By Kathryn Lane
In every novel of my Nikki Garcia mystery series, I’ve
mentioned a writer or a visual artist whose work I admire. Since my mysteries
are set in foreign countries, this detail adds a touch of that country’s culture.
Waking Up in Medellin takes place in Colombia and I wove in the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel Laurette in Literature for One Hundred Years of Solitude, and the sculptures of Fernando Botero into the story.
|Research on Fernando Botero's sculpture
Danger in the Coyote Zone takes place in Mexico and I mentioned Leonora Carrington, a British woman who lived and worked among the surrealists in Paris and moved to Mexico to escape the ravishes of World War II. She remained in Mexico, married the Hungarian-born photographer Emerico Weisz, and lived in Mexico City for the rest of her life. Leonora infused her surrealist paintings and sculptures with a feminine perspective, and she played an important role in the women’s rights movement in Mexico. In my novel, I only mention that Nikki notices one of her surreal sculptures on a street in San Miguel de Allende. To my amazement, I received an email from Wendy Weisz, Leonora’s daughter-in-law. Wendy had read my first novel in the series and had purchased the second one too. She was pleasantly surprised to find the mention of her late mother-in-law’s sculpture. Hearing from her was thrilling to me, especially since I’ve never met anyone in the Weisz family though I’ve always admired Leonora’s art and sculpture.
|Leonora Carrington's Self-Portrait in New York's Metropolitan Museum
Revenge in Barcelona includes action scenes that occur at Gaudi’s architectural sites, such as the world famous Sagrada Familia Basilica. Not only did I research Gaudi’s work, but also I made two trips to Barcelona to make certain I had the facts right. (That Barcelona is my favorite city in the world did not influence my decision to travel there to fact check!)
|Author and her husband. She was researching Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain.
While writing Missing in Miami, I took a slightly different approach. I’d read Klara and the Sun by Ishiguro. Josie, Ishiguro’s character, suffers from an illness that is never fully defined. My character Andrea, the missing girl in my novel, also has an illness. I mentioned Ishiguro’s novel despite his lack of ties to Cuba to subliminally correlate his Josie to my Andrea. I never mention Ishiguro’s character or her illness so I don’t expect many readers to catch the comparison unless they’ve read both novels.
|The author loves Ishiguro's novels!
|Don Quixote and Sancho Panza on their steeds.
Do you incorporate allusions, a nod, or direct references in
your novels to either writers or their work?
Kathryn's Nikki Garcia Thriller Series - on Amazon
Kathryn Lane started out painting in oils and quickly became a
starving artist. To earn a living, she became a certified public accountant and
embarked on a career in international finance with a major multinational
corporation. After two decades, she left the corporate world to plunge into
writing mystery and suspense thrillers. In her stories, Kathryn draws deeply
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All photographs are used
in an editorial and/or educational manner
Botero Sculpture - by Kathryn Lane
Leonora Carrington's Self-Portrait - Pinterest
Sagrada Familia - by Kathryn Lane
Klara and the Sun - Amazon
Don Quijote de la Mancha - Amazon