Suspense Magazine.com presents -
|While scouting locations for a film documentary
on Arizona’s Apache Wars, private investigator
Lena Jones and Oscar-winning director Warren
Quinn discover the mutilated body of a young girl.
The gruesome manner of the child’s death evokes
memories of Lena’s own rough childhood. Despite
clashing with the local law, Lena investigate’s the
child’s death and discovers a small town with a big
Los Perdidos is not the Eden it first appears.
Founded by the descendants of pioneers who
fought Geronimo, it now holds a significant
population of documented and undocumented
foreign-born residents who live and work at the
local chemical plant. Lena senses a sinister force at
work in the town -- but where?
The still vivid memory of Geronimo’s war mixes
with the modern immigration war, and the hard
life on the Arizona/Mexico border contrasts with
Hollywood’s slick production meetings, and the
cruelty of an ancient practice is tempered by a
growing underground railroad fighting to save its
|Betty Webb is a very accomplished author by writing five
books in her excellent "Desert Series" featuring Lena
Jones. "Desert Cut" is her latest release and continues to
evolve her character Lena Jones even further. She has
received great reviews from the New York Times and
Publisher Weekly and you can add Suspense Magazine to
that list. We found Betty to be very creative with her
story telling and should be loved by all.
|Click on any of the book
images below to learn
more about the books!!
Exclusive Interview with Betty Webb
Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration?
Boy, I have so many! My aunt Verla, who taught me to read at the age of 3; my high school teacher, who told me I should be a
writer, because I was hopeless at anything else; Agatha Christie, for showing me what to write... and Barbara Peters of Poisoned Pen
Press for publishing my Lena Jones and Gunn Zoo series!
What is your all-time favorite book?
All time? Ew! I'd have to say it's a tie between Margaret Mitchell's "Gone with the Wind," and Frederick Buechner's "Lion Country,"
a comic novel about the Reverend Bebb, a crooked, mail-order preacher who commits good in between his crimes. It's the first of a
teratology about the same preacher, and has since been republished in one volume called, "The Book of Bebb."
How long do you normally take to research your books?
At least a year. In the case of "Desert Wives," which is about polygamy, it took me 4 years, and several trips up to Arizona's
polygamy compounds. New new Lena Jones novel, "Desert Cut," took about four years, because I had to research various Northern
African customs and rites. For my new series, set in the fictional Gunn Zoo, "The Anteater of Death" took me 3 years of
volunteering at the Phoenix Zoo and talking to every zookeeper I could flag down. My research is always a couple of books ahead of
what I'm writing at the moment. For instance, right now I'm writing the sixth Lena Jones book ("Desert Lost," a follow-up to my
polygamy book), but I'm researching the material that will go into the seventh and eighth books. I'm also in the process of researching
the second and third Gunn Zoo book.
What is on your Ipod now?
Nuthin', 'cause I ain't got no Ipod -- I'm an old-fashioned girl. On my stereo, however, I have a beautiful CD named "Resonance,"
performed by Acoustic Triangle, an English chamber group I heard on the BBC's "Inspector Lewis" mystery series. But I've also
been known to play heavy metal. I think Metallica's version of "Whiskey in the Jar" is a classic.
Do you have any superstitions when you write, little quirks, etc?
If you saw my desk, with all the Pima, Hopi, and Zuni fetishes and faux petroglyphs, you'd see what a superstitious little devil I am.
But I also have a cross given to me on Good Friday at a Saxon church in England, a feather I picked off the ground at the site of
the Battle of Hastings, an Elvis bobblehead, a stuffed Shakespeare doll, two geckos, two space aliens (plastic, not real), and a big
plush Anteater named Lucy.
If you could solve any mystery for yourself, what would it be?
Why women and girls are so often left out of the human rights discussion.
If you could talk to any person, Alive or Dead, for one hour, who would it be?
Jesus, just after he finished delivering the Sermon on the Mount. That talk is so moving that I'd like to ask him why more people --
whether they be Cabalists, Hindus, Buddists, Muslims, Christians or whatever -- don't pay any attention to one of the first true
treatises on universal human rights.
I love to hear stories from authors about their first published book, how did you get it done?
I was a full-time reporter for a large newspaper chain, which required a lot of evening work. The only time I had available to write
was between 4 and 8 in the morning, so I trained myself to get up even before the birds did. Yeah, it was hell for the first couple of
years, but then I got into the swing of things, and to this day, get up at 4 a.m. That first mystery novel remains unpublished (I finally
realized it had a noir plot populated by cozy characters). My second mystery novel was "Desert Noir," the first Lena Jones book --
noir plot, noir characters. It quickly found an agent, and shortly thereafter, found Poisoned Pen Press. But I learned a lot from that
failure: for instance, always make certain your setting and characters match the plot -- otherwise your manuscript is as dead as your
What future plans can you tell us about?
I'll continue the Lena Jones books -- in the 10th, we'll finally find out what happened to her parents. And I'll keep on with the Gunn
Zoo books. I love both series, probably since they reflect the two, very different sides, of my personality. My own nature is pretty
sunny, more like my zookeeper's in the zoo books. However, my deep beliefs in human rights issues(which DEFINITELY include
women's rights) are reflected in Lena Jones's desire to right un-addressed wrongs against women and children.
When you are not writing, what do you like to do for fun?
I hang out at the Phoenix Zoo, where I'm starting my fourth year of volunteer work. I do most of my volunteering in Monkey
Village, where 16 squirrel monkeys run free in a large enclosure, and humans walk among them. My job is to make certain humans
don't pull monkey tails, and that monkey teeth don't nip human fingers. As Mick Jagger once sang, it's a gas, gas, gas.