I am very excited to have Lyndee Walker back on The Outside Lane, with another great interview for the launch of her fantastic mystery, Front Page Fatality. I am so excited for you all to read the first of the trilogy!
LW: Thank you so much for having me back on TOL, Lane! It’s always such fun to visit with you.
TOL: We’re always glad to have you here, LynDee! Let’s start with a hardball question: We’ve seen a lot of horrific True Crime in the U.S. since you last visited the TOL, and I know you were in process of completing the second Nichelle novel. How does reality affect the world you are creating for your characters?
LW: Reality and headlines do affect Nichelle’s world, because her stories are intended to be a fun escape, and exploring topics that are too close to a big recent story makes them … not a fun escape. Of course there’s crime, because they’re mysteries centered on a crime reporter, but there’s also romance, friendship, and humor. One of the things I love about writing fiction is that I can control the headlines and the happy endings (most of the time. Sometimes my imaginary friends go off on their own merry way and I’m left following suit and taking notes).
The Headlines in Heels mysteries are not serious literary reads: they’re light, easy and fun, because that’s what I like to read. There’s enough serious, depressing stuff in real life. At the very least, when Nichelle has serious problems, I get to throw in something funny to help the reader out.
TOL: Nichelle’s problems are even a little funny. How “alive” are your characters to you?
LW: I sometimes forget they’re not actual people when I’m talking about them. I have lived with these same characters in my head for so long, that they are, indeed, just short of living and breathing to me. And as such, they are imperfect and complex, but (most of them) have good hearts and try to be better people each day, just like you and I.
TOL: You’ve lived with these characters in your head, demanding to be introduced to the world. Writers write because they have to–it’s a force of nature. What do you hope to accomplish through your writing?
LW: First, to keep my sanity. You are absolutely right—when I’m not working on something, I get grouchy and miserable to be around. I write because I have such a passion for it. I’m so glad I’ve found such an amazing publishing house to work with in sharing Nichelle’s stories with the world, but they’d pile up in my hard drive if I hadn’t, because I love Nichelle and her friends and her world.
What I hope to accomplish for my readers is to give them a fun, entertaining escape from their real world for a few hours at a time, and to make them laugh. My very favorite books are the ones where I can fall in love with the characters, get so engrossed in the story I forget to eat, and laugh with them along the way. So if I can do that for my readers, I have accomplished my goal.
TOL: What do you want for Nichelle in the future of her story, and what do you want for Nichelle in YOUR future?
LW: I want for Nichelle what any of us wants for a good friend: for her to find true happiness, whatever that looks like for her. This minute, I’m not sure what that will be. She thinks she wants to go to D.C. and work at the Post, and maybe she really does, but I think we’ve all had goals that we wanted for so long we failed to account for the idea that we might already have something better. She wants to fall in love, and in book two, her possibilities for that are getting more interesting, but I’m not sure which guy she’s going to choose.
For my future? I hope people like Nichelle enough for me to get to keep writing about her for years to come. I have so many stories already in my head, and I’d love to have the chance to share them with her fans.
TOL: Play favorites for a moment. Who are your three favorite characters in Front Page Fatality, and what is it that makes them so dear to you?
LW: Oh, it’s like asking me to choose a favorite child! Well, except for Shelby. I really don’t like her. And there is one that I can’t mention because it’s a spoiler for folks who haven’t read the book. Only three? Okay, here goes:
Nichelle, of course, because she’s smart, funny, and had a heart as big as a spring Texas sky. She loves her job, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t parts of it that are uncomfortable for her. She’s a good person, but that doesn’t mean she can’t make mistakes. Plus, she has a fantastic shoe collection, and she can run in Louboutins. Who can resist a girl who can run in Louboutins?
Bob, because he’s everything a newspaper editor should be. He’s loyal to his staff, but hard on them. He demands excellence and accuracy. He stands between his reporters and the number crunchers to the best of his ability, in an age when those lines are getting more and more blurred because newspapers are struggling. He’s an old-school journalist who believes reporting is a noble profession that can serve the community, and knows that sometimes, some things are best kept quiet.
Lila, because she’s a lot like my mom. Spunky, funny, and still just a bit overprotective of her grown-up daughter.
TOL: Thank you so much, LynDee! Now, tell us where we can buy the books.
LW: Front Page Fatality goes on sale at midnight (1/28/13), and the ebooks are specially priced through February 28, for only $2.99!
And if you have an apple device, you can find it in the iBookstore.
You can find me online at http://www.lyndeewalker.com (sign up for the quarterly newsletter in the right margin to stay up-to-date on news about me and Nichelle).
I also hang out a lot on Facebook (www.facebook.com/lyndeewalkerbooks) and twitter (@LynDeeWalker).
Thanks so much, again, for having me, Lane! I had a blast, as always!