Book Series Binge: Q&A with S.C. Perkins on Ancestry Detective Series
By Crime HQMarch 30, 2020
Describe the first time you pictured Lucy Lancaster in your head.
Lucy first popped into my head when I was at a writers’ conference in Austin, Texas. I was listening to a panel about writing characters with interesting day jobs and this idea for an amateur sleuth who was a professional genealogist kept going around in my mind. Having several genealogy enthusiasts in my family and a fascination for it myself no doubt helped! That afternoon, I went up to my hotel room and wrote the first ten pages, plus a whole lot of notes. Lucy’s name, the way she looked, her personality—I saw it all immediately. I‘d created my genealogist-turned-amateur sleuth within an afternoon and yet I felt like she was a character who’d been in my heart for a long time.
Would you like to live in the setting you created for the Ancestry Detective Series?
No doubt about it! First of all, Austin is such a great place to live. But most of all, Lucy’s within walking distance to a fabulous taqueria, has amazing friends, works in a historic building (modeled after a real building just down from the Texas capitol), and lives in a fun area of town where there’s unlimited things to do. Plus, Austin has all kinds of museums and research facilities for the history geek in me. What’s not to love?
How has Lucy changed since you began the series?
In Murder Once Removed, Lucy finds herself in the unexpected situation of needing to use her knowledge of genealogy to help uncover a murderer. In Lineage Most Lethal, Lucy’s second adventure, I think she knows herself even better, and truly understands what her particular skill set can do when looking into the past for people’s connections. Lucy has also realized that it’s not in her DNA to turn away when someone is in trouble, even if it gets her into trouble herself. And this time, she’ll learn she comes by that trait honestly, from a very special person in her own family tree!
How would Lucy describe herself?
“Thank you so much for asking! I love being a genealogist and I take great pride in helping my clients trace their ancestries. I’m also honest and a good friend, even if I admittedly can be stubborn as a mule from time to time. Still, I try my best to always do the right thing and avoid interfering in investigations…though, you know, a certain FBI agent might disagree with that…and possibly a certain taqueria owner, too… Okay, and now I can hear my two best friends snort-laughing in the background as I say this, so we might want to wrap this thing up. Tacos, anyone?”