Author Lisa Lutz was once dubbed "Nancy Drew after a bottle of Jack Daniels," a description which fits her style perfectly. She is the kind of writer who someone like best-selling author Janet Evanovich can only dream of being: funny, clever, and original at the same time.
I interviewed Lutz here for Blogcritics for her first book, The Spellman Files, and became an instant fan, both for her sense of humor and her style. Seldom have I encountered a crime writer who uses footnotes which are often funnier than some authors' entire books.
She agreed to do an email interview for this, her fourth book. I should perhaps mention that Lutz gave me credit in the book's acknowledgments for helping to promote her books.
Each of Lutz' novels are at least indirectly about her fictional family, the Spellmans. They are a family of private detectives, so when the narrator, Isabel Spellman, gets a boyfriend, her mom or younger sister Rae will investigate him. Rae is quite the wacky younger sister.
What advice would you have for anyone with a Rae- and/or Isabel-like person in their family?
Boarding school, if they’re minors. I create the characters, but that doesn’t mean I know how to defend against them.
What are the high and low points of your writing career?
The nadir was the 10 years I spent writing Plan B, which culminated in a Hollywood career-ending film. The high point would be my first book deal, for The Spellman Files. I didn’t grow up dreaming of being a novelist. It continues to amaze me how much I prefer the novel format to the screenplay.
I'm picking up on a Star Wars title theme with your books. Instead of the Empire Strikes Back you have The Spellmans Strike Back and instead of Return of the Jedi you have Revenge of The Spellmans. Am I going crazy? You're not planning on a three story prequel or something?
You are going crazy. First of all, the new book is called The Spellmans Strike Again. Not Back. Although that’s a common mistake. The Spellman titles are based on the Pink Panther films, not Star Wars. However, I wouldn’t rule out a prequel one day. (Then again, I’m not big on ruling things out.)