Book: The Curse of La Fontaine
Author: M.L. Longworth
M. L. Longworth has written for The Washington Post, The Times (London), The Independent, and Bon Appétit magazine. She is the author of a mystery series set in Southern France, Verlaque and Bonnet Provençal Mysteries, published by Penguin USA. 'Death at the Château Bremont' was published in June 2011, 'Murder in the Rue Dumas' in 2012, 'Death in the Vines,' in 2013, 'Murder on the Ile Sordou' in 2014, and 'The Mystery of the Lost Cézanne' in September of 2015.
1. Who are some of your artist inspirations?
Too many to list. But, briefly, Paul Cézanne, Barbara Pym, Iris Murdoch, Anita Brookner, Paolo Sorentino.
2. Can you describe the feeling of having a book finally published?
Immense relief. And then an excitement, and dread, to begin the next one.
3. How do you overcome writer's block?
I force myself to write; anything at all. Or I go for a walk.
4. What is the most liberating thing about writing?
I love making up scenes, and conversations, and describing and inventing characters.
5. What book was your favorite to write/which one was your most challenging?
I loved writing my mystery set on a fictional island off the coast of Marseille (Murder on the Ile Sordou); I had a great time inventing the island and loved writing a ‘closed room’ mystery. The Cézanne mystery was my trickiest, as I had to do lots of research and put myself into the head of the painter.
6. Do you plan on writing more books in the future?
Yes! My contract with Penguin is for one book a year.
7. What is the best book you have read in 2017?
Re-reading Barbara Pym’s great novel “A Glass of Blessings.”
8. What is your writing process like?
I like to write in the mornings, after lots of strong coffee.
9. What is your favorite part about your writing process?
Is that a trick question? The writer EB White had a sign in his office that read “Writing is Hell.” I agree. Writing is very hard work and at times tortuous, but if I try to pick out one thing, it would be writing dialogue.