Louise Penny on The Nature of the Beast
Louise Penny's newest book is The Nature of the Beast. It's the latest in the series of mystery novels about Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and the village of Three Pines.
ON LEAVING HER DAY JOB TO BE A WRITER
"It seemed, at the time, like a reasonable move to make. As it turned out, it was far more difficult and a lot more emotionally trying than I had expected."
ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF GAMACHE'S CHARACTER:
"A lot has happened to him. It's not as though Gamache himself has changed, although some events have changed him. It's that we see different aspects of his personality. We see in one of the books, he comes very close himself to cold-blooded murder, and we see in a book where he does kill people. It was inconceivable that this could happen in [the first Gamache book] Still Life. So it's interesting for me to to explore that, it's really peeling back the layers of this man."
ON REFERENCING THE C.S LEWIS BOOK, SURPRISED BY JOY
"I came across it early in my sobriety. And that was a magical time, because I thought I was going to die by my own hand. I was thirty-five and I couldn't see going through another year of life, never mind another forty years. So when I asked for help and got it through a twelve step program, it seemed — and perhaps it was — a miracle. At that time, I was surprised by joy, because I had been so dark and so negative and so afraid. Then, to find happiness and the freedom that comes from not having to drink every day and finding friends, and finding myself, and finding real joy. That's when I came across the phrase and the book Surprised by Joy."
Louise Penny's comments have been edited and condensed.