A Wickedly Fun Chat with the Sisters of Suspense – Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush

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Sisters of suspense Nancy Bush and Lisa Jackson have not only teamed up for their newest book, Wicked Dreams, but also this chat! Get to know them and their thrilling The Colony series.

Lisa Jackson:

Do you remember how we came up for the idea of the WICKED SERIES?

Nancy Bush:

I do. We were driving to a conference in Silverdale, Washington and were talking about doing a series with some paranormal elements.

Lisa Jackson:

That’s right. We were drinking Diet Coke and eating M&M peanuts, which kinda defeated the purpose of the diet soda. You were at the wheel and I was sitting shotgun when we started spit-balling.

Nancy Bush:

I remember we started talking about the girls who all belonged to a cult and were related. We wanted to give them some kind of paranormal “gift,” each girl’s a little different from her sister’s.

Lisa Jackson:

And you came up with the names. All very cool. Once we decided on the names and their particular gifts, we started working on the first story, Wicked Game.

Nancy Bush:

We thought it would be great to set the stories on the Oregon Coast, near the ocean. It helped that our family has a beach house where you and I go to write when the kids and grandkids aren’t there.  So, we’re pretty familiar with the beach towns and the weather and the attitude. We just had to had a little woo-woo and murders to juice the area up.

Lisa Jackson:

You came up with the idea of naming the place Siren Song which I thought was brilliant! We wanted a cult feel, mainly a cult of women.

Nancy Bush:

Yeah . . .the men connected to Siren Song were definitely bad guys. Murdering psychos to be more precise.

Lisa Jackson:

Then along came our heroes.

Nancy Bush:

Who thought all of our heroines were whackos!

Lisa Jackson:

Well, they weren’t wrong. Whackos with a capital W. But interesting, I think, and you managed to tie each of the sister’s names to old Greek myths.

Nancy Bush:

Not all, but a number of them.

Lisa Jackson:

That’s how you connected them to their unique psychic gifts.

Nancy Bush:

Loosely. That part was fun. Actually, I thought all of the books in the series, Wicked GameWicked LiesSomething WickedWicked Ways and now, finally, the latest and last book, Wicked Dreams, were fun to write.

Lisa Jackson:

They were, but complicated. And the history that goes with them.

Nancy Bush:

Easy to forget parts of the history! That had to be folded in and everything tied up in Wicked Dreams.

Lisa Jackson:

People always ask me if we ever fight. And other than our growing-up years where you stole clothes out of my closet, we really don’t. I think maybe we’ve had 3 fights as adults? All resolved within an hour. I remember getting a little heated when we started Wicked Game, but we shut the computer down, went to the bar and had a drink and by the time we got back to the hotel room, we were cool again.

Nancy Bush:

Borrowed clothes . . . Ha! Yes, we resolve problems between us pretty fast. People ask me how we write as a team. It works out pretty well as we plot out the stories together, then take turns writing and editing. Depending on our work load, one person usually writes more of the book than the other, but it all evens out.

Lisa Jackson:

We’ve done it for so long, working together for what? Forty-some years now? Wow. And we’re still at it. So now that we’re done with this series, what’re you working on?

Nancy Bush:

I’m just finishing The Camp, which will be available later summer 2023. It’s the follow-up book in the River Glen Series to The BabysitterThe Gossip, and The NeighborsThe Camp is a kind of a retro, throw back book to all those movies set at a summer camp where the counselors and/or campers are terrorized by an unseen killer. We get to see my character, Emma Whelan, who was introduced in The Babysitter, the victim of a terrible attack that changed her forever, before that vicious attack occurred. In a flashback, Emma is at Camp Luft-Shawk, known to anyone who goes there as Camp Love Shack, while she’s still a teen. Now, twenty years later, Emma is struggling to remember exactly what happened back when she was there as her niece, Harley, is about to become a counselor-in-training at the newly reopened camp. All Emma recalls is that bad things happened at Camp Love Shack. When an opportunity arises for Emma and Harley’s mother, Jamie, to go to the camp for an extended parent/alumni weekend, Emma turns out to be right. Bad things do happen at Camp Love Shack! This book has been a blast to write. Really fun. What about you?

Lisa Jackson:

My next original novel is The Last Sinner. It’s set in New Orleans with Detectives Reuben Montoya and Rick Bentz on the case. It’s take a while to write with all of my other projects, but it was great to catch up with Bentz and Montoya. Bentz’s daughter, Kristi, a true crime writer, takes center stage with Cruz Montoya, Reuben’s rebellious younger brother. Unwittingly they get caught up in a series of bizarre murders in which Kristi appears to be the ultimate target. It took a while to write this book, but it was worth it. I love it.

I’m also working on a stand alone novel and then I hope to start in on the next one we’ll write together. As you know the working title is Nowhere to Die and it centers around your Detective September Rafferty and my Detective Selena Alvarez. I’m looking forward to putting that one together. It should be fun!


WICKED DREAMS

For the first time in nearly a decade, New York Times bestselling Sisters of Suspense Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush return to Siren Song, an isolated island tucked between the mountains and the sea off the wild Oregon coast. Some people call it The Colony. Others whisper it’s a cult. For a group of women with extraordinary gifts, it’s both home and refuge. Until evil returns to burn it all down…

The note pinned to the dead body found on the remote beach has no name, just Ravinia Rutledge’s phone number and the words “Next of Kin.” Ravinia insists she doesn’t recognize the man on the mortuary slab, but she suspects Detective Nev Rhodes doesn’t believe her. He can tell that she’s one of them—the Siren Song women.

Five years after moving away from The Colony, Ravinia has carved out a life as a private investigator whose specialty is helping others locate their missing loved ones. Yet sometimes, it’s better if the missing are never found. “Good Time Charlie” is the name given to a monster from her past, a man whom she and her sisters hoped was gone forever. But the dead man on the beach is a sign that Charlie has merely been waiting, preparing to fulfill his mission to rid the world of the Siren Song women—and anyone else who gets in his way.

Rhodes has his own reasons for being fascinated with The Colony and its surroundings—a place marked by unexplained deaths and tragedies. Rhodes plays by the rules, but there are forces at work here that defy notions of law and order. And despite Ravinia’s reluctance to team up with Nev, it’s the only way to stop an adversary determined to see that each and every member of The Colony will die at his hands . . .

Reprinted with permission from Kensington Books.