Mary Minke knows she should be grateful: a mostly happy marriage, mostly grown kids and a mostly steady paycheck. But at forty, she finds herself fantasizing about sprawling Tuscan villas and fitting into ‘juniors department’ fashions. Instead, another twenty years in a two-bedroom ranch, sale-rack slacks and a receptionist job at Idid-a-Rod Auto Garage seem to be her destiny. Until…
Mary stumbles on a bag of cash in the car of two-bit drug dealer Jimmy Adler… and steals it. Confiding in best friend, Caryn, she vows to make good by playing Robin Hood in the sleepy town of Stillwater Village. Only she must keep the plan under wraps from devoted husband, Nick, who just happens to be the local sheriff.
As one unexpected event after another turns Mary’s once tapioca-bland life hotter than three-alarm chili, she is more than a little tempted to indulge in a few retail therapy sessions. Charity begins at home, after all, but where should it end? When the fate of her imperfect yet loving family is put on the line, Mary must decide what the good life really means, and if it is Worth Lying For.
When I got the chance to rub elbows with Lisa Cheney and Lisa Craig, authors of Worth Lying For, I asked if they'd be interested in doing an interview. They said "no." I bought them an expensive meal (and a few rounds), and I finally wore them down.
You just released Worth Lying For, about forty-year-old Mary Minke, who ramps up her midlife doldrums by pilfering a big bag of money. Have you ever done anything illegal or immoral?
Cheney: Never. Craig: Yes, but I used Cheney's name so my record is clear.
What was your greatest inspiration for this book?
Cheney: I have no idea, considering I've never done anything illegal or immoral. Craig: Wanting to write a book by, for and about 40-something Midwestern women. Particularly a book in which the protagonist is (mostly) happily married. How did the two of you meet?
Cheney: It wasn't match.com? Craig: Ninth grade English class. We had to create a collage and we thought that was childish. We invented snarky, only we called it lisarky. It never quite caught on.
Speaking of childish, you also write children's books -- what made you delve into the this genre?
Cheney: My grandmothers used to read me Grimm's Fairy Tales and buy me Tales from the Crypt comic books. All children deserve such idyllic memories.
Craig: I love writing children's books--the characters can be so silly and fun. And the books are usually shorter which is a boon for our fading middle-aged memory banks.
So what's next for The Lisas? Any new projects we should look out for?
Cheney: I'm taking up urban graffiti art. Craig: We are working on a novel about a fifty-year-old writer married to an NHL hockey coach. It's about 89% written and we should soon be in the grueling editing process.
Music is a huge part of my writing process. What do you listen to while you work?
Cheney: Does Hoda's playlist on the Today Show count?
Craig: I never play music when writing. The quieter, the better.
Writers are notorious for having multiple jobs in their lifetimes. What are some interesting things you've done?
Cheney: Tossed a few pizzas in my day. Customers were not amused. I've also been a fruit picker, book packer and newspaper reporter. I can't keep a day job.
Craig: Other than college jobs waitressing, I am the exception to the rule and have been a librarian and only a librarian.
... After that, things just got silly.