If I wasn’t a writer . . .
I’d be really sad. Think of all the people and places I’d have missed. I wouldn’t know Erin Murphy, star of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries, or Pepper Reece, the driving force behind my Spice Shop Mysteries. I wouldn’t have met Sarah Carter, the main character in Bitterroot Lake, my suspense debut, or the many characters who come to life in my short stories.
Jewel Bay, the Food Lovers’ Village, is based on the town I live in, so I’d still have a glimmer of the place, and I’d still have my memories of prowling Seattle’s Pike Place Market, first as a college student and later as a young adult working in downtown Seattle. But I wouldn’t have nearly as many excuses to travel to Seattle regularly for research – by research, of course, I mean “eat.”
And I wouldn’t be able to introduce you, the readers, to these people and places. To show you life through the eyes of a young woman who’s returning home to Montana after fifteen years away only to find that the place has changed – and so has she. To explore with you the vibrant, colorful Market, with all its food and shops and eccentric personalities, its nooks and crannies and alcoves, and its fascinating history, truly the soul and stomach of a city I love. I wouldn’t have been able to take you back in time to Montana in 1910 or Montana Territory in 1894, or to Athens and the Mani Peninsula of southern Greece.
If I weren’t a writer, I would not have met so many fabulous readers. So many wonderful authors, booksellers, librarians, editors and other book people. There are several states and numerous cities and towns I wouldn’t have visited, if not for mystery conventions and conferences and book tours. So many conversations and connections and insights I’d have missed.
Would I still be practicing law full-time? Perish the thought! Would I have followed my creative spirit deeper into art? I do love to paint, in watercolor and pastels. Pursued photography seriously or picked up my classical guitar again? I’ve often said that in my next life, I want to be a rock-and-roll singer, but that’s not an option in this world – I’m not much of a singer. Clearly, anything else I’d have chosen would have been in the arts.
Honestly, I don’t want to think a whole lot about my life if I weren’t a writer. It would be a lot less rich, a lot less full, a lot less fun.
They say each book teaches you how to write it. That’s true, of course, but it’s also true that each book has shown me that writing is what I was meant to do, ever since I first scribbled my name on my father’s desk at four.
Thanks for making the trip with me. ~ Leslie Budewitz
Leslie Budewitz is a three-time Agatha Award winner and the best-selling author of the Spice Shop mysteries, set in Seattle, and the Food Lovers’ Village mysteries, inspired by Bigfork, Montana, where she lives. As Alicia Beckman, she writes moody suspense, making her debut with Bitterroot Lake in April 2021. Leslie is a national board member of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime.
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