Readers, it's always a treat to host Polly Iyer. I first met her as a Mainstream finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense contest. I learned then, she's the total package, author, artist and entrepreneur. Please welcome Polly Iyer as she talks to us about BACKLASH.
BACKLASH, a Diana Racine Mystery
When psychic Diana Racine’s old friend is murdered in New Orleans, her love, Lieutenant Ernie Lucier, brings her in to consult on the case. What she sees when she touches the dead man’s body is another man with silver eyes, a gang tattoo, and a bullet in the middle of his forehead. Before long, Diana and Lucier are drawn into a web of murders that stretches far into the past. The deeper they get into the investigation, the more it appears the deaths are the work of a group of vigilantes on a moral crusade. Vigilantes wearing the blue of the NOPD who won’t let anything or anyone stand in their way.
DONNELL: Ooooh, Polly, I can’t wait to read BACKLASH. Welcome back to Get Lost in a Story. Amazing how art imitates real life is, isn’t it? In light of what’s going on across the country, how do you feel about releasing this book?
POLLY: Every situation of revenge in the book is taken from real life. Every single one. I elaborated, of course. I felt the frustration of innocent people involved in a crime and centered the story on someone for whom the loss was personal and could have been avoided. It wasn’t hard to find examples. I had no idea what would happen subsequently in the US at the time I was writing Backlash. I won’t say any more because I don’t want to reveal anything to a future reader. Enough to say there are many inconsistencies in the justice system, as we’re all finding out.
DONNELL: I love psychic stories, and you bring Diana to life. Do you believe people have psychic abilities?
POLLY: I have a friend who believes in psychic phenomenon completely. She’s gone to psychics and they’ve told her things no one could have known. Another friend has family that definitely has psychic sensitivity. One has to keep an open mind, so in short, yes.
DONNELL: You had special assistance from a law enforcement expert to write this novel. Can you talk about that?
POLLY: Because the book is as much police procedural as thriller, I did ask a few questions on CrimeSceneWriter. The rest came from Internet research, although I did have help from a forensic cop about drugs and its psychological and physical effects. I read many first-hand accounts that curled my hair and gave me insight into the addiction. My books all have multiple plots, and though that’s not the main plot, it was intrinsic to the development of the story.
DONNELL: This book also caused you some trepidation to complete. Why was that? Now that you’re finished, did it free you up to begin a fresh project anew?
POLLY: I didn’t want to disappoint my readers who liked the first two books, and they kept asking me when the next Diana Racine book was coming out. Such pressure. What if it wasn’t good enough? What if I didn’t develop my characters? There’s nothing worse than letting down your readers. I got through it, but there was a lot of second guessing, insecurity, and loss of objectivity. I am working on a standalone, but I also changed my mind about a fourth book in the series. I initially didn’t think there would be one, but I’ve already started the next book, so I guess getting over the third book did free me for continuing the series. Still, I assume I’ll have the same problems with the fourth book, but I think I’ll handle it better, though there’s nothing worse than a series that’s lost its steam. Yup, I’ll handle it better. Right.
DONNELL: Get Lost in a Story deals mainly with fun questions, but naturally I had to drag the hard questions out of you first. So let’s have some fun. You write on your porch, right. Tell us why that is and give us a visual.
POLLY: There’s a deck on the front of our house, which is high on a hill. I live on a city lake and on a jogging, cycling, and walking route. It’s quiet, and the outside is conducive to concentrating. This is in good weather only. You couldn't catch me out there now. It’s cold. B-r-r.
DONNELL: I have been blessed to meet you in person. You’re drop dead gorgeous and look a good twenty to thirty years younger than your actual age. How do you do it?
POLLY: You need to wear your glasses. But thank you. All I can say is one word: Genes.
DONNELL: In a prior life you lived in Boston. You now live in the South. What was the biggest learning experience/transition for you in your relocation?
POLLY: This is a loaded question, so I’ll just say there are plusses and minuses in both places.
DONNELL: What’s the most unusual thing you have in your closet.
POLLY: A jeweled sari that I wore only once, to a Halloween party.
Polly, now it’s your turn. Time to ask the reader a question.
POLLY IYER WANTS TO KNOW: There are many sub-genres of crime fiction, from cozy mysteries to noir. Considering that noir is hard crime, anything goes, and readers know that. As a reader, what subgenres do you like, and what turns you off from each one? Romance, sex, violence, disbelief, characters too stupid to live? Get my drift? What makes you close a book and say enough?
READERS NOW'S AS GOOD A TIME AS ANY TO TELL YOU THAT POLLY IYER'S HOOKED WILL BE FREE!!! DECEMBER 10-13, AND MURDER DEJA VU WILL BE FREE DECEMBER 17-20!!! (And be sure to check out the covers. Polly is the cover artist.)
Thanks for being our guest today. To learn more about Polly, check out the following link.
Stories that keep you reading past your bedtime.