HALLIE EPHRON: A few weeks ago I visited Lucy in Key West (and yes, I felt as if I was walking around in Hayley Snow’s shoes with the cat man and Lorenzo the Tarot card reader) and a mutual friend who’s not a fiction writer asked a question that stopped both Lucy and me in our tracks: Why do you write?
Lucy’s answer tells you as much about her as it does about her series. Today, as her fabulous new Key West Food Critic mystery, KILLER TAKEOUT, hits bookstore shelves, I’m posing the question to her again. Why DO you write, and why this series?
LUCY BURDETTE: To put this question in context, Hallie and I had confirmed with our friend Pat that earning big bucks was NOT the reason we write! (Though I am open to that in the future, should the universe be listening.) But a million other thoughts came to mind…
First, I write because I can't imagine not writing! What would I do with the ideas that crash into my mind at all hours of the day and night? And more seriously, how would I spend my time if I wasn't doing this thing that I love?
And there are so many gratifying moments. Like the morning when a lousy collection of words get shaped into a decently told story. And typing THE END, that's definitely a top moment LOL. Then seeing the book in a store or library. And struggling with a plot thread that won't seem to resolve and suddenly coming upon the answer as I walk the dog or talk it over with a friend.
Speaking of friends, I love the colony of writer and reader friends that I've gotten to know since I began writing (that's you guys!) I love the support and enthusiasm and and affection, and the way mystery writers assume they they will pay it forward. And there's nothing like fan mail from a reader who totally understands my characters. Or a review that nails themes that I didn't consciously plan for.
|Lucy with Dominique the Cat Man|
LUCY: I love being able to share with readers the quirky island of Key West that I've grown to love over the past ten years.
HALLIE: And it feels as if you’ve tapped into a particularly deep well when it comes to these characters.
|Lorenzo at work|
LUCY: Thanks for that! Some people have asked whether it isn't boring to write a series--or if not dull, at least harder then starting fresh.
But I'm crazy about writing series because in each book, the shape of the characters and their backgrounds deepens. And I enjoy imagining how difficult events will affect their lives going forward, and how they work out old dramas in new and better ways. And I love being surprised. In the first book, An Appetite for Murder, I didn't spend much time imagining Hayley Snow's neighbor at Houseboat Row, Miss Gloria. But now she's become the character that I hear most about from my fans, except of course for Lorenzo the Tarot card reader.
HALLIE: Before we let you go, can you share one new thing - a place or a character or a twist in a character’s life — that snuck its way into this book when you weren’t looking?
LUCY: I have to say I'm so pleased with the way Hayley has grown up. Some of the earliest reviews pegged her as ditzy and possibly shallow. But she has absolutely learned from her mistakes and become a loyal friend who is no longer motivated by jumping into the arms of the first guy to show some interest. (You'll see what I mean:), I hope!)
Thanks for reading! KILLER TAKEOUT is available wherever books are sold! Writer Reds, why do you write? Reader reds, what makes you want to spend time with a new book?