Louise Penny

Literary Birthday – 1 July – Louise Penny

Happy Birthday, Louise Penny, born 1 July 1958.


  1. I had to learn compassion. Had to learn what it felt like to hate, and to forgive and to love and be loved. And to lose people close to me. Had to feel deep loneliness and sorrow. And then I could write.
  2. Things are strongest where they’re broken.
  3. I’ve been treating you with courtesy and respect because that’s the way I choose to treat everyone. But never, ever mistake kindness with weakness.
  4. Life is change. If you aren’t growing and evolving, you’re standing still, and the rest of the world is surging ahead.
  5. Life is choice. All day, everyday. Who we talk to, where we sit, what we say, how we say it. And our lives become defined by our choices. It’s as simple and as complex as that. And as powerful. So when I’m observing that’s what I’m watching for. The choices people make.
  6. Don’t mistake dramatics for a conscience.
  7. A good journalist, as you know, is a great listener. And so’s a good writer. And I got to listen to people for almost 20 years. That serves me well, I hope, when I try to understand how a character might be feeling, or how they might react.
  8. To be honest, the only thing I ever really wanted to be was a writer – since I read Charlotte’s Web as a child.
  9. Fear lives in the head. And courage lives in the heart. The job is to get from one to the other. And between the two is the lump in the throat.
  10. ‘There are four things that lead to wisdom. You ready for them?’
    She nodded, wondering when the police work would begin.
    ‘They are four sentences we learn to say, and mean.’ Gamache held up his hand as a fist and raised a finger with each point. ‘I don’t know. I need help. I’m sorry. I was wrong.’

Louise Penny is a Canadian author. Her mystery novels are set in Quebec and feature Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec. The first novel in the series was Still Life.

Source for photograph: Louise Penny / Credit for photograph: Mikael Thiemer

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 1st July 2015

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