African Lions, Jane Austen and a Paranormal Detective with Vered Ehsani

Introduction

Podcast episode 21Today’s podcast episode has all kinds of fascinating connections…with a Michael Douglas / Val Kilmer movie, with turn-of-the-century Victorian England, and with Africa and African mythology. Which, as author Vered Ehsani points out, has much more to it than just the Egyptian mythology we most often associate with Africa.

Vered’s describes her paranormal detective mysteries as a cross between Jane Austen and Lara Croft, which makes for some really fun reading. The books are witty and sharp, and have layers of social commentary, as well as fascinating and mysterious plots. Vered has three novels available for free if you sign up for her newsletter, which is a fantastic way to get to know her detective, Mrs. Knight.

Later in the episode, Vered mentions a photo journal about Nairobi that she’s just released. You can find out more about that here.

You can find out more about Vered and her books on her website VeredEhsani.co.za. She’s also on Twitter and Facebook.

Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on iTunes. And listen on Stitcher.

You can also click here to watch the interview on YouTube.

Transcript of Interview

Alexandra: Hello Mystery Readers, this is Alexandra Amor and this is It’s a Mystery Podcast. I’m here today with Vered Ehsani. Hi Vered.

Vered: Hi, how are you doing dear?

Alexandra: I’m good, how are you?

Vered: Good, I don’t actually have electricity right now, but it’s not a normal state of affairs, we just don’t have electricity whenever it rains, so we’re good.

Alexandra: Well, it’s nice that your WiFi is working anyway.

Vered: For a little while, yeah, we’ll see how long it lasts.

Alexandra: You’re the first author I’ve spoken to in Africa, so this is pretty exciting.

Vered: Cool!

Alexandra: Yeah, I’m looking forward to this very much, so let me introduce you to our listeners.

Vered-BooksVered Ehsani has been a writer since she could hold pen to paper which is a lot longer than she cares to admit. Since mid-2000 she’s lived in Kenya with her family and various other animals. When she isn’t writing she pretends to work as an environmental consultant. Her current book series can best be described as Jane Austen meets Lara Croft in colonial Africa. Although she can’t claim to be a paranormal detective, Vered does share a lot in common with the series main character who refuses to let danger and death inconvenience her.

And this series looks like so much fun and I was so excited to talk to you about it today.

Let’s start with Beatrice Knight, your main character, so she’s a paranormal detective. It’s the late 19th century, like 1890?

Vered: Yeah, 1890..she arrives in Kenya in 1899.

Alexandra: Okay, all right, and she was working as a paranormal detective in London, correct?

Vered: Yeah, yeah.

Alexandra: Okay, so take us on a bit of her journey to find Africa.

Vered: Basically the character is a British woman during the height of colonialism and of course as you know at that time Kenya, which was called East Africa, was under British rule. Because of some sort of problem in the family, they had to leave England and go to Kenya, or East Africa at the time, and she thought that she was retiring from investigating the paranormal but it turns out that Africa is actually full of paranormal and mythological stories and I had a lot of fun investigating and researching that.

We tend to hear a lot about Egypt mythology; that’s quite a common. When people think of Africa it’s usually Egypt mythology but there’s actually a lot of beautiful stories and mythology and fantastic characters when you go south of Egypt, yeah, and it’s also in Africa. That’s where my focus has been and what I’ve been exploring.

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Ghost Detectives and North Carolina History with Stuart Jaffe

Ghost Detectives and North Carolina History with Stuart Jaffe

Introduction

One of my favorite things about the world of indie publishing is that authors can blend genres in ways that create books that are fresh and unique. My guest today, Stuart Jaffe, has done that with his paranormal mystery series set in North Carolina, featuring a ghost detective from the 1940s who makes himself known, and begins to work with, a detective in the present day.

Podcast episode 4Stuart shares two amazing true stories that went on to inspire some of the events in his Max Porter Mysteries. It’s such a cliche to say truth is stranger than fiction, but Stuart has some excellent examples that prove the reason that saying exists.

You can find Stuart and his books on www.StuartJaffe.com.
And on Twitter @StuartJaffe.
And on Facebook.

Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on iTunes. And listen on Stitcher.

You can also click here to watch the interview on YouTube.

 

Transcription of Interview with Stuart Jaffe

Alexandra: Hi, everyone. I’m Alexandra Amor. And I’m here today with Stuart Jaffe. Hi, Stuart!

Stuart: Hi, Alexandra.

Alexandra: How are you?

Stuart: Thanks for having me. I’m doing fine. How are you?

Alexandra: I’m great. You’re so welcome. I’m so happy that you’re here. So just by way of introduction, I’ll let everyone know. Am I pronouncing your name, your last name correctly?

Stuart: It’s Jaffe.

Alexandra: Jaffe, okay, perfect. Stuart Jaffe is the author of the Max Porter Paranormal-Mysteries, The Malja Chronicles, The Gillian Boone novels, the Bluesman series, Real Magic, After the Crash, and much more. You’re a prolific guy, Stuart. His short stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. He was the co-host of the eclectic review podcast. And for those who keep count, the latest animal listening on his rural farm in North Carolina is as follows, one dog, four cats, one albino corn snake, three aquatic turtles, seven chickens, and a horse. But Stuart says that, thankfully, the chickens and the horse do not live inside the house. And so your black tarantula must have died. Is that right?

StuartJaffeStuart: Yeah, that was a old, old tarantula. It outlived most tarantulas. And we didn’t actually know…I don’t know if you know much about tarantulas. But most spiders, they shed their skin.

Alexandra: Right.

Stuart: And so they do it by…they lay on their back, and then they crawl out of it.

Alexandra: Oh, okay.

Stuart: So when they first start to shed, you think they’re dead because they’re on their back. So it took us about a couple days to realize, “Oh, that’s it.”

Alexandra: Oh no!

Stuart: But yeah, we lost that. We had bunnies. We’ve had other animals. We’re trying to reduce a little bit but I never win that argument.

Alexandra: No, I bet you don’t.

I’m really interested in the Max Porter Paranormal-Mysteries. That’s the thing that really piqued my interest. And since this is a show about mystery novels, I thought that would be a great fit. And the thing that intrigues me about them so much is that they combine several genres. So “paranormal mystery noir,” someone mentioned in one of your reviews. So tell us a little bit about what that’s like for you to combine those genres.

Stuart: A lot of fun.

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