Lindsay Emory says she’s been a writer since the first grade when the teacher put her in a closet and told her to write instead of learning math. The author of Rushing to Die, the latest Sorority Sisters mystery, and a former sorority sister herself, Emory describes life in a sorority as “pretty intense” and said, “there are plenty of reasons to want to kill an enemy—or a sister.”
Lest she be taken the wrong way, Lindsay Emory is anything but serious. She describes her stories as “romance and mysteries full of kisses and sass and the quirky bits in between.” And, just to be clear, Emory is a member of Romance Writers of America—and the PTA—which she describes as “a whole lot less fun.”
In speaking about her main character, Emory said, “What I love about Margot Blythe is that she truly loves her sisters and friends and will do anything for them. I find her commitment and loyalty inspirational and I hope others will, too. She’s driven, determined and die-hard, and if people don’t expect that from a sorority woman then they don’t know many sorority women!”
Life hasn’t always been parties and sisterhood for Emory. While she was in college, she was interning in a US Embassy when she was called upon to handle a very difficult task. “They sent me out to ‘supervise’ the local police inspecting the hotel room where an American businessman had died in bed. It was, to the best of my knowledge, a death of natural causes.”
I never want to minimize the subject matter of death and murder.
Today, when Emory needs to deal with dead bodies, she recalls the experience. “I go back to that well and the surreal thoughts and feelings that accompany the moment and I say a prayer that I’ll never have to do it again. These are funny books, but I never want to minimize the subject matter of death and murder.”
All seriousness aside, Emory describes her books as fun, lighthearted, and occasionally tongue-in-cheek. They’re not a “tell all” type of book, but some real-life pranks do show up. Emory said, “I’ll give readers a hint: they involve African safari animals and male strippers. I can’t go into too much detail because, well, I’m not sure what the statute of limitations on these things are.” She added, “FYI, all the really good sorority secrets have been redacted out.”
There is one secret she did reveal, however. It took place while she was in college. “I was coerced at the beginning of one semester to be the designated driver for some sisters who were going to a fraternity rush party at a bar on the strip. Because I was only drinking the free Sprite the bartender served up for designated drivers, I was bored out of my mind, waiting on everyone else to want to leave. I walked around, talking to guys I knew, and I kept finding very young girls who looked familiar.
“Turned out, they were some of my chapter’s pledges. I took each of them under my older and wiser wing, and promised them that I would drive them home at the end of the night. I wanted to make sure they didn’t go home with the jerks they were talking to. My biological sister was there, too, and she wouldn’t leave until she was introduced to this guy a friend promised to set her up with.”
Emory sat at a table “watching ash grow on a cigarette” until the guy came over to meet her sister. “He had been drinking, so had she. Everyone but me was tipsy and I was not buying any of this guy’s BS as he chatted us up. Finally, the bar closed—our Bible Belt college town required bars to close at an unnaturally early time—so I rounded up all my drunk sisters and drove them to their respective dorms and apartments.
“I couldn’t wait to go back to the sorority house, change into my pajamas and go to bed. But, as sisters do, mine talked me into going to an after party. Sure enough, the same guy who she was supposed to be set up with was there and ended up flirting with me—badly. I was still sober and still unimpressed. Two nights later, a mutual friend called and said this guy asked for my number. Many years later, I’m still married to him.”
If it hadn’t been for her drunk sorority sisters begging her to attend one after party, Lindsay Emory says her life would have been very different. She said, “I wouldn’t have met the father of my children, or given him a second chance. My sorority has given me old—and new—friends, a husband and a book series. I think everyone should join one!”
Learn more about Lindsay Emory at lindsayemory.com.