Jane Sevier

mysteries and love stories served Southern style

December 9, 2013
by Jane Sevier
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Ten Books That Touched Me

Over on Face­book, the lovely and tal­ented author Larissa Rein­hart tagged me to name 10 books that have meant some­thing to me. It was tough keep­ing it to 10, but these are the first 10 (well, really 11) that came to mind.

Here are the rules for the Face­book game: List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few min­utes and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” or “great” works, just the ones that have touched you. Tag 10 friends, includ­ing the per­son who tagged you so she’ll see your list.

These are in no par­tic­u­lar order.
1.  Pride and Prej­u­dice and Emma by Jane Austen

2.  The Lute Player by Norah Lofts

3.  Out­lander by Diana Gabaldon

4.  She Walks These Hills by Sharyn McCrumb

5.  The Once and Future King by T, H. White

6.  The Foun­da­tion Tril­ogy by Isaac Asimov

7.  Brim­stone by Dou­glas Pre­ston and Lin­coln Child

8.  The Once and Future by T. H. White

9.  The Club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte

10. On Beu­lah Height by Regi­nald Hill

I tagged 10 friends and posted. What are the 10 books that have stayed with you?

August 17, 2013
by Jane Sevier
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Killer Nashville Panel

Next Sat­ur­day morn­ing (August 24th) at 8:20 at the Killer Nashville crime fic­tion con­fer­ence, the incred­i­ble April Mar­tinez, who designed the gor­geous cov­ers you see here to the right, will present a work­shop on cre­at­ing great book cov­ers. I’m sit­ting in to give the author per­spec­tive. At 9:50, I’ll be sign­ing both books, so stop by the Hut­ton Hotel and say hey. There will be lots of crime writ­ers like guest of honor Anne Perry on hand at Killer Nashville. All author sign­ings at the con­fer­ence are free and open to the public.

January 12, 2013
by Jane Sevier
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The Gold-Standard Kiss

Roman­tic sus­pense author Don­nell Bell invited me to guest blog with the lovely ladies of Every­body Needs a Lit­tle Romance, prefer­ably on some roman­tic topic. With New Year’s Eve just behind us, kiss­ing seemed an appro­pri­ate topic. Stop by and see what I had to say about one of my most mem­o­rable, the Gold-Standard Kiss.

One of my favorite photographs ever, Robert Doisneau's Le Baiser de l'Hotel de Ville.

One of my favorite pho­tographs ever, Robert Doisneau’s Le Baiser de l’Hotel de Ville.

December 19, 2012
by Jane Sevier
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The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

Week 26

There are the books every­one has heard about: To Kill a Mock­ing­bird, The Hunger Games, Harry Pot­ter. But what about all those books by authors you don’t know about yet? Some of them are trea­sures just wait­ing to be unearthed, and that’s what this blog hop is all about: the books you might not have heard about but that you might end up loving.

This blog hop is like a game of tag. One author posts and tags other authors who link back to her web­site the next week and tag new authors. Fol­low the blog hop long enough, and you’re bound to find some books you’ll love. Maybe you’ll even dis­cover a book that ends up being the next big thing.

Alexa Bourne tagged me. Find out more about her book Silent Sur­ren­der (and her other titles!) on her web­site www.alexabourne.com.

This blog hop includes ten ques­tions to help you learn more about an author’s work in progress, so here’s a bit about my lat­est project:

1: What is the work­ing title of your book?

The Boy from Nowhere

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?

When I was draft­ing Fortune’s Fool, the first book in the Psy­chic Socialite series, a scene appeared on the page in which Nell Marc­hand encoun­ters a boy who seems to have been aban­doned out­side a candy store in down­town Mem­phis. The scene didn’t fit that par­tic­u­lar book, but I saved it in my extra words file. The idea per­co­lated at the back of my mind until I was ready to start the third install­ment in the series and decided it was time to find out who that boy was and where he came from.

3: What genre does your book fall under?

It’s his­tor­i­cal mys­tery with strong roman­tic elements.

4: Which actors would you choose to play your char­ac­ters in a movie rendition?

No one seems to quite fit the parts of 1930s Mem­phis socialite Nell Marc­hand and medium Joseph Cal­en­dar. Asa But­ter­field , who played the lead in last year’s “Hugo,” has the right look for the boy, Tom Willis, but he’s older than Tom is in the book.

5: What is the one-sentence syn­op­sis of your book?

I don’t plot much before I write, but I’ll take a shot at it: When Nell Marc­hand takes in an aban­doned boy and helps him search for his mother, she uncov­ers a black-market adop­tion ring and finds her­self ques­tion­ing what fam­ily means.

6: Will your book be inde­pen­dently pub­lished or rep­re­sented by an agency?

I’m an inde­pen­dent author, so it will be inde­pen­dently published.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I can’t answer that because I’m writ­ing it now.

8: What other books would you com­pare this story to within your genre?

When my brother read Fortune’s Fool, he said it reminded him of Deanna Raybourne’s Lady Julia Grey books. I then read the first three in the Lady Julia series and real­ized what a com­pli­ment that was.  Like the other Psy­chic Socialite books, The Boy from Nowhere has that feel.

9: Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Because this book is part of a series, the ques­tion really applies to the whole series. The source of inspi­ra­tion is so fas­ci­nat­ing that I don’t mind repeat­ing how it began. I was at a book­store lis­ten­ing to Louisiana mys­tery writer Deb­o­rah LeBlanc read a scene set in a Voodoo cer­e­mony, and into my head popped, “I won­der what it would be like to sud­denly dis­cover that you have psy­chic pow­ers?” I scrib­bled that in the lit­tle note­book I carry with me for just such flashes of genius, along with “Socialite. Hus­band leaves her penniless.”

10: What else about your book might piqué the reader’s interest?

The Psy­chic Socialite series takes place in 1930s Mem­phis, an unusual com­bi­na­tion of period and set­ting. Mem­phis has always been a par­tic­u­larly col­or­ful place, and the books should appeal to read­ers who enjoy South­ern stories.

I’ve tagged two other Nashville authors who will be join­ing the hop for week 27 on Decem­ber 26th. New York Times best­selling author Jen­nie Bent­ley (http://jenniebentley.blogspot.com/) writes two mys­tery series—DIY  and Cut­throat Busi­ness —as well as romance and sci­ence fic­tion as Jenna Ben­nett. Mike Tucker (http://michaeltuckerauthor.com/) pens his mys­ter­ies and thrillers in a noir style. I hope you’ll visit their blogs next week and learn more about their books. Maybe one of them will become your new favorite author.

December 11, 2012
by Jane Sevier
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USA Today picks A Billy Sunday Kind of Love

A few weeks ago, Kathy Alt­man of USA Today’s won­der­ful Happy Ever After blog told me that she planned to rec­om­mend A Billy Sun­day Kind of Love as part of a roundup of his­tor­i­cal nov­els. She asked if I’d like to con­tribute some­thing per­sonal about the writ­ing of the book. Today, Altman’s rec­om­men­da­tions went live on HEA, and I’m trilled that she included Billy Sun­day.

Here’s a sam­ple of the lovely review:

Sevier writes with a sub­tle, wicked humor and a sophis­ti­cated vibrancy that ush­ers the reader right into Depression-era Mem­phis — and Nell’s eccen­tric household.… Rich in South­ern ambiance, evok­ing an aura of men­ace, a tongue-in-cheek humor and a ten­der­ness all at the same time, this sec­ond book in the Psy­chic Socialite series has me des­per­ately hop­ing it won’t take Sevier long to con­jure up the third.”

How cool is that?

 

 

November 7, 2012
by Jane Sevier
14 Comments

Release Day for Billy Sunday

The wait is over! It’s release day for A Billy Sun­day Kind of Love, which is avail­able as an ebook for Kin­dle, Kobo, and Nook and  in paper­back. You can also buy it in the UK, Ger­many,  France, Spain, Italy, and Japan. More for­mats com­ing soon.

Won­der­ing what the lat­est install­ment in the Psy­chic Socialite series is about? When a fam­ily friend dis­ap­pears from a magician’s mummy case onstage and turns up dead, reluc­tant psy­chic Nell Marc­hand sets out to unmask the killer. Medium Joseph Cal­en­dar warns her that she’s putting her own life in peril, but she can’t turn her back on the peo­ple count­ing on her. Soon, Nell finds her­self knee-deep in mur­der, mir­a­cles, that old-time reli­gion, and an ancient rivalry or two.

I hope you’ll enjoy Billy Sun­day!

October 10, 2012
by Jane Sevier
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All in a Day’s Work

On Octo­ber 16th, I’m the guest author at the annual library fundraiser in the town where I grew up. Just me, up there in front of all those folks. But it’s all in a day’s work for an author, and a reporter from the local paper wrote this nice story about the event. The Friends of the Library tell me there will be a big turnout, which makes me happy because help­ing the library is what it’s really about.

August 23, 2012
by Jane Sevier
20 Comments

The Great Chicken Heart

It’s funny what fright­ens us. This evening, crime fic­tion con­fer­ence Killer Nashville starts here in my city and runs through the week­end, and I’m on my first-ever author pan­els. Although I’m not quite shak­ing in my boots at the prospect, I am a lit­tle ner­vous. OK, more than a lit­tle. I’ve been pon­der­ing my chicken-hearted response. Sure, stud­ies have shown that most peo­ple fear pub­lic speak­ing more than death, but it’s not as though I’ll be alone up there. Sev­eral other authors are on each of my panels.

In my time, I’ve done some pretty daunt­ing things and lived to tell the tale. When USAID first sent me to the field to write about agency projects, I found myself in Bolivia’s infa­mous Cha­pare Val­ley, then one of the world’s major coca-producing regions, inter­view­ing farm­ers about the U.S. crop-substitution pro­gram. My con­trol offi­cer from the La Paz mis­sion (USAID field offices are called mis­sions), the head of the crop pro­gram, and two Sub­ur­bans full of Uzi-toting body­guards accom­pa­nied me, but I was the only female in the group.

In Egypt, I clam­bered all the way to the top of the Great Pyra­mid. Inside. Not an under­tak­ing for the claus­tro­pho­bic. I trav­eled to Guatemala and Sri Lanka when they had active rebel insur­gen­cies. And I ate a ham­burger in Venezuela, which some hours later did prove not to have been at all a good thing.

I’m not say­ing I wasn’t appre­hen­sive each time, but that wasn’t about to stop me. Each time, the task at hand fas­ci­nated me, and I was so com­pletely in flow that worry became a low back­ground hum. I’ve pre­pared for my Killer Nashville pan­els, and after all, they’re about the infor­ma­tion I’ll pro­vide, not about me. So, tomor­row morn­ing on my first panel, I’m hop­ing flow kicks in right away. After all, I couldn’t let fear stop me.

June 8, 2012
by Jane Sevier
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RIP, Ray Bradbury

One of the greats of sci­ence fic­tion died this week. In all the remem­brances of Ray Brad­bury posted in the last few days, it was the won­der­ful Anne Lower’s mus­ings over the amaz­ing clas­sic cover of his Illus­trated Man that took me back to my youth.

Ray Bradbury’s The Illus­trated Man

 

It wasn’t Brad­bury who intro­duced me to sci­ence fic­tion, one of the pas­sions of my young life. That was Edgar Rice Bur­roughs. Much as I loved Brad­bury, he wasn’t my favorite sci­ence fic­tion writer either. That was Isaac Asi­mov, whose Foun­da­tion Tril­ogy I read time and again. But it was Brad­bury I could talk to my brother about. My opposite-of-geek brother who sneered at sci­ence fic­tion and asked me why I “wasted my time with that junk” when I could be read­ing real books. My brother read Bradbury.

Those of us who love genre fic­tion get asked that a lot. Why bother with fantasy-horror-mystery-romance-thriller-scifi-women’s fic­tion when you could be read­ing a clas­sic like Tol­stoy or what­ever the lat­est lit­er­ary dar­ling is? I read those, too. In fact, I read all kinds of books across just about all gen­res of fic­tion and non­fic­tion. What those of us who read genre fic­tion know is just how bril­liant it can be.

I hope kids still study Ray Brad­bury in school and have teach­ers who tell them that it’s all right to read what­ever they want as long as they read. Just read.

I moved my tat­tered paper­backs of The Illus­trated Man, The Mar­t­ian Chron­i­cles, and Asimov’s Foun­da­tion Tril­ogy with me every time until they dis­in­te­grated. Maybe it’s time to visit them all again.

Thank you for the mem­o­ries, Mr. Bradbury.

Ray Brad­bury