Though she was born and raised in Missouri, Lora Roberts has lived for twenty years in Palo Alto, California, where her two mystery series featuring homemaker/writer Bridget Montrose and vagabond Liz Sullivan take place. After doing newspaper work, public relations work, technical editing, and romances, Lora really enjoy writing mysteries.
She has set most of her books where she lives, to avoid all that tedious research, but her fictional Palo Alto shares only physical characteristics with the real one, and perhaps a certain mind-set. The characters and local events are made up--for her, that's the fun part. Lora had a couple of things in common with her fictional sleuths--she gardens, and she writes for a living. Her life, she says, is much duller than theirs, though. In fact, she's thinking of getting herself a fictional life, which she can make much more exciting.
I love writing mysteries. It's like letting your life get wildly out of control, and then--presto!--imposing order on it. Talk about personal satisfaction--I certainly can't get my real life cleaned up like that. But there's also the deeper satisfaction we all achieve as mystery readers. The books we love do involve violence, even when it's off-screen. But in fictional crime, that violence is contained, and turned from randomness to something motivated by human passions, something we can understand. And then, at the end, there is justice. That's certainly better than what we get from the newspapers or TV.