Tuesday, February 01, 2011
(Author Interview) Jan Markley
One of the best things about blogging is getting the chance to read books I have to say I might normally not read or know about. This is the case with Dead Frog on the Porch and Dead Bird Through the Cat Door by Canadian author Jan Markley.
When Jan contacted me in early December about reading and reviewing her books I was more the willing to do so because I always want to show case Canadian authors. (I feel as though they need to be highlighted.)
Through our conversations I asked Jan if she would be willing to do a mini Q&A and she agreed. Thanks so much Jan for taking the time out of your very busy schedule to do this.
If you are looking for some great middle grade books I highly recommend these.
Without further delay its my pleasure to welcome Jan Markley to my blog.
CINDY: What was your inspiration behind both books?
JAN: For Dead Frog on the Porch, I accidentally stepped on and killed my childhood friend Jane's frog (the first dead frog on the porch). As an adult, in a writing class we were asked to write an incident from childhood - and I wrote about it and it became the jumping off point for the book.
For the second book, Dead Bird through the Cat Door my cat brought a dead bird through the cat door, and I wondered what would happen if the owner of the bird sanctuary was stealing cats to kill birds. I'm still not sure how Shakespeare's Macbeth got involved.
CINDY: As a fan of Nancy Drew books (which is very evident in both your books) did you have a favorite that you would reread?
JAN: For some reason the Mystery of the 99 Steps comes to mind. I should go back and re-read a few!
CINDY:I have never read Nancy Drew growing up but after reading your two books Jan, I am seriously thinking I missed out on something. What would readers of your books be surprised to know about you? (Quirky fact etc)
JAN: I love going for sushi but I hate raw fish. Drives my friends to distraction! They can't figure out why I keep agreeing to go for sushi .
CINDY: Jan, I hate raw fish too. Actually I have to admit that I am not a big fish eating person. This comes from the girl who use to live on the east coast and who had a father who fished. If Cyd and Jane had a theme song what would it be and why?
JAN: Hmmm, that's a good question. Sisters by Irvine Berlin from the movie White Christmas comes to mind. Because Cyd and Jane can be supportive and competitive. They both have their individual strengths but stick together. I loved that song. Another song that comes to mind is It takes two by Marvin Gaye because Cyd and Jane work together and they make use of each other's strengths to solve the mysteries.
CINDY: I loved the movie White Christmas. Its my holiday movie go to every year. I also loving watching old things. What inspired you to be a writer?
JAN:I think I've always been a writer. It's who I am rather than what I do.
CINDY: When you write do you have a schedule/routine?
JAN: Since I work full time I tend to write on the weekends, holidays and sometimes I am able to take time off work and I dedicate that time to writing.
CINDY: If you could have dinner with anyone (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
JAN: I'd have to say Nancy Drew but since she's a fictional character, I'll pick her creator Carolyn Keene. I'd be fascinated to find out how she came up with the character.
CINDY: What are you currently reading?
JAN: I’m currently reading The Maze Runner by James Dashner. It’s a y/a novel recommended to me by my 13 y/o niece. Next in line to be read is a y/a novel Under my Skin by fellow Alberta writer Judith Graves and Tall Story a y/a novel written by my writer friend in the UK Candy Gourlay.
CINDY: I have The Maze Runner sitting in my TBR pile that is waiting to be read. I recently just discovered Judith Graves and I am dying to read her works. Tall Story sounds really good and has been on my radar. You have travelled quite a bit with your previous job, do you have a favorite spot that you would like to go back to one day?
JAN: I took two years in the late ‘80s and travelled throughout Europe, parts of Africa and South East Asia, and did some freelance journalism. Since then I’ve been to Ecuador and a few years ago I went to India for a month and loved it. I plan to go back there for longer and hope to do some charity work while I’m there. I would love to go to some of the countries in South East Asia that weren’t accessible back in the late 80s like Cambodia and Viet Nam. Thailand was great – I’d go back there, and Egypt and the King Tut exhibit was one of the highlights of my travels for me. Which is why it shows up in the third book.
CINDY: Speaking of your third book, are you working on it now? Are you able to tell us anything if you are?
JAN: I’m working on the third book in the Megabyte Mystery series. It’s called Dead Bee in the Sarcophagus. The King Tut exhibit is in town, and Cyd and Jane discover that there is ancient honey still encased in the Ivory Pomegranate. Had the boy king planned to eat honey on toast in the afterlife? Can the ancient honey save the dying bees or will the curse of the tomb destroy the fragile bee population and those who come in contact with it? Everyone wants to get their mitts on the honey and the twin's parents get stuck in harm's way. Cyd and Jane get their sleuth on! To save the Queen Bee and her kingdom, through the boy king and his left over honey, they must navigate the many sticky shades between good and nasty.
CINDY: JAN, that sounds so good. I can't wait for it to come out in the fall.
Jan thanks so very much again for taking the time out of your schedule to do this Q&A with me. I truly appreciate it.
You can check out Jan's site to find out more about Jan and her books.