Mind Game by Iris Johansen has fast paced action involving “Super Heroes.” The plot has Jane MacGuire plagued by dreams of a girl, Lisa, in trouble, having been kidnapped and beaten. She ends up discovering Lisa is related to Seth Caleb, someone Jane is attracted to and frightened by. Working with Caleb, they free Lisa and find that the kidnappers are trying to leverage Seth into doing their dirty work of killing someone without leaving behind any evidence. They next kidnap Jane in another attempt to force him to cooperate. This adventurous story is both riveting and fascinating, as the superheroes will remind people of the X-Men characters.
Elise Cooper: Since this is a story of Superheroes who do you like and dislike among the Comic Book Characters?
Iris Johansen: I like Thor a lot. The new Wonder Woman movie was terrific. I think Superman is too pure for me and Spiderman is someone I cannot get excited about.
EC: Seth Caleb is an interesting character. He has persuasive powers and can control someone’s blood flow. Please explain.
IJ: I wanted to develop Seth a bit more. I have always concentrated on Jane and her adopted mother Eve. I find Seth a fascinating character that is a force to be reckoned with. He is a work in progress and grows with each book. He can be wicked, cynical, smart, and sexy as hell. He probably would be the ‘bad boy’ of Superheroes.
EC: He also seems to be an outsider, like the X-Men characters?
IJ: Yes. He is a turbulent Superhero. He wants acceptance, but does not know how to achieve it. Because of his terrible childhood, which I explore in this book, he automatically pulls away.
EC: Jane has the powers of seeing actual events and people in her dreams. Please describe her.
IJ: She is quite wonderful. She loves her adopted mother, Eve, very much. Most of the time she looks on her as a best friend instead of a daughter. She also had some heartaches that she is trying to work through. She always has a sense of honor and doing what is right.
EC: What about the romantic relationship?
IJ: Seth feels very strongly for Jane. They are like magnets. Their relationship is stormy, sexual, and sensual. They are struggling to know each other on a deeper level. She is trying to pull Seth into the world. Since they had so many emotional experiences together they are heading into a hot and strong bond.
EC: You introduce a new character, Seth’s sister, Lisa. How would you describe her?
IJ: Half-brat and half-wonderful person. I am not sure if she will have the same powers as Seth because she is a work in progress. She is tortured and loving. It is hard for Seth to show outwardly the deep love he has for his sister. But Lisa realizes this and is very dedicated to him.
EC: Your characters seem to rely more on manipulative powers than brute strength. Do you agree?
IJ: This is true of all my books. I think these powers present more interesting characters. I enjoy exploring how we all have feelings and senses. I truly believe we all have something that is right below psychic powers, although, some have stronger powers than others. We titled the book Mind Game because it is about the mind within an adventurous and romantic plot. I want the characters to control it, understand it, and expand it.
EC: Do you have a specific writing style?
IJ: The way I write is to let the characters tell the story. I start out with the characters and let them develop the plot, which usually becomes apparent by the second or third chapter. My goal is to always tell a darn good story.
EC: Can you give a heads up about your next books?
IJ: Shattered Mirror comes out in April of next year. It begins when Eve receives a package containing a skull with instructions for her to reconstruct it. When she does, a beautiful woman’s face emerges. A game is on where someone’s life hangs in the balance. This will have interesting twists. The next book with my son Roy, who I love writing with, is called Double Blind and comes out in July. This series features the character Kendra Michaels. Because she used to be blind until the age of twenty she has her other senses developed to a higher degree. In this book she joins forces with a private investigator to find a killer, as it becomes a cat and mouse chase.