Sue Grafton ~ Interview ~ In Memory

           writers, best selling authors, best sellers, fiction for women  ~~   In Memory ~~      An Interview with Mystery Writer, Sue Grafton  (Part 1)

                      Author,  John D. McDonald died suddenly back in 1986 and took Travis McGee with him.  I owned and had read every book of McDonald’s…..Now what was I supposed to do??  I didn’t read many mysteries (back then) but I was especially fond of Travis and his bear-of-a-man friend, Meyer.   So back in the eighties, (when you shopped at a real bookstore), I looked through the aisles for someone worthy of replacing John McDonald.   There I found “A is for Alibi” with the formidable and quirky, Kinsey Milhone.  I’ve been reading Sue Grafton ever since. 

Now, with Sue’s passing, we have to say goodbye to another great writer who gave us Kinsey Milhone and so many hours of entertainment in reading. In August, 2013, Sue gave me an interview and I thought, as a way of sharing it with my readers, I would post it again in loving memory.  We will miss you, Sue!  TS

this entry from Sue’s journals;

Dear Shadow . . . Self . . . and Right Brain, Doing everything I can here to make life possible. I’ve abandoned the old story . . . cleaned out my computer . . . sorted and tossed and filed away old notes and articles. Now I need help in launching myself again. Please speak to me. Please let me know where the new book is coming from. I really need your assistance and I’m hoping you’ll spark something so I can get to work.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Love & kisses,


Response from Shadow Self:   How about an old-fashioned unsolved murder case?  Parents are angry because nothing’s been done.    Case is old & cold, with no new leads coming in.
Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing?

best sellers, Sue Grafton,
Sue Grafton’s work space

SG. I have an office in both my homes; Montecito, California and Louisville Kentucky.  The two are different in terms of size and style but I can’t tell you that I’m more productive in one than in the other.  I like lots of light.  I like tidiness.  I like space.  I like quiet.  When I’m working my desk is usually a mess, but I do make an effort from time to time to restore order. The creative process is messy enough. I don’t need to look at chaos as well.

Q. Do you have any special rituals when you sit down to write? (sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

SG.  Often I do a short stint of self-hypnosis which helps quiet the chatter in my head and helps me focus and concentrate.  I learned the technique from a book on the subject that I got at a book store and it’s been a wonderful way to keep ‘centered’ if you’ll forgive the term.

Q. What is your mode of writing? (long hand? Pencil? Computer? Etc.)

SG. A computer, of course. Which I claim has greatly improved my skills.  In the ‘olden’ days of white out and cutting and pasting, I got hung up on whether the page ‘looked right’. I hated adding anything that forced me to repaginate because I didn’t like all the extra work.  If I deleted 11 lines, I got so I could exactly replace the missing lines with something that would work as well so that I didn’t have to retype everything.  To my way of thinking, this is not the key to writing well. On a computer I can and do write every line over and over until it suits me.  The tinkering is infinite.  I when a line is right and when it’s not, I revise and refine and cut and amend until it sounds right to my inner ear.

Q. Do you have a set time each day to write or do you write only when you are feeling creative?

SG. I’m usually at my desk at 8:00.  I check emails and make a brief visit to my Face Book page where I chat with readers.  I never feel truly creative.  I work until lunch time when I take a short break.  go back until mid-afternoon when I usually take a walk with one of a number of friends.  I work seven days a week because it’s easier to stay connected to the writing.  In completing “W” I worked double-sessions, returning to my desk after dinner.  I cut out our social life.  I nixed all the walks which I found interrupted the work too often.  I didn’t run errands.  I didn’t stop to get my hair cut.

Part 2 of this Interview  Click here


MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    December: British writer, J.G. Dow.  January: In Memory, Sue Grafton.
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This Author/Blogger has tried her hand at true crime mysteries with great success. There are now eight in the series

Book #7

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