I met Laura Lippman in 2000, when I went to all the big mystery conferences and learned that my first book, Circles of Confusion, had not won any of the best first mystery awards. (But it was shortlisted, which was nice. Of course, the competition for best first is nothing like the free-for-all that is “best” because the competition is so much stiffer.) I was even sitting at the same table when she won an award, so I got to hear the little started sound you make when they call your name.
Laura was and is tall, beautiful, smart, and somewhat intimidating. The kind of person who quotes Nabokov. I am more likely to quote The Far Side.
When I met her, she had already made her way up from being a paperback original mystery author (often the beginning and end of a career) and her books were being released in hardcover. Now they hit the NYT bestseller list.