Thursday, January 30, 2014

Messy Story Ideas

[whispering] I always do introductions, so settle down, Lucy. Display some patience .... Jeez. 

Ahem. I first met Lucy Carol at Bookfest 2013. I had wandered over to the RWA table because I heard
they were giving away calendars with pretty pictures (see below). Lucy was standing demurely next to a stack of her books, Hot Scheming Mess. I caught sight of the bold cover (see right) and the title and hauled my butt to a halt. "LOVE your title," I said. And shortly after had a copy in my hand. Getting to know Lucy is about like reading her book -- you never know what's coming next ...

Susan: We have an eager guest today who writes hilarious madcap mysteries! With her crazy background in the performing arts she's probably chock-full of secrets to getting story ideas. Let's get right to it. Lucy, where do you get your story ideas?

Lucy: You did NOT just ask me that.

Susan: Well, actually, I did. I just did.

Lucy: You did NOT go there!

Susan: I'm there. Right now. You're here with me.

Lucy: You bitch.

Susan: Lucy! They're all here with us right now, reading you!

Lucy: What? Now? [sputter ...] Quick! Create a diversion!

Susan: Oh for God's sake. Come on. You promised.

Lucy: I'm sorting through my paperwork, I'll need a moment ...
Susan: Come on, just ...

Lucy: Here. Distract them with this picture while I search.

Susan: You should've been prepared before we ... Oh! H.e.l.l.o!

[stunned silence]

Lucy: Susan?

Susan: ...mmm ...

Lucy: I found it. I'm ready.

Susan: Hm? Oh. Oh good. Let me see it. [sound of rustling paper] What is this? A recipe for a dry martini? What's the matter with you?  

Lucy: You have your writing tools, I have mine.

Susan: You're not getting out of this.

Lucy: [sigh] I know. I'll try.

Susan: Why are you resisting this so much?

Lucy: Because there's no actual answer.

Susan: So ... where do you get your story ideas?

Lucy: Moment of truth. Ready?

Susan: I'm losing my patience.

Lucy: The truth is ... I DON'T KNOW. They bombard me. They come in the door as older ideas are leaving. I try to sort through them and figure out which ones are the keepers. I'm a distractible person with a short attention span. I'll be with a group of people, participating in a conversation like a normal grownup, and someone will say, "Lucy? Where did you go?" I come back to the present, embarrassed, and say something like, "I was just admiring that chair over there." Naturally, everyone turns to look at the stupid chair that has no interesting characteristics whatsoever. But the truth is, my mind was in a chase scene, ducking and dodging around corners, trying to stay one step ahead of the bad guy, steal a kiss from the good guy, collect more clues, and save the kitten.

Susan: The uh ... the good guy you mentioned. Is that him in that picture by any chance?

Lucy: Him? Yeah, he's one of the two hot guys that chases Madison around in my first book, Hot Scheming Mess. His name is Xander Boyd, but his friends call him ExBoy.

Susan: [chewing on a pen]

Lucy: [snaps fingers in front of Susan] Hey. Can we get back to the discussion?

Susan: Hmm? Oh. I was just admiring that chair over there.

Lucy: So, anyway, it's not like getting an idea is the issue. It's more like taming it into something cohesive. That's the hard part for me. I can't be so in love with the idea that I forget to trim it down to something logical, believable, ripe for conflict. Oh and it has to bring out the urgency in the reader to want to see it all come together in a satisfying conclusion.

Susan: [sighs] ... satisfying conclusion ...

Lucy: [shaking head] You're impossible when you're like this. Let me make you a drink. [looking around]

Where's that recipe?


Lucy Carol's background is in the performing arts. She's been an actress, voiceover artist, professional dancer and done a stint doing singing telegrams -- which are every bit as crazy as you imagine, and provided plenty of material for her stories. Hot Scheming Mess is her debut, madcap mystery and Totally Running With Scissors, a short story, is due to be released any day.

Lucy's Motto: Hiding from the truth cuz I suspect its lying!


  1. Funny interview. I imagine Lucy's books are quite funny, too. I'll have to check them out.

    1. Hi Gloria!

      I live for the laughs so I'm glad you thought it was funny. :) I write comedy and it's hard to turn off, even for an interview! Kudos to Susan for letting me do this silly script idea.

      The pictures and link are working now. I hope you'll check it out.


  2. A very funny interview, Lucy and Susan!

    Saving the kitten, of course, rates as a very noble cause.

    1. Thanks William. But who could resist a kitten that needed saving? :)


  3. This was SUCH FUN!!! Thanks ladies!!

  4. Lori, thanks for stopping by! Glad you liked it! I think we've all felt that moment when an idea hits you and you don't know WHERE it came from. Best to just go with it.


  5. Left me chuckling - fun interview! You're right, Lucy - the best ideas find us and they don't care where or when.. this is why so many great concepts get scribbled down on cocktail napkins :) I look forward to reading your book :)

    1. Joyce, you just gave me a fun visual! Picture a best seller cork-board with all the cocktail napkins pinned to it, full of ideas, and stains. :D