Back to:
Current year's news releases

All news releases
News and information home

UW-Eau Claire Professor to Talk about New Novel
on NPR's Morning Edition

RELEASED: July 17, 2009

Jon Loomis

Jon Loomis
(photo by Allyson Loomis)

Loomis radio interviews

Jon Loomis will discuss his new book, "Mating Season," on the following radio programs:

July 30, National Public Radio's "Morning Edition," heard locally from 4-9 a.m. on WUEC 89.7 FM in Eau Claire and WVSS 90.7 in Menomonie. Listen online to archived broadcast.

July 31, "Spectrum West," 5 p.m. on Wisconsin Public Radio stations WHWC 88.3 FM in Eau Claire and WRFW 88.7 FM in River Falls. Listen online to archived broadcast.

EAU CLAIRE — University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire assistant professor of English Jon Loomis, whose second crime fiction novel, "Mating Season," hit bookstores in May, will discuss his book and its setting on an upcoming segment of National Public Radio's "Morning Edition." The book recently received a five-star review on Amazon.com, as well as favorable reviews from Booklist and Publishers Weekly.

Linda Wertheimer interviewed Loomis for "Morning Edition's" "Crime in the City" segment, which regularly features writers working in the mystery, detective or crime/thriller genres. Last month he took Werthheimer on a walking tour of Provincetown, Mass., the setting for "Mating Season" and his first novel, "High Season." The interview is set to air July 30.

Loomis said he chose Provincetown as a setting for the novel for a number of reasons. He lived there off and on for eight years, residing at the town's Fine Arts Work Center as a grant-funded writer several times, as well as running the center's teaching program for a few years. He's returned whenever he could and said he's gotten to know the small resort town pretty well.

"Provincetown is both physically very beautiful and socially very complex; it's also got an interesting history — full of various kinds of criminality — and a wonderfully dark interior life," Loomis said. "So it's a perfect setting for a mystery series; I was surprised, when I first started looking into setting a series there, to find that no one else was doing one."

The main character in both novels is Frank Coffin, an aging detective who grew up in Provincetown but worked for years as a police detective in Baltimore. After experiencing an increasing number of panic-like attacks in reaction to the violence and death around him, he returns home hoping for a less stressful professional life. But in "High Season," the bodies start piling up, and things don't get easier for Coffin in "Mating Season." In both books, he also has to deal with a girlfriend who wants to get pregnant, an Alzheimer's-stricken mother with a vicious tongue, and assorted shady or eccentric old friends and relatives.

Loomis describes his books as mysteries that are also dark comedies. One critic called them "delightfully campy," but Loomis thinks "campy" is slightly off the mark. He said he isn't trying to write a parody of the Raymond Chandler style, but he admits it can be tempting to spoof the conventions of plot in detective novels just a bit and he enjoys playing with form. He also enjoys writing about his assortment of eccentric characters.

"If I'm going to write these things, I want them to be populated by depressed fisherman and opium-smoking artists and six-foot drag queens named Lawonda," Loomis said. He admitted to being quite fond of his protagonist.

"I like Frank a lot — he has an interesting set of phobias. He likes his girlfriend. He maybe has a crush on his partner, a lesbian police officer named Lola Winters," Loomis said.

Loomis is already thinking about his third Frank Coffin novel, tentatively titled "Hurricane Season." His publisher hopes to see a new book in the series every 18 months or so, and his agent hopes it may eventually transfer to the movie screen.

But Loomis has recently also returned to writing poetry. His previously two published volumes of poetry are "Vanitas Motel" (1998) and 'The Pleasure Principle" (2001). Both were published by Oberlin College Press and are available on Amazon.com.

At UW-Eau Claire, Loomis teaches classes in creative writing, poetry and literature.

-30-

NW/JP

Back to:
Current year's news releases

All news releases
News and information home

 

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.