Today marks the release of Marcia Clark’s fourth novel featuring LA Special Trials prosecutor Rachel Knight. THE COMPETITION is one of my favorite books so far this year; you can read my review over at Pop Culture Nerd. Being a Special Trials prosecutor in Los Angeles is something Marcia Clark knows more than a little bit about, and so for this Interview with a Character, Marcia was good enough to answer for both herself and Rachel.
You were an accomplished prosecutor, but it must be a frustrating job sometimes. What aspect of your job did you like least? And most?
The least? Bias in all forms and a failure to follow the law. The most? The ability to stand up for the victims.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
So many things! Rachel thought about becoming a detective when she grew up, but her mother talked her into law school and the DA’s office because it was less dangerous. Of course, her mom didn’t take into account how Rachel’s style of prosecuting would put her in danger anyway.
For me? A writer – but I wanted to live indoors. An actress – but again, I was fan of indoor plumbing. Then I wanted to work in the Foreign Office of the State Department.
You’re obviously fond of Los Angeles, but if you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Lagos, Portugal. I’ve – I mean Rachel – has heard it’s incredible.
You’re confronted by a dangerous criminal in a dark alley, and you can only have one weapon. What would it be?
Rachel would choose a .44 magnum. I’d probably prefer a phaser, set to stun.
What’s your very favorite LA restaurant?
Rachel and I agree on this one: there are so many, the Palm, Madeo, Mastro’s, Rivera, the list goes on. But for a combination of an iconic LA landmark and great food it’d have to be the Pacific Dining Car.
You’re not a big fan of cold weather…but have you ever been skiing? Ice skating? Snowboarding?
Interesting coincidence, both Rachel and I used to ice skate a lot when we were young – indoor rinks of course. After all it’s California. But Rachel never cared much about skiing. I did though. That is, until I twisted my knee on a black diamond run in Park City. Not long after that I got pregnant with my first son, and that pretty much ended my skiing days.
Rachel loves snowboarding. It’s fast and fun and Graden’s a monster on the board. Personally, I’d love to snowboard but haven’t had a chance to try it.
Do you have a favorite author?
Again, Rachel and I have strikingly similar tastes. We have a bunch of favorite authors, which is why we both get overwhelmed when we’re asked to name them. We can’t remember them all and invariably we remember the ones we forgot to mention about five minutes too late.
You and Bailey are colleagues and friends. Did you like her from the first time you met?
Absolutely! Her sense of humor, her smarts, her no nonsense style and dedication to duty. And her love of a good martini. What’s not to love?
If you could have a Ketel One martini with any famous person living or dead, who would it be?
Can I pick two? I mean, since I’m answering for both Rachel and myself? Cleopatra and Maya Angelou. Oh! And one more: Golda Meir.
You run into some pretty famous folks from time to time…do you get starstruck?
Yes, of course! But Rachel and I agree (such a relief!) that we’re not starstruck because they’re celebrities, we’re starstruck of their talent, their brilliance, the way they make the world a better place. People like Gavin DeBecker, Penn Jillette, Dolly Parton – and someone we’ve never met but would love to meet, Angelina Jolie.