Visit the other writers and blogs at:
Mollie Bryan http://www.molliecoxbryan.com, Kathleen Kaska http://www.kathleenkaskawrites.blogspot.com,
How did you become a writer?
My parents read to me when I was very little, and my father wrote two unpublished mysteries after he retired. My university job has always required writing, but I wrote mostly non-fiction until about 1998.
What is your background?
I grew up in Evanston, IL and Weston, MA. Since college, I have worked as a museum curator, database manager, conservation lab assistant, field archaeologist, archaeological scientist, cook on an archaeological dig, and dorm mother. I majored in Anthropology as an undergraduate, and that’s when I fell in love with archaeology and museum work.
Your books are about archaeology and museums. Do you have experience in those areas?
Yes. I’ve been on archaeological excavations in Israel, Italy, North Carolina, and Nevada. My museum experience began in college when I took a job as a museum guard at the Peabody Museum in Cambridge, Mass. Since then I have worked in five other museums in four different cities in registration, conservation, research, curation, tour-guiding, fund-raising, and database management.
Have you published other books?
Yes. Five books of non-fiction on ancient Greek vases, Greek archaeology, scientific methods in archaeology, and Egyptian mummies.
How did you become an archaeologist?
During my freshman year in college, a friend handed me a brochure about a summer archaeology program in Israel. I signed up and it changed my life. I went back for a junior year abroad, living in Tel Aviv and digging in the dessert around Beersheva and the Dead Sea area. I completed my graduate work (M.A. and Ph.D) at Bryn Mawr College in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology.
Is “Bound for Eternity” based on real life?
Yes. At the University of Illinois, my colleagues and I conducted an investigation of an Egyptian mummy using X-ray, CT scanning, and other non-destructive analyses. I wrote about our results in several technical articles and then in a book for the general public called “The Virtual Mummy” which was published by the University of Illinois Press in 2003. The murder mystery grew out of that experience (of writing the non-fiction book).
Why Boston for your setting?
I grew up in a Boston suburb and went to high school and college in that area. Although I have lived in Illinois for over twenty years, I wanted to return home to Boston in my books since it is one of my favorite cities. Also, Cape Cod was my parents’ home after they retired.
Is your museum real?
No, but it is based upon a former attic museum at the University of Illinois.
Is “Dead Sea Codex” based on real life?
Yes and no. The story and characters are fictional, but the settings of Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, and the site of Masada are real and known to me from nearly two years of living and traveling in Israel in the 1970s.
Dead Sea Codex is a prequel for Bound for Eternity. Do you have plans for future books?
Yes. The third book, "The House of the Sphinx," is based on my recent trip to Egypt and will include both archaeology and bioterrorism. “The Fall of Augustus” will be set in Boston again and begins with a death by falling statue. In a later book in the series I plan to move the setting to James Barber’s hospital and create a mystery using my husband’s medical background.
Have you won any awards for your writing?
No, but I have placed in a couple of contests: I finaled in the 2004 St. Martin's Press/MALICE DOMESTIC CONTEST for the Best First Traditional Mystery Novel and won third place in the 2004 Leditslip contest for the Best Mystery Novel Proposal