Monday, August 30, 2010

Author Interview with Linda Weaver Clarke

I am very happy to have a special guest at Socrates' Book Review Blog, author Linda Weaver Clarke. She's a very interesting person and I hope you all enjoy reading the interview.

Anasazi Intrigue is the first book in a mystery adventure series. What is it about?

It’s about a devastating flood that takes out several homes in a small town, the importance of preserving ancient artifacts, and a few puzzling and mysterious events. Julia is a reporter, and when she finds out about a possible poison spill that kills some fish and neighbor's pets, she has a feeling that something isn’t quite right. Before she realizes what is happening, Julia finds out that this incident is much bigger and more dangerous than she thought. With dead fish, a devastating flood, and miscreants chasing John and Julia, they have their hands full.

Your first five books are historical romance. What is the difference from writing mystery versus romance?

The writing process of changing from romance to mystery is quite a change with a completely different mind set. It’s so different from telling a love story. With romance, you plan out the plot around the meeting of a couple. As you write, you develop some sort of charisma between the characters, making the reader feel excited that one day they're going to hit it off and fall in love. You, as the reader, know what the outcome will be. But with a mystery, the reader is in the dark. The author has to come up with a plot that no one knows about until towards the end of the story and hope they haven’t figured it out. In a mystery, you may or may not allow your reader to know who the bad guys are, according to whether it’s just a mystery or mystery suspense. Do you know the difference between a mystery and a mystery suspense novel? In a mystery, when a knock is heard at the door, the reader doesn't know who's behind it. With mystery suspense, the reader knows who's behind the door and yells to the heroine, "Don't open the door!"

Can you tell us about your new book, Mayan Intrigue?

It’s about the discovery of a priceless artifact that puts Julia’s life in great danger. While on assignment for the newspaper, John and Julia try to enjoy a romantic vacation among the Mayan ruins, but when Julia accidentally comes upon a couple suspicious men exchanging an item, she quickly turns and leaves but it’s too late. Before John and Julia realize what's going on, they find themselves running for their lives through the jungles of the Yucatan. To read an excerpt from each of my books, you can visit

What type of research goes into creating one of your mystery novels?

A great deal of research, starting with artifact thievery to the terrible disaster that happened in southern Utah! For example, the inspiration for my first mystery, Anasazi Intrigue, came from a true experience that really happened right here in my little valley in southern Utah. The Santa Clara/Virgin River flood in 2005 was a terrible disaster. About 200 homes were seriously damaged and 25 were completely destroyed. The small five-foot-wide river, which could easily be crossed on foot or in a car, grew as wide as the length of a football field, and it was taking everything in its path. In three days time, it had dug into the earth’s surface, carving away at the banks, creating ridges as high as forty feet deep. In fact, the river was moving at ten feet per hour, just like a plow pushing the dirt and trees down the river.

Everyone worked hard to help the residents remove what they could from their homes before the flood hit, but there were those who escaped with only the clothes on their backs. The experience of charity and compassion by the people was incredible. There was no prejudice of religion, race, culture, or status, just unconditional love and concern for everyone. Homes, clothes, and food were instantly found for the homeless. We all gathered together and tried to help in anyway possible. Several weeks later, a man actually found his car thirty miles downstream from his home. The research I did in this novel made my mouth drop open with amazement. What took years for nature to create, nature was able to destroy within seconds. Who would ever have guessed that the creek would swell to such width, viciously cutting away at the landscape?

In this set of mysteries, you write about artifact theft. Why?

It’s a very intriguing subject. That’s why I call it the Intrigue series. In my research, I found that archaeological thievery is becoming more and more of a problem every year. Did you know that an ancient funeral pit can be sold for $60,000 on the black market? Not to mention all the pottery, baskets, and pendants found by looters. Did you know that looting is only second to selling illegal drugs?

Archaeological thievery is becoming more and more of a problem every year but Utah’s vandalism is the worst in the country. Theft at the Four Corners area of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona is still a big problem. An article in the Associated Press really opened my eyes. It said that 24 people were indicted for stealing artifacts from the Four Corners area. There were around 300 federal agents that were involved in the arrest of both men and women from ages 27 to 78. They found these people were all part of an underground network. It hit the pages like wild fire.

Did you know that archaeological theft has gone corporate, like any legal business?

An article in the Las Vegas Newspaper was about a couple men who were loading some artifacts in the trunk of their car. A ranger saw what they were doing and questioned them. He didn’t realize he had accidentally stumbled upon the largest operation around. They recovered more than 11,100 relics.

While researching Mayan Intrigue, my eyes were opened to the problems they have in southern Mexico. When an ancient ruin is discovered, it doesn’t take long for thieves to take it apart. The reason why is because the Mayas used astrological alignments when planning their city. Looters have learned the layout of the Mayan cities so they know where to dig. With this knowledge, they can loot a sacred temple in a few days. While writing Mayan Intrigue, I found that artifact theft in Mexico has been taken over by drug dealers from Columbia. In other words, since organized crime has taken over, there is also an increase of violence. I ask myself, can anything be done to save Ancient American history? Yes. If no one bought the artifacts, that would put a damper on artifact theft.

Is another novel in the works?

Oh yes! In this mystery series, there are three books that deal with similar subjects. Montezuma’s treasure, sacred gold statues, mysterious happenings, Superstition Mountain, the Lost Dutchman Mine, and the Thunder God! This book is about a leather parchment that supposedly leads to Montezuma’s treasure. With Julia’s help, they convince John to go on a treasure hunt. Is Montezuma’s treasure a legend or reality? Whatever the case, John insists on keeping their little Treasure Hunt a secret. If certain people find out about it, the family could be in danger. During this little escapade, Matthew, a kindred friend to April Evans, is trying to get the courage to tell her that he truly loves her.

On August 30th, I’m having a celebration for the release of Mayan Intrigue. I’m having a book give away at my Blog at I hope your followers come to visit. In fact, I have a book give away every Monday.

Thank you so much, Linda, for appearing on our blog!


  1. Nice interview, and I do love those covers

  2. Great interview, Yvonne. I have interviewed Linda Weaver Clarke as well. I didn't know about artifact theft myself, but learned about it from LWC. It is pretty unbelievable!

  3. Great interview. These books sound good, especially the exotic setting.
    I've always been fascinated by ancient artifacts.


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