Bevan Atkinson is a mystery author who has made a huge, and exciting, commitment to the mystery genre.
Listen to my interview with Bevan to find out how she was inspired by the great Sue Grafton and how she's come to model her Tarot mysteries after Grafton's Alphabet series. Bevan has put an interesting twist on the idea of using an alphabetical structure to guide the process of writing a mystery series.
During our conversation, we even touch on the subject of cults (something I've written a memoir about) because Bevan's third book in this series involves a cult.
You can find out more about today's guest, Bevan Atkinson, and all her books on her website TheTarotMysteries.com. You can also find her on Facebook.
Links and resources mentioned in this episode
Click on any of the book covers to go to Bevan's books on Amazon
Bevan mentions Howie Long (I didn't know who that was). ;-) So here's his Wikipedia page.
My book about the ten years I spent in a cult in the 1990s, and the recovery from that experience
Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts. And listen on Stitcher.
You can also click here to watch the interview on YouTube.
Transcription of Interview with Bevan Atkinson
Alexandra Amor: Hi, mystery readers. I'm Alexandra Amor, and I'm here today with Bevan Atkinson. Hi, Bevan.
Bevan Atkinson: Hi.
Alexandra: How are you today?
Bevan: I'm very well, thank you. How are you doing?
Alexandra: I'm doing well, as well. I mentioned, before we got on the call, I'm just loving your background. For anybody who's watching on YouTube, they should check that out. And you mentioned it was just sort of put together quickly.
Bevan: I had an old Japanese screen, and I buy silk remnants down at Britex, which is an incredible fabric store here in San Francisco. And I normally make them into scarves, but because the Japanese screen is cat-clawed, I thought I should probably make it a little more scenic.
Alexandra: Well, it's gorgeous. That's possibly the most beautiful background we've ever had on the show.
Bevan: Well, now I'm thrilled.
Alexandra: Oh, good. Good. So, let me introduce you to our audience.
Bevan Atkinson has been a writer since receiving the Prose Award at Winchester Thurston School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She wrote business documents of all kinds in corporate environments, and was the director of retail training for Apple Computer, designing and developing the training for the most successful retail launch in history.
Ms. Atkinson is a longtime Tarot reader, and after venturing briefly into fiction, writing a children's book and then an original screenplay, she began the Tarot mystery series in 2006, with "The Fool Card." And that's what we're gonna talk about today.
Her aim is to complete a 22-book series, based on the major arcana of the Tarot, doing for the Tarot what Sue Grafton has done for the alphabet. As an homage to Ms. Grafton, in the first book, one of Xana Bard's dogs is named Kinsey. Xana is, of course, your protagonist.
You have a really interesting origin story for how this series came to you. I wonder if you could tell our listeners about that. You were driving past Earl Warren Showgrounds in Santa Barbara.
Bevan: I had gone to college in Santa Barbara, and a friend of mine married a professor there. And we were close friends, and Hubert passed away. He was significantly older than my friend.
I drove down for the funeral. And I had written this screenplay, and I'd realized after writing this screenplay that I could write fiction, as long as it had an architecture. All the materials I'd written in a business environment had a specific architecture. And screenplays, that architecture is really, really specific. And I read mysteries all the time. I read voraciously. I read everything,