Behind the Book: GETTING OLD WILL HAUNT YOU by Rita Lakin


When a lawyer is seemingly speared to death by a marlin in a fishing accident when he was all alone, an old couple are in danger of losing their family estate but know it was murder. The Gladdy Gold’s Detective Agency think it’ll be an easy case when told there’s a witness… until they realise that witness is the ghost of Ernest Hemmingway!

Rita Lakin reveals the inspiration behind Gladdy Gold and her Girls…

Getting Old Will Haunt You is the ninth book is the series about a group of senior women who become private eyes. All titles start with Getting Old is— (Getting Old is Murder was the first of the titles). It was loosely based on my mother, relatives and friends who retired in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. It was great fun imagining my mother as a private eye in a place as wacky as Florida.

Why I wrote the Gladdy Gold books

I decide to write a novel after I moved away from Hollywood. Pondered over what to write about? During a 25 years period, I had visited my family often in Ft. Lauderdale. And all of them lived in the same huge condo retirement community. And turned it into their same little family village. In NY, they’d phoned one another 2-3 times a day because of the distances. In Florida, they still called one another even though they could wave to them from their windows.

I decided I wanted to write about my family. Because I had watched them happily moving into retirement, I watched them deal with the changes in the twenty-five years, now in their seventies and eighties.

But after 25 years of visits, everything in their lives had changed. Now there were widows and widowers. New family units were formed.  I wanted to write about those changes. I also wanted the book to be a valentine to my mother. And the subject of ageing grabbed me.

So, I started to write a serious novel. As I got into it, I was writing about loneliness and sickness and dying and grieving. It was soooo depressing. I threw all my notes away. That’s not what I wanted to write.

Then I remembered something. Two somethings.

Whenever I used to visit, I was aware of my family always laughing. And telling jokes. Was it freedom from the toils of working years and raising kids? Or were they just going into their second childhood. They were very busy – having a good time, unaware they were being very funny They played cards and cheated while playing, then fighting and making up. A ritual that left them screaming with laughter. Then met at the pool every morning with the rest of the residents – to exchange juicy gossip and complain about their children. They religiously went to early bird dinners. Fighting over getting there early enough so they’d get their favorite waitress and foods. Dinner ended up about 3 o’clock.

GETTING OLD WILL HAUNT YOU is available from 28 December in the UK and from 1 March 2019 in the US. Read more here.



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