Interview with mystery authors behind name Evelyn David

Today, the authors behind the pseudonym Evelyn David are here to talk about their novel, Zoned for Murder.

The author of Murder Off the Books, Murder
Takes the Cake, Zoned for Murder, The
Brianna Sullivan Mysteries
series and numerous short stories, Evelyn David is the pseudonym for Marian
Edelman Borden and Rhonda Dossett.

Marian lives in New York and is the author of eleven
nonfiction books on a wide variety of topics ranging from veterans benefits to
playgroups for toddlers! For more information on these books, please visit her
web site at

Rhonda lives in Muskogee, Oklahoma,
is the director of the coal program for the state, and in her spare time enjoys
imagining and writing funny, scary mysteries. Marian and Rhonda write their
mystery series via the internet. While many fans who attend mystery conventions
have now chatted with both halves of Evelyn David, Marian and Rhonda have yet
to meet in person. 

Welcome Marian and Rhonda, aka Marilyn David. Please tell us about your current
for Murder – Book 1.
Former Newsweek
reporter Maggie Brooks has two kids, a dead husband, a mortgage to pay, and
a lot of competition when she tries to get back into the shrinking newspaper
business. Landing a job with a local paper, she’s bored to tears covering bake
sales and Little League games. But when a developer tries to build an outlet
mall in a neighboring town, what starts out as potentially a great clip for her
resume, suddenly turns dangerous and ugly. Someone will do anything to block
the mall’s construction. Dirty money, nasty politics, and shady land deals
abound as Maggie pursues the scoop that might jumpstart her career. When murder
is added to the mix, she realizes that meeting her deadline might be the last
thing she ever does. Read Maggie’s byline as she rebuilds her career, dips her
toes into a shark-filled dating pool, and investigates a small New York town Zoned for Murder. Amazon Buy link –
inspired you to write this book?
The underlying premise of this story was based on
a controversy that swirled around the proposed development of a Big Box store
near Marian’s hometown. The law discussed in Zoned for Murder was actually drafted, but met the legal challenges
covered in this story. Feelings, both pro and con about building this type of
store, were so strong that it triggered the questions that lurk in the minds of
most mystery writers: How far would someone go if pushed?; What motivates
murder – love, money, power?; How well do we really know our friends?
exciting story are you working on next?
We’re working on the 9th volume of the Brianna
Sullivan Mysteries series. The working title is A Dark and Stormy Night in
. Brianna Sullivan, a reluctant psychic who planned to travel
the U.S. in her motor home,
gets stuck in a small town in Oklahoma
when she runs out of gas money. Lottawatah has 1452 living residents and just
about that same amount in transit. There also seem to be an unusual number of
murders much like that small town in Maine
– Cabot Cove. Brianna solves mysteries with her English bulldog sidekick, helps
ghosts find the outbound bus, and romances the local police detective. In
volume 9, Brianna’s new fiancé, police detective Cooper Jackson is accused of
did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think I always knew I wanted to be a story teller. For as long as I
can remember, imagining adventures, people, dialogue, was how I got through
long car rides, boring classes, and “lights out, go to sleep”
instructions from parents. My professional career has always included writing,
always on nonfiction topics. But the siren call of writing a mystery was
finally too hard to ignore. So I wrote one—which went absolutely nowhere. I
began posting short stories on a writers’ forum – and “met” Rhonda
(in virtual terms since we literally have never met in person)…and thus began
the story of Evelyn David.

Rhonda:  I love books, television, movies but I never
cared for cartoons. I craved drama and the interaction of “real”
people. I can remember watching old black and white movies before I started
grade school. Who would want to watch Boris and Natasha when they could be
watching Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn? But as much as I loved the
plotlines, I always rewrote the endings in my head. I wanted the story to go on
beyond the shot of the cowboy riding his horse into the sunset. Shane came
back. Scarlet and Rhett lived happily ever after in a new “better than
before” complete with new drapes plantation. No one ever died. I still
want the same thing. About ten years ago, I began moving the rewrites from the
imaginary screen running in my mind to the computer screen in front of me.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like?  If not, what do you
do other than write and how do you find time to write?

Marian:  I write nonfiction books for my “day
job.” I write mysteries in between projects, as well as early in the
morning (I’m the early riser of this writing duo; Rhonda is the night owl).
Finding time to write is also complicated by the marketing/promotion demands
placed on all authors. There’s always a tweet to be sent, a Facebook post to be
composed, a blog to be written – and while those are all important and often
enjoyable, they also take away time from the actual process of writing a new
mystery. Finding a balance is critical – and we’re working on it.
Rhonda:  I have a full-time job that pays the bills. I’m the director of the
coal program for the State of Oklahoma.
I have a biology degree and have spent most of my adult life working in
environmental science fields. I write at night and on the weekends.

would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I do my best “writing” during my daily walk. I figure out
plot holes, devise devilish red herrings, and compose snappy dialogue. My best
hope is to get back in time for me to remember it all – and to not get so
absorbed by the “writing” that I ignore oncoming traffic!

I do my best fiction writing after 9 p.m., when it’s dark outside, the
characters show up to play. I also need Pepsi One and Strawberry Twizzlers for
plotting energy.
As a
child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an actress. I think writing is part of the same career
path – imagining and creating characters and their lives.
Rhonda:  An oceanographer – my grandparents watched a lot of Jacque Cousteau
specials and I watched with them. I loved swimming. Seemed like a great way to
make a living. Of course growing up in Oklahoma,
I never saw the ocean until I was out of high school.  But I had a good imagination.
Anything else you’d like the readers to know?
Please check out Evelyn David’s website at and blog – The Stiletto Gang – for information about Evelyn David’s appearance schedule and writing projects.

The Brianna Sullivan Mysteries include: I Try Not to Drive Past Cemeteries, The Dog Days of Summer in LottawatahThe Holiday Spirit(s) of Lottawatah, Undying Love in Lottawatah, A Haunting in Lottawatah, Lottawatah Twister, Missing in Lottawatah and Good Grief in Lottawatah. All e-reader formats of these books are available.

Evelyn David has also written an e-book collection of short romantic stories – Love Lessons.

Thanks for being here today, ladies, to talk about Evelyn David and her/your writing projects.

3 thoughts on “Interview with mystery authors behind name Evelyn David

  1. Kait says:

    Hi Evelyn David. I would like to know how you come up with your titles. My book ZONED FOR MURDER, was published in December 2011. I was quite surprised when I began to get alerts for the title, but by a different author! Kait Carson

  2. Evelyn David says:

    Hi Kait, Thanks for leaving a comment. Our titles are based on our books' contents – Zoned for Murder's central theme involves city zoning laws. We started this book about ten years ago, but had been working on other books before finishing it. It's always interesting to find that others have the same ideas for titles – I suppose since titles can't be copywrited, the only real surprise is when a title hasn't been used before. Good luck with your book.


  3. Lisa Haselton says:

    It takes a lot of work to find compatible critique partners, I just love that you've both been able to create a new identity and write novels together. That's a special relationship, but it must be inspiring and motivating to have someone to share the writing pain with. 🙂

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