INTERVIEW WITH IRIS JOHANSEN

 

SHATTERED MIRROR by Iris Johansen is a paranormal thriller with a tease of romance.  What makes this book stand out is that the good guys/gals are actually good and the bad guys are pure evil, without any grey area.

Eve Duncan, a forensic sculptor, has the job of reconstructing skulls for recognition.  At her Georgia home, left in her husband Joe’s car, is a package with a skull burnt beyond recognition. Also, inside are two mirrors, one intact and one shattered.  It is threat sent to Eve that her family is currently intact, but will be shattered as this killer goes after them one by one.  This villain has set up a complex plan to get revenge by first going to New York’s Carnegie Tech where Eve’s ward, 18-year-old violin prodigy Cara Delaney, and her roommate, former child actress Darcy Nichols, have residence.

After Cara is attacked in their room Jock Gavin comes to her rescue. He is someone designated to be Cara’s protector, but also became her best-friend.  With danger looming, Cara and Darcy agree to visit with Eve, Jo, and Michael their six-year-old son.  After their arrival, it becomes apparent there is more than just a casual resemblance between Darcy and the skull, which turns out to be Darcy’s twin sister, Sylvie.  Eve and her team must work quickly to discover who is behind that murder and threats against her family before the killer destroys all she holds dear.

Elise Cooper:  How did you get the idea for this Eve story?

Iris Johansen:  The first little kernel came from my editor after I asked her for a suggestion. Her idea was to write about twins.  I thought about it and SHATTERED MIRROR was born.

EC: How would you describe Michael, Eve and Joe’s son?

IR:  Sweet and affectionate.  I love children.  As a writer, every now and then, one reaches out to me and takes me over.  Michael is like that, born to give everything to those around him.

EC:  What about his paranormal talents?

IJ:  I am working on it as I go along.  His family is trying to keep him just a kid, but it is getting harder and harder because Michael is Michael.  I do like to keep his talents a surprise, both for me and my readers because it’s more fun that way.  Because he is different it presents a whole new world. I am fascinated with the paranormal realm because it reaches beyond the scope of what we know and what we dream of or can hope for.  But my paranormal is never a horror story like what Stephen King writes.

EC:  How would you describe Joe Quinn?

IJ:  He is now a detective with the Atlanta Police Department.  I made him a former SEAL because they are tough, smart, and have incredible endurance with a complicated lifestyle, especially after he becomes involved with Eve.

EC:  Family plays an important role in this book?

IJ:  Most of my books involve family because I really believe in family.  Eve and those around her circle the wagons when one is threatened.  It is a very cold world out there but they all realize as a family they can get through anything.  In my family, we are making an effort to be like the one in the TV show Blue Bloods. At least once a week we get together and make sure we are not all scattered to the four winds.  It is important that we stay together.

EC:  You describe Eve as a “female terminator?”

IJ:  I wanted to show how she tries to protect Michael, which is why I have the book quote, ‘All his life she had been trying to see that he was only surrounded by joy and sunlight.’ It is our job as mothers to try to keep the darkness out and insulate because who knows what they will face later in life.  Eve is like a mama bear.

EC:  You tease about a relationship between Cara and Jock Gavin?

IJ:  Readers will know what happens in a few books down the road.  Because Jock had a really dark past he does not want her to become involved with him.  They are close and best friends, but he wants to avoid the intimacy. He wants her to find someone else. Although I must say the sparks are definitely there.  Hopefully everything will work out between them.

EC:  Two of Eve’s adopted daughters, Jane and Cara, seem to be attracted to “bad boys?”

IJ:  Maybe because I am attracted to bad boys too.  These guys are exciting where they give all or nothing.  I want to make sure Jock and Seth Caleb are never reformed by the girls because that would take all the excitement out of the characters. I am making sure both these relationships develop very slowly. In fact, Caleb is the second most popular character in the Eve series.  I think his sexiness and a little wickedness is what attracts readers.

EC: Eve is a forensic sculptor, why that profession?

IJ:  I think it is honorable what she does.  Most of the time the work is done when a person cannot be identified.  After the restoration, it is used to circulate a picture for the public to possibly recognize who was that person.  Another important aspect is the ability to give closure.  Their loved one can have a sense of who they were before the horrific act was committed. I think Cara’s roommate Darcy went through that process with her twin sister Sylvie.

EC:  How would you describe Darcy?

IJ:  Even though she has gone through hell she is tough, and has a joy about her. She knows who she is and is very outgoing and self-assured. I think she compliments Cara who is private and humble without any sense of ego.

EC:  You have your characters able to communicate without being in each other’s presence?

IJ:  Eve is able to communicate with her daughter Bonnie who was killed.  Bonnie is still a great part of her life.  Now Darcy is able to do it with Sylvie.  I really liked the idea how Eve was able to help Darcy make the connection with her sister and relieve some of the feeling of being so lost.

EC:  Can you give a heads up about your next books?

IJ:  The next book is a Kendra book entitled, DOUBLE BLIND, out in July. The co-author is my son Roy.  These books have no hint of paranormal and are based solely on good detective work. In October VENDETTA goes on sale that features a new character, the daughter of CIA Carl Venable, and I bring back Catherine Ling in that one also. Ling is a CIA operative who was raised on the streets of Hong Kong.  Next March, DARK TRIBUTE features  Eve, Joe, Michael, Cara, and Jock. There will also be two strong Eve books, one where Michael will come to the forefront that might shock people, and the other concentrating on Cara and the importance of her music.  In this book, SHATTERED MIRROR, the music was a piece of the plot, but because it is so important in Cara’s life it will become an important element in a book down the line.

THANK YOU!!

Shattered Mirror (Eve Duncan Book 23)

Iris Johansen

St. Martin’s Press

April 24th, 2018