Q&A with Alexander McCall Smith discussion

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The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

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message 101: by Annette (new)

Annette Sophocles (yiayiasoph) | 1 comments Linda wrote: "May I please be the second member of THE ORDER OF THE FRIENDS OF MMA RAMOTSWE. I want her to be my friend!
Thanks for all the wonderful stories."


Linda wrote: "May I please be the second member of THE ORDER OF THE FRIENDS OF MMA RAMOTSWE. I want her to be my friend!
Thanks for all the wonderful stories."

Dear Mr. McCall Smith,
My husband and I read and discuss your books. We marvel at your abilities to make these character so diverse and so real.. We feel as though we know them all. You are so prolific....do you ever sleep? Keep writing. May God bless you and yours.
Annette


message 102: by Julie (new)

Julie | 1 comments Dear Mr. McCall Smith,

Just wanted to add myself to the list of many people who adore your books. I look forward with eagerness to all of them! While I sometimes wonder about the quality of work by prolific writers, yours is always first-rate. Keep up the excellent work and many thanks for the hours of enjoyment and respite you provide!


message 103: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 1 comments Dear Mr. Smith,

I have been listening to the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series in order and am up to #10 ("Tea Time For the Traditionally Built"). Ms. Lecat's readings are simply excellent - did you select her yourself? Will she continue to be the sole reader of this series? (I hope so!) How did you find her? She's a gem!

Thank you,
Margaret Petersen
Ann Arbor, MI


message 104: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Albin | 22 comments To all of your who are writing to Mr. McCall Smith on this site, I know how much you love this series, written or audio or both. I have listened to the American and UK versions, so wonderful. Please take the time to email HBO and let them know we are ready for Mma Ramotswe (Miss Jill Scott) to come back to the small screen. The shows were so well done, some words taken "word for word" from the books. You can email michael.lombardo@hbo.com or richard.plepler@hbo.com The only way to reach the Weinstein Co. is with snail mail 345 Hudson Street, 13th Floor, NY NY 10014. I send little reminders to Mr. Lombardo (President of Programming) every once in awhile. This week, it was a Fair Traded African Bookmark I made for him to use when a script lands on his desk! Thank you fans and thank you AMcS, Your loyal Commander of the First Order of the Friends of Mma Ramotswe.


message 105: by Grace (new)

Grace Bridges (gracebridges) | 1 comments Dear Sir,
Your tales have so enriched my life and those of all I recommend you to - Thank you for pointing us to the meaning in the little things, the happiness in the everyday. You are a kindred spirit of humanity!
I am constantly amazed at how prolific you are. How long does it take you to write a book? Do you plot it out first, or do you just write? Are the book titles your own concoction? I surely suspect so, because they are so YOU - but I have heard that publishers like to fiddle with these things.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your gift with the world!
Grace in New Zealand - who lived in Regensburg for 7 years, mostly within cooee of the Danube :)


message 106: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Albin | 22 comments Dear Mr. McCall Smith, I was wondering if you had an address where something could be mailed to you, or a publishers address and perhaps they could forward it to you? I realize you don't just give your address out, but is there some public address where an item can be mailed to you? Thank you, Barbara Soloski Albin I understand that you probably don't want a lot of extra things, but this would be small and useful.


message 107: by Charles (last edited May 13, 2010 05:11PM) (new)

Charles Liles | 7 comments Prudence, I take great exception to your statement hat Mme Ramotswe had a "simple mind". I argue that she was quite insightful for such a young person--in her late thirties, or so-- (Like Guy de Maupassant who wrote so prolifically and yet died when he was forty six or seven). could this statment by you be a bit of Darwinism in you?


message 108: by Kate (new)

Kate | 1 comments Linda wrote: "Alexander wrote: "Rachel wrote: "When will this series end? How many more books are planned? Thanks!"

I have agreed to write fourteen in books in the series. I shall, however, be happy to cont..."


Oh do PLEASE continue! I do love the books, all of them, and want them to go on forever!


message 109: by Terri (new)

Terri | 1 comments Thank you for your joyous books in The No.1 L.D.A. series. They are like a dear friend. I love the interaction between all of the characters. I was delighted to find the movies available on DVD. They are also a delight!


message 110: by Becky (new)

Becky (BeckyVe) | 1 comments Mr. McCall Smith,
I so enjoy your writing, you are one of the few writers that I savor the writing itself as much as I enjoy the story. I have enjoyed all of your series, but particularly like the Scotland Street books.
I was also so inspired by La's Orchestra Saves the World. What a beautiful book.
Thanks for many, many hours of enjoyment of your books.
Becky


message 111: by Alexander (new)

Alexander Smith (Alexander_McCall_Smith) | 134 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "May I please be the second member of THE ORDER OF THE FRIENDS OF MMA RAMOTSWE. I want her to be my friend!
Thanks for all the wonderful stories."


Dear Linda, Of course you may! Mma Ramotswe welcomes you. AMcS


message 112: by Alexander (new)

Alexander Smith (Alexander_McCall_Smith) | 134 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "Hello,
I absolutely love this series of books. Mma Ramotswe is so wise. I can feel my blood pressure lowering as I read. I think it's the pace, humanity, and wisdom on the pages which does this. I..."


Dear Linda, Botswana is a very calming country, for some reason - they have the right attitude, I think. All best, AMcS


message 113: by Alexander (new)

Alexander Smith (Alexander_McCall_Smith) | 134 comments Mod
Prudence wrote: "Dear Mr McCall Smith,
I just want to tell you that I really enjoyed all The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series. Thank you for writing them!

I love the simplicity and the wit. It never fails to br..."


Dear Prudence, Thank you so much for this very nice message. I am very glad that you are enjoying the books. You ask about a visit to Singapore. Yes, I do go there. I was there in February and did an event at the National Library - I also did various interviews. I love visiting Singapore and I shall certainly come back. All best wishes, AMcS


message 114: by Alexander (new)

Alexander Smith (Alexander_McCall_Smith) | 134 comments Mod
Barbara wrote: "Alexander wrote: "Barbara wrote: "My name is Barbara Soloski Albin. I am the person on the internet who has been writing 1000's of emails to bring back the series in some form, I have been doing th..."

Dear Barbara, You will have seen that others have asked to join the Order - so it's catching on. You, of course, are the Head of the Order (a lifetime appointment, I should have mentioned). All best, AMcS


message 115: by Alexander (new)

Alexander Smith (Alexander_McCall_Smith) | 134 comments Mod
Andrea wrote: "I am just writing to add my voice to all those who are fans and friends of Mma Ramotswe and her family. My husband is from Kenya, and we would love to live there or at least be there more often, b..."
Dear Andrea, Thanks very much for this. All best, AMcS


message 116: by Alexander (new)

Alexander Smith (Alexander_McCall_Smith) | 134 comments Mod
Cecilia wrote: "Hi Sandy, It's been many years, I wonder if you remember us, Peter and Cecilia Durkin. We ran Mokolodi for a short time in 2003. Shortly after returning to the USA in 2005, we opened a Fair Trade s..."

Dear Cecilia, Of course I remember you! It is very nice to hear from you, and to hear that you are still doing your ambassadorial work for Botswana. I'm sorry that my trip to the US was called off because of the travel disruption caused by the volcano - hardly an expected problem! I shall, however, be back. Please keep in touch.
Mokolodi seems to be in good shape. I was there last year and was very pleased to see how it was thriving.
All best, Sandy


message 117: by Alexander (new)

Alexander Smith (Alexander_McCall_Smith) | 134 comments Mod
Annie wrote: "Dear Mr. McCall Smith,
When visiting a library in Denver I was surprised to not find your books right away. It wasn't until I did some tricky searches that I found they had filed you under "M". Ou..."


Dear Annie, Thanks for this message: I send you my very best wishes. As for the talking shoes: yes, I love writing those scenes. They are ridiculous, of course, but I can just picture Mma Makutsi engaged in those conversations with her shoes. And the shoes have such strong opinions! All best., AMcS


message 118: by Alexander (new)

Alexander Smith (Alexander_McCall_Smith) | 134 comments Mod
Alice wrote: "Whenever I despair at humanity's unkindness, I pick up a book in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Series. For some reason, these whimsical mysteries never fail to encourage my heart. There is a poignanc..."

Dear Alice, Thank you for these generous sentiments. All best, AMcS


message 119: by Alexander (new)

Alexander Smith (Alexander_McCall_Smith) | 134 comments Mod
Annie wrote: "Dear Mr. McCall Smith,
When visiting a library in Denver I was surprised to not find your books right away. It wasn't until I did some tricky searches that I found they had filed you under "M". Ou..."


Dear Annie, I omitted to answer your question about what J.L.B. stands for in Mr J.L.B. Matekoni's name. The answer is


message 120: by Alexander (new)

Alexander Smith (Alexander_McCall_Smith) | 134 comments Mod
I seem to have run out of time. I'm sorry that I haven't been able to answer everybody's message, but I assure you I read every one of them. I shall try to answer more later today: please forgive me for being so slow! AMcS


message 121: by Alexander (new)

Alexander Smith (Alexander_McCall_Smith) | 134 comments Mod
Barbara wrote: "Dear Mr. McCall Smith, I was wondering if you had an address where something could be mailed to you, or a publishers address and perhaps they could forward it to you? I realize you don't just give..."

Dear Barbara, Please contact my publicist, Jan Rutherford at the following e-mail address: jan.ppw@blueyonder.co.uk She will give you details. All best, AMcS


message 122: by Jamie (new)

Jamie | 2 comments Hi Mr. McCall Smith,

I was just wondering, what does it mean at the end of the books when you write Africa, Africa, Africa, ect.?

I love these books!

Jamie


message 123: by Alexander (new)

Alexander Smith (Alexander_McCall_Smith) | 134 comments Mod
Jamie wrote: "Hi Mr. McCall Smith,

I was just wondering, what does it mean at the end of the books when you write Africa, Africa, Africa, ect.?

I love these books!

Jamie"

Dear Jamie, It's mainly decorative. AMcS


message 124: by Christine (new)

Christine | 1 comments Dear Mr. McCall Smith,
Whenever I reach the end of each book and read Africa, Africa, Africa..., I hug the book and sigh. To me, the words are more than decorative; they're a song to Africa and the people who love her and your books.

I have recommended the books to many, many friends. One of my friends saved it to read during her first trip to Africa.

The books have touched my soul. I love Precious and wish we could be friends.

Thank you! - Christine


message 125: by Laura (new)

Laura (Laura_Anne) | 1 comments Mr. McCall Smith,

Does Mma Ramotswe even know the answer to the question, what does J.L.B. stand for? Has her husband, Botswana’s greatest mechanic, ever told her?


message 126: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Albin | 22 comments Alexander wrote: "Barbara wrote: "Alexander wrote: "Barbara wrote: "My name is Barbara Soloski Albin. I am the person on the internet who has been writing 1000's of emails to bring back the series in some form, I ha..."I ofcourse am thoroughly honored and do accept. I am tryng so hard to bring back the Ladies and their Men. I hope to meet you some day on the west coast of California. I live around 1 1/2 hours from San Francisco. We could eat and drink and discuss all the books, or anything else you would enjoy talking about. Regards, Barbara


message 127: by Prudence (new)

Prudence Chan | 3 comments Alexander wrote: "Dear Prudence, Thank you so much for this very nice message. I am very glad that you are enjoying the books. You ask about a visit to Singapore. Yes, I do go there. I was there in February and did an event at the National Library - I also did various interviews. I love visiting Singapore and I shall certainly come back. All best wishes, AMcS"

Oh no! I miss your visit! How could that happen?! ;-) haha


message 128: by Katherine (new)

Katherine (sandrakay) | 1 comments I have just finished book 3 and am waiting for book 4 to arrive from Amazon. Thank you for writing such a strong and wise female character. Mme Ramotswe is one of the most remarkable fictional characters I have come across in a long time. You have given her so much wisdom and grace that I wish I could sit down with her over a cup of tea and hear her speak about her life. I have listened to one of the books in the audio format and this is the next best thing. I look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series. The story and characters have captivated me.


message 129: by Connie (new)

Connie Brown (connie_reads) | 11 comments Dear Mr. Smith,
Reading all the posts and your responses has been such fun--but of course not as much fun as reading your books! Now I know to look for La's Orchestra, and to try the Portuguese Verbs too. Much as I love Precious, Grace, Mr. J.L.B., Bertie, and Cyril, my first love has to be Isabel. Thank you, thank you for such wonderful characters, and thank goodness there's more to come of all of them!!
Connie


message 130: by Annie (new)

Annie (AnnieofBlueGables) | 5 comments Alexander wrote: Dear Annie, I omitted to answer your question about what J.L.B. stands for in Mr J.L.B. Matekoni's name. The answer is "

Is. . . ??? What??? now I am in suspense. . .


message 131: by Miriam (new)

Miriam | 2 comments What happened to the "poll" you took concerning the fate of that endearing engaged couple, Grace and Phuti. Will they get married? Of course! Your characters typically have long and interesting courtships. They do not "commit matrimony" lightly. I think Phuti needs Grace to keep his life in order, and to help him speak and dance more gracefully! Miriam


message 132: by [deleted user] (new)

Annie wrote: "Alexander wrote: Dear Annie, I omitted to answer your question about what J.L.B. stands for in Mr J.L.B. Matekoni's name. The answer is "

Is. . . ??? What??? now I am in suspense. . ."


According to Wikipedia JLB stands for 'John Limpopo Basil':)


message 133: by Annie (new)

Annie (AnnieofBlueGables) | 5 comments Tyjno wrote: "Annie wrote: "Alexander wrote: Dear Annie, I omitted to answer your question about what J.L.B. stands for in Mr J.L.B. Matekoni's name. The answer is "

Is. . . ??? What??? now I am in suspense. . ..."

According to Wikipedia JLB stands for 'John Limpopo Basil':)

Thank you Tyjno!!!


message 134: by Yun (new)

Yun Yi My name is Yunyi and I read the first two of series and highly enjoyed them. I got a question, do I have to read all these books by sequence?
Thanks Mr. Smith for creating such an exotic mystery!


message 135: by North (new)

North | 4 comments I think you should because you follow the characters' lives.


message 136: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Albin | 22 comments Yes, it is really best to start from the first book and continue in order, the characters grow, change, etc from the first book to the latest book. You might also want to join us on https://www.facebook.com/theno1ladies...


message 137: by Paulette (new)

Paulette | 2 comments When I click on your link for facebook I get a message that the page can't be found.


message 138: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Albin | 22 comments Sorry, I goofed, added "the"

https://www.facebook.com/no1ladiesdet...

This is the site started by HBO but they turned over to me around 2 years ago, so I update the postings every month, trying to keep interest in the series.


message 139: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (wwwgoodreadscomprofileEllie) | 7 comments I'm afraid to watch the TV series. I don't want my internal visuals of the characters and sets to be disturbed/replaced by what's in the films.


message 140: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Albin | 22 comments Ellie wrote: "I'm afraid to watch the TV series. I don't want my internal visuals of the characters and sets to be disturbed/replaced by what's in the films."

Ellie, The series will actually enhance your love of the books. The choice of actors for the characters was perfect. There is one added main character, BK, a beauty shop owner, played by the wonderful Desmond Dube. Sometimes I wish Alexander McCall Smith had added the character to the books. I have not met, or heard from one person that did not love the series equally with the books. As I continue to read the books, I tend to forget the visuals of the series, even though I run the HBO site, and have re-watched the series dozens of times. I would suggest you start with Episode 1 aka The Pilot. It may be one of the best interpretations of a book to television series.


message 141: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (wwwgoodreadscomprofileEllie) | 7 comments Thank you, Barbara. Perhaps I'll get brave and give it a try! :)


message 142: by Gloryseeker33 (new)

Gloryseeker33 | 3 comments I agree with Barbara. The series is one of the best book depictions I've seen. I don't think there was anything jarring in the visuals of the show as they matched with my mental pictures of the characters and settings, and I find my mental images intact as I continue to read.


message 143: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Albin | 22 comments Yes, the production companies, all 4 did a great job!


message 144: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Albin | 22 comments I run the facebook site for hHBO https://facebook.com/no1ladiesdetecti... Please join us on the site and if you are on twitter and would like a second series, I tweet Harvey Weinstein, Oprah, PBS and anyone I can think of. I have heard from Jill Scott a few times, basically a "high 5"!


message 145: by Ellie (last edited Mar 01, 2014 08:57AM) (new)

Ellie (wwwgoodreadscomprofileEllie) | 7 comments Barbara wrote: "Yes, the production companies, all 4 did a great job!"

Barbara, thanks to you and also to Gloryseeker33, I have now seen the Pilot episode, and I indeed loved it! The only character that wasn't as I pictured her was Mma Makutsi. She is described as having "difficult skin" and the actress playing her has glowing and flawless skin. She annoyed me at first, but then I know she is supposed to annoy me, :)! By the end of the pilot I liked her much more. The opening sequence when Precious was a child was breathtaking, and the music and landscapes really add a lot. I'm excited to watch the other episodes. I'm I correct in thinking it was only filmed for one season? p.s. I've 'liked' the facebook page. It will be fun to see what's there. I really love Jill Scott as Mma Ramotswe.


message 146: by Barbara (last edited Mar 01, 2014 10:22AM) (new)

Barbara Albin | 22 comments Ellie wrote: "Barbara wrote: "Yes, the production companies, all 4 did a great job!"

Barbara, thanks to you and also to Gloryseeker33, I have now seen the Pilot episode, and I indeed loved it! The only characte..."


Ellie wrote: "Barbara wrote: "Yes, the production companies, all 4 did a great job!"

Barbara, thanks to you and also to Gloryseeker33, I have now seen the Pilot episode, and I indeed loved it! The only characte..."


Great Ellie, yes the character of Mma Makutsi is annoying, but as you say she is supposed to be that way. Fortunately, excluding her flawless skin and the fact that Anika Noni Rose is a gorgeous woman, she played Mma Makutsi to perfection. Wait until you get to The Boy With The African Heart, again a change, but the main characters play their roles to perfection. Stay in touch.


message 147: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Albin | 22 comments Barbara wrote: "Ellie wrote: "Barbara wrote: "Yes, the production companies, all 4 did a great job!"

Barbara, thanks to you and also to Gloryseeker33, I have now seen the Pilot episode, and I indeed loved it! The..."


Thanks for liking the FB page, I posted Brenda Nyxoli (sp) this past week, Florence the maid. She has also been kind enough to stay in touch with me. She plays Florence so well, that you will "hate" her!


message 148: by Gloryseeker33 (new)

Gloryseeker33 | 3 comments So glad you enjoyed it!


message 149: by Susan (new)

Susan  (SusanOdetta) | 1 comments Aloha! Please explain why you have not ended The Handsome Men's Deluxe Cafe' with the triangle of "AfricaAfricaAfrica". I miss it. Thank you.


message 150: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Albin | 22 comments I have no idea, but I will try to find out for you!


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