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Forensic Fiction Pioneer Patricia Cornwell Celebrates Those Who Inspired Her to Write in New Streaming TV Show Interview

PRESS RELEASE: Paid content from EIN Presswire | Newsmatics
Press release content from EIN Presswire | Newsmatics. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.
January 13, 2023 GMT

NASHVILLE, UNITED STATES, January 13, 2023/ / -- With the 35th anniversary of the debut of her pioneering forensic fiction series starring Dr. Kay Scarpetta, legendary author and series creator Patricia Cornwell opens up in an interview on new streaming TV show ABOUT THE AUTHORS TV about first falling in love with words: “I’ve been writing since I was 5. From the earliest I can remember, I was drawing pictures and was very imaginative. I was always thinking of stories.”

Often the unsung heroes alongside librarians of encouraging writers early in the discovery of their talent, Cornwell’s famous smile lights up at her memory of “having people like English teachers and Professors in College who encouraged me to write, and that made a really big difference. My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Skidmore, was really instrumental, if you wrote a good story or drew a good picture, she would take and tape them up on the bulletin board. At that very impressionable stage of your life, those things are really, really important. They mean more to you than a book award you win 30 years later. Teachers don’t get the spotlight they deserve.”

ABOUT THE AUTHORS TV, which airs on the popular streaming network TUBI TV and is hosted by award-winning author Jake Brown, has found an audience among both fans of the writers they profile on the show along with an aspiring crowd of wordsmiths just learning the craft. Working early in her writing career as a reporter covering the crime beat, Cornwell would find arguably her greatest mentor in now-retired, real-life Virginia Chief Medical Examiner Marcella Farinelli Fierro, clarifying that “alot of people don’t quite understand that, first and foremost, I’m a journalist. I started out at the Charlotte Observer, updating the TV magazine and writing obituaries like everybody else, and about 6 months into the job, got pushed into the police beat. That was my introduction into the world of crime and telling stories about crime, and being interested in the professionals who work in it. I kept wondering, ‘What were they doing with the body?’” (laughs)

In what would prove to be priceless on-sight research working alongside M.E. Fierro by day while writing at night, Cornwell proudly confirms that “when I went to the medical examiner’s office for the first time, it was to interview Dr. Fierro, who later would become the first woman chief of Virginia’s Medical Examiner’s office. I was so intrigued by everything she said and showed me, and said ‘This is what I really want to master.’ And if you want to learn something, go make yourself useful there. Then I was talking to Dr. Fierro one day about using the name Scarpetta and she said ‘Well, you should have a really short name then, maybe Kay,’ and there she was! Dr. Kay Scarpetta was born way back in 1984!”

In finding Dr. Kay Scarpetta’s voice and center as a character, her legendary creator offers that “someone gave me the advice, ‘We want to see what Scarpetta really sees. Make her the main character, and show what you really see at the morgue.’ ” Witnessing crime from the victim’s point of view was central to Scarpetta’s character’s evolution too, reasoning that “when you’ve seen the husband who’s picking up the box of his wife’s ashes at the front desk in the lobby, nobody wants to walk through that door. Except I did, because then I could feel and remember things in a way that I wouldn’t otherwise. That’s what makes it real and palpable. So I thought, ‘Okay, there’s only one way to do this: I’m going to have to do it in a way that’s unflinching. If I’m going to show this to you, I’m going to show you crime for what it really is, and I’m going to show you the good people that solve it. And I’m going to do it through this character,’ and if you have Scarpetta in the room, you’ll never lose the humanity of what you’re doing.”

After 4 decades and over 100 MILLION books sold around the world among best-sellers like Post Mortem, Body of Evidence, Blow Fly, Scarpetta, The Bone Bed and Chaos, Cornwell took some time away from Dr. Scarpetta in the late 2010s. She would return in 2021 and 2022 back to back with Autopsy and her latest Livid, musing on her character’s comeback that “all I can tell you is, it’s taken me a while but I feel that she’s back in the room, and I realize how much better I like it when she is. I think I do better in every way if she’s around, so I’m glad she’s back. The thing that keeps me going is if I have a story to tell and that seems to come alive, and what helps fuel me is knowing people want it. Honestly, if I thought nobody wanted to read this, I really wouldn’t do it anymore.”

Bringing the conversation full circle, having been a teacher to generations of aspiring authors through her own writing, Patricia Cornwell confesses that “there’s almost really no words for what it means to me, it means that I’ve lived a life that has some purpose. It’s great to be a best-selling author and to have success, but at the end of the day, I want to feel I’ve done something that makes a difference – not just in my life, but in other people’s lives. I want to feel I’ve given them something, look at all I’ve been given. So if I can inspire them or make them try one more time on that book they’ve given up on, what I say to them is: ‘You’d be surprised what you can do if you put your mind to it, so try a little harder and don’t give up.’ ”

Patricia Cornwell’s episode can be watched in full here at ABOUT THE AUTHORS TV’s Youtube Channel, and Seasons 1 thru 4 of the show are available on TUBI TV.

Michael Lipton
615 Public Relations