Novelist Carla Buckley searched for more than a year for the perfect disease to give one of the main characters in her newest title, The Deepest Secret. In the end she chose xeroderma pigmentosum, an extreme sensitivity to light. “I really wanted to talk about a mother and her teenage son,” Buckley tells us. “To push that relationship into high [gear], I wanted to throw something in that they could both be struggling with. I explored a number of illnesses and then I found this one. The moment I stumbled on this one, I knew it was the one I wanted to use. Everything fell into place. Once I knew what disease I was going to be talking about, I could see those characters and what they were facing, what was pushing them together and then pushing them apart.”
Buckley’s third novel, The Deepest Secret follows Eve and her teenage son, Tyler, as they struggle with his illness. Eve has made keeping Tyler safe her main priority, on constant vigil for his safety and shaping her life around his needs. When she’s faced with the decision to sacrifice her best friend’s daughter in order to keep Tyler safe, Eve makes what some readers will think is the wrong choice.
“What I try to do is show people as people, not your stereotypical bad guy, not driven by the terrible motivations of greed and selfishness. Everybody is doing the best they can given the circumstances, and that sometimes makes them do unlikable things. My hope is that the reader, even if they don’t agree with what my characters are doing, can understand them. I always have my characters, with the best of intentions, make the worst of choices. Isn’t that how people are?”
6:30 p.m. Murder by the Book, 2342 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-524-8597 or visit murderbooks.com. Free.
Tue., Feb. 11, 6:30 p.m., 2014