Writers Take the Lazy Route

Caution: K & Z’s conversations reveal some details about Dirty Little Secrets’ plot.

Our last conversation took place after Z & I completed Dirty Little Secrets.

We are riding to his school.

Z: The ending sucks.

K: Why do you say that?

Z: In the end she just burns her house down and walks away for it to be someone else’s problem. (He laughs.) She (Lucy) doesn’t walk away because Kaylie’s mom sees it on the way to work so she comes and says she’s going to like take care of her. She (Lucy) just burned it down and I think her mom burned up inside too—the dead body or whatever. So she doesn’t have to clean anything up so she can say the house was accidentally burned down. Then at the end you don’t see what happens afterward.

K: Like what? What do you think we should have seen that happened afterwards?

Z: Well she hooked up with the dude Josh Lee right before that. Then she came home and burned down the house.

K: So, what might happen later on in the day?

Z: Well, Sarah was going to come back.

K: Oh, yeah. So when you say we don’t see what happens next were you talking about with Josh? Is that why ---

Z: And Sarah, and her brother.

K: How did you think it was going to end?

Z: I don’t know. I’ve learned to expect nothing more from authors. They always take the lazy route. Just say what happens –just say the last thing that happens and say OK that’s the end of the story.

K: (Laughing.) What else can they do, or you would be reading forever? The book would be 500 pages.

Z: OK. But still.

K: When you say the lazy way you feel like—how would you have written it differently?

Z: I would have said what happened. At least a watcha call it? An epilogue?

K: Uh huh.

Z: To say in a summary way what happened at least.

K: Oh, like what happened in her life? Is she going to college and stuff like that?

Z: Uh huh.

K: But do you think that the author did that to set up a sequel?

Z: Maybe. Maybe yeah. Maybe it’s not so lazy if you’re setting up a sequel, but if you just leave it that way and never come out with another one then you’re not doing your job.

K: So—

Z: I don’t want to see no companionship book. I want it to be the same people.

K: (Laugh.) You rather have a sequel than a companion [novel]?

Z: Yeah.

K: What did you think of Lucy (the protagonist)?

Z: She was not a very confident person.

K: What made you think that?

Z: She kept saying, “Josh Lee with me?” every five seconds and I was like geez he’s talking to you.

K: Yeah, I noticed that too.

Z: Then she felt guilt about something that was not her fault which is her mom dying under her own trash pile. (He laughs.)

Then she had to do something that wasn’t really her job either which was cleaning it up.

K: Would you recommend this book to somebody?

Z: Uh, yes!