“Seeing Eye” by Liz Marshall is a well written, clever, fresh and fascinating mystery novel. The main character, Rory, is a psychic who works as Madame Mona at a fun fair where she mostly gets by with quick and superficial readings. Until a client comes in and Rory has a clear vision about a missing man, who she knows was killed and she knows by whom.
Soon the police pay her a visit and Rory gets involved into the solving of the murder and, the danger zone that surrounds the murder, too.
The book handles the mystery excellently and also the element of a psychic being involved. There is ambiguity and intrigue. Marshall fleshes the story out excellently by bringing in several sub-plots, which aren’t always immediately recognisable as connected to the case or to Rory/ Mona.
I loved the narrative voice that shines with honesty and dry wit and which makes our protagonist such a great character. The psychic element is not over-shadowing the investigations and the secondary characters and the chemistry between Rory and the police detective make this a well- rounded read.
This is a hugely enjoyable story that I hope will turn into a series.
–Tell us about yourself and your psychic side.
Although I have no psychic ability, I’m very empathic – I read emotions that others don’t seem to see, and it often causes me pain. The other night I was watching a cabaret show with some friends. It was a wonderful show, and we were seated only a few feet from the performers. I was smiling, swaying to the music, clapping, nodding encouragement, showing them that I appreciated their efforts. But when I looked over at my friends, their faces were impassive, like they were watching a movie. I felt so sad for the people on stage.
How did you come to writing?
I’ve been reading non-stop since first grade, and I think there just comes a point, as a reader, where you want to try writing too. There are so many stories in my head that need to be told.
–Are you at all like Rory? How did you come up with the character? Who would you cast to play the characters in a movie?
Those are interesting questions, Christoph. When I wrote the book I was sure that Rory and I were nothing alike. It was only later that I noticed that we’re both loners who have trust issues, who are estranged from our families, and who have a wicked, ironic sense of humor.
If I were lucky enough to have the book turned into a movie, I think my dream actress for Rory would be Jessica Chastain, and for Michael Warrick I would love to have Ryan Reynolds.
–Were the plot and subplots completely planned from the start or did they change during the process, and if so, how?
(laughing) Nothing was planned, I just plunged in and started writing – which I do not recommend, by the way. From the beginning, I knew who the killer was, and I was writing toward that ending, but somewhere in the middle, a different killer emerged. It was quite exciting to receive that gift from my unconscious.
–Who are your editors and how do you quality control your books?
As an independent author, I am the editor. I relied on my critique group first, and then beta readers. And I’m still finding errors. I would recommend proper editing to any writers reading this, for sure.
–What is your advice to new writers?
Well, this is a hard question, because I feel that I’m still a new writer, too. I guess my best advice would be to pace yourselves, because this is a longer and more difficult journey than you can possible imagine. Don’t look too far ahead, but start writing and just go one step at a time.
I think the other thing I would advise is to connect with other writers, because they will be your best supporters and the only ones who can understand what you’re going through. Writers, I have found, are very giving and supportive people.
What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?
I’m reading a book on Kindle you might be familiar with, Lorna Lee’s “How Was I Supposed to Know?” It’s a very good book, those pages are turning fast! I prefer print books, but ebooks are much more affordable, so I do read them.
What do you do when you don’t write?
Right now I have no time to write. I had no idea how time-consuming it would be to market a book once it’s published. I left mortgage banking a few years ago, and now I work part time with an older lady with the early stages of Alzheimer’s. It’s rewarding but also a huge challenge. I’m really looking forward to the time when writing will be my full-time job.
Tell us one odd thing about you and one really mundane thing.
I have a good sense of humor, I swear I do, but I can’t stand comedies, either on TV or in the movies. I always think they’re stupid. Stupid people don’t make me laugh, they make me want to bang my head against a wall.
What makes you laugh?
I think laughter keeps us sane, so I always try to find the humor, even in dark situations. I have Rory, the main character in “Seeing Eye”, also find the irony, and readers really enjoy it.
What (not who) would you like to take to a lonely island?
My little dog, Zoey. I would be very lonely without an animal to keep me company.
Tell us about your other books?
None yet, stay tuned!
What else would you like us to know about yourself and your books?
Enter to win – post a review on a public site such as Amazon or Goodreads, or your own blog, and let me know about it at www.LizMarshall.co, and be entered in a drawing. The winner will appear as a character in my next “Seeing Eye” novel! The drawing will be held April 30th, 2015.
Being different can be deadly.