Episode 29: Jessica Estevao

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It was entirely my own fault, of course. I know better than to ignore the voice. At least I always do in retrospect... -- Jessica Estevao, Whispers Beyond the Veil Jessica Estevao has launched a terrific new series with Whispers Beyond the Veil. Set in 1898, it has everything you could want in a mystery: rich characters, superb settings, and of course, murder. First and foremost, Jessica gives a shout-out to her blog mates over at Wicked Cozy Authors. They include Liz Mugavero/Cate Conte, Sherry Harris, J.A. Hennrikus/Julianne Holmes, Barbara Ross, and Edith Maxwell/Tace Baker/Maddie Day. What a team! We talk about research into the past, including the Harmon Museum, the Lily Dale Assembly, and her neighbor Daniel Blaney, who literally wrote the book on Old Orchard's history. She also wants to give a shout-out to Sisters in Crime for all they do to help writers, both new and established. Finally, Jessica was kind enough to share her own personal story of a time when trusting her instincts -- and a voice in her ear -- saved her life. I have to use this as an opportunity to recommend Gavin de Becker's The Gift of Fear. I can't recommend it often enough. Very few books can save your life; this is one of them. Read it. And if you'd prefer to read the interview, as always, it's below. Enjoy! -- Laura Transcript of Interview with Jessica Estevao Laura Brennan: My guest today is an accomplished, award-winning novelist with a brand new series. As Jessie Crockett, she has the delightful Sugar Grove cozy mysteries, feature mayhem and maple syrup in equal doses. As Jessica Estevao, she has just launched a new series, set in 1898, and featuring a heroine with a dark past and an otherworldly gift. Jessica, thank you for joining me. Jessica Estevao: Thanks for having me. LB: I want to talk to you about your writing career. You have both a cozy series, a couple of other books, and now a new historical series. But first I want to ask, why mysteries? JE: I love mysteries. When I was a small child, my father used to travel on business and when he was gone, my mother would let me stay up and watch Agatha Christie mystery movies on television with her, which was of course a hugely special treat. So that was one aspect of it I suppose. But I think one of the reasons also was that the first chapter book that I remember reading was The Bobbsey Twins at the Seashore. And I just remember feeling so accomplished at reading a chapter book instead of a picture book. And I think that sense of delight associated with mysteries has remained my entire life. As an author, one of the things that I truly love about writing in the mystery genre is that the challenge is to conceal as well as to reveal. And it's really delightful to use that scaffolding to tell a story and to challenge yourself to tell both of those stories, what's real and what's misdirection. LB: Now, your first book was Live Free or Die, and you took home a Daphne for that right away. JE: I did. LB: You took the world by storm. So how did that book happen? JE: It kind of came as a response to a semi-tragedy here in my village. My postmistress in the village had been here for years when I started to write that book and then she retired. And I missed her terribly. And it seemed that the only way to get back the right sort of postmistress was to make my own. But in reality, we have had a couple of truly lovely postmistress and since then, but I like to think that sending out that energy to the universe got them for us. LB: It got you back your perfect postmistress. JE: Yes. The postmistress in a very small village really is a wonderful character, to be at the heart of the town and to set the tone and hours did it beautifully. And I just really wanted to honor that and recapture that in writing. LB: You wrote that first book, you really did take the mystery community by storm. But you went into a new series. JE: I did.

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