From an interview with Lori G. Armstrong at New Mystery Reader:
Your main character, PI Julie Collins, is refreshingly different from the squeaky clean, sober, smoke-free, celibate-unless-married, and politically correct versions of many PI's out there these days. What inspired you to go down this potentially risky road with a heroine who breaks every rule as opposed to the safer Mrs. Marple type?Read the full Q & A.
I’d like to say I created Julie because I’m a rebel and I wanted the “bad girl with a heart of gold” story told accurately in the PI niche of the mystery world, and who better than a real bad girl like me to tell it? (Insert hysterical laughter) I didn’t intentionally set out to write Julie as the anti-Marple (zero offense to Marple fans) she just sort of blew onto the page in all her angry, chain-smoking, tequila swilling, cussing, sexual glory. I’ve always been drawn to stronger female characters, the mythic warrior goddesses, the iconic female PI’s, the pretty girls who hide discomfort from also having big brains behind smart-ass quips and foul language. Julie is a woman who gets knocked down, and gets back up. She is also a woman who won’t apologize for her opinions or her sexuality. She’s ballsy, and that makes some folks uncomfortable. Oddly enough, I find she makes more women readers uncomfortable than men readers. Someone once asked me if I’d hang out with Julie (after she finally believed I wasn’t actually Julie Collins in a suburban housewife/mother disguise) and I had to think about it, but the answer is yes, despite the fact Julie’s always getting into bar fights.