Author Interview with J. L. Doucette!
Rhode Island based psychologist, J. L. Doucette is the author of the Dr. Pepper Hunt Mysteries. Her new novel, On a Quiet Street, is the second in the series following her award-winning debut, Last Seen. After earning a doctorate in counseling psychology from Boston University she moved to southwest Wyoming. The stark landscape of the high-desert, where a constant wind stirs crimes of passion, is the setting for her psychological mysteries.
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Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?
I have always loved stories and the beauty and effectiveness of words to convey meaning. The first adult book I read was Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I was moved by the insight the book provided into the character’s internal experience. I wanted to be able to do that.
Describe your desk / writing space. My desk is in front of a large window that overlooks a river. On the desk I have lots of small mementos of Wyoming the setting for My mystery novels.
Do you have a writing routine, or do you write when inspired? I write most mornings. I used to be a night writer, but the timing switched organically for no particular reason I can point to. I like morning writing it gives me a sense of accomplishment. I feel more alive on the days I write in the morning I think because of the mental boost from being creative.
How do you come up with the title to your books? The titles, Last Seen, On A Quiet Street, and Unknown Assailant are all terms I read in newspaper reports of murders.
What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write? In my last novel there are two love scenes because the relationship between the two main characters progressed to that level of intimacy. These scenes were hard to write because I wanted them to convey the various levels of intimacy experienced. My favorite scene was in the first novel, where one of the detectives visits the crimes scene, which happens to be on the top of a mountain, and he is confronting the desolation of the landscape and the corresponding desolation of the crime.
What inspired your book/series? True crime stories which I then altered and amplified into fiction I am drawn to rime with strong psychological context.
What are you working on next? Book 4 in the Dr. Pepper Hunt Mystery Series. The working title is Innocent Bystander, which begins with an infant kidnapping.
What authors or books have influenced your writing? Tana French, the Irish author The Dublin Murder Squad Series and Jane Harper, the Australian suspense author. author. They both create ensemble characters that develop through the series.
If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live? A tropical island in the 1930’s
What is your favorite meal? Steak Frites
Coffee or tea? Wine or beer? Coffee, wine
Describe yourself in three words. Curious. Persistent. Resilient.