Deborah Coonts is not only a fun writer (her latest about Vegas Casino entertainment director Lucky O’Toole, Lucky Bastard, is a great reminder of this), but a fun person. I’m looking forward to introducing you all to her at the Wine, Women, and Mystery event we’ll be doing with Kay Kendall on Wednesday, August 14th at 7pm. To give you some idea of her personality, here’s an interview we recently did with Deborah.
DEBORAH COONTS: Poker…what an interesting world. The players and their superstitions, quirks, compulsions. The hangers-on: women in skimpy dresses, the curious, the odd, the stalker looking for some reflected celebrity. It’s all there in the world of pro poker. I think what intrigued me the most was that the amateurs and the pros played at the same tables, with the amateurs often winning. What other game is like that? I guess golf to some degree, but since there is a good bit of luck involved in poker and less skill (I’m not saying there is not skill involved, just less) that evens the play field, whittling away at the pros’ advantage. Sorta cool that the underdog has a good chance of taking home the bacon.
MP: 2. How has Lucky changed from the first book?
DC: Lucky has grown personally, gaining wisdom and insight, I hope. She has discovered more about herself, her wants her needs… her limitations. And, she’s becoming …more. As I hope we all do in real life. As we gain experience, our perspective changes even though fundamentally we may still be the same person. So, too, with Lucky. Of course, she still struggles with the men in her life and with keeping a balance–her job is pretty intense. And her mother remains a burr under her saddle….. And her wit is now well-honed….
MP: You get to draw from a group of great supporting characters when it comes to Lucky’s coworkers, friends, and family. Is there any character who is particularly fun to write?
DC: I love Miss P, Lucky’s cougar of an assistant with her dry, sardonic takes on Lucky and her foibles. I love the repartee between the two of them. Miss P keeps Lucky in check (some of the time.) And Lucky keeps Miss P from being dowdy. A friendship worth striving for in real life…. And I love Lucky’s mother, Mona. She is a pistol always doing the wrong thing for the right reasons and expecting Lucky to run to her rescue. And Lucky is getting more clever in how she deals with her mother…..
MP: What it is the most enjoyable thing about writing for Lucky?
DC: The fun, for sure. Finding the silly things in Vegas to incorporate in the story–yes, my research is a hoot. In fact, I have a waiting list of folks who want to accompany me to, say, a male strip club or Drink and Drag. And, I also love dreaming up Lucky’s one-liners. Oh, and the men…. Hey, I’m not very good at finding interesting men in my own life, so I have a great time making them up. And, I can make them how I’d like them to be. And, when they get tiresome, as men are wont to do, I can kill them off without risk of jail time. So, it’s a win-win all the way around.
MP: What is the most important thing for you to give a reader?
DC: A laugh!