Slashing Mona Lisa by D.M. Barr Book Tour and Giveaway :)
Slashing Mona Lisa
WHO IS D.M. BARR?
In my twenties, I was skinny (I always have gone up and down in weight) and was dating a Scotsman in the travel industry. I warned him that I had a tendency to gain weight. He responded, “Don’t do that, it would be like slashing the Mona Lisa.” I broke up with him shortly afterwards.. One of the characters in this novel repeats that line verbatim and it encapsulates my feelings about how some people sum up a person’s entire worth by numbers on the scale.
I’ve traveled the road between size 2 and size 16 many times in my life and I’ve known men who were kind and friendly to me when skinny and avoided me like the plague when I gained weight. I think a lot of the angst is self-inflicted however, thanks to a mother who in many ways, was like Ana in the book, very concerned about a daughter’s weight over everything else. I have tried very hard not to repeat that mistake with my children.
I am noticing some recurrent themes in my books, so novel writing has become an affordable form of psychoanalysis! My books always seem to have a girl tied to a bed, though the reasons are very different in each book. They also have complicated mother-daughter relationships. Both books have LGBTQ characters but Slashing Mona Lisa is far more multi-cultural. And I think both novels reflect my past—in Expired Listings, my life as a Realtor and my friendships with people in the BDSM scene and in Slashing Mona Lisa, my feelings as a yoyo dieter, my friends in the world of dueling piano bars and my fascination with Cockney rhyming slang.
Why is your main character Chamorro in Slashing Mona Lisa?
I needed a heroine whose family had roots in tribal religions, who might believe that an epileptic or overweight person could be possessed by the devil. The exorcism scene was key to the storyline. But there is a lot of multi-culturalism in Slashing Mona Lisa—Chamorro, British, Jamaican, African-American, Asian as well as characters from the LGBQT community. It’s a true reflection of living in NYC.
How long does it take for you to write a book?
When I started this book, I had three different potential storylines, each with a different killer. The ending that made the cut was a compromise between two of those storylines. I can’t say more without revealing too much except to say that romances and side plots often develop as I write. I have no control over what my characters do or their sometimes-crude language. I apologize on their behalf.
My next novel will be more of a contemporary romance unless I manage to stick in a murder or two. Since I try to explore issues in my books, this one will tackle elder abuse.