad daylight and something horrible coming at you, or dark? That all you can hear is coming this just in from my big question, burning a hole in my brain department, because I would be remiss if I did not ask this question, I think, because I've been watching this progression for a while, but I saw the deadline article back in February that wondered, uh, with Nicole Kidman coming on as K and Jamie Lee Curtis is, uh, sister Dorothy.

Are we any closer to seeing this come on our TV screens? Oh, yes,

Patricia C.: it's going to happen this time. Okay. We are, I mean, it's Amazon is the studio and, um, Nicole Kidman is playing Scarpetta and Jamie is playing Dorothy. Yeah. And they, they, you know, they're everything got quiet because of all the strikes. But [00:23:00] now that those are all there's over, I would imagine they will very quickly start getting this more into production.

So keep stay tuned, because I hope there will be announcements. I'll be fascinated to see who else is cast. Yeah, Benton and Lucy. It's a really amazing thing to think of. You know, we were having lunch about a year ago in Beverly Hills, and it was. Jamie and some of the Blumhouse people in the production company, we were talking and Jamie said, she said, just imagine this will be the first time anyone's ever seen Scarpetta.

I said, it'll be the first time anyone's ever seen anybody. Right? Never seen any of them. Yeah. And these, and these people have been living with some of these readers for 33 years now. How are you going to see them? And it's going to be fine.

David T: And that's my other point. So, 33 years, and I think it was Fox, I want to say, I want to say it was Fox who bought the rights back in like 2000, 2001, somewhere around there.

It was an option to death. Yeah, and I'm like, there's [00:24:00] nobody, this is going to sound like I'm blowing smoke up your skirt, and I'm really not, of all the television that we watch, and my wife Tammy and I watch, An insane amount of content. I'm like, why in the world is not Scarpetta? And then when I heard Nicole Kidman, and I look at her enormous body of work, I'm like, that's going to be enormous.

Patricia C.: It will be. And because of the magnitude of these two Oscar winners who are headlining it, you're also then going to attract, God only knows who else they'll attract to it. And, um, and the fun thing is, That because the series is, is still ongoing, you, you do have, you know, you have the luxury of, of, of the very early books, which you've also got modern stories, really, you know, that can all be bouncing off of each other.

Who knows what all will be done, but it's a very talented group of people so far, and I'm very

David T: excited about it. Well, I'm trying to stay right on time because I know that we're, you're in a crunch for time here, but I, there's two, two things that pop it in my head and I'm thinking about all the series.

Now, everybody knows you from Scarpetta [00:25:00] and I am embarrassed to say, Patricia, I have not read some of your other series, but I know that there's the Wyn Garano series, the Andy Brazile series, Captain Chase series. And I think to myself, if it feels as though there's only one real series in the world. So I don't want to take a, you know, away from Scarpetta, but I'm like, when I look at these other series that you've got, my question to you is this long way around.

Do you think, and maybe some of this will depend on the success of this future show. Do you think you'll ever go back and dip into the other series? Or do you think, you know what, that was good for that time. It did its job and I'm good. Now let's just keep Scarpetta going down the trail. No,

Patricia C.: I don't. I don't see myself going back to any of the older series.

Um, I don't see myself doing another revision of the Jack the Ripper book to two over a span of 20 years is enough. And I'm not necessarily done with him, but, but he can go live somewhere else for a little while in another time. And, and even the Captain Chase, which is recent that [00:26:00] the two space thrillers important Captain Chase, she's still 22, 000 miles above the planet orbiting in the geo synchronous.

You know, belt, because I didn't write a third book. And so I said, you know what, until I, if I do, I'll bring you home. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy the view up there because I'm a little short of rockets right now. Scarpetta doesn't have a rocket. Sorry. So, um, who knows that that could turn into something else down the road, but, but Scarpetta keeps me really busy.

And the truth is, you know, I enjoy spending time with her. Yeah. I'm not saying it's easy. I mean, writing is really hard, but if I'm going to lose myself in something, spend that much time on, it's a good place to be. And I, I feel, I always enjoy seeing what she's doing. I mean, I say that as if I don't, you know, if I'm not the one who's writing it at times.

You know, I don't know. It goes places on its own. You go. I don't know why that just happened, but it's rather interesting.

David T: Yeah. Oh, you have such a great sense of humor as we begin to [00:27:00] wrap. I'd love to ask you just a couple of little quick things about your own personal reading habits. Because I, as a writer and a reader, I always want to know, Hey, what are they dipping into on their spare time?

And the first one is what's on your nightstand right now that you're reading that you're really loving

Patricia C.: Well, what's nice, not on my nightstand, but right now I'm reading Douglas Brunt's The Mysterious Case of Rudolf Diesel, as in diesel engines, and which is really fascinating because he went overboard on a ship and the question is, was he murdered?

He was, you know, this inventor. So I, I just started reading that because I love. I love history. I love biographies. You know, I, I also have a lot of books. I look at on my phone. Um, that's like, for example, I have, um, I, I keep Hemingway around all the time because there's one book in particular that I read several times a year called the Garden of Eden really is.

Uh, very autobiographical about what it was like for him when he was starting out as a writer, uh, set, you know, in this context of the [00:28:00] story of this writer who's just gotten married and is in Europe to, to be in his mindset when he, when you can feel him walking across flagstones in the early morning, you feel that.

The do under his bare feet, go into the room at the end where he's going to write and he opens the door and he looks at the window and opens that and decides what the day is going to be like as he sits down with his little notebooks. And if you're a writer, you know, that feeling and I just love to experience that.

Through through his his eyes, you don't see that very often and if you're a writer It's kind of a lonely world and it's it's always rather joyful when people can relate to what you're what it feels like to do

David T: This also side note Douglas has a fantastic podcast, too I

Patricia C.: was just on that not too long ago and I started reading it and I got quite compelled

David T: What was your cocktail at the beginning of his show?

Because I think he always starts his show with the reader has a cocktail. Yes, he indulged

Patricia C.: in

David T: tequila. [00:29:00] Oh, okay. Things get crazy. And I'm

Patricia C.: not responsible for anything I said on that show.

David T: What happens on there stays on there. Yeah. All right. Now, what is a book that you've read that greatly impacted you?

It's just something that you've always, that you take away and you go, and it could be fiction or nonfiction that you want. That is still hanging around the back recesses. Well, there's another

Patricia C.: book, and it's... By a music producer named Rick Rubin, you probably know who he is. He's a creative act, but you know, that this book he's written that, uh, I have it right here, a way of being, I keep it on my desk too.

And it's all about what, what, who we are as creatives and why we do what we do. And it's almost like a meditation. And I read some of it too. It helps get my parameters all straightened out to be reminded that, that it's not about us. It's about. Channeling something and I know it sounds crazy to say, but I really believe that whether it's an invention or an art form, we're [00:30:00] all creative, whatever it is that if we are open that we get ideas, we don't even know where to come from, but you've got to be open.

You know, it's really about going through this world and having a mindset that's willing instead of stubborn.

David T: Yeah. And I promise you, if I walked out that door into the living room right now, I would pick up that same book. I, I start every day with that book. I just like to take one little chapter. It's my own little meditation.

I read that. I get quiet. It's like five o'clock. Nobody's started yet. And it is. It's so centering and calming and affirming that you're an artist. I'm an artist. We're artists. Just. Be there absorb it and share it. It's the process.

Patricia C.: It's very spiritual. Yeah, I love that. That's important to me because I have to feel like there's a real reason why I'm doing this.

It's not just to tell you about forensics or create a bestseller if I'm so lucky or whatever. It's it's why am I spending all my [00:31:00] time sitting here doing this? And there has to be a reason that's bigger than myself and I can't exactly tell you what that is because I don't know except that I feel like this is what I'm supposed to do and I try to do it.

And he talks about this. You've got to do it with all your might doing the very best of your ability. Don't do it just because, oh, I can get it done and they'll sell it and I'll be fine until the next contract. You do it as if it's the only thing you're ever going to do.

David T: Yeah, so good. All right, last question.

I got two more things here. One thing is you can sit down to dinner with any author living or past. Who would it be? Yeah, so good. So good. All right, last question. I got two more things here. One thing is you can sit down to dinner with any author living or past. Who would it be? After

Patricia C.: Christie, she's right.

She was very shy and I would have to make her laugh. I'd have to do something funny. She was totally introverted and her first thought would be, and bloody hell, it doesn't have to do with her to anyone. No, no, no, no, not say, well, let's just have a stiff drink here. I'm good. You're laughing about something, [00:32:00] you know, that she would be a challenge, but I, I'm so sorry.

I never met her. I almost would have had a chance because she was still around. Um, When I was coming along, but what, what a mind that woman had. She's like a Rubik's cube.

David T: No kidding. Very last thing. I always close my show with this one question and I know you've got it. I've heard little bits and pieces throughout the years.

Best piece of writing advice for my

Patricia C.: audience. Attention to what moves you and most of all, to what makes you curious, because that's the needle of the compass point in the way you need to go. And go after it. Don't sit and wait for it to come to you. I always say, go out and look for a story until it finds you, you know, but you, you gotta, it's, it's, it's a dance.

It will find you, but you've got to look and then the two fingers almost touch if you're

David T: lucky. Oh, that's, I have to chew on that one for a while. Patricia. The book again is a natural death. It's a blockbuster. In the making it's going to drop on the 28th. This show drops on [00:33:00] the 27th, which is the day before So i'm so excited to be right ahead of the curve, but you're going to want to read it and patricia Thank you so much for making this happen.

Patricia C.: This was so much fun. You're delightful. So are you? Thank you in la on december 1st Go look on my tweet about when i'm talking to jamie lee curtis live thing out there comes to come to the event If you're not

David T: busy, I would love to do that. It's on a friday and you're at

Patricia C.: the uh, it's got the info I tweeted about it.

If you look up my twitter feed you can And you and everyone can find it. It's december 1st if you're out in the la area I'm gonna do a live thing on stage with jamie

David T: lee curtis if I am able to get out there Can I come up and say hi to you? Well, look at your

Patricia C.: VIP seats, darling. You never know who you might meet.

It should be fun.

David T: Thank you again, Patricia.

Patricia C.: Thank you. And we'll talk again, I hope.

David T: Okay. Hope so. Bye. Wow. That has got to be one of my favorite podcasts yet. I mean, come on, Patricia Scarpetta Cornwell, [00:34:00] only one of the biggest authors in the whole world. Yeah, that was cool. Uh, and I wasn't too much of a geek, was I?

Well, that wraps Women Thriller Writers Month for November, so thank you for joining me. Now, you're probably wondering what I have in store for the last month of the year, right? Good news! I have two special treats for you. The first is what I'm calling Tomorrow's Stars, and by that I mean I'll be showcasing a small handful of relatively new authors.

Whom I think are going to become some of tomorrow's stars. In other words, authors who I predict will catapult to the top of the charts in the foreseeable future. We're still confirming dates, but I'll share those names very soon. Now the other treat I have to share is something my wife and I have done at the end of every year.

We call that our year end countdown, or better yet this year, our favorite content of the year. That's right, coming just in time for Christmas, Tammy and I will share our favorite books Our favorite movies [00:35:00] and our favorite TV shows of 2023. And you know what? I encourage you to grab a pad and pen and follow along just in case we share some of our favorites.

But for now, I'll wrap by saying thanks for listening on all podcast channels. You know, we're on all of them, right? And if you haven't done so yet, please subscribe to us on YouTube at thriller zone. And as always, you can follow, connect, and join all the fun at TheThrillerZone. com. Alright, I'm David Templer, your host, and I'll see you next time for another episode of The Thriller Zone.

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