Adams realized she wanted to write a book about Josephine Marcus, recognized as wife of legendary frontiersman Wyatt Earp, when she learned Earp was buried in a Jewish cemetery. "It didn't fit. I learned it was because of Josie, who was Jewish, and I wanted to know what she was like, and that started a really long stretch of research,'' recalled Adams, 57, from her home in Hyde Park, N.Y.
Ten years later, she's seeing the publication of The Last Woman Standing, a historical novel that looks at the romance between Marcus and Earp, as well as events (through the female protagonist's eyes) like the famed gunfight at the OK Corral. Adams holds a history degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master's in fine arts from Columbia University. A journalist and film critic, Adams has contributed to Us Weekly and the New York Post and has appeared on NBC's Today, CBS's Early Show and CNN.
What's on your nightstand?
I'm currently reading A Hero of France by Alan Furst. I often read historical mysteries, and Alan Furst is one of my favorites. My favorite of his is The Polish Officer. He does incredible research and has very rich, empathetic characters. I've also got Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend. It's the story of two best female friends. It's all a complicated drama. I always say with female friendships, there's always the Betty and the Veronica or the Lucy and the Ethel. There's a main character and there's a sidekick, and My Brilliant Friend captures all of those tricky emotions between women. It starts when they are little girls. It goes to their late teens. It's based in Naples, and it starts in the 1950s. To tell you the truth, I have not seen a book of literary fiction like this for a million years. I heard that this book, and all its sequels, was going to be one massive book. The next one I have to read is The Crow Girl, a Scandinavian mystery. It's 600 or 700 pages.
Concerning your new novel, if we were in the future looking back at 2016, who do you think you'd write about?
I would say Bernie Sanders' wife. I would like to see this whole situation from her perspective. Jane has known Bernie for a long time, and then suddenly, he runs for office in order to get a progressive slate forward, never thinking that he would be a serious presidential candidate.
What is your next project?
I am working on another historical novel. It spans 30 years. It's about Murder Inc., and I like to call it the schleppy side of Boardwalk Empire. It's the story of a younger sister and brother, and what happens when her protector becomes part of the mob.
Contact Piper Castillo at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @Florida_PBJC.