A Bookish Conversation with Mystery Author Abby Bardi

Abby Bardi is the author of three novels: Double Take, The Secret Letters, and The Book of Fred. Her short fiction has appeared in anthologies and journals, and she has written academic articles on Roma (Gypsies). She grew up on the South Side of Chicago and now lives in Ellicott City, MD, the oldest railroad town in America.



What’s inside the mind of an author?

I think most writers are always thinking about stories. I had lunch with a friend the other day and she was telling me about something her grandchildren did that hurt her feelings and by the time we’d finished eating, we had shaped the whole traumatic event into a short story (she’s a writer, too).

What is so great about being an author?

Writing novels is a lot like time travel (I’m working on a time-travel novel right now) where you move into alternate realities. You get to shed your own identity and poke your nose into other people’s business, read their mail, eavesdrop on their personal lives. The world of a novel has no boundaries.

When do you hate it?

I don’t enjoy the fact that writing is a business with a bottom line. I’m no longer na├»ve about this, but I still find it confusing sometimes. 

What is a regular writing day like for you?

I write every morning for a few hours. It’s my treat before the work day.

What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?

I don’t actually tell people that. I was at a party last night and just as I was leaving, a guy I know mentioned how much he had liked my first novel, The Book of Fred. I had no idea that he even knew I was a writer, let alone that he had read it! But I appreciated it.

What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?

I take a break at certain times of the year, like when I have a lot of work (I teach English, so I do a lot of grading).

Any writing quirks?

I tend to work on multiple books at once, which is a little weird, I guess. I rotate them to let them cool off so I can see what needs fixing.

What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby?

Well, I don’t think people around me take my writing very seriously. They just want me to cook them dinner. That’s okay with me.

Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate?

Yes, definitely. I get mad at writing every few years and walk out on it, but then I always come crawling back.

Do you think success as an author must be linked to money?

Definitely not. Many great writers didn’t make any money, and many bad ones did. I don’t see money as validating. On the other hand, it can be hard to finance a writing addiction, so money is helpful.

What has writing taught you?

Writing has taught me humility. I can write something I think is amazing and then when I read it again, I see that it’s actually horrible. Writing is never finished, so it has taught me to be very disciplined and industrious, qualities that were not in my nature.

Leave us with some words of wisdom.

Books are important! Buy them!

About the Book:

Title: Double Take
Author: Abby Bardi
Publisher: Harper Collins Impulse
Pages: 186
Genre: Mystery
Set in Chicago, 1975, Double Take is the story of artsy Rachel Cochrane, who returns from college with no job and confronts the recent death of Bando, one of her best friends. When she runs into Joey, a mutual friend, their conversations take them back into their shared past and to the revelation that Bando may have been murdered. To find out who murdered him, Rachel is forced to revisit her stormy 1960s adolescence, a journey that brings her into contact with her old friends, her old self, and danger.


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