Please welcome L.T. Graham, author of The Blue Journal.
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
From a writing perspective, three or four uninterrupted hours in the morning when I am completely lost in the world of the novel I am working on at the moment. In terms of real life experience, I adore time spent with my family, enjoying great meals, great wine, great conversation under an umbrella of sunny weather.
Do you have a signature accessory, color, fragrance, phrase, or meal?
I love fountain pens. The phrase I overuse is unprintable. The meal is veal Milanese with sautéed escarole.
Excluding family, name three people who either inspired you or influenced your creativity.
A writing professor at Penn State, S. L. Rubinstein. Holden Caulfield. Richard Blaine.
Do you listen to music when you write?
Yes. Although I love music of all kinds, when I write I listen to Sinatra, Bennett, Martin, Crosby, Ella, and contemporary vocalists like Krall, Sade, Adele and many others. Somehow the sound and the cadence work better for me when I’m writing than rock and roll or classical.
If your latest book were chocolate, what kind would it be and why?
Dark chocolate spiced with jalapeno pepper. The story has a dark side, the sex is spicy, and the read is sweet.
What made you interested in writing this particular story?
Some years ago, I witnessed the marriages of several close friends dissolve into unhappiness, unpleasantness and, ultimately, divorce. I wondered what led to the disintegration of those relationships, and why people I knew so well, and thought were so happy, had grown apart. That was my original inspiration for creating and examining the various characters for this book, especially one particularly evil woman who became the central figure of the mystery around which the story revolves.
What themes do you regularly (re)visit in your writing?
Integrity, and how men and women react to circumstances that test their honesty, courage, patience, and fortitude. As someone wiser than I once said, we cannot do anything about the force or direction of the wind, all we can do is adjust the set of our sails.
Tell us about your main character’s psyche or personality. What led her (or him) to be the person s/he is today?
The Blue Journal has two main characters. Detective Anthony Walker is a former New York City police detective who moved to the suburbs to provide a better life for his family, only to have his wife leave him for another man and a more extravagant lifestyle. Now a member of a small police department in Connecticut, Walker is a damaged individual who does his best to cope with these new circumstances as he performs his duties, including responsibility for solving the murder of Elizabeth Knoebel. Randi Conway is a psychologist who had treated Elizabeth, and a number of the other characters in the story. She has secrets she works hard to protect as she does her best to deal with her own romantic disappointments. Along the way, she is pressed by Walker to divulge confidences that might help to uncover the identity of the murderer.
Describe your protagonist as a mash-up of three famous people or characters.
I must admit, I had a certain combination of actresses and actors in mind as I wrote The Blue Journal. For Randi Conway I thought of Laura Dern, Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman. For Walker I thought of Ed Harris, Bruce Willis and Michael Keaton.
If you could host an author dinner party, who are the six writers (living or otherwise) you’d include?
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, P. G. Wodehouse, W. Somerset Maugham, Agatha Christie and Ayn Rand. I am only excluding J. D. Salinger because he seemed so anti-social.
What’s next for you?
Working on another Anthony Walker mystery, of course!
L. T. Graham is the pen name of a New England-based suspense writer who is the author of several novels. Graham is currently at work on the next Detective Anthony Walker novel.