Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Inside the Writer's Mind

In case you didn't know, I am a huuuuuge Sue Grafton fan. I've read every book, got my mother hooked, and now I am eagerly awaiting December's release of U is for Undertow. Her website is great, with the complete series listed, reviews, everything you could possibly want to know about Sue and her life.

As well, there are her journal notes for the writing of each book. Wow. I am so impressed! She keeps stuff like that? I could shriek and shriek on like the little fangirl I am, however, I come to you today with something else interesting.

She never lets go of a good idea.

I was looking at L is for Lawless for yesterday's entry, and read the journal entries that go with the book. I came across these parts:

A woman in her late sixties... ...goes to work for an old man in ill health.... The old man dies in his sleep, helped along by his faithful companion.

I wondered where she was going with this, because it sure wasn't L is for Lawless as I remembered it, then I read on...

The companion moves from patient to patient.
She always works for the rich.
How many such stories could she run across?
How many ways could she work this scam?

And I got the chills. I recognized this!

Then Sue wrote...

I have too many misgivings about a woman who connects up with a dying patient and takes advantage of her past. Suppose she's a con artist who's scammed people in one way or another for years.

I'm resisting this one.

As far as I know, she did not use this stuff in L is for Lawless, but she did use it many years later. It is some of the basic outline for her latest novel, T is for Trespass.

Cool, cool, cool!!

Remind me sometime to relate the never-before-told story of how I got an email from Sara Paretsky, and why I've never spoken about it before!!!

*These bits of Sue Grafton's writing journal for L is for Lawless are excerpted from:


  1. Oooh, Donna, I would love to know about your email from Sara Paretsky.
    Great advice, BTW, from Sue Grafton - - never let go of a good idea. Mentally cataloging that one.

    I love your blog change - - it looks crisp and cool!

  2. Yay, you like the new template? I'm still jigging with the format.

    I have to admit... I hold the Sara Paretsky story close to me like a favorite toy on Christmas morning... once I let go of it it will be gone for good. Out of the bag. Released to the ether. So I think I'll hold onto it a while longer.

  3. I don't blame you. Hold on to something as long as you can! I've heard this too with regards to whatever you're writing - -the moment you share your idea with someone, it loses some of its sparkle for you. True?

  4. It's certainly true of writing; I don't try to talk about my WIP at all, ever. It begins to sound dumb to me if I do.