Episode 44: Anne Louise Bannon

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Honoria took the cloche off and shrugged off the coat with the white fox collar, laying them on one of the small tables flanking the door. She sniffed. Thanks to the croup, her sense of smell was still off. Yet something did not smell right. She turned toward her bedroom. The young woman lay sprawled at the entrance to the back hall, her eyes open and staring. -- Anne Louise Bannon, The Last Witnesses If you haven't yet read Anne Louise Bannon's Freddie and Kathy Mysteries, what a treat you have in store for you! Set in the Roaring Twenties, filled with bootleg hooch and murders aplenty. Here are the books in order: 1 - Fascinating Rhythm 2 - Bring Into Bondage 3 - The Last Witnesses In addition, Anne has written a very useful book for writers -- Howdunnit: Book of Poisons -- and has a blogged novel, White House Rhapsody, which she continues to update. You really must go check out Anne's website -- she has so many projects going on and so many interesting publications to her name, it's best I send you to the source. Do not forget her wine blog! She also gave a shout out to several authors, including Avery Ames, Mary Higgins Clark, Phyllis A. Whitney and the incomparable Dorothy L. Sayers. Enjoy! -- Laura Transcript of Interview with Anne Louise Bannon Laura Brennan: Anne Louise Bannon has made not one, but two careers out of her passion for storytelling. Both a novelist and a journalist, she has an insatiable curiosity. In addition to her mystery novels, she has written a nonfiction book about poisons, freelanced for such diverse publications as the Los Angeles Times, Ladies’ Home Journal, and Backstage West, and edits a wine blog. On the fiction side, she writes a romantic serial, a spy series, and her wonderful Kathy and Freddie historical mystery series, set in the 1920s. Anne, thank you for joining me. Anne Louise Bannon: thank you for having me. LB: On your website, I noticed that you introduce yourself through an avatar: Robin Goodfellow, who is better known as the impish Puck from A Midsummer Night's Dream. ALB: Yes,that is only my favorite character from my favorite play in the whole wide world. I love A Midsummer Night's Dream. LB: How do you see yourself as Puck? ALB: It's not so much physically, I'm not the fastest moving human being on the planet. It's mostly mentally. My brain is constantly going and there's throwaway line from the end of Act II: "I'll put a girdle around the earth in 40 minutes." Maybe my body doesn't move that fast, but my brain certainly does. It was something about Puck that I really loved. I also love the fact that he's a bit of a stinker. A pre-Bugs Bunny Bugs Bunny, if you will. LB: You are in every medium I can think of. So, let's actually start though: how did you get started writing? What came first? ALB: Oh, being a day-dreamy, moody teenager at age 15. I mean, I was spending an awful lot of time daydreaming. I finally figured out if I was going to spend all this time daydreaming, I should find a way to justify it. So I started writing. And that summer I turned 15, I cranked out my first novel. LB: Why mysteries? ALB: I've always liked mystery, as a genre. As I got older, I just started reading more and more mysteries. I stumbled onto Dorothy Sayers, and Nero Wolfe was popular on TV with, I think, William Cannon at the time. One of my favorite books as a kid was called The Mystery of the Green Cat by Phyllis Whitney and I really enjoyed Nancy Drew, and fell away from it for a while as a teenager but got back into it as a young adult, even before I finished college. I would pick up mysteries as my relaxation from grad school work and stuff like that. LB: How do you think your training as a journalist impacted your fiction? ALB: Well, given that my journalism happened way later, as an adult... Here's the story: I had a really bad first marriage. As part of that, I ended up writing a lot of stuff,

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