As an author, I have only recently begun to read is the multiple award-winning Sujata Massey. Born in England of European and Indian ancestry, she grew up in the United States. After college and a several years in journalism, she moved to Japan to teach English and like any long residency in a different culture, the experience influenced her significantly.
Ms. Massey began her fiction career with a bang with the creation of Rei Shimura, a bicultural woman. Although many reviewers use the term bi-racial in describing her, I avoid using the term ‘race’ as an anthropologist who recognizes race as a social construct, not a biological reality. The cultural divide, however, is a real one, and Rei straddles it as an amateur sleuth—always a fun mystery trope—by upending expected stereotypes as she ferrets out the motive and murderer. The Salaryman’s Wife was the first of eleven books before she transitioned to the India themed mysteries with which I am came to find her.
In the Widows of Malabar Hill, Massey again examines the intricacies of culture, religion and gender this time in 1900s Bombay with the protagonist Perveen, a female attorney trying to make sense of wealthy man’s will. Satapur Moonstone is the second in the series and Bombay Prince is due to be released in early June.
Of course, I need to start the Women of Mystery series with Agatha Christie, the Queen of Crime, due to her shaping and mastery of the genre and how prolific she was. It is estimated that approximately two billion copies of her books were sold in her lifetime and beyond as well as short stories and plays scripts. Some of her work was created at home in England, while traveling or accompanying her second husband, Dr. Max Mallowan, a noted Middle Eastern archaeologist at his excavation sites.
I wrote the first draft of DEADLY MOUNTAINS in a cave one spring in the Philippines where my archaeologist husband was working and while that might sound exotic, the drip of limestone water on my laptop was a bit of a nuisance. However, it was grounding to know that those drops of water were trying to create a stalagmite at my feet to be enjoyed by some future generations.
Knowing Christie’s extensive travels, you can pick out what in her lifetime would be exciting and for most people, out of reach experiences such as traveling on the Orient Express, visiting Egypt or vacationing in the Caribbean.
Her most famous creations were the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, the village amateur sleuth Jane Marple, and my least favorite, the couple Tommy and Tuppance who spend altogether too much time nattering at each other. The author’s sensibilities were rooted in the 1920s, 30s and 40s but her plotting was spectacular.
Get ready for Women of Mystery Starting this Thursday
Just for fun, I will be posting a weekly bio featuring women mystery writers. I hope to rotate from a classic, to a modern, to an indie writer. A whole year’s worth! Let me know of requests – especially of indie writers who never get enough attention. I’ll be saving them to my website in the event you miss one. Happy Reading! Andrea
Preferences Several years ago, I went to see some action movie and the ticket seller went into a fast-talking pitch about Easter Eggs.
I wasn’t the first time I had heard the term, but it was the first opportunity I could actually ask someone to explain.For anyone reading this who doesn’t know, it means an image, word or name imbedded in a movie or computer game like an inside joke for the viewer to discover.
I’ve got my own Easter Eggs in my mysteries and this new romance book. They are family or friends, addresses, or locations from my life. In my defense, it’s hard to create names for upwards of forty characters in each book!Take a look at Romance in the Western Desert and see if you can find yourself.
In Southern Arizona, late October is when the bougainvillea is bursting with blooms and it’s time to plant mesquite and palo verde trees for shade next summer.My winter garden will only be pots of herbs, lettuce, and arugula this year to cut fresh for dinner each night.Wait – if I’m in Arizona, why do I write about North Carolina?Nostalgia is one reason because I lived there for three years.The other is that there were so many eventful episodes when I studied primate behavior at Duke that I had to share some of them in my mysteries.Speaking of mysteries, DEADLY WOODS, is on sale Oct. 28 for only $2.99 on Amazon! And always free to Kindle Unlimited people. DEADLY WOODS Happy Reading! Andrea click here to subscribe
The hero of a book needs to have someone to provide a challenge, an obstacle or a conflict or else the reader gets bored.
When the villain is particularly nefarious, the stakes are raised.
Think of The Joker, Voldemort, Cersei, Darth Vader, or Nurse Ratched.
These guys just keep on coming, no matter what level of good or compassion is offered.
My villains (and yes, I have to create them to vex the protagonist) tend to be intelligent, entitled, and self-involved. In my previous world of work there were enough of them to be able to choose traits from one and habits of another to create someone you love to hate.
Check out the various villains in DEADLY WOODS out today on Amazon.
Actually, I never went away. I have been tapping the keys on two new books which are out in agent-land looking for a publisher. If you think cooking up a plot, writing, editing, and rewriting is hard, trying to get published is harder. Reading that JK Rowling’s Harry Potter was rejected by 12 publishers does not make me feel any better. But, I’m still plugging away. And now, I am expanding my social media platform to Twitter(@IbanezAuthor) and Instagram (Andrea9889) to get broader coverage. Feel free to share with family and friends!
After a few long weeks of living, loving, scheming, talking, thinking, planning, arguing, and finally coming to the halfway point of the first draft of “A Hoot Owl’s Call,” the first book in the Carolina Trilogy II, my fictional folks took the weekend off.
That means, aside from not following what they are doing and writing it down, I was also relieved of them chattering away in my head during otherwise quiet moments.
PBS binge Sunday night and then back to the factory!