Episode 36: Frankie Y. Bailey

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Saturday, January 18, 2020 5:47 A.M. After the storm passed, in the chilly hour before dawn, the last of the "space zombies" found their way back to their nest in the derelict house. From his command post, the squad leader gave the signal: "Go!" A black van pulled up in front of the house. Albany PD vice cops wearing protective gear jumped out and stormed up the walk. They used a battering ram to smash open the wooden door. "Police! Albany PD!" "Police!" Their high-powered torches illuminated the grotesque horror movie creatures in the 3-D posters on the walls... -- Frankie Y. Bailey, What the Fly Saw. I am so thrilled to be chatting with the multi-talented Frankie Y. Bailey. I had the pleasure of meeting her at my first ever mystery writers conference, Killer Nashville, several years ago, and also of reviewing What the Fly Saw for Mystery Playground's Drinks with Reads feature. Frankie blurs genre and writes in every possible tense: her series are set in the past, the almost-present, and the near-future. You can keep up with all she's doing on her website, FrankieYBailey.com, and also over on the blog she shares with several other mystery writers -- including the delightful Vicki Delany -- at Type M For Murder. Find her on Twitter @FrankieYBailey. Frankie gives a shout-out to Walter Mosley and two spectacular but often overlooked mystery writers: Pauline Hopkins and Rudolph Fisher. And of course to Eleanor Taylor Bland, the first African-American woman to write police procedurals. Sisters in Crime has a fellowship in her honor for emerging mystery writers of color, so if that's you or a friend of yours, check it out here. Meanwhile, here is Frankie's fiction (in series order): Hannah McCabe series 1 - The Red Queen Dies 2 - What the Fly Saw Lizzie Stuart series 1 - Death's Favorite Child 2 - A Dead Man's Honor 3 - Old Murders 4 - You Should Have Died on Monday 5 - Forty Acres and a Soggy Grave And her nonfiction: Wicked Danville: Liquor and Lawlessness in a Southside Virginia City Wicked Albany: Lawlessness and Liquor in the Prohibition Era African American Mystery Writers: A Historical and Thematic Study Crimes and Trials of the Century Famous American Crimes and Trials Blood on Her Hands Media Representations of September 11 Law Never Here: A Social History of African American Responses to Crime and Justice Popular Culture, Crime and Justice Out of the Woodpile: Black Characters in Crime and Detective Fiction As always, if you'd rather read than listen, the transcript is below. Enjoy! -- Laura Transcript of Interview with Frankie Y. Bailey Laura Brennan: My guest today is the multitalented and multifaceted author, Frankie Y. Bailey. Frankie isn’t just a student of crime, she is a PhD -- and a professor in the School of Criminal Justice, University at Albany (SUNY). She has won the George N. Dove Award for outstanding contributions to the study of mystery, detective and crime fiction, as well as a Macavity Award for her nonfiction book, African American Mystery Writers. She has not one, but two fiction series: one featuring crime historian Lizzie Stuart, the other a police procedural set in the near-future featuring detective Hannah McCabe. She's also working on an historical thriller set in 1939. Frankie, thank you for joining me. Frankie Y. Bailey: Thank you so much for having me on, Laura. LB: So my understanding is that you always planned to be Doctor Bailey, but when you first went to college, you were looking at becoming a veterinarian rather than a PhD? FB: Yes. I love animals, and I grew up -- I was kind of a shy child, so I grew up playing with my dogs and a hamster and the birds and all of that. And everyone in my family teased me about growing up to become a vet, and it seemed like a great idea. And then I went off to Virginia Tech, and I realized I preferred playing with animals and trying t...

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