Lucinda Mack -
Voice for the Voiceless
By Carin Chea
Prolific poet and rising novelist Lucinda Mack's upcoming book, Nightsticks and Negligees, is a blend of prose, poetry, and thrill.
Though Nightsticks and Negligees may be a murder mystery, it serves as much more. Written for the friends and family who are no longer with her, Mack advocates for those who were voiceless.
Per Plato: "Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet."
Lucinda Mack whispers back the heart songs of those who were never able to sing.
You are very multi-faceted and worked in industries other than writing. How did you discover that writing was your calling?
When I was a young girl, about maybe 9 or 10, I had gotten very ill and I was paralyzed from the waist down. I had scarlet fever, Rocky Mountain tick disease, arthritis - I was confined. They didn't know what I had, and so people kept away from me.
I was an entity to myself because back then, there weren't iPhones. So, I asked for paper and pencil and began to write.
I suffered for about 3 years, and then one day, I just got up and was fine.
That's incredible. Those 3 years may have incubated your creative writing abilities.
Prior to writing your upcoming crime thriller, you were a prolific poet. Tell us about that facet of your writing career.
I started writing poetry, and then decided to branch out. I also take poetry into this book. I wanted to see if I could write a book that could be a story with poetry that would add to the flavors of the characters and the story.
I have the characters expressing themselves through poetry to one another.
What was the impetus behind Nightsticks and Negligees? What was the inspiration behind this novel?
I was inspired by two different shows.
The first show was Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley, and its musical score enthused me.
Right after that, a day or two later, I watched a mini-series called Slasher. It's a Canadian show currently on Netflix and it stars Katie McGrath. It was the actual murderer himself who enthused me because most people couldn't figure out who it was, and in the end, it turned out to be one of sheriffs.
I also love music, and I listened to a lot of Hans Zimmer.
I wrote the book because I had a couple family members pass away, and a friend who killed herself. She was a lesbian and was confused about her identities. The intention was to bring some of my friends and family who are no longer with us, and the inspiration was to honor them and to bring a voice to those who are struggling.
I also want to add my voice to other peoples'.
Everyone asks me if I'm a lesbian. I'm not. Certainly, not being a gay person, I don't know everything gay people go through. But, for the people I knew many years ago, they lived in a time when it was not okay to be open. Love is love, it doesn't matter who you are.
Are any of the main characters drawn from individuals you know in your real life?
Both of the characters are based on people who have passed. They have the personality traits of those two people.
I also think a lot of my own personality is in the protagonist. I think she looks at life like I do: She's flexible and looks at life from an open perspective.
I understand you are working on a sequel. Do you see Nightsticks and Negligees developing into a trilogy or even a larger book series?
Nightsticks and Negligees is actually is a three-parter, meaning the book itself is divided into 3 chapters. I am finishing Nightsticks and Negligees II, and I don't know if it'll be trilogy. I have to see how readers respond to the first two books.
What do you want to imprint onto your readers' minds once they read Nightsticks and Negligees?
I want them to walk away saying that our differences lie in the way we cope with life.
I think we all have problems in this world, and no matter where we are or who we are or what socioeconomic status we belong to, our commonalities are that we love and think and cope with things in certain ways. Our link is being human.
You're also a stand-up comedienne. If your book was dramatized, whether onstage or on film, do you see yourself playing any of the roles (main or supporting)?
I couldn't play the leading roles because the girls in this book are in their 30s, but I'd certainly like to play a supporting role, like one of the secretaries. Or maybe a dispatcher, and all the characters would be running around me.
I could see a whole scenario where I'd be calm and eating a candy bar while everyone else is frenetic. Or maybe I'd be a cafeteria lady.
Who would you cast as the two leads if Nightsticks and Negligees were to be made into a film?
Katie McGrath in one role, and Melissa Benoist in the other role. In this book, the characters use each other to gain strength. It's their differences that make them stronger.
For more information on Lucinda Mack's current and upcoming projects, please visit www.LucindaMack.com
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