HANK
PHILLIPPI RYAN: How many authors are on your must-read list? We reds dare
to wager that Faye Kellerman is one of them! Her newest book, THE THEORY OF
DEATH is out right now—and here, by the numbers, are three fabulous
things. One: a brief but insightful interview sent to us by Kaye herself!]

Two:
Faye will be there throughout the day answering your questions! YAY!

And if you needed more? She’s giving away TWO books! So leave a
comment and you are entered. Whoo hoo. Thank you, Faye!)

So since the book is THE THEORY OF DEATH and has a big math theme—lets
talk numbers! How did you do in math? And do you feel the same way now?

*What's your writing routine like?

I usually write in the morning and early afternoon but I can write
anytime. I I find that I've usually finished up in 3 to 4 hours. It's
never a perfect first draft but I have something on paper that I can edit
the next morning.

*You've written over 25 books about Decker and Lazarus, how do you
find new ideas for the series and what's been the most challenging part of
writing these characters over the year?

I try to keep the characters fresh by putting them in novel
situations and seeing how the react. It is challenging because you've used up a
number of plot ideas and words and phrases. But life is long and things come to
me. I'll tell you one thing. You can't write stranger than life. There is
a world of weird things out there!

*How much research was involved in THE THEORY OF DEATH?

I was a math major so I really enjoyed this book. The challenge
was to find the right math to fit the plot and then make it accessible I
hope I did that. And I hope I wasn't too far gone with my theories.

*What can fans look forward to in your latest release?

It's coming out October 27th. My granddaughter's birthday. We're
doing a mini tour in Cherry Hill, NJ, St. Louis and Atlanta as well as a couple
of stops in Orange County. I hope to see and meet some of the fans.

*What’s next for you?

I'm working on the next Decker/Rina novel for release in 2016 and
also a stand alone novel that I hope to get out in 2016 or 2017. Lots of books:
so little time.

HANK: Wow. What a schedule! So hey, Reds—let’s hear about your
math days. (Or daze..…) And what would
you like to ask the fabulous Faye?

**THE THEORY OF DEATH**

Now
living in upstate New York, former LAPD lieutenant Peter Decker is plunged into
a bizarre web involving academia, underworld crime, and calculating killers in
this compulsive novel in

*New York Times*bestselling author Faye Kellerman’s beloved Decker and Lazarus series.
Former LAPD lieutenant Peter Decker is
relishing the quiet and slow pace of his new job with the Greenbury police
department. The work is low stress and engaging, and it’s been almost a year
since the last murder in this sleepy upstate New York town.

Then the body of a nude man is found deep
within the woods, shattering Decker’s peace. The death appears to be a
suicide—a single shot to the head, the gun by his side. But until the coroner’s
ruling, the scene must be treated as a suspicious crime. Without any personal
effects near the body, Decker must dig to uncover his identity, a task made
difficult by the department’s tight budget and limited personnel. Luckily,
Decker gets some unexpected help when his friend and former Greenbury colleague
Tyler McAdams calls, looking for a quiet place to study for his law finals.

The investigation takes Decker and McAdams
to Kneed Loft College, where they must penetrate the indecipherable upper
echelons of mathematics and mathematical prodigies. Beneath the school’s rarified
atmosphere they discover a sphere of scheming academics, hidden cyphers—and
most dangerous of all—a realm of underworld crime that transforms harmless
nerds into cold, calculating evil geniuses. It will take all of Decker’s
experience and McAdams’s brains to penetrate enigmatic formulas and codes and
solve a dark, twisted crime devised by some brilliant and depraved masterminds.

Bio:

Faye Kellerman lives with her husband,

*New York Times*bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman, in Los Angeles, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.
## 32 comments:

I'm intrigued by the idea of the math theme in this mystery and am looking forward to reading "The Theory of Death" . . . .

"You can't write stranger than life." How true! I remind myself of that every time I read the headlines. "Readers would never believe this."

Math? Ugh. I had horrible math teachers in 7th and 8th grade. They told me daily how stupid I was, how I'd never be able to do math, and how I'd never be successful because of it. It led me to drop math as soon as I possibly could under NYS rules (2 years, this was back in the 80s). Yet when I got to AP Chemistry in my junior year, I found the math challenging (maybe because I was under qualified as I hadn't taken trig or pre-calc), but I could do it.

Lesson: teachers make a lot of difference. I'm definitely intrigued by a math/academia plot though. Those college academics only

lookharmless!I became fascinated with math and science and physics after I got out of college--but before that? Challenged. I still cannot add 8 plus anything. Especially five. I have to remember it as 8 plus 4 plus 1. THAT I can do. WHy is that, I wonder?

My mother, who was a writer and an English major, was somewhat mystified (and horrified) at the pleasure I took in math, baffled that I didn't go right into writing, so it's nice to 'meet' another writer who likes math. Once math gets theoretical I'm lost, but statistics make consummate sense to me, even regression and multivariate analysis... because you can graph it and SEE the meaning in the numbers.

But I digress. We are SO thrilled to have you here on Jungle Red, Faye. I'm a long time fan. And yes, life is full of weird things that you couldn't get away with in a novel... and that it would take a really talented writer to make readers believe.

I come from a family of writers (I resisted the call for decades) and I know you and your husband and son are all fantastic writers, so I'm wondering if you have any kids who don't write?

Hank, so funny - I used to teach math, and taught that strategy (8 plus 4 plus 1) to kids who had trouble memorizing their "facts." And, there are always fingers.

So exciting to have Faye Kellerman with us today! As an (ex-pat) upstate New Yorkers, my question is: does Greenbury have a real life counterpart? From the descriptions in MURDER 101, I was guessing somewhere in the Hamilton - Colgate - Cazenovia College triangle.

I always had a mixed relationship with math. If I was in a math class, I tended to freeze up on tests. Quizzes I was fine with, but not tests. But in my everyday life I frequently use bits of algebra and such without any problem.

Can I say three things, since we're talking numbers? First, I was terrible at math--so bad in fact that I dropped out of high school. But I discovered later, in college, that I did just fine in things like statistics and population genetics, so it wasn't math as a whole, it was algebra. And I do just fine with everyday-life math.

That said, I loved this book, for many reasons, but one was that I found the math concepts fascinating. Who knew?

(I loved Greenbury, too, Julia.)

One of the things I particularly loved, just a little snippet, was Rina's description of the house where she grew up in L.A.

And my third thing (I think I've gone over...) is a question for Faye. Well, a couple of questions. As you and Jonathon are in L.A. and Santa Fe, was there a special reason for choosing upstate New York as a new setting for your books? And on the math, was there a particular thing that sparked your interest in writing about it? (Without giving away spoilers...)

Yes, Faye, I want o hear more about the math element, too.

And Hallie, dpn't laugh about fingers. That's me. And sometimes I just--picture it, you know? If I envision it, I can calculate it.

One thing I CAN do is estimate. It's funny, I remember so clearly one math teacher telling us how important it was to understand if something was CLOSE to right, or near to what you expected. I always wondered, back then, why would I want to know what is ALMOST right? Now I understand. And it has served me well.

upstate New York? It makes a nice change from the orange groves east of LA.

When I ask my husband-the-theoretical physicist about the math and science concepts used in fictional plots, I usually get a grumpy "it's bogus" response.

I look forward to reading your book.

There's a difference between arithmetic--adding, subtracting, division and multiplication--and math, which is all that esoteric stuff, including geometry. I found this out when I traveled with a friend who developed a complex patterndrafting system, meant to create sewing patterns that fit individuals. She absolutely could not add or subtract, while I could add long strings of numbers in my head accurately, but have still not figured out her drafting process.

Faye, I'm a longtime Rina and Decker fan, and am honored to finally be able to thank you for all the many years of sheer pleasure via their stories. And I've learned so much about the Jewish faith, especially watching Peter struggle and develop his relationship to his heritage, and to his devout wife. It's fascinating, and I so appreciate the thoughtful way you weave the information into every book. Very much looking forward to this next installment of their saga.

I struggled with math, but I eventually got it. Good thing since I'm an accountant by day. Of course, as I like to point out, it doesn't go much beyond adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing most days.

Looking forward to reading this installment in the Lazarus / Decker series. Love each one! Was terrible in math until I had a great professor for stats in grad school...finally, I got it! Question for Ms Kellerman: what gave you the idea for a series about a detective and his relationship with an orthodox Jewish woman ? Thank you!

I've been a fan since The Ritual Bath. Used to teach high school math and can still differentiate with the best of them. My latest passion (sort of) if machine learning, which my employer is glad to hear ;-) Those who enjoy seeing math in novels might enjoy The Housekeeper and the Professor. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with it in this one!

My school history with math is checkered. I "got" algebra but couldn't "get" geometry. Oh well. if I need to find x I can still use algebra to this day. It has its uses. Faye, I have not read your books and I need to do something about that. The blurb and the comments are certainly working their magic.

Math was always my favorite subject in school, so it's no surprise that my favorite teachers were my math teachers! Looking forward to reading your book as it sounds very interesting.

I've always like math and I love your books. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of this one.

After finishing Murder 101, I was reminded how much I loved your books, Faye. So this is a must-have for me as soon as I finish The Ritual Bath. '0) Thanks for such great reading.

Pat D, yes! I use algebra, too! WHo'd a thought???

I want to read this book! It sounds fabulous. I belong in the math camp where the teacher makes all the difference. If I had a good teacher, I did well. If I had a teacher who was only interested in the one kid in the class who intuitively 'got' math, I was lost.

Hi everyone, Kaitlyn here writing in for Faye! Faye says: It's great to be here. And thanks for having me.

Hallie, thank you for the compliment. All of the kids are good writers. My two middle daughters have followed Jonathan in to psychology and Jesse and my youngest daughter, Aliza, write for a living. Jesse is a playwright as well as a novelist and Aliza has done everything from novels to freelancing. They're a wonderful bunch.

FAYE KELLERMAN HERE: Julia, Somewhere around that area but it wasn't based on anything particular. That's the wonderful thing about fiction. You can make it up. The Five College consortium was roughly patterned after the Claremont colleges in Pomona.

FAYE KELLERMAN HERE: Deborah, thank you for the kind words about THE THEORY OF DEATH and for reading it! I was a math major in college, I've always loved the intersection between theoretical and practical math. I hope it was accessible and I hope I got most of it right.

It's been a blast writing with the east coast as a setting. I love the contrast between the more rural and more idyllic landscape of upstate versus New York City. It shows the schizophrenic nature of the state.

FAYE KELLERMAN HERE: DRPFF: I gave me the idea. It wasn't something that I picked to be particularly commercial, but it worked for me. I love my characters. They live with me. They talk to me. They argue with me. They're like family members. I love them but once in a blue moon in need a vacation!

Faye Kellerman here: THANK YOU FOR FEATURE ME AND THE THEORY OF DEATH!

Thanks so much for stopping in, Faye!

By the time I got to high school, math had become my least favorite subject, but since I was striving to be valedictorian, I had to buckle down and do well in it. Algebra wasn't horrible, and even trigonometry was rather interesting, but I hated geometry. In fact, I had a tutor for it. But life has a funny way of surprising us, and when I was in my twenties, after college, I was working in my husband's retail business in the accounting department. When the head bookkeeper quit, I had to take over, and to my surprise, I liked it. Making everything balance out was actually fun. Looking for that dime on the debit or credit side that was out-of-line was never frustrating, because I knew it was there somewhere waiting for me to find it. Go figure. I worked in this field for around fifteen years. However, my true love was and still is English--reading, writing, grammar. Teaching it was my comfort zone.

Faye, it seems no matter how much I read, I keep finding authors that I can't believe I haven't. The Reds blog, of course, is an outstanding place to become acquainted with those missed authors. I'm delighted to find you, Faye, and it looks like I have quite a bit of catching up to do. But, that's the joy of reading, more and more to read. Thanks for visiting the Reds today.

What a Treat! The Trick will be fitting another good read on the shelf of Books-in-Waiting. Thanks to all of you writers!

I've been reading your books since The Ritual Bath and am looking forward to the new one.

The math teachers I taught with were fun, even establishing a math club -- I bought the t-shirt. Mine were more serious, but nice, even the one I thought wasn't very good (and told him so on the last day of class) turned out to be an excellent chemistry teacher and didn't hold a grudge. I suspect that he had been persuaded to take that one more needed section. I treated algebra as a brain teaser puzzle and geometry as an art project . . . my notebook was so pretty, and my dad used it the next year to help my brother pass geometry. English was more fun, though, so that's where I majored and taught, once stepping into a friend's math class to help with word problems. Acting them out as shopping decisions really helped. ;-) I used to motivate my "I like science and math not English" students by telling of my former FIL who headed a research program in pharmacokinetics and begged me, "teach them to WRITE" and the engineer I met on a plane, who had just bought his own copy of Warriner's Grammar, having realized the importance of clear writing in reports and proposals. Looking forward to a new complex mystery!

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