Sunday, August 29, 2010

Interview: Mozelle Richardson

A few weeks ago I read and reviewed The Thyssen Affair by Mozelle Richardson- and loved it. It was a great cross of a bunch of things I love, Indiana Jones, James Bond, history and cowboys. Essentially the perfect book for me! So I was extremely excited to get the chance to interview Richardson about this book.

First, a mini-bio of Richardson (from the back of the book &
Mozelle Groner Richardson was born a Texan but she and her husband W.T (dub) raised their four children in Oklahoma City. She know calls Sante Fe home and her favorite activity is traveling the by-ways of New Mexico with her friends. Mozelle received her BA in Journalism in 2004 at the ripe age of 90 from the University of Oklahoma.

I just finished reading The Thyssen Affair, where did you come up with the idea for this story?

There was a newspaper account of vandals stealing a German Major’s skull—buried 35 years before—from a POW cemetery at Ft. Reno, Oklahoma. A writer automatically asks “Why?” I turned to a dentist friend and wondered if one could bury a microdot film in a tooth filling. He told me how. There was my plot.

Your main character Canyon Eliot is an ex-OSS agent and current Colorado rancher who is called back into action. Did anyone inspire the character of Cane?
No. I just pictured a 60-year-old rancher (I’ve known some) and made him my protagonist.

One thing that struck me was how much information there was about so many different cultures and events. How did you go about researching all the different aspects of the story?

I did lots of research from history books on WWII, Goebel’s diaries, autobiographies, etc. I spent a month in Munich, drove through the Bavarian Alps, into Italy and into Rimini.

In addition to Cane working with the CIA, we also saw Anya (KGB), Magen (Israeli Mossad) and members of the Nazi party’s Spider group at work within the story. How did you research these somewhat secretive groups?

There was a book by Frederick Forsythe called The Odessa File that gave me ideas.

With so many different personas and aliases for Cane, Anya and Magen, were you worried about it becoming confusing for the reader?

Not really, because early on I introducted the aliases and what they could be used for.

The book ended with Cane and Anya getting together, did you know they would end up together or did it happen as you wrote?

Of course. There had to be a love interest—but not one that was easy.

You written numerous other books, do you have any plans to write any more?

I’m working slowly and intermittently on an autobiography. My children and grandchildren hope that I’ll finish it.

What are some of your favorite books and authors?

So many. Mary Stuart to start out with. PercivalChristopher Wren’s wonderful books (Beau Geste). Donn Byrn’s book Destiny Bay which I stole from the Library when I was 16 and have probably read 50 or a hundred times. Mary Renault’s books on the Ancient Greeks—if I ever lived a former life, I lived it as a Greek. Jack Higgins books. I love most all mystery writers.

Thank you for taking the time to answer some of my questions. I thoroughly enjoyed The Thyssen Affair and can’t wait to get my hands on some of your other books.

A Special Big Thank You for enjoying my book. M.R.

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