Friday, June 10, 2022

Guest Blogger Mary Anna Evans

Type M is thrilled to welcome our friend and guest blogger Mary Anna Evans, author of thirteen award-winning Faye Longchamp mysteries. Her fourteenth mystery novel, The Physicists' Daughter, is the first in a fabulous new series set in WWII-era New Orleans and introduces Justine Byrne, whom Mary Anna describes as “a little bit Rosie-the-Riveter and a little bit Bletchley Park codebreaker". What's it like to start anew after a long successful run? Mary Anna has some thoughts about that.*

The Terror of Starting Something New

Mary Anna Evans

It has just now occurred to me that there is a strange symmetry to my writing career as of this moment. From the time I submitted my first short story to a magazine (and was rejected) to the time I sold my first novel, Artifacts, about eighteen years passed. 

Now, I wasn't writing and submitting and being rejected continuously all that time. I had jobs. I had children. I published a few poems. But, by and large, the publishing world spent eighteen years telling me "No," loudly and often. 

It has now been about eighteen years since I sold Artifacts, so my writing life hands in the balance, at least in terms of time. Is it a coincidence, I wonder, that I'm doing something new? And is it any wonder that I'm nervous about it, after writing thirteen books about Faye Longchamp, a protagonist whom I still admire and enjoy? I could easily keep writing about Faye, and I may well write about her again, but life and art are about learning and growing. It's time to flex some new muscles. 

The Physicists' Daughter went out into the world this month. It's a historical novel, and 1944 is a new time period for me. While still published by a mystery imprint, it's as much a spy thriller as it is a traditional mystery. I had enormous amounts of fun learning about 1944 and World War II and top secret weapons and mid-twentieth-century science. My new protagonist, Justine Byrne, is young and awkward and brilliant and loyal, and I think my readers will have as much fun spending time with her as I do. Her best friend, Georgette Broussard, has been another gift to me as a writer. These two women were born for adventures, and I hope I get to the intrepid pair on many of them.

None of these things makes the nervousness go away, but you know what? I think we're supposed to be nervous. It's not good for us to get complacent. Who wants to live in a rut?

I like to think that I've brought everything I've learned in the years I wrote Faye to this book. I like to think that those things have made The Physicists' Daughter the best book I can write today. Next year, I'll know enough to write one that's even better.

In the meantime, don't mind me. I'm just sitting here in my corner of the internet, watching my new baby go out into the world and worrying about her.


*p.s. Mary Anna has nothing to worry about. The Physicists' Daughter is an absorbing, heart-pounding read - Donis

visit Mary Anna's website at

1 comment:

Mary Anna Evans said...

Aw, thank you, Donis. I'm glad you enjoyed it!