|The Absent Woman
Of all my novels, this one has attracted the most interest. I wrote it when I was, yes, living in a small fishing village in the Pacific Northwest, like Virginia Johnstone, the main character. And like Virginia, I had turned my world upside-down and was very busy setting it to rights. My characters often disturb their comfortable worlds.
These Rebecca stories follow a little road trip I once took. In a sense, Rebecca was my companion. I use the same locations, though many of the details are pure fiction. She came to gradual life after I reported a trial in which the defense attorney, an aging woman (like Rebecca, fifty, red-headed, ungainly, easily rattled) was overpowered by a slick young attorney who I thought was representing a dishonest client.
Watching the trial, my sympathy was aroused. The red-headed attorney had trapped herself in a prison of immaturities. Gradually she became Rebecca Quint. Her fictional life, it turns out, touches on some of the ways in which I, too, had trapped myself. When you read my fiction, you are hearing the key turn in the lock.
Susan Writes Mysteries and Suspense
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