Foreword Reviews - - Reviews | Adult Nonfiction -

978-1611532548 Light Mes­sages Pub­lish­ing, lightmes­

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!

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