Welcome Back, Diane! I’ve known Diane for several years, but really got to know her last year through her work as Immediate Past President of Sisters in Crime. She works incredibly hard for the organization and works hard on her writing. She’s an inspiration. Diane is giving away an ebook of the first in the Madison Night mysteries Pillow Stalk. Leave a comment for a chance to win! And be sure to look for another contest at the end of this post!
Thank you for inviting me to spend time with the Wickeds! I’ll admit right off the bat that I’m jealous over what you have. Not just the blog, but the obvious camaraderie, the professional courtesy, and the respect. It’s inspiring, and it syncs perfectly with one of the themes from my upcoming book, which is friendship.
With all the murder and mayhem that goes into a mystery, it might surprise some readers to learn that the crime writing community is filled with friends. Just attend a convention like Malice Domestic and you’ll see hugs and kisses, hear laughter and good times. Grown women who room together and act like they’re attending a slumber party. And a different group of grown women who stay out until three a.m. It’s a class reunion without the social climbing. It’s a lot of fun.
One of the questions I frequently get asked about Madison Night is why she doesn’t have more friends. And while the answer to that is rooted somewhere between the nasty breakup that caused her to flee Pennsylvania for Texas prior to book 1 and my own personal shakeup that caused me to flee Texas for California (much fleeing, I know!), I also know from experience that a life without friends is a little empty.
When I first moved to California, I knew next to nobody. My job at the time provided regular contact with coworkers and customers, so I had social interaction of a sort. Long distance friendships that were born out of other jobs dissolved. New friendships were made, mostly with writers who understood my priorities. Those friends—many of them discovered through my connection to Sisters in Crime—supported me as I started my new life.
One of my favorite things about writing the Madison Night books is the journey Madison is on as a person. She turned fifty between the last book and this one, and if you read a subset of contemporary mysteries, you may think curiosity ends somewhere in the mid-thirties. But Madison is my age (ish) and she’s just as curious as ever!
When the question about Madison’s friends (or lack thereof) came up, I started thinking, why doesn’t she have friends? What does that say about her? What does that say about me? Is she too isolated? Too wrapped up in her own world? Did her emotional walls keep her from letting others in, or—the thing we all fear when we feel alone—did nobody else really care about her?
I looked at the characters who peppered the earlier books in the series and saw that Madison’s friends were on the pages all along. They were silent supporters of her new life in Texas, friends who had lives of their own too. But when she needed them the most, they were there for her, and that’s the best thing about friendship.
We see more of Madison’s friends on the pages of Lover Come Hack than in previous books, and I think that’s because Madison herself is settling into her life and finally getting comfortable. She’s letting the walls come down. I guess she’s becoming part of a wicked group of her own!
That’s not to say friendship means smooth sailing, as Madison (and anybody who reads the book) is about to find out!
Readers: Have friends helped you through the good and bad of life?
About the book:
After a falling out with a friend flips interior decorator Madison Night’s world inside out, she’s determined to revamp her life. Jane Strong, fellow mid-century modern enthusiast, encourages Madison’s entry in an upcoming design competition, but their rift makes collaboration no longer an option.
When Jane is found dead, Madison tops the suspect list. And when anonymous computer hackings interfere with both the investigation and the competition, Jane’s murder no longer seems random. With a mess of a love life, an angry client, and a looming deadline on her contest entry, Madison turns to an unlikely ally to decode a motive before a crash becomes imminent.
After two decades working for a top luxury retailer, Diane Vallere traded fashion accessories for accessories to murder. She is a three-time Lefty Award nominee for best humorous mystery and a past president of Sisters in Crime. She started her own detective agency at age ten and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since.
To celebrate the release of LOVER COME HACK, Diane is giving away a house! A reissue of a 1962 Barbie Dream House, to be specific. Get the scoop here (and get a peek at chapter one while you’re there!) https://dianevallere.com/lover-come-hack Good luck!