Kirby: So, Edgar...you have a rather sketchy reputation. Is it warranted?
EAP: Look. My father abandoned us and then my mother died. That's a pretty sketchy pedigree, don't you think? All I ever really wanted was attention and affection. So maybe falling in love with my friend's mother was odd, but it can be written off as boyhood infatuation. And of course falling in love with my much younger cousin could be considered sketch, but it wasn't as if we were planning on having kids or anything. If loving them was wrong, I don't want to be right.
K: With the publication of your Murders in the Rue Morgue, did you anticipate it was the birth of a whole new genre--the detective novel?
EAP: Not in a million years. It was just another story that I had to get written because the bill collectors were knocking at the door. I had a story; I needed money--the usual gig. If I'd had a laptop instead of having to write longhand, I wouldn't have had to quit the University of Virginia. Hell, I might have been a lawyer-turned-novelist...the first John Grisham, so to speak.
K: Speaking of Grisham, he wrote his first novel longhand. So that's not technically an excuse.
EAP: Yeah, but I'll bet he bought a laptop right after. I mean, da#n...he's got more money than God. If I'd only been born a hundred and forty years later...
K: And then, there's your death. I mean, what was up with that? You were forty, which was not young in 1849...but it wasn't old, either. So, what happened?
EAP: I have no idea. And I was there!
K: Have you heard about the "Poe Toaster?"
EAP: Yeah--that is so cool! I mean, who would have thought that a hundred years after my death someone would come and toast me with cognac and leave three roses without saying a word to anyone. It appeals to my mysterious side.
K: You have a mysterious side? *laughing* I mean...why three roses?
EAP: I believe they are for the three loves of my life: Stacey's mom, Elmira Royster, and Virginia Clemm. And the cognac is for drinking. Which I did. A lot. Sort of like I've heard you do.
K: Well, I have been known to quaff a beer or two in my day.
EAP: A beer or two or six, is my understanding.
K (clearing throat): Well, thanks so much for coming back from the dead to speak with us today. It really helped get me out of this 'heck, I don't have anyone who's sent in her answers' panic. Rest in Peace, Ed.
Next week, a LIVE writer--Margaret Maron, who writes bestselling mysteries. She has been awesome and gracious and I will be forever in her debt!