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The Future of Robert B. Parker's Sunny Randall

When Mike Lupica picks up Spenser from Ace Atkins in 2023, Alison Gaylin will pick up Sunny Randall from Lupica. I emailed Alison for a short interview about joining the Parker continuation effort:

Gerald So: To introduce yourself to Parker fans and new readers, tell me a bit of your history reading Parker. Did his work influence your writing before you were asked to continue Sunny Randall?

Alison Gaylin: I think I'd be hard-pressed to think of a mystery writer who doesn't owe a debt to Parker, and I'm definitely one of them. Though my more recent books tend to be a bit darker, the structure and vibrance of his Spenser books have long been an influence. He could have taught a master class in character creation and dialogue. And though many years have passed since his books were first introduced, they remain relevant. I was a Spenser fan, but only recently discovered the Sunny Randall books. She is a wonderful character. I love her, as well as all of her friends—especially Spike.

Gerald: How did the continuation offer come to you? What about Sunny attracts or excites you?

Photo of Alison Gaylin by Michael Gaylin
Photo by Michael Gaylin
Alison: My agent let me know that there was an opportunity to write the Sunny Randall series due to some reorganization, and I jumped at the chance. After reading both Mike Lupica's and Robert Parker's Sunny books, I wrote twenty pages of a new Sunny book and was ultimately chosen for the job. I couldn't have been more thrilled. What I love most about Sunny is her outlook on life, her sense of humor, and, as mentioned earlier, the colorful group of friends she hangs out with and the warm and loving relationship with her father. She is strong and smart and very brave, but she isn't perfect. She's human, she has flaws, and she grows and changes with every book. As I've said before, the only thing that makes a character "unlikable" to me as a reader (or as a writer) is perfection.

Gerald: Can you tease any details about the novel?

Alison: After she takes an assignment in order to help her friend Spike, Sunny is dragged into the world of Instagram influencers—with dangerous (and potentially deadly) results.

Gerald: Congratulations again and good luck.


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