23 Books Later, Louisville’s Sue Grafton is Going Strong

Sue Grafton, now 73-years-old, claims she’s slowing down.

But a quick skim of her biography would make you think otherwise. Grafton has published five books in the last 10 years. She’s currently on letter “W” in her alphabet series with “W is for Wasted,” out this month. It means she’s written a total of 23 books, with three in the series remaining—for “X,” “Y” and “Z.”

Her scorching rate of production might suggest a certain mechanical artistry—valuing speed over quality. Yet in my conversation with Grafton, she told me that she’s working harder than ever stay original, finding new plots, and avoiding repetition at all costs.

We also discussed the legacy of her father, a crime writer who worked for years as a lawyer in Louisville, and how he affected her work. 

“Part of my good fortune is that my parents were well-educated,” Grafton said. “They were avid readers. We talked about books. My father talked about the writing process long before I ever imagined writing for a living. Despite the fact that they were not very good parents, they were good people.”

Listen to the full interview below: 

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