SIX MINUTES WITH MARY ANNA EVANS:
Let’s give a warm welcome to today’s star of LitPick’s Six Minutes with an Author, Mary Anna Evans! Mary Anna has degrees in physics and engineering, but her heart is in the past. Her series’ main character, Faye Longchamp, lives the exciting life of an archaeologist, and Mary Anna envies her a little! Mary Anna is a recipient of the Mississippi Library Association's Mississippi Author Award, and her novels have received recognitions including a spot on Voice of Young America's (VOYA) list of "Adult Mysteries with Young Adult Appeal." Faye Longchamp's growing list of adventures include Artifacts, Relics, Effigies, Findings, Floodgates, Strangers, Plunder, Rituals, and, coming in the summer of 2015, Isolation.
How did you get started writing?
I've always been a writer. It just took me a while to build my skills to a publishable level. I took a creative writing class in high school and another one in graduate school. I have a whole shelf full of books I use to learn more about plotting and dialogue and storytelling, and I have a big file folder full of rejections. When I was ready, my agent and I sold Artifacts, and I have very much enjoyed seeing my books in print. The ninth Faye Longchamp mystery, Isolation, is just now hitting bookstores. I have to say that seeing your book in print never gets old.
Who influenced you?
My mother took my sister and me to the Bookmobile every week, and Daddy loved to read westerns. We passed library books around like gifts. When the week was done, we'd take those books back and get some more.
Do you have a favorite book?
I love To Kill a Mockingbird and the entire Finch family. Harper Lee gave her characters heart, and she placed them in a South that was already in the past when I was a little girl in Mississippi. Her flawed, realistic people and their slow-moving hometown have the power to take me home again.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to be an author?
Everybody says this, because it is true. If you want to write, you must read. You must read everything – classics, page-turners, and all. If you haven't read them, how will you know what qualities make a classic so timeless or a page-turner so gripping? Reading offers a magical kind of learning. When you read, you absorb the rhythms of the language and the patterns of the stories. Writers who don't read are at risk of telling stories we've all heard before.
Where is your favorite place to write?
I write in a recliner in my living room. I have an office and a desk, but the recliner is comfortable, and it supports my back and neck. I wrote three books before I realized that I didn't have to sit at my desk to work. Sometimes I take my laptop outside. On lazy days, I might write in bed. Most days, though, I'm in that recliner.
What else would you like to tell us?
I'd like to say thank you to the readers of LitPick. Without readers, I'd have no reason to write my stories down. I am very grateful when people invest hours of their own time in my books.
Thank you for spending six minutes with us, Mary Anna! We agree that it’s important to have a diverse reading list – one that should include your fantastic Faye Longchamp mysteries. ;) Readers, make sure to pick up her latest mystery, Isolation!