Doug Lyle, my brother Tod, and I had very nice signing at Mysteries to Die For today, where we chatted a bit about our books, writing tie-ins, and the publishing industry. You can get a taste of what I had to say in this Q&A interview with me over at Kings River Life Magazine about the writing of the MONK books and MR. MONK ON THE COUCH in particular. Here's an excerpt:
Lorie: This one was a bit different, focusing more on Natalie—why did you decide to do this and what do you feel are the benefits?
Lee: My feeling is that characters become stale if they don’t grow and that readers will become as bored with them as the author is. Natalie is a smart woman and I didn’t think she could stick with Monk, and keep investigating murders, if she didn’t find it fascinating herself. And I doubted she could do it for so long without picking up some skills along the way. It’s an arc I have been developing with her since Mr. Monk and The Dirty Cop and that pays off in a big way in Mr. Monk On Patrol, which comes out in January. She’s not the only character who is changing…I’ve also been developing an arc with Ambrose since Mr. Monk In Outer Space that takes a big step forward (so to speak) in Mr. Monk On The Couch.
Lorie: Anything else you want to share specifically about this book?
Lee: I’ve been liberated, in a sense, by the finale of the Monk TV series, which really shook things up for the characters. I have built on that over the last few books, paying off some of the arcs that began early the novel series. Like the book Mr. Monk On The Road, the book that preceded this one, Couch is a story about change. The characters and their relationships are evolving in substantial ways that continue in the books to come.