Friday, November 30, 2012

Madison Johns interviews Eleanor Mason, a character from Armed and Outrageous

Armed and Outrageous features Agnes Barton as lead amateur sleuth, but it’s her partner in crime Eleanor Mason who steals the show.

1. Thanks Eleanor for letting me interview you today.
You’re welcome Madison.

2. Can you state your age for the record?
Well that’s one heck of a question to ask me. I happen to be a very young eighty-two.

3. What’s it like working alongside Agnes Barton solving crimes?
It’s kinda like getting a tooth pulled, painful at times, but you know you have to do it or everything will fall apart.

4. So would you call yourself the glue that holds everything in place?
Of course, Agnes needs all the help she can get and at least with me tagging along she has protection.

5. Is it true you pack a pistol in your purse?
We-Well I don’t know if I should say. I don’t want to spend the weekend in the pokey.

6. Don’t you have a concealed weapons permit?
Is that a trick question?

7. Next question. What makes Eleanor tick?
A good glass of wine and a man of course. Mr. Wilson is okay but I’m hoping to meet someone younger. I can so see myself as a cougar. Roar!

8. What do you and Agnes have in common and where do you differ?
We do so love to solve crimes and neither of us care for Sheriff Peterson. He’s Iosco County’s excuse for a sheriff. Where we differ is my behavior. Agnes is a total stick in the mud whereas I’m the life of the party. Sometimes she acts just like she’s my mother. Sometimes she gets on my very last nerve, but if anyone dared say so I’d give them a one and a two and a three, raising her fist menacingly.

Thanks Eleanor for allowing me to interview you today.

Thanks Madison and I hope you write me in a younger man in the sequel.

Armed and Outrageous Synopsis
What does a murder that happened forty-three years ago in Tadium, MI, have to do with missing tourist Jennifer Martin? Agnes Barton makes it her personal mission to find out, and she's not letting the fact she's seventy-two get in the way. Butting heads with Sheriff Clem Peterson is something she's accustomed to, but lately Clem seems to be acting even more strange, making Agnes wonder what he may be hiding ala the Martin disappearance.

Agnes’ partner in crime, Eleanor Mason tags along, Watson to her Holmes.
Together, they unearth clues. If only Eleanor would behave, as although lovable, she has a knack for getting into trouble by tangling with her rival, Dorothy Alton, or flirting with anyone—male or female—and gossiping! She's incorrigible, but she does carry a Pink Lady revolver in her purse, one that has proved useful at times.

Before long, the lady sleuths have more on their hands to contend with as goons roll into town and bullets begin to fly. Adult situations.

 Madison Johns Bio:

As a child, Madison Johns preferred to distance herself from other children her age, and had been described as a dreamer. Even as a small child, she remembers staying awake many a night fighting dragons, whisked away to foreign lands, or meeting the man of her dreams.

She was a voracious reader of historical romance in her teen years and has always wished to one day journey to England, France, Ireland, and Scotland.

The writing bug bit her at the age of 44 and she pounded out three books since that time. As the publishing climate changed she took a risk and decided to self publish, first a collection of two horror short stories geared for YA, Coffin Tales Season of Death with her first cozy mystery novel to follow in May 2012.

I will be giving away a copy of Armed and Outrageous in ebook format or a signed print edition, your choice. All you have to do is comment on my blog posts during the Mystery We Write blog tour.

What a fun interview, thank you, Madison.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Interview with Irene Laureux from Remain in Light

 Irène Laureux is a native Parisian and has lived in a lovely apartment at rue Rampon in the 11th arrondissement for more than 50 years. She’s still a beautiful woman at age 69, an almost movie star quality about her with luxurious blonde hair, downturned mouth and inquisitive dark eyes. You could imagine her in one of Truffaut, Malle or Godard’s New Wave films.

Madame Laureux works from home as a book editor for one of France’s most prestigious publishing houses. Her husband died in 1968 and Madame Laureux suffered from agoraphobia for many years, living as a virtual prisoner in her apartment. 

By chance, she met a young American writer named Martin Paige, who was staying at the hotel opposite her building, and through a series of extraordinary circumstances, she was able to overcome her fear of the outdoors. Madam Laureux kindly agreed to sit down and talk about her remarkable life over a glass of red wine and pack of Gauloises.

CK:  Tell me about your life in Paris and how you came to settle on rue Rampon.

IL: I came to live here with my maternal aunt after the Nazis murdered my parents. They were both part of the resistance. When my aunt died she left me the apartment and I’ve been here ever since.

CK: And how did you meet your late husband?

IL: Jean-Louis was a guest at the Bel Air Hotel. I occasionally help with hotel security, so on of my nightly checks, I happened to see him…

CK: This was before your agoraphobia?

IL: Well… I’ve suffered from it since I was a child, but my work for the hotel was of a more observational nature. I have a very clear view of the hotel from my gallery, so I often check on guests that may cause trouble.

CK: So you’re essentially a peeping tom?

IL: I reject that term. My work has prevented thefts, assaults and suicides. I have nothing to be ashamed of.

CK: I’m sorry… let’s move on. So you met your husband in your duties for the Bel Air.

IL: Yes, he was here from Nice interviewing for a teaching position at the École des Beaux-Arts. It was a whirlwind courtship and we married soon after he accepted the job.

CK: This might be painful to answer, but how did your husband die?

IL: During the riots of 1968. His body was found near Notre-Dame. He’d been shot.

CK: Was Jean-Louis active in the May protests?

IL: Yes… he and his students in the graphic design department created all the famous posters seen around Paris. He took part in many of the demonstrations.

CK: Do you believe the government murdered him for his activities?

IL: I cannot say. The police gave up years ago.

CK: But you haven’t given up? I understand that a local detective is searching for answers and so is your friend, Martin Paige.

IL: (hesitates) Martin has been a wonderful advisor.

CK: Doesn’t Martin live here with you?

IL: Yes… he’s also an editor at the publishing house.

CK: There are rumours that he is your lover. Care to comment?

IL: That is an outrageous claim, monsieur! Martin is young enough to be my grandson.

CK: Did you meet Martin while you were peeping… ummm… working for the hotel?

IL: Yes.

CK: And he cured you of your agoraphobia? I find that remarkable.

IL: He didn’t “cure me” as you suggest, and I find your insinuations very invasive. Martin was injured in the bombing of the Saint-Michel metro station in 1995. I was able to overcome my fear and come to his aid. After that, Martin worked with me so that I could finally leave my home.

CK: I don’t mean to imply anything, madame. I just want my readers to understand that you have a remarkable story and very interesting people surrounding you. Now, one last question – who is Frederick Dubois?

IL: (long silence) How do you know that name?

CK: Your detective, Monsieur Hugo, is searching for a man named Dubois. Does he have something to do with your husband’s murder?

IL: I don’t want to answer anymore questions. (She rises, walks towards the front door and opens it, indicating I should leave)

CK:  Wasn’t Frederick Dubois one of your husband’s students at the École des Beaux-Arts?

IL: Please leave. (She is now closing the door on me)

CK: Wasn’t Frederick Dubois, in fact, your husband’s secret lover? Do you think he played a part in Jean-Louis’ death?

Madame Laureux slammed the door in my face after this question. As I said, a very mysterious woman with an intriguing past.

Collin Kelley is the author of the novels Conquering Venus and Remain In Light, which was a 2012 finalist for the Townsend Prize for Fiction. His poetry collections include Better To Travel, Slow To Burn and After the Poison and the forthcoming Render. Kelley is also the author of the eBook short story collection, Kiss Shot. A recipient of the Georgia Author of the Year Award, Deep South Festival of Writers Award and Goodreads Poetry Award, Kelley’s poetry, essays and interviews have appeared in magazines, journals and anthologies around the world. He lives in Atlanta, GA. For more information, visit, find him on Facebook at CollinKelleyWriter or follow him on Twitter @collinkelley.

Conquering Venus and Remain In Light are available in ebook and trade paperback formats from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, Smashwords and through your favourite local bookstore.

Collin will giveaway an eBook edition of each of his novels, Conquering Venus and Remain In Light, via Smashwords to a lucky winner. The eBooks will be available for download in multi-formats including versions for the Kindle, Nook and other devices. Make sure to leave a comment and Collin will randomly draw a winner, which will be announced at his Modern Confessional blog ( on Dec. 11.