imkittymyers at hotmail dot com
Monday, July 04, 2005
SEX, LIES & A VIDEO CLIP:
MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR MJ ROSE
"The first thing she saw were the woman's feet, so white they looked like the marble feet on the statue of the Virgin Mary who wears the gold halo and stands in the Catholic church where she attends mass every morning before coming to work at the high-rise hotel on Sixth Avenue. The church where she attended Sunday mass only four hours before. Except these feet oozed black-red blood."
Kitty: I read that beginning of your book, THE HALO EFFECT, and I was sold. Being a painfully slow reader myself, I was amazed that I read it in two days' time. The erotic parts were a nice surprise. How would you classify your book?
MJ Rose: I call it a psychological thriller. And it's the easiest book of mine to classify. Since the main character is a sex therapist, and all the crimes are psychologically motivated and solved through a lot of psychological deduction, I think the description is apt. It’s an odd thing, this need to classify a book. It comes from a marketplace where there are over 280 novels published a week. You need a shorthand for readers. Sometimes I don't think it does a book justice.
K: Your book was nominated for an Anthony Award. Congratulations! For those who don’t know, what is the award and were you surprised?
MJR: The Anthony Awards, along with the Edgar Awards are like the Oscars for the mystery/suspense genres. So getting a nomination is a huge honor, a nod, if you will, that the reading community and the writing community acknowledges your book and has singled it out. I'm actually over the moon about it.
K: What is THE HALO EFFECT about?
MJR: THE HALO EFFECT is a psychological, erotic thriller. As one of New York's top sex therapists, Dr. Morgan Snow sees everything from the abused to the depraved, from couples grappling with sexual boredom to twisted sociopaths with dark, erotic fetishes. And the Butterfield Institute is the sanctuary where she helps soothe and heal these battered souls.
Cleo Thane is one of those special patients Morgan connects to immediately. A high-priced prostitute, Cleo is remarkably sensitive and unscathed, a woman desperate to reconcile her successful professional life with her neglected personal one. And when she asks Morgan to read her unpublished tell-all book about her exclusive clientele, Morgan realizes that what she has in her hands could be explosive. Then Cleo disappears.
K: What does the title, THE HALO EFFECT, mean?
MJR: Here's the definition of the halo effect that fits how I use it in the book:
Halo Effect - Psychol., the favorable bias in interviews, intelligence tests, and the like generated. by an atmosphere of approbation. A common error in rating intelligence tests is known as the ‘halo effect.’ If an individual creates a favorable impression by his excellence in one trait, you are apt to rate him near the top in every trait. And if I told you anymore, I'd give too much of the book away:)
K: Is the therapist, Dr. Morgan Snow, based on an actual person (or people), or is she a total fabrication?
MJR: She is a total fabrication although I do have a very good friend who is a therapist and have done research with several therapists over the last ten years.
For more on this subject, read MJ Rose’s backstory:
"I lied in order to get recommendations for a sex therapist concocting a story that I needed to meet one because I was doing research for a novel in which the main character was sex therapist. I kept up the charade with Dr. M for the quite a few sessions. Instead of talking about T or myself, I make up a fictional character who was a sex therapist caught between wanting to help the police and at the same time honoring her commitment to her client's confidentiality. Was I working on that book? No. I hadn't even thought about doing a book like that."
K: Did you do any research for the call girl, Cleo Thane?
MJR: I found out about the club in THE HALO EFFECT from a man who frequented a similar club in NYC. I talked to him several times over a few weeks, and he introduced me to two other members and then I did interview one of the women who worked there. Over the years, I've interviewed several other women who got paid for having sex.
K: Suppose THE HALO EFFECT is going to be made into a movie. Whom would you cast as the three main characters, Dr. Morgan Snow, Detective Noah Jordain, and Cleo Thane? And by the way, is there any talk of a movie?
MJR: There actually is talk of a movie. But I'm abysmal at casting. Sorry. Besides, I don't want to suggest people and then put those actors in readers’ minds before they read the book. I will say who they are not. Jordain is not Tom Hanks. Morgan is not Lisa Kudrow. And Cleo is not J-Lo.
K: I understand you have two more books coming out featuring Morgan Snow: DELILAH COMPLEX and THE VENUS FIX. When are they coming out, and what are they about?
MJR: THE DELILAH COMPLEX will be out in Jan 2006 and THE VENUS FIX will be out in July 2006. They follow Dr. Morgan Snow as she deals with more deviant and depraved, complex and complicated patients.
K: Will they include Detective Noah Jordain?
MJR: Yes, they will. I like him too much to not include him. At least for now. In fact I think I have a serious crush on him:)
I'd like to thank you for this interview, and a big thank you in advance for any readers out there who pick up THE HALO EFFECT. If you like it and would like a signed bookplate for it, just drop me a line at MJRoseAuthor@aol.com. I'd be happy to send one along. And happy reading!
Thank you, MJ Rose, for the interview!
Watch a neat 90-second video clip of THE HALO EFFECT ... Yes! Video!
You'll also be able to read the first chapter.