New York is wonderful but it is also dauntingly busy for someone used to a less frenetic lifestyle. I was honored to be part of ThrillerFest in general and the Matchup celebration in particular. I came away from there having still flunked selfies, so there will be no selfies posted here.
But let me say how happy I am to be home where the highs are in the seventies, the humidity is not so much, and the wisteria is in full bloom. Home sweet home.
Earlier this summer I was contacted by Charles Rzepka, a professor of English from Boston University, saying he was coming to Seattle for a wedding and asking if it would be possible for him to do an interview with me while he was here. I said yes.
We did the interview here on what I call the back porch. (Bill, who is a font of sometimes useless details, tells me that it’s actually a portico.) Whatever you call it, this is where Professor Rzepka (the R in Rzepka is silent by the way) and I sat, gazing down over the garden while he asked an hour’s worth of questions.
It was wonderful to be able to share our home with him because this place is truly the fruit of three decades’ worth of labor. We live here because of all those years of writing but also because of all those loyal fans who have read my body of work and continue to do so, book after book and year after year.
Professor Rzepka wrote to me this week, letting me know that a transcript of the interview is posted on Crimeculture.
We spoke for the better part of two hours. His questions were engaging and fun. It was an interview I truly enjoyed doing. If you’re a fan who has been able to attend one or more of my presentations, some of the stories related here will be familiar. You’ll have heard versions or snippets of them here and there along the way. If you’ve never been able to attend a “live” show, this may give you some insight into my life and times.
In transcribing the interview, Professor Rzepka decided to leave in the laughter notations that appeared throughout. As you read along, you’ll see those occur fairly often, and here’s why that’s important:
I worked in an insurance agency in Phoenix for five years before I finally divorced my first husband in 1980. I met and married Bill in 1985, in June and December respectively. In August of 1986, we went to Arizona to celebrate my parents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary. While we were in Phoenix, I took Bill by the office to introduce him to the people with whom I had worked for all those years. I was shocked when none of those folks recognized me because they had never seen me smile and had never heard me laugh. Those were tough years.
So yes, Arizona will always be my home, but Seattle will always be my CREATIVE home because this is where I first gave myself permission to live my dream and become a writer. It’s also the place that gave me my legions of fans, to say nothing of a wonderful place to live and a gorgeous garden. But even more than that, it gave me back both my smile and my laughter.
The Reader’s Digest always used to say that laughter is the best medicine.
I’m here to tell you it’s true.