Are there any limitations on what you can do with the series? For example, what if you wanted to kill off a character?
I'm sure there would be a lengthy discussion if anything in the Spenser universe was about to be upended. But that doesn't mean that it couldn't happen. If there was a plausible, intriguing reason I'm sure Chris and Joan would be open to it.
Are you making a point of not messing with the original formula or do you have plans for any changes to it? For example, while reading this I thought about the controversy caused by plans to have James Bond drink a beer instead of his standard drink in a future Bond movie and it made me think about how it may be hard to stick with such traditions when purists might object to any change.
I get a lot of questions about the handling of Bond and the handling of Spenser. But this is such a unique situation. Ian Fleming wrote cold war novels that had to be thawed for and retooled for a modern audience. For us, Lullaby is the 40th Spenser novel following on the exact pub date of Sixkill a year later. So what I seek to do is continue Bob's great work. Not reinvent. Spenser is Spenser. As Bob wrote Marlowe as Marlowe. Not a new Marlowe. Spenser endures.
How would you describe Mattie, the 14-year-old client in this book? Both Spenser and Susan compare her at least twice to Paul, a boy Spenser helped much earlier in the series. Was that a conscious choice to both extend the series with this book and new character while also connecting/comparing her to a character much earlier in the series?
Mattie is tough and self sufficient — two qualities Spenser greatly admires. I definitely thought it was time for another Paul — a kid who needs guidance — in the Spenser universe. I think Mattie will be with us in future books. And yes, I wanted a new personal challenge for Spenser while learning from events of the past.
Who has been your favorite of the Spenser characters to write about? Could you please do a book just about Hawk?