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Tuesday 8 September 2015

ℚ Isolation: Faye Longchamp Mysteries [9] - Mary Anna Evans"

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Isolation (, Poisoned Pen Press, 271 pages), book nine of the Faye Longchamp Mysteries.

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

Hello Mary Anna, welcome to BooksChatter.

What was the inspiration for Isolation?

"I wanted to bring Faye home to Joyeuse Island, because that's where she is most herself.  I wanted this story to be very personal, because the last book, Rituals, was focused on Faye finding justice for her friend.

In Isolation, Faye's family and her home are seriously threatened by an evil person, by the residue of the past, and by sheer bad luck. I knew she could rise above it all, but I wanted to see how she managed it."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"I used to argue with people who tried to say that Faye is me.  She's younger, braver, and stronger.  She's multiracial and, to the best of my knowledge, all of my ancestry is European.  Because of this, her early life was greatly different from mine.  Still, after about four books, I realized how we were alike.  We think alike, because we think like scientists. We assemble facts, develop theories, compare our theories to the facts and, eventually, we come to a conclusion.  Both of us tend to make an intuitive leap between the gathering of facts and the development of the conclusion, but here we differ in an important way.  I know I have an intuitive streak.  Faye would argue you to the death that she is always, always logical. Joe knows different."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for Isolation - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"My publisher has used Hoi Yan Cheung as the artist for all but one of my books, and I think he is a genius.  The cover of Isolation shows an indistinct human figure lurking in a lush natural setting that echoes the trees and water described in the book.  Is the person menacing or is he or she being menaced?  Is it Faye?  Is it the killer?  I think it is wonderfully evocative."
Why should we read Isolation and what sets it apart from the rest?  What makes your book unique?
"I always try to give my readers a mystery that plays fair and keeps them guessing, but I want to give them more than that.  I want them to have complex characters with feelings and motivations that drive the story.

I always have a historical subplot, and people seem to particularly enjoy these little glimpses of the past.

Most of all, I think people enjoy Faye.  She's smart and gritty and she loves her family and friends fiercely.  Who wouldn't want a friend like that?"
Can you tell us something quirky about Isolation, its story and characters?
"There's an environmental subplot--a mysterious kerosene and arsenic leak that is so old that it shouldn't tie into the present-day mystery, but it does.  I worked as an environmental engineer for a number of years and I had a lot of fun constructing a storyline that fit my book and was understandable to non-engineers but was also scientifically accurate.  I love the way it turned out."
Who would you recommend Isolation to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"My books are read in schools, so though the concepts and themes are definitely aimed at adults, they're appropriate for all ages.

There are some fairly mild swear words, but otherwise, there is little to offend. I follow John Grisham's dictum: "I never write anything that my mama couldn't read." When she was still with us, my mama was one of Faye's biggest fans."
If you could / wished to turn Isolation and the Faye Longchamp Mysteries series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"I would hope that the Joyeuse Island books would be filmed somewhere on the Gulf Coast.  I've always thought that Halle Berry would make a good Faye.  Somewhere, I'm sure there's a man who is beautiful enough to be Joe, but I'm not sure who he is."
What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I've written nine Faye Longchamp archaeological mysteries, so I clearly enjoy doing that.  I've also written a number of mystery short stories and a thriller, Wounded Earth.  I just received a Master of Fine Arts in nonfiction, so I've begun publishing essays and articles.  I've got a children's book in the works. Basically, I write a little bit of everything!"
What is your writing process?
"Unless life presents me with something pressing to consume my time, I sit down every day in a comfortable recliner and I tell myself a story.  There's really no way to do it but to sit down and do it."
What is in store next?
"I'm already thinking about the next Faye book, which will likely put Faye and Joe on the road to Oklahoma.

I am writing an article for The Atlantic, and I just learned that one of my stories will appear in decomP.  Both of these pieces will be out in September.

And I have a lot of other irons in the fire.  People who want to know when I have something new can follow me on Twitter at @maryannaevans or follow my facebook fan page.  Or they can sign up for my e-newsletter at  I always have projects in all stages of development.  I love to write!"
Brilliant!   Thank you again for joining us today!

Isolation - available NOW!

UK: purchase from purchase from Nook UK purchase from Kobo UK purchase from iTunes UK find on Goodreads
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Omnimystery News said...

Thanks so much for this terrific interview. Isolation is next up on my Kindle!

Majanka Verstraete said...

I like archeaological mysteries, so I might have to check out this series. Do you need to do a lot of research before writing each book?