In 2017 I did an interview with Jim Ziskin for this blog. It was the year of his fourth Ellie Stone mystery, Heart of Stone, which won an Anthony, a McCavity, and was a finalist for an Edgar and a Lefty. Today the seventh Ellie Stone, Turn to Stone, is released, and I wanted to post something more than my review about Jim and his amazing writing. So, I was reading over this 2017 interview and came across the question and answer about the 1960s setting of these books. Jim does such a remarkable job of integrating elements, historical and pop, into the stories, and I had asked him about this seamless inclusion and the research he did for it. Being born in 1954 and growing up in the 60s, I find the setting especially fascinating. Following is my question and his answer. Do you as readers have any favorite or memorable 60s moments that Jim has included in this series, or do you have some famous 60s moments you'd like to see in future Ellie Stone stories?
JWZ: Everything in good measure. I think the key to setting the scene properly is to do huge amounts of research, then use only a tiny fraction in the actual story. The effort that goes into research should be felt by the author, never by the reader. As a writer, I have to know which details to use in the book. It's tempting to add every historical nugget you unearth, but the danger is that you'll create a book that stinks of research.