Home' LOTL : Dec 13 Contents As an avid lover of genre fiction, especially
crime novels, I was so impressed with Small
Town Trouble I just had to interview its author.
Protagonist Kim Claypoole, successful lesbian
business owner and wannabe detective, just
can’t keep her nose out of things and finds
herself in the thick of a murder when she goes
home to help her mother sort out her finances.
The author Jean Erhardt kept me engaged by
taking me through Claypoole’s journey and her
unexpected reunion with Amy—the girl with
whom she used to practice French kissing! The
novel is intriguing, funny and made me won-
der if there was a bit of Kim Claypoole in Jean
What does Kim Claypoole have in common
with Jean Erhardt?
Claypoole and I are alike in a lot of ways. We
share the same sense of humour and we both
have a penchant for damsels in distress. For
years, I worked as a private investigator and
personal protection specialist aka bodyguard.
In one memorable case I was holed up for two
weeks in a high-end, high security hotel situa-
tion with a loaded .38 and a female client from
a country that started with I.
The client was in the process of divorcing
her crazed, psychopathic husband who smoked
opium and was richer than God. She chain-
smoked long, rainbow-coloured cigarettes,
drank gallons of Persian tea and carried on
lengthy, melodramatic phone conversations at
all hours of the day and night. By the end of the
two weeks I was almost hoping that her hus-
band would show up and shoot me. But things
turned out well for both of us. I got a big pay-
cheque and she is now living happily ever after
under an alias, enjoying her multi-million dollar
divorce settlement in an exotic, sunny locale.
Where did you get your inspiration?
I knew I wanted to write a mystery series set
around the Smoky Mountains. I love it there
and have spent a lot of time in the area, which
is so rich with colourful characters, folklore,
good food and beautiful scenery. As a teenager,
I worked during the summers in Gatlinburg,
Tenn. where my family spent summers and I
graduated from Maryville College, which is in
Is this your first novel featuring a lesbian as
the main character?
Lesbians have regularly appeared in my books
and short stories. One of my short stories that
comes to mind is about a young woman named
Taffy who conspires with her creepy twin
brother to rob the convenience store where she
works. But things don’t go as planned. Her boss
gets killed in the heist and Taffy finds herself
becoming romantically involved with the female
cop who is investigating the robbery homicide.
I think this story would make a great movie. Any
filmmakers out there?
Do you have a favourite type of book that you
I used to read a lot of so-called literary fiction,
which was smart, well-written, emotion-
ally loaded stuff. But these days, I find myself
mostly picking up a good mystery, usually one
written by a writer who tells a good story, but
also makes me laugh. Kinky Friedman is prob-
ably my favourite but I also love the early Janet
The humour is so refreshing,
especially for a mystery novel.
Who doesn’t love a good laugh? Especially
these days. I want to write a series that is not
just mysterious, but fun. I want readers to have
a good time along the way. (jeanerhardt.com)
(Two Terriers Press)
BY TRIXY FLOWER
lotl.com • Lesbians On The Loose Magazine
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