Lisa Gardner – Q&A

Today I’m pleased to welcome Lisa Gardner to the blog. Lisa is a New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling author and her 16 novels include the FBI Profiler novels featuring Quincy and Raine including SAY GOODBYE, GONE and THE KILLING HOUR. She has also written the Detective D.D. Warren series including the International Thriller Writers’ Award winning THE NEIGHBOUR, CATCH ME, CRASH & BURN and FIND HER. Lisa’s latest novel RIGHT BEHIND YOU is published by Headline on 31 January 2017

Lisa kindly answered a few of my questions.

1. Tell us a little about Right Behind You. 

FBI profilers Pierce Quincy and Rainie Conner are ready to focus on family life with the upcoming adoption of their thirteen year old foster daughter.  When they’re called in to consult on a shooting, they’re dismayed to learn the prime suspect is Sharlah’s older brother, Telly.  With the body count mounting and the tracking team coming under fire, Quincy and Rainie must race against the clock to figure out what’s happening—and what it might have to do with the deaths of Sharlah and Telly’s parents years earlier.

2. Where did the inspiration come from for the book? 

I read an article on high-risk fugitive tracking in a magazine.  The author, who specializes in training law enforcement officers, discussed the challenges of cases where the shooter or escaped felon has no intention of being taken alive.  It’s incredibly dangerous work, not just for the trackers, but for anyone unfortunate enough to cross the fugitive’s path.   Immediately I knew I had a book idea!   So I e-mailed the author out of the blue, and convinced him to help a thriller writer with her next novel.  I think he found the whole thing rather funny.

3. Are you a plan, plan, plan writer or do you sit down and see where the words take you?  

Oh, no plan!  That would make things way too easy.  I devise my crime, then run it by real world experts to see what techniques they’d use.  Also, what complications they might encounter to thwart their efforts along the way.  Then, I’m off and running.

4. You have written two series featuring different protagonists as well as standalone novels. What do you find are the benefits and downsides to writing a series? Is the fear there that you know the characters too well or can they still surprise you?

See, now we’re back to the no plan part.  A writer with foresight would pick a character, a series and stick with it. Nope.  I gotta be all over the place.  All my books were meant to be stand alone.  But then the character grows on people and the next thing I know I’m getting requests for another book involving Quincy and Rainie, or Detective D.D. Warren, and I like the characters so much, why not.  But if I’m going to write another book, I definitely have to mess with their lives.  Such as Quincy and Rainie hoping to finally have a child, except…   So it might not actually be a kind thing to request my characters.

5. What do you do when you aren’t writing? What do you do to relax and get away from it all? 

Hiking.  Or snow shoeing this time of year.  I’m blessed to live in the gorgeous White Mountains of New Hampshire.  Inspiration is always only one short walk away.  Not to mention, it’s my dogs’ favourite part of the writing process and I like to humour them.

6. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life which book would it be? 

If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life, it would be chocolate.  One book is tougher.  Depends on your mood, you know?  I’m trying to think of a compilation.  Greek myths?  Bloody and romantic stories that have withstood the test of time.  Do I get to eat chocolate while I’m reading this one book?

7. I like to end my Q&A’s with the same question so here we go. During the Q&As and interviews you’ve done before what question have you not been asked that you wish had been asked – and what’s the answer? 

Molly.  You should ask about Molly.  She is the incredibly brave, sweet, slobbery rescue dog who won the right to appear as a tracking canine in Right Behind You.  A pit bull mix, Molly was discovered abandoned, emaciated and heavily pregnant.  Despite her own poor health, she gave birth to seven puppies and nursed them faithfully before finding her forever home with the head of my local animal shelter.  Now she attends all our board members and snores through most of them.

About the book:


“Thirteen-year-old Sharlah Nash knows that the first time her brother killed eight years ago, he did it to save their lives.

Now retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his wife Rainie Conner have offered Sharlah a new life of safety. She desperately wants to believe this is her shot at happily ever after.

Then two people are murdered in their local convenience store and Sharlah’s brother is identified as the killer.

Telly Ray Nash is on the hunt for Sharlah and as the death count rises it becomes clear that nothing and no-one, including Pierce and Rainie, will stop him getting to her.

Now, Sharlah has one chance to take control.

She can run for her life… or turn and face the danger right behind her.”

One Comment Add yours

  1. Renee says:

    Love this Q&A, Lisa Gardner has been a favorite of mine for years. Loved her new book as well:)


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