It’s Friday and the twelfth day of the Murder We Write tour. Only three more days after today. Today’s interview is a little different because of the subject’s disability. Let me explain. Author Collin Kelley set it up a trans-Atlantic phone call with Irène Laureux from his Venus Trilogy, which, so far, includes CONQUERING VENUS and REMAIN IN THE LIGHT. Since Ms. Laureux is agoraphobic, she hasn’t left her apartment in Paris since a traumatic event 1968. I was very persuasive, but couldn’t get her to West Michigan. I had to settle with the phone interview. I believe the call has gone through. Ms. Laureux is that you? Call you Irène? Okay, why have you not left your apartment?
I have had a agoraphobia since I was a child. It comes and goes, but after my husband’s death, I became a complete recluse. Although I don’t like that word. I would like to go outside. I have tried many times and many have tried to help me. A young friend has been making progress with me – he even got me to a café near my apartment. I do not remember very much of it since I was unconscious, but, as Martin says, you have to begin somewhere.
Now if you are trapped in your apartment, how did you meet your new friend, Martin Paige?
Well… it is difficult to explain. It may actually sound insane. I had been dreaming about Martin before he arrived in Paris. And he had been dreaming about me. It seems we were fated to meet each other. One afternoon, I was drawn to my balcony that overlooks rue Rampon and Martin was walking up the street. We instantly recognized each other. Martin calls in synchronicity.
Hmmmm… I’ve checked you out with the Paris cops. Yes, I have sources in every country. They have been getting complaints from people staying at the Bel Air Hotel about someone being a peeping Tom. What do you have to say for yourself?
That is a ridiculous lie. I help with security for the hotel. You can ask the owner; he will vouch for me. I happen to have a view of most of the rooms of the hotel from my balcony on rue Rampon. I use a pair of binoculars to help me see more clearly. I have stopped many thefts, a man trying to molest a woman, school children vandalizing the rooms – I am a great asset to the Bel Air. The police in Paris are corrupt. Everyone knows what. They cannot – or will not – help me find who murdered my husband. Did you ask them about that?
What’s next in your future? Are you any closer to finding the killer?
I’ve hired a private detective, Monsieur Hugo, and he is aiding my search for the man who may have answers to my husband’s death. We believe the French government may have covered it up because my husband was an organizer of the student and worker riots in Paris in 1968. My beloved husband, Jean-Louis, believed he was being followed. He was shot multiple times and his body left near Notre-Dame cathedral. But I have vowed to find his killer and I will do so.
Thanks Irène for taking my call. Others can find you a little easier if they check out www.collinkelley.com. CONQUERING VENUS and REMAIN IN THE LIGHT are out now and the final book is expected in 2014.
A Note from Collin: Collin will giveaway an eBook edition of each of his novels, Conquering Venus and Remain In Light, via Smashwords to a lucky winner. The eBooks will be available for download in multi-formats including versions for the Kindle, Nook and other devices. Make sure to leave a comment and Collin will randomly draw a winner, which will be announced at his Modern Confessional blog (www.collinkelley.com) on Dec. 12.
Collin Kelley is the author of the novels Conquering Venus and Remain In Light, which was a 2012 finalist for the Townsend Prize for Fiction. His poetry collections include Better To Travel, Slow To Burn and After the Poison and the forthcoming Render. Kelley is also the author of the eBook short story collection, Kiss Shot. A recipient of the Georgia Author of the Year Award, Deep South Festival of Writers Award and Goodreads Poetry Award, Kelley’s poetry, essays and interviews have appeared in magazines, journals and anthologies around the world. He lives in Atlanta, GA. For more information, visit www.collinkelley.com, find him on Facebook at CollinKelleyWriter or follow him on Twitter @collinkelley.