Lena Gregory is the author of Whole Latte Murder, the fifth book in the All-Day Cafe Mystery series. In addition, Lena also writes the Bay Island Psychic Mysteries, which take place on a small island between the north and south forks of Long Island, New York.
Friendship at the core of Whole Latte Murder
Lena describes the core idea behind Whole Latte Murder as a question of how far one friend would go to protect another.
“In A Waffle Lot of Murder, All-Day Breakfast Café #4, Harley, a good friend of Gia’s, ends up injured. In that story, she heads recklessly off into danger to avenge him and put whoever hurt him away. As I was writing that, I got to thinking, if she acted that out of character for Harley, what would she do if someone hurt Savannah? What would she do if Savannah went missing and there was literally nothing she could do to help find her? The idea for Whole Latte Murder was born from those thoughts.”
While some issues regarding this idea were brought up in previous series’ books, Lena feels those issues come front and center this time. “Gia has to decide what she’s willing to do, and who she’s willing to do it with, to save Savannah’s life. She also has to decide if she’s going to stand by the woman who’s always been there for her, help her through one of the most difficult and traumatic experiences of her life, or if she needs to go after a killer, seek justice for Savannah and make sure no one can come after her again. I find it interesting that Gia doesn’t always make the right decisions, but she usually does so for the right reasons.”
A childhood dream fulfilled
Lena said she’s been an avid reader all her life. One of her favorite series was, of course, the Nancy Drew Mysteries. “I would wait patiently each time a new book released, and as soon as it came in the mail, I’d run outside and sit beneath a big tree and escape into their world until I’d finished it. I loved the mysteries, but I also loved the characters and couldn’t wait to catch up with everything new they were doing.”
When Lena started writing, her goal was to create enjoyable mysteries with a cast of characters a reader would want to have as friends. In both my series, each character’s journey is just as important to me as the plot of each story and the friendship between the characters. One of the best compliments I’ve ever received from a reader was when he compared the characters in my Bay Island Psychic Mysteries to Nancy, Bess, and George.”
A true pantser in Whole Latte Murder
Writers generally fall into one of two broad categories—some like to plot out their stories, others like to go along for the journey and see where the story ends. Lena said that she usually likes to stop a third of the way through and again at about two thirds of the way through to reassess and decide how to proceed. This time, however, things were different.
“While writing Whole Latte Murder, I never stopped. I started at the beginning and wrote straight through to the end without going back to read over and figure out where to go. The other thing that was different for me about writing this book compared to others is the fact that I knew who the killer was going to be when I started writing. Sometimes, I don’t have a clue until the final chapter who it will turn out to be.”
Breakfast with dad
“My favorite memories in the name of research came with my All-Day Breakfast Café series. My father and I always made a habit of going out to breakfast together, and in researching that series, we enjoyed many breakfast dates at the diner that came to be featured in the All-Day Breakfast Café series.”
Learn more about Lena Gregory at lenagregory.com. Did you like this interview? If so, click here to read more Behind the Story interviews from your favorite authors.