Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Jonathan Hayes

Linda Fairstein interviewed Jonathan Hayes, author of Precious Blood, for Publishers Weekly.

Her lead-in and their first exchange:

During my days as a prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney's office, I had the privilege of working with a brilliant young forensic pathologist in the city's office of the chief medical examiner. Now, Dr. Jonathan Hayes is joining me on the literary side of the law, with the publication of his first novel, Precious Blood (Reviews, Sept. 10), which introduces New York City forensic pathologist Edward Jenner.

What was your inspiration for Precious Blood, and what led you to put aside the scalpel and pick up a pen?

I'd been writing professionally about food and travel for several years before I felt ready to write a novel. Precious Blood has its origins in my heavily Catholic childhood — I was educated, in part, at a monastery school in southwest England. I actually started the book in Oaxaca in Mexico, after a day spent visiting the city's Gothic churches. Their walls and ceilings have insanely detailed gilt decoration, thousands of hours of painstaking work; I was struck by the fact that religion and obsession are often very closely linked. It wasn't a big step from there to the book's essential plot.

Read the full interview.

The Page 69 Test: Precious Blood.

--Marshal Zeringue