Episode 16: Gigi Pandian

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With two delicious series going, each with a new book out over the next six months, author Gigi Pandian still managed to find time to chat with me, and I'm thrilled. Her adventure-filled mysteries are among my favorite series. How do you know if you'd like them? If you're a fan of Elizabeth Peters, either her Vicky Bliss or her Amelia Peabody series, then you will love Gigi's books. We talk about a lot of things, and one of them is food. Dorian, the gourmet chef (and living gargoyle) from The Accidental Alchemist grumbles about it, but he manages to create masterful dishes with only vegan ingredients. Gigi has a treasure trove of recipes on her site for you to try as well, and don't miss her Pinterest board! Gigi's interests are so wide-ranging -- alchemy! mythology! world travel! -- that I'm not going to try to encapsulate it all here. Instead, let me suggest you follow her on Facebook and subscribe to her newsletter. Little doses of wonderment await. And joy -- did I mention what joyous romps the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mysteries are? There, now I did. Plus Gigi just shared some great news about The Accidental Alchemist series: her original three-book series has been extended! There will be more adventures for Zoe and Dorian ahead. Here are the two series, in order: The Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Series 1 - Artifact 2 - Pirate Vishnu 3 - Quicksand 4 - Michelangelo's Ghost The Accidental Alchemist 1 - The Accidental Alchemist 2 - The Masquerading Magician 3 - The Elusive Elixir As always, if you'd prefer to read rather than listen, here is the transcript. Enjoy! Transcript of Interview with Gigi Pandian: Laura Brennan: My guest today is USA Today bestselling author, Gigi Pandian. The Accidental Alchemist won this year’s Best Novel Lefty Award, while Artifact, a Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery, was named a Best of 2012 Debut Novel by Suspense Magazine. Lucky for us, both of these mysteries launched excellent series. Gigi, thank you for joining me. Gigi Pandian: Thanks so much for having me today. LB: Your very first novel was Artifact. GP: Yes. LB: And that was the first outing for Jaya Jones. GP: Yup. LB: The subheading for that is “A Treasure Hunt Mystery.” Which came first? Did the treasure hunt aspect of it come first or did you come up with the character first? GP: So the whole idea for the series was always there right from the start, mixed up with Jaya and her friends and the whole adventure of it. But I hadn’t really figured out that it was a treasure hunt mystery series because when I wrote the first book, I was just concentrating on the first mystery. And so I knew that it was an adventure that became a treasure hunt, but it wasn’t until I was thinking about, as all authors have to do, how do you actually pitch your book to other people, that’s when I realized that that was really what I wanted to be doing for a whole series. Because I love adventure mysteries, and so it was definitely the thing that I wanted to hook the series around. LB: It is such a joyous romp. I love that book. GP: Oh, thank you. LB: It’s so full of the twists and the surprises. You said it kind of sprang full-formed? GP: The idea for the adventure of it, that it wouldn’t be something that was just set in one place. That it would be an adventure that was following clues that lead to different foreign destinations and that there would be twists and turns. I just, when I started writing it, I hadn’t figured out exactly what those twists and turns were. And it’s actually one of those things that is really funny when I look back on it, that I’ve always thought of myself as an outliner, someone who knows exactly what the story is before I sit down to write. But what I've realized is that every single book I've written, whenever I start with an outline but then I sent my characters free to go follow that outline, they do not follow my outline.

46 episodes available. A new episode about every 12 days averaging 21 mins duration .