In an interview with Lisa Lutz, Olivia Rutigliano from Crime Reads asks the famed crime fiction writer how she is able to write beautifully complex, competent, and brilliant women investigators and characters in her mystery novels, something that has mostly been written with male characters in mind.
How do you write your women characters—are there essential qualities you feel a good female protagonist must have?
Lisa Lutz: I don’t know. It really depends on the story. I mean, sure, there are similarities—I don’t tend to write about women who put on a front, whether it’s physical or emotional. There’s enough of that bullshit in life. I like my characters to be difficult, amusing (in varying degrees), slightly insane (also to varying degrees). Write what you know, they say.
I also have to admit that when I write women I’m thinking about what I want to put out in the universe. I’m not saying that I think Isabel or Alex would be anyone’s role model, but if they help one person be a little less uptight or more themselves (because sometimes uptight is your personality, and I think you should own that) then I’ve done my job or part of my job.
Read more of the interview on Crime Reads.