NANCY BOYARSKY Liar Liar
978-1611532548 Light Messages Publishing, lightmessages.com
Truth, not surprisingly, plays an important role in Liar Liar. In light of the #Metoo movement, what excited you about writing this latest Nicole Graves mystery?
I got the idea for Liar Liar from the news. The book’s premise began with a rape trial that led to murder. Here, Nicole is assigned to “babysit” a young woman plaintiff in a civil trial brought after authorities failed to act against an accused rapist, the star quarterback at the university they attend. The push-pull between truth and deceit is almost always present in such cases. A rapist will deny what he’s done, claiming it was consensual or never happened. What intrigued me was a story in which practically no one is telling the truth. The victim was abused, but not the way she claims, and just about everyone is lying.
As a feminist with a background in politics and the justice system, are you feeling a sense of gratification that female victims of sex crimes are finally starting to be believed?
I’m truly thrilled that #Metoo allowed so many to come forward with stories of abuse that have haunted them or even ruined their lives. In the past, it took incredible courage to lodge such complaints because employers, schools, and the justice system were often unsympathetic, as happens in Liar Liar. Often the accused walked away, leaving the victim feeling violated once again. Now that #Metoo has been embraced by so many, I believe that men will hesitate to resume their old behavior.
After a long career writing nonfiction, what is it about mysteries/thrillers that stimulates your pen?
I always wanted to write a mystery but didn’t know how to begin. In a class at UCLA Extension, the teacher handed out a sheet explaining how to set up a mystery plot. With that, I sat down and made my first attempt at mystery writing. It was wonderful letting my imagination run free, inventing a story and inhabiting it with people I made up. Writing fiction is play. My favorite part is rewriting the story until the kinks are worked out, the connections made, the characters filled out. I had so much fun writing Liar Liar!