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9780425280928I have two sisters. My mother’s best friend was her sister, who also had three girls. We spent all our vacations together and we’re all still close. I’d show you a recent picture of me with my cousin Elizabeth that attests to our closeness despite the fact that I take after my father’s side of the family and hover around a foot taller than her, but I wouldn’t want to be responsible for you spewing coffee out your nose onto your computer keyboard.

My point is not that I’m freakishly tall, it’s that I grew up in a way that fostered and revered female friendship and that finds its way into my books. In Kernel of Truth and Pop Goes the Murder,” Rebecca is surrounded by female friends. She has her sister. She has Annie from the shop next door and she has Faith who works in the antique shop down the street. Her belief in female friendship is actually a bit of a blind spot for her. She can’t quite fathom the idea of a woman who would undercut other women. It doesn’t make sense to her.

I think my own personal reliance on female friends is part of why I enjoy creating the town around Rebecca so much in the Popcorn Shop Mysteries. My friends have supported me through some very dark days, have challenged me to be a better person, have had my back when things got tough, have laughed with me, have cried with me, and often have done those last two at wildly inappropriate times. It’s fun to create that same kind of life for Rebecca. My friends have made my life more interested and rich and I think they make Rebecca’s life richer and more interesting as well.

Chekhov very famously said that you shouldn’t have a pistol on the wall in the first act if it’s not going to be fired in the second. I probably shouldn’t bring up a photo unless I’m willing to show it to you. Fair warning. Swallow that coffee. Here it is:

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FYI: I’m wearing flats.

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