Skip to main content


April 28, 2012

Meet Carol, Mother of Lisa Brackmann!

Posted by Dana

Lisa Brackmann is a writer, Chinese student and beach bum. Her first published novel was ROCK PAPER TIGER (Soho Press, 2010), which made a number of year’s end “best” lists, including Amazon’s Top 100 Books of 2010 and Top 10 Mystery/Thrillers. Her second, GETAWAY (Soho Press, 2012), is about a Mexican vacation gone very wrong. She blames the margaritas…

Below is an interview between Lisa and her mother, Carol. 

Did you read to Lisa as a child? What did you read?

I did --- we read all of the little picture books, and then Dr Seuss. Her favorites were always about cats and space when she was a little older. A natural favorite was “Space Cat”.

(Lisa’s note: I loved cats and was a huge “Star Trek” fan—so, yeah, Cats in Space, what’s not to like?)

When did you suspect that you might have a writer on your hands?

Actually, I thought she would be an artist, and then a musician when she was young. As I recall, the writing came later --- although she did have little stories to illustrate her pictures. Her kindergarten teacher was concerned that each and every picture she drew had at least one cat in it. My favorite was a house with kitties looking out all the many windows. It was labeled “Cat House”!

Given that your other daughter is also a writer (Dana Fredsti, author of Plague Town, Titan Press, April 2012) what are some possible explanations? Nature or nurture? Genetic mutation? Shared mental illness? Discuss.

Well, we always had books around. I never had to encourage them to read --- more like “Please clean your room”, followed by the inevitable “Just one more chapter, Mom”. I think shared mental illness might be the governing factor. Also, over-active imaginations.

What books did Lisa and Dana read while growing up? Any favorites that stand out? Did you encourage them to read any particular books?

As mentioned above, they both liked the Space cat books. Also books by Ursula Le Guin. Even the Nancy Drew books, as I recall, although they came in for some satire.

(Lisa’s note: Our mother was the worst, which is to say, funniest, offender in the ongoing Nancy Drew Satire Jam)

What kind of books do you enjoy reading, and who are your favorite authors?

Mysteries, mysteries, and mysteries. I love the Brits --- PD James, Ruth Rendell, Reginald Hill, Peter Robinson. Pretend Brits like Deborah Crombie.  Americans Laura Lippmann, T Jefferson Parker, Sue Grafton. Currently I have been going through Canadian Louise Penny’s books --- one to go. And of course Lisa Brackmann and Dana Fredsti!