Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What is Mary Anna Evans reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Mary Anna Evans, author of the award-winning Faye Longchamp archaeological mysteries.

Her entry begins:
I'm sure I'm not the first writer to bemoan the fact that, though I write books because I love to read them, I find that writing my novels cuts deeply into time I might spend reading. And when I do read, it's frequently nonfiction that's related to the topic of my work-in-progress.

Since I write mysteries about an archaeologist and I am neither an archaeologist nor a historian, I set aside about a month at the beginning of each new project to bone up on the history and material culture of the area where the book is to be set. I call this activity "reading for a living."

I scour my own library, which includes tomes like The Encyclopedia of Southern Culture and the WPA guides to Florida, Mississippi, and New Orleans. I poke through the public library for material, getting some of the more esoteric stuff by interlibrary loan. (I believe it took four libraries to satisfy my insatiable need for information on tin-glazed medieval Islamic ceramic lustreware. Who would have thought that information would be so hard to get? It wasn't even on the internet. What's up with that?)

Despite its dearth of information on tin-glazed medieval Islamic ceramic lustreware, I crawl all over the internet, following my nose as I look for background material on my topic. At this point in the process, I don't care of the information is scholarly or pop culture schlock or even unsubstantiated rumor. I can sort out the truth later, but schlock and rumor are part of the human condition, so they have their place in fiction. Or so it seems to me.

For my new release, Strangers, I found...[read on]
The Faye Longchamp archaeological mysteries include Artifacts, Relics, Effigies, Findings, Floodgates, and Strangers.

Learn more about the author and her work at Mary Anna Evans' website.

The Page 69 Test: Floodgates.

Writers Read: Mary Anna Evans.

--Marshal Zeringue