Author Interview with Isa McLaren
We are launching our author interview series, if you hadn't noticed, and today we have with us the great Isa McLaren, crime writer and CEO of Three Furies Press. So, without further ado, here she is, answering all the questions!
TFP: Today I have the honor of grilling, errr I mean interviewing Isa McLaren. For those of you who don’t know, Isa is one of the founders of Three Furies Press as well as the CEO due to her amazing mind and ability to herd cats. She also introduces herself so well, I’m going to go ahead and turn it over to her now. Isa, take it away!
Isa McLaren: Hi, I’m Isa and I LOVE crime! And yet, Three Furies decided I was the best at handling executive stuff. This is the key to my success. Once you can fake sincerity, you’ve got it made.
TFP: Ha! I love it. Every time. As for why she’s the CEO, if you know who the criminals are, it’s best to keep them on your team. Which is why Isa is in charge. So she can direct us with her devious mind. Your main character from your Art of Lying series is a lot like that too. And a bit of a player. Tell us about him.
Isa McLaren: Burdened with an ungainly and now forgotten appellation, he much prefers to go by Jules Brand. His clothes are always of the finest quality. If the collars and cuffs are slightly frayed, there's always twinkling eyes and carefully tousled hair to distract from them. His white teeth are nearly perfect, the crooked one just adding to the flair of casual disregard.
Brand never stays in one place long. It just isn't practical, in his work as an art dealer. He is usually traveling in search of new acquisitions. Those acquisitions include the wealthy, whose patronage he cultivates. With a carefully maintained illusion of wealth, he is quick to gain their trust, as well as favors. Why shouldn't that baroness let him stay in her summer house, when it was simply bad timing his own was being renovated? Likewise, a certain duke might lend him money for the races, when his own wallet was ''forgotten''. The best wines, the finest restaurants, the most sumptuous living quarters: these were the things worth living for. But work for them? Jules Brand would never stoop to anything so crude.
TFP: And what does Jules Brand do, instead of working?
Isa McLaren: Shags everyone.
TFP: Now that is a good plan! I can see why you like writing a character like that.
Isa McLaren: He actually spends a great deal of time researching Marks for his next big con. It’s much easier to charm someone into giving him things than to outright steal them. His claims of being an art restorer covers his sideline of forgery. He doesn’t do that much, however. Too hard on the manicure.
TFP: Sounds like you end up having to do a lot of research as well. I’ve heard stories about how you like to go out and case museums. Can you explain that, and why you do it?
Isa McLaren: Let’s see if I can explain without incriminating myself. I’ve always been drawn to heist movies. Seeing the scenes where thieves take things right under the guards’ noses was a challenge to me. So, I started checking out the security measures in museums. Figuring out where the cameras are, seeing how many guards vs cameras and alarms, detecting blind spots in the exhibits -- all this is a terribly fun puzzle.
While visiting the MoMa in New York, I found a bliind spot. Now, their security is really good. I definitely wouldn't recommend trying anything there. But, a display stand was angled near a wall in such a way that it could hide something. Not a person. It got me thinking, however, about distractions. A smoke bomb, perhaps. Or better, one of those tiny electronic things that beeps at random intervals. This plan just needs a little more research, that’s all. Piece of cake.
As a writer, I have even more doors open to me, figuratively and literally. I’ve been given behind-the-scenes tours, access to security areas, and even free drinks, just because I tell people I’m a crime writer.
TFP: Ok that’s pretty awesome. Let’s not talk about that too much though. I would hate for people to start asking how we fund the company. Instead let’s talk about you as an author. You’ve got one novel out now and a short story. What are you plans for the rest of the series?
Isa McLaren: There’s also a short prequel to book two available to anyone who asks, called Cookies for Nolan. In that we meet Peter Kemp, the titular character from Keep the Mark Happy (coming out May something 2020).
In addition to the Art of Lying series, I’m also working on an action/adventure series, starring mercenary humanitarian Arden Benedict. Her series will have a couple of cross-over books with Brand.
TFP: Sounds like you have a lot going on with plenty of work. How do you keep up with it all and still have a life outside of work? I mean, you have to case out those museums sometime, right?
Isa McLaren: Now, now. I’ve got to keep some secrets! *shoves unpaid intern back in closet* Pay no attention to that shrieking. Noisy pipes.
TFP: On that fun note I’m going to go ahead and wrap up this interview now. Isa would you like to tell everyone where they can find you? *starts checking pockets and all jewelry to make sure I still have everything*
I’m on Facebook as Isa McLaren facebook.com/isa.mclaren.12 and on Twitter as @IWMcLaren. I also lurk around Goodreads from time to time, casing the joint.