Mysteries, Margaritas, and a Grilling

There’s a long Q&A interview with me over at the Mysteries and Margaritas blog. Here’s an excerpt:

Mary: You write books and you write screenplays. I’ve heard they are completely different animals. Do you find it hard to do both? Or in your mind do they complement each other?

Lee: They do compliment each other. I was a reporter first… and that taught me how to write tightly, to say more with less, and to craft strong leads. It also trained me to meet deadlines and to be a ruthless editor. I became a screenwriter when one of my books was optioned for film and I got hired to write the script.

I think that being a screenwriter, particularly for TV, has made me a much better novelist. You have to write outlines for TV, so it has forced me to focus on plot before I start writing my books. I’m not figuring things out as I go along as some authors do. I know exactly where I am going…though I may change how I get there along the way.

Being a TV writer has also trained me to focus on a strong, narrative drive, to make sure that every line of dialogue either reveals character or advances the plot (or both), and to cut anything that’s extraneous or bogs the story down. I also suspect that being a TV writer has given my books a faster pace and more of a cinematic structure.


I also talk about what I wear in bed, so you really don’t want to miss it.

Leave a Comment