Posts Tagged ‘double take’

Abby Bardi is the author of three novels: Double Take, The Secret Letters, and The Book of Fred. Her short fiction has appeared in anthologies and journals, and she has written academic articles on Roma (Gypsies). She grew up on the South Side of Chicago and now lives in Ellicott City, MD, the oldest railroad town in America.




Would you call yourself a born writer?

Yes and no. Yes: I have been writing since I was a little kid, and I kept it up because my parents thought it was cute. No: But on the other hand, I have to work really hard at writing—it’s not something that comes easily, and it seems like the more novels I write (I’ve published three so far), the harder it gets. But yes again: writing is essential to my existence.

What was your inspiration for DOUBLE TAKE?

Like my main character Rachel Cochrane, I was once (very long ago) a waitress at a restaurant that was a front for a drug and burglary ring. Much like Rachel, I was pretty naïve and didn’t realize at first what was going on, but it gradually became apparent and instead of being freaked out by it, I found it fascinating. At the time, there were a number of mysterious people who came and went at the restaurant, and for years I wondered about them—in fact, the people I grew up with have a Facebook page where we have long threads wondering whatever happened to that guy the police were looking for, or the woman who shot heroin under her tongue….I’ve always loved mysteries, and the Sixties were full of them, so in DOUBLE TAKE I went back and solved some. For the record, Rachel Cochrane is way cooler than I ever was.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

I don’t do this on purpose, but it has been pointed out to me that a common thread in my novels is an exploration of what a family is, and what it means to be a family in unusual times. I also seem to gravitate toward protagonists who are caught up in something they don’t really understand. And I love life’s mysteries; DOUBLE TAKE is a traditional mystery in that it’s about unsolved murders, but my other two novels have mysteries in them, too—or maybe I mean enigmas.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

Oh, only about thirty years. I took some breaks.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

Yes, I am very disciplined—I have to be because my job involves reading and grading other people’s writing, so I have to find time for my own. I write every morning for about an hour before moving on to other things.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

Knowing when it was finished. I thought I’d finished it a bunch of times and then ended up going back and doing more to it.

What do you love most about being an author?

 I love the act of writing itself. Being all alone (I write in the morning when no one else is awake yet) in a world I have created. And I love talking to people about writing.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

My first novel, THE BOOK OF FRED, was published by Atria, a division of Simon & Schuster, and my second (THE SECRET LETTERS) and third (DOUBLE TAKE) were with HarperCollins Australia. I was very happy with both publishers—very nice people and great editors.

Where can we find you on the web?

My website is www.abbybardi.com  and I also have a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Abby-Bardi-1057384604291418/

About the Book:


Set in Chicago, 1975, Double Take is the story of artsy Rachel Cochrane, who returns from college with no job and confronts the recent death of Bando, one of her best friends. When she runs into Joey, a mutual friend, their conversations take them back into their shared past and to the revelation that Bando may have been murdered. To find out who murdered him, Rachel is forced to revisit her stormy 1960s adolescence, a journey that brings her into contact with her old friends, her old self, and danger.


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