“What if?” Those two words all too easily send Devorah Fox spinning into flights of fancy. Best-selling author of an award-winning literary historical fantasy series and several thrillers, she also penned Mystery Mini Short Reads and contributed short stories to popular fantasy anthologies. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she now lives on the Texas Gulf Coast with rescued tabby cats … and a dragon named Inky.
What’s your favourite part of the lifestyle of an Author?
I don’t have to wear pantyhose.
I’ve been a reader my entire life, and a writer too. I kept a diary or journal since childhood. However, what inspired me to try writing a novel was The Ritual Bath by Faye Kellerman. I so enjoyed the book that I decided I wanted to do that: create something that would engage readers the way that one engaged me.
Is there an Author that you consider your inspiration?
For a while I was a big Dick Francis fan, even though I have little interest in horses or racing. What I liked about his books, however, was that his heroes were usually ordinary people who, when confronted with extraordinary circumstances, rose to the challenge and discovered something new about themselves.
What’s your number one tip for an aspiring Author?
Write. Seriously. I do know some aspiring authors who have yet to write something. In addition, the more one writes, the better one gets at it.
Despite the fact that I have a four-book literary fantasy series to my name, the books that I enjoy reading are in the Mystery/Thriller genre. I have recently written those kinds of books. Detour and The Zen Detective have been well received.
Which one of your characters would you most like to spend time with?
I’d have to say Archie Harlanson from Detour, probably because the character was inspired by my late husband.
Which book do you consider a must-read?
I like The Lost King and The Zen Detective. Even though they are in different genres and set in different times and places, they both chronicle the struggles of someone driven by circumstances to set out on an entirely new life path.
What’s been the hardest edit that you’ve had to make? Why did you want to keep the material in?
That would be my work-in-progress, Blood Guilt. I’m reworking a story that I wrote decades ago and thought was complete. However, I’m taking it in a different direction which means a lot of it is getting completely rewritten. It’s hard to discard so much of it because the characters came alive for me (which is why I am still interested in telling the story). Making changes is painful, and “killing the darlings” describes that perfectly.
I am definitely a modern woman. I would NOT want to live in the Middle Ages of King Bewilliam’s stories. I haven’t done a lot of research into the 1920s, but I think I might have liked being Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher. That decade is characterized by great fashion, music, and design, a loosening of restrictions for women, and a gloss of carefree energy in general.
If you could pick an Author to write your biography, who would it be?
Michael Daigle, author of the Frank Nagler mysteries. Daigle not only crafts captivating tales, he’s a true wordsmith.
We all know the phrase “the book is always better than the film.” Which film would you like to see remade as a book?
I don’t agree. There are some TV shows that I like better than the books on which they’re based. I’ve come to understand that film and books are two very different methods of storytelling. Some stories are well told through action and dialog. Others require that the reader get deeper insight into the character’s thoughts and feelings which are best communicated in a book.
Can you sum up your life story in ten words or less?
Seized by the moment.
What’s exciting you about your next project?
All my books have required a great deal of research, and Blood Guilt is no different. Like The Zen Detective it combines a police investigation with the search for enlightenment. In this case I will get to explore a spiritual practice cloaked in tradition and secrecy: Kabbalah.
And finally, you have one quote to be remembered by, what is it?
“You might say I slay dragons every day.” (Empress Alexandra in The Lost King)