An Interview with Sue Grafton

by Trisha Sugarek

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Posted by trishsugar
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 suppose 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 book store), 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 Millhone. I’ve been reading Sue Grafton ever since. 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?

A. 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.)

A. 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.)

A. 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. More....

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