Alison chased footage for her documentaries through jungles in Honduras and Cambodia, favelas in Brazil and racetracks in the U.S. She brings the same sense of adventure to her award-winning books of mystery and romantic adventure for teens and adults.
"My life experience is an indirect influence on my writing. I don't put people I know in my books. Instead I write about things that matter to me, and I let the characters tell me who they are. In this story, I originally didn't think the two main characters would fall in love. Instead, Isabella was going to love the wealthy merchant Domenico, who loves her the way he loves a good ship full of pricey merchandise. But Isabella and Rafaele had their own ideas, and fell in love. Who am I to argue with teenage hormones?
"Once I start writing a book I write from 5 am to 9 am. Then my husband gets up and we have breakfast and exercise and I go back to writing the rest of the day. Except lately I spend my afternoons marketing more than I do writing. I cannot write if my environment is noisy or if anyone interrupts me, which is why I write early in the morning. No one else is awake then. I do a lot of research for each book, but I try to save that for the afternoon. The morning is sacred writing time."
Alison McMahan's latest release is The Saffron Crocus, a Young Adult Historical Mystery, with Black Opal Books.
Venice, 1643. Isabella, fifteen, longs to sing in Monteverdi’s Choir, but only boys (and castrati) can
do that. Her singing teacher, Margherita, introduces her to a new wonder: opera! Then Isabella finds Margherita murdered. Now people keep trying to kill Margherita’s handsome rogue of a son, Rafaele.
Was Margherita killed so someone could steal her saffron business? Or was it a disgruntled lover, as Margherita—unbeknownst to Isabella—was one of Venice’s wealthiest courtesans?
Or will Isabella and Rafaele find the answer deep in Margherita's past, buried in the Jewish Ghetto?
Isabella has to solve the mystery of the Saffron Crocus before Rafaele hangs for a murder he didn’t commit, though she fears the truth will drive her and the man she loves irrevocably apart.
Murder, Mystery & Mayhem in 17th Century Venice... Amazon BUY LINK
I adored this beautifully written, passionate book. The Saffron Crocus is a glittering, thrilling opera of a novel that plucked my heartstrings and kept me reading at fever pitch. Brava, Alison McMahan! Encore!
~ Nancy Holder, New York Times Bestselling Author of the Wicked Saga
WINNER: 2014 Rosemary Award for Best Historical for Young Adults
Who knew a singing career would be this much trou-ble?She loves hearing from readers.
“Rafaele!” She flew into the garret. “Piero, it was so wonderful, wait until I tell you!”
The stool next to the bed was knocked over. The tray with the genepy bottle was on the floor, one of the cups broken. The fat candle that had been burning next to Ra-faele’s bed had been flung to the other side of the room. Canvases were strewn all over the floor, some of them slashed, and many of Master Strozzi’s jars of paint ele-ments were broken.
Did Piero and Rafaele have a fight? She quickly suppressed the thought. Who would get into a fight with a man who was already injured?
Something else must have happened.
She walked across the garret. “Piero? Rafaele, are you here?”
Rafaele was not in the bed. The sheets and blankets she had piled on top of him were strewn everywhere. Blood-stained sheets spilled over the edge of the pallet. There was a pile of clothes on the floor.
She walked around to get a closer look.
Not clothes. It was Piero. Face down, one arm stretched out before him, as if in supplication.
A puddle of blood under him.