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  • Writer's pictureTerrie

An Interview with Author Louise Penny

Unfortunately, not MY interview, but a fascinating, well done interview by Anne Bogel of What Should I Read Next podcast (Modern Mrs Darcy blog) that I just have to share. I've been a long time listener of What Should I Read Next (WSIRN) because Anne has such an engaging style of interviewing her many listeners and occasional authors and always explores such great bookish topics.

I listened to the Louise Penny interview on my way home today and they talked about the writing of her 18th installment of the Armand Gamache (Ga-mash, not Ga-mosh) mystery series which just came out in November as well as the making of Three Pines television series available on Prime. Anne is a masterful interviewer and asked questions we all want answers to as well as thought provoking ones that wouldn't have occurred to me.

Since I was listening and not able to take notes, I can't remember specific phrases, but Louise is very articulate about sharing her processes and intentions about the books (no surprise there). For her, the books are not really about the murders and death although those are the hook that everything else hangs on. For her, the stories are about exploring emotions - loneliness (a common theme), loss, love - both romantic and platonic - friendship, and ambition to name a few.

One thing that made me smile is she admitted to being a "horizontalist"! I had to chuckle because that describes my husband exactly - his phrase is (and I've heard it a million times) "Never stand when you can sit and never sit when you can lay." Horizontalist is much more succinct. She references it in her love for massages, or relaxing in a bathtub, or a chaise. Anything horizontal!

I thoroughly enjoyed this 40 minute conversation between Anne and Louise and want all of you who are fans of Three Pines and the amazing series to hear it too. If you haven't started the series yet, pick a book, any of the 18 books, and jump in. Louise talks about how she makes an effort to write accessible books that are hospitable to any reader at any point in the series. Personally, I don't think they are completely stand-alones, but there is usually more than enough information in backstory conversations, etc. to make it easy to visit Three Pines. In this particular series I happen to be an advocate of reading them in order just for the experience of getting to know the characters.

To find this interview, visit the podcast What Should I Read Next, episode 357 'Welcome to Three Pines'. If you don't have access to a podcast app, here's a link to the recording on her website.

I read the whole series in 2022, all 17 books and am eagerly, impatiently awaiting the current one, A World of Curiosities. If you've been considering starting this engrossing series, maybe this interview will tip the scales one way or the other. If you've read a few and are familiar with the delightful characters of Three Pines, you'll enjoy the behind-the-scenes look at her perception of her characters.

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It's my goal to provide real reviews of the books I read without totally rehashing every plot. I'll never spoil a story by giving away a plot twist! Hopefully you'll find one or two of interest and will discover a new book or author to add to YOUR TBR list.  Take a moment to explore, read a couple reviews, and let me know what you think.


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