This week on Espresso Tales, I'm chatting with US Author, Joan Livingston, author of the upcoming novel, Chasing the Case.
Joan Livingston is the author of novels for adult and young readers. Chasing the Case, published by Crooked Cat Books, is the first in a series featuring Isabel Long, a longtime journalist who becomes an amateur P.I.
An award-winning journalist, she started as a reporter covering the hilltowns of Western Massachusetts. She was an editor, columnist, and most recently the managing editor of The Taos News, which won numerous state and national awards during her tenure.
After eleven years in Northern New Mexico, she returned to rural Western Massachusetts, which is the setting of much of her adult fiction, including Chasing the Case and its sequels.
Chasing the Case is currently available on pre-order ahead of release on 18 May.
Megan: Joan, welcome to Espresso Tales. Now, first thing first, what can I get you to drink?
Joan: Since I already had my morning coffee, I would love black tea with a bit of milk, Megan. Thank you.
Megan: Absolutely. Now, please tell me about your latest book, Chasing the Case.
Joan: Chasing the Case is my first attempt at writing a mystery, and to be honest, I fell in love with the genre. Isabel Long, who tells this story, is a long-time journalist who became an amateur P.I. after getting canned from her job running a newspaper. She decides to solve a mystery of a woman who went missing 28 years earlier in her town of a thousand people. (It was Isabel’s first big story as a rookie reporter.) Isabel has the time and a Watson, her 92-year-old mother who lives with her. Isabel also takes a job at the local watering hole to get up close and personal with those connected to the case. As a journalist, Isabel never lost a case. Now as a P.I. she’s not about to lose this case. Yeah, she’s a pretty determined woman.
Megan: It sounds great and Isabel sounds like a great character. Will we see any more of her? Is this the potential start of a series?
Joan: I am working on the second sequel to Chasing the Case. It’s called Checking the Traps. A low-life drug dealer who believes his brother didn’t kill himself hires her. In the first sequel, Redneck’s Revenge, Isabel investigates the death of a junkyard owner. Crooked Cat Books will release that one this fall.
Megan: What inspires your writing?
Joan: I love taking what I know or experienced and have my way with it. For most of my fiction, that would be life in very small towns.
Megan: You've had an interesting career as a journalist and now have turned your hand to fiction. Have you always been a writer?
Joan: I wrote poetry in college and shortly afterward, but then I had a 25-year writer’s block while I mothered six kids. That’s where my creative energy went. I broke the block by become a reporter for the hilltowns of Western Massachusetts. By the way, I started writing fiction when I became an editor. Reporting is tough work. I have finished a slew of novels for adult and young readers, many of them as yet unpublished. Now, I can’t imagine a day without writing.
Megan: Some say writing is exhausting, others invigorating. Which is it for you?
Joan: Writing makes me happy and fulfilled, so I would say it energises me. When I hear people say something like, “I hate to write but I have to write,” I tell them then find another creative outlet. Writing should bring you joy. But then there is the business of writing. That’s more complicated.
Megan: Yes, it is! Thanks for joining me Joan and all the best with Chasing the Case.
To learn more about Joan and Chasing the Case, visit: