1. Do you recall anything of the McCarthy era from your own life, or from stories you heard older relatives tell?
2. What elements in modern day culture and politics mirror what was happening during the Red Scare?
3. Did you learn to type on a typewriter? If so, which one?
4. Have you ever been haunted by an idea the way Lucy Lawrence was haunted by the story of Perfect Red? If so, what did you do about it and what was the result?
5. Were you ever bullied or humiliated into turning away from a creative pursuit? Consider an elementary school teacher who told you that you couldn’t write, an art class peer who said you couldn’t paint, or a parent who told you to “stop that racket” while you struggled to learn how to play the piano.
6. What is your perfect red lipstick (or your perfect cashmere coat or your perfect little black dress) – and how do you feel when you wear it? Can your appearance transform the way you feel about yourself? Is beauty, then, more than skin deep?
7. Do you believe in an alchemy of desire?