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Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
I am a New Yorker temporarily displaced as I raise triplets in the more hospitable—and affordable—climate of East Hampton, New York. I worked in publishing for over a decade and many times when I finished a book, I thought – Hey, I can do that!
What first inspired you to start writing?
Piles of dusty journals attest to the fact that I have always been a writer, but when I stumbled across the Manhattan Well tragedy I was truly inspired. I began my research and learned that the well in which a young woman died 215 years ago was steps away from where I had once lived. I did not know about the crime, but I had been 22 years old, the same age as Elma Sands when she was murdered. It seemed prophetic.
Where did the idea for CITY OF LIARS AND THIEVES come from?
I was reading Ron Chernow’s biography on Alexander Hamilton when I came across the Manhattan Well tragedy. Only four pages were devoted to Levi Weeks’ trial, and most of those focused on Hamilton’s oratory skill and his rivalry with Burr, but I was hooked. An illicit love affair, political intrigue, an unsolved murder: the story was brimming with scandal!
Which author do you admire most and why?
Different books satisfy various cravings. Working in publishing taught me the value of sampling a wide variety. If I had to choose one author I would say Truman Capote. I am fascinated by IN COLD BLOOD. Talk about multifaceted relationships! Capote’s bond with Perry Smith is especially intriguing. IN COLD BLOOD is a psychological true crime thriller.
Which is your favorite word?
How do you see your writing developing in the future?
I plan to pursue historical fiction. For me, it’s the perfect blend of storytelling and history. CITY OF LIARS AND THIEVES is based on the first recorded murder trial in U.S. history. It is easy to read the testimony and get bogged down in grandiose names and historical details, but pondering the witnesses’ actual words brought the story to life. The language was formal and dated, but it touched me. The true-life material was a springboard for my imagination. There are millions of stories out there; I’m in search of one that moves me.
What was the last book you read?
I just finished 31 BOND STREET by Ellen Horan, a historical novel which was once my nemesis. A few years ago, when an editor expressed interest in CITY OF LIARS AND THIEVES the sales force vetoed her decision saying that they could not have two historical novels set in NYC on the same list. It has taken time to put that disappointment behind me and pick up Horan’s book. Now that I have, I think it’s wonderful!
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment, I am fluctuating between returning to my first book (never published) and researching something new. When my first book did not sell, I was told to set it aside and return to it with a fresh perspective. Six years have passed since then and I have certainly learned about writing, pace, and applying constructive criticism. On the other hand, CITY OF LIARS AND THIEVES is historical fiction and I do not know if I should stick to that genre. So, I am also reading a lot of history and hoping to find a story as amazing as the Manhattan Well tragedy while editing my former book.
Tell us about your latest release and how we can find out more.
In December 1799, a young woman named Elma Sands vanished on the snowy streets of New York City. Twelve days later, her corpse was found floating in an abandoned well, and her lover, Levi Weeks, was arrested for murder. While the brutal slaying of an innocent girl rocked the city, it was the trial that made the case truly sensational: Levi Weeks was defended by Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr four years before their infamous duel.
CITY OF LIARS AND THIEVES is historical fiction based on the United States’ first recorded murder trial.
My website is: http://evekarlin.com/