Sunday, April 13, 2008

Murder at Work by Yvonne Eve Walus

Why did you pick the setting you used in your story? I'm not looking for -- "because I live there". I want you to dig deep and tell us...
Why you chose that particular setting?
Hi, my name is Yvonne Eve Walus and I lived in South Africa for 16 years. "Murder @ Work" (Echelon Press, 2004) and "Murder @ Play" (Echelon Press, 2009) are set in South Africa of the 1990s. The nineties were a fascinating time in South African history: new thinking challenging old beliefs, the media slowly hinting at the possibility of equality for all people, hope and goodwill rising despite the escalating violence. The whites still had a cushy lifestyle: secure jobs for the men, large mansions with swimming pools for the women (many women chose to stay at home and look after the family with the help of their domestic servants). The non-whites still vacuumed the thick carpets and polished the silver BMWs at work, then went home to mud shacks. But the changes - the changes were already afoot....

What does the setting add to the story?
I see South Africa as a character in my books: the reader gets to know it and to watch it change during the course of the story. The South African setting shapes the characters too: because they were born and brought up there, in that particular cocktail of white wealth and Calvinist code of right and wrong, they can't help acting in a certain way. Most South Africans of the 1990s would sex outside of marriage as something undesirable. Most men (and a lot more women that I'd care to admit) would see a thinking independent woman as a threat to their way of life. All that makes for quite unique murder motives, motives that are uniquely South African. And then you have the means: in the 1990s, everybody was familiar with guns and knew how to use them - most people owned at least one.

Tell us some specific details about your setting. What would we see? What sort of people are there? If we were traveling to your setting, what should we bring with us? For visitors, what do they need to know to visit your setting?
The year is 1990.
  • When you go to a doctor or dentist, don't take your wallet. The bill will be sent to your home address... but if you're a woman, the bill will be addressed to your father or your husband. Women don't trouble their pretty little heads with bills.
  • If you're a woman, expect to be stopped at the door to an alcohol bar: that place is for men only, and your husband is welcome to go in while you wait for him in the street.
  • Even if you are a career woman earning more than your husband does, you will need his signature when opening a credit account in a supermarket or a department store.
  • If you're a man, the size of your manhood is directly proportional to the size of your gun.
  • Gambling is illegal.
  • Sex with a person of another race has only just been made legal. The Group Areas Act, however, is still in force, preventing people of different races from living in the same suburb.
  • Your car costs half as much as your mansion.
  • This year, you will pay more for a security fence than you pay for your daily house cleaning.
Please provide your website link.

What is the link to buy your book?
"Murder @ Work":

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