|Photo is from the author's website |
- When asked what inspired him to write mysteries, Lutz said he always knew he wanted to write, but was especially inspired as a young teen by Ray Bradbury's short story, A Sound of Thunder. As for writing mysteries, that was what was selling when he started out.
- Lutz is not overly concerned about the effect e-books will have on publishing. He feels that e-readers will drop in price, and may eventually be given away as promotions to encourage customers to buy e-books. Television did not bring about the end of radio and the movies, and e-publishing won't bring about the demise of publishing. Books will adapt, even if no one knows yet exactly what that will look like.
- Asked his opinion on bestsellers such as Stieg Larsson's, Lutz says that blockbuster successes by other authors are good news for all writers, not cause for resentment. Reading a good book naturally makes a reader want to read more good books, and that is good for the publishing industry.
- When planning a new book, Lutz looks for the hook and writes his synopsis first, so he knows where it's going.
- Lutz writes about serial killers. Although he has read factual studies about serial killers, he is more interested in readers' perceptions of them than in the reality.
- He feels that characters are primary. Readers may forget the details of a plot, but they will remember the characters. Plot must be character-driven.
- Lutz thinks of his novel scenes in visual terms, as if filming a movie.
- Authors he likes include Joseph Conrad and Saki (H.H. Munro). He has been rereading older PI and thriller authors such as Ross MacDonald and Geoffrey Household.
- To write a good mystery, Lutz says, first of all you have to write a good novel.
- In his 1995 book, Death by Jury, private investigator Alo Nudger, goes to the Maplewood Library, and Lutz mentions Terry--by name--when Nudger checks out his books. Yes, it's true--my husband has a cameo in a John Lutz novel! (According to Terry, Nudger never did return those books. If I'd known, I could have brought it up during the question-and-answer part of the presentation.)