Each time I pick up a mystery featuring archaeology student Faye Longchamp, I never fail to enjoy a good story with a strong, interesting main character-- and I always learn some fascinating archaeological information.
If you haven't tried one of Evans' books, I sincerely hope you take the opportunity to do so. I like Faye so much that I would recommend that you start with the first book in the series, Artifacts, so you can see how her character develops.
|Mary Anna Evans|
If you'd like more information about Mary and her books, here are some links for you:
Let's get to the best bit: the interview!
What was the very first book you remember reading and loving? What makes that book so special?
The Wizard of Oz. I was a very early reader, so reading a book like that made me feel grown-up. (This also probably made me a very geeky kindergartener, but some things are a constant throughout life, so it was best that I get used to it early.) I loved Dorothy's independence and the exotic Oz-ness of it all--wicked witches, flying monkeys, and yellow bricks beneath my silver slippers.
Outside of your writing and all associated commitments, what do you like to do in your free time?
I'm a serious amateur musician, so I play my cherished piano for my own pleasure and I sing when I get the chance. I also love to garden, although my thumb isn't especially green. If a flower grows in my yard, it is a tough flower. If I get vegetables from my garden, I feel lucky.
If I were to visit your hometown, where would you recommend that I go? (I like seeing and doing things that aren't in all the guide books.)
[You certainly know how to please a critter lover like me!]
You have total control over casting a movie based on your life. Which actor would you cast as you?
Who is your favorite recurring character in crime fiction?
Tony Hillerman's Joe Leaphorn.
Name one book that you've read that you wish you had written. What is it about that book that made it come to mind?
Light in August by William Faulkner. I read it last summer and I was struck by the fact that it is a work of crime fiction. But, come on...we're talking about William Faulkner, so it is first and foremost literature. I really enjoyed watching him turn the usual narrative structure on its ear, bending time into his own weird shape for his own storytelling reasons. Being Faulkner, he also did the same thing to the English language. Reading Faulkner reminds me of the importance of taking risks with my work.
How did you celebrate when you first heard you were to be published?
It took me all day to find someone to tell. My husband was working in a swamp somewhere. My best friends were away from their desks. My mother wasn't home. (This was early in the cell phone era, so it was possible to be truly out of touch.) I finally got to tell somebody when I picked up my 7-year-old from school, saying, "Guess what? I have exciting news!" She was probably thinking we were going to do something thrilling like go for ice cream when she responded, "What???!!!" What was her response when I said, "Mommy sold her book!" She said, "Well...that's very exciting for you..."
Nobody can put you in your place faster than your kids.
Eventually, I found a few people who were excited, so they came over and we shared some champagne. It was lovely.
What did you do the first time you saw one of your books on a shelf in a bookstore?
I was speechless, so I didn't do much but stand there and stare.
I don't know if you've seen it, but I love Parnell Hall's video about book signings. What is the most unusual experience you've had at a book signing or author event?
The way some people talk, the only way to read now or in the future is with some sort of electronic device, like my husband's Nook. What is your opinion of eBooks, and how will they affect you as a published author?
People have been telling stories to dispel the world's realities ever since we walked out of our caves and gathered around campfires. Ebooks are just a new way to get the stories out of my head and into yours. I think that's a wonderful thing.
And just because our to-be-read piles can never be too tall, Mary's first thriller, Wounded Earth, was recently published. Here's a synopsis:
Larabeth McLeod has beauty, money, several patents, a Ph.D., a successful environmental firm, and some very old secrets. When a man with the uncomfortable name of Babykiller begins stalking her, terrorizing her with stories of her darkest days in Vietnam, stories no one else knows, she feels compelled to fight back...until he exposes her most tender secret of all by threatening the daughter she has never met.
She turns to private detective J.D. Hatten for help, breaking five years of separation and silence between quarreling friends. And then Babykiller shows his true capabilities. He is the head of an illicit business offering but one service--moving cargo worldwide for criminals who need their drugs or cash or smuggled goods shipped safely and anonymously--so he is capable of putting anything anywhere. He quietly explains to Larabeth, a well-known environmental executive, that he can even put defective gauges in nuclear power plants, and he will, just to get her attention. If she goes to the police for protection, people will die. Lots and lots of people will die. And one of them will be her daughter.
Larabeth and J.D. are just a normal man and woman, up against a babykiller. But then, Babykiller doesn't know who he's dealing with....
Sounds good, doesn't it? Don't forget to stop by next Monday when I'll be interviewing another of my favorite authors!