Friday, September 28, 2012

What Do You Get From Writing? Who Should Write? An Interview with Laura Lippman

Award-winning mystery/suspense author Laura Lippman was recently interviewed by Bill Kenower of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. Lippman was a reporter for twenty years, but has since become a very successful author, who's written not only psychological suspense and mystery in her Tess Monaghan p.i. series, but bestselling stand-alone novels, as well.

Among the points of interest in the interview are the following:
  • When Lippman was little she and her older sister played together a lot. They played Barbies, and created elaborate family sagas in their make-believe. She related that to the joy and play in writing that she feels, and she believes that if you like to write, you should try to write. However, she doesn't believe everyone who writes should be published.
  • Even though she had years of journalistic experience, and uses that experience to do some research for her books, she believes fiction can be more easily believable than factual stories.
  • It is not easy to write a page turner, and she's learned that a key factor in making that happen is how relatable and sympathetic the character is.
  • There's very little relationship between the writing brain and the publishing brain, and she thinks it's important to not think about how the book will be marketed and how readers will respond until it's finished (by which, I'm pretty sure, she means the polished draft that will go to an editor).
  • There's a sweet spot in writing . . . and it's just shy of being a perfectionist.
You can watch the interview here—it's about seven minutes long.

p.s. you may have noticed that I put up PNWA author interviews every once in a while. I enjoy them, and get a lot out of them, and hope you do, too. I get them sent to me every month because I'm a member of PNWA, and while I'm not on the organization's promotions committee, I'd like to share that anyone can join. It's not expensive, and they hold one of the best writing conferences in the country every summer. If you're a member you get a reduced rate at the conference and for entering their writing contests that go with the conference. Just a thought. :) The site is


  1. There are so many skills a writer needs! Thanks for the link.

    1. So true, Laura. Did we know that when we signed up for this? :)

  2. Sounds like an excellent interview. I couldn't agree more about fiction being more believable than truth. And I also couldn't agree more about PNWA, LOVE it!

  3. Linda, this is a great interview. I love it when you post these. I always plan on going, but then I forget. You make my life so much easy! Thank you.

    1. C'est mon plaisir, Karlene! (Can't help it. The French are fun to be around :) )