Today I am uber excited to welcome one of my favorite people to RFTC, author Darynda Jones. I am a big fan of Darynda's Charley Davidson series and I am so happy she could stop by and share some info on newest release in the series, Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet. So please everyone give Darynda a very warm welcome.
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work including a prestigious Golden Heart®, a RITA®, and a Daphne du Maurier. As a born storyteller, she grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike. Darynda lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.
Places to find Darynda:
First off, can you tell us a bit about you?
Sure! My name is Darynda Jones and I write the Charley Davidson series, a paranormal mystery/urban fantasy story about a female private investigator who was born the grim reaper, and like Charley, I live in New Mexico. I’ve been writing for many years and sold my debut book, First Grave on the Right in 2009. I have since published 5 books with St. Martin’s Press and have several more on the way.
I’m a fairly boring person. I try to be cool, but it just doesn’t happen. I like to do things like reading and writing and watching movies. I have two beautiful sons who are both taller than I am now. I have a degree in sign language interpreting (my oldest son was born Deaf) and was an interpreter for many years. And my husband and I just celebrated our 29th anniversary.
Did you always want to be a writer?
I have been writing since I was a kid. Even before I could read I would pick up a stick and pretend to write a story. I was never a doodler like all my friends. When I doodled in the margins of my papers, I wrote words that I loved. I would write anything. I started with plays and poetry and advanced to short stories and news stories. If it could be written, I’d do it. But it wasn’t until I was in high school that I realized I wanted to BE a writer. I thought you had to be a stone genius or have a major addiction to even consider writing as a career. I was neither a genius nor an addict, but a friend convinced me I would write despite these drawbacks.
What kind of writer are you? Panster or Plotter?
I plot like there’s no tomorrow. I can hardly start a manuscript without my three distinct outlines. They are like road maps and I get completely lost without them, not to mention writer’s block.
Where do your ideas come from?
Absolutely everywhere. Nothing is sacred in my world. And there are layers attached to that. I might get a nibblet of something from a story a friend told me or a nugget from something else that happened to me on the way to the store. Anything and everything goes into this process.
A la Twitter style, can you describe your book (or series) in 140 characters or less.
A female PI who was born the grim reaper spends her days solving mysteries for both the living and the dead and her nights being seduced by . . . (oops, ran out of characters.)
What are some of your favorite kinds of stories to read?
I love just about every genre out there. I will read anything, but I love romance of any kind, mystery, thrillers and science fiction.
Do you have a favorite book and if so what is it?
If I had to choose just one, I would choose The Duke and I by Julia Quinn. It’s historical romance without a hint of paranormal aspects anywhere, but that book taught me so much. I think it was a timing thing. I was working on my first manuscript when I read it and suddenly so many things clicked for me. Her writing was fresh even though it was historical romance. Her hero was dark even though it is a Regency set piece. Her heroine was fun and independent even though those traits were not valued then. I loved everything about this story and reread it often.
What are the scenes that are the hardest for you to write?
Sex scenes. Hands down.
If you could have dinner with any three authors, who would you choose and why?
JR Ward, Karen Marie Moning, and Jeaniene Frost. I love them all so much and I would totally pick their brains, asking them much the same questions you’ve asked me here. :)
Last question, are you working on anything right now?
Right now I am working on the fifth in the Charley Davidson series, Fifth Grave Past the Light. This one will be a bit creepier and will give Charley a run for her non-existent money. Should be loads of fun!
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HAVING ME, DANIELLE!!! I love visiting your blog.
Sometimes being the grim reaper really is that. Grim. And since Charley’s last case went so awry, she has taken a couple months off to wallow in the wonders of self-pity. But when a woman shows up on her doorstep convinced someone is trying to kill her, Charley has to force herself to rise above. Or at least get dressed. She quickly realizes something is amiss when everyone the woman knows swears she’s insane. The more they refute the woman’s story, the more Charley believes it. In the meantime, the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, has been cleared of all charges. He is out of prison and out of Charley’s life, as per her wishes and several perfectly timed death threats. But his absence has put a serious crimp in her sex life. While there are other things to consider, like the fact that the city of Albuquerque has been taken hostage by an arsonist, Charley is having a difficult time staying away. Especially when it looks like Reyes may be involved. Just when life was returning to normal, Charley is thrust back into the world of crime, punishment, and the devil in blue jeans.
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“Yes?” I said, illegally talking on the phone while driving within the city limits. Scoping for cops, I waited for Uncle Bob to stop talking to whomever he was talking to and get back to me.
My uncle Bob, or Ubie as I most often referred to him, was a detective for APD, and I helped him on cases from time to time. He knew I could see the departed and used that to his advantage. Not that I could
“Get that to her, then call the ME ay- sap.”
“Okay,” I said, “but I’m not sure what calling the medical examiner ay- sap is going to accomplish. I’m pretty sure his name is George.”
“Oh, hey, Charley.”
“Hey, Uncle Bob. What’s up?”
“Are you driving?”
“Have you heard anything?”
Our conversations often went like this. Uncle Bob with his random questions. Me with my trying to come up with answers just as random.
Not that I had to try very hard. “I heard that Tiff any Gorham, a girl I knew in grade school, still stuff s her bra. But that’s just a rumor.”
“About the case,” he said through clenched teeth. I could tell his teeth were clenched because his words were suddenly forced. That meant he was frustrated. Too bad I had no idea what he was talking about.
“I wasn’t aware that we had a case.”
“Oh, didn’t Cookie call you?”
“She called me a doody- head once.”
“About the case.” His teeth were totally clenched again.
“We have a case?”
But I’d lost him. He was talking to another officer. Or a detective. Or a hooker, depending on his location and accessibility to cash. Though I doubted he would tell a hooker to check the status of the DOA’s autopsy
report. Unless he was way kinkier than I’d ever given him credit for.
I found his calling me only to talk to other people very challenging.
“I’ll call you right back,” he said. No idea to whom.
The call disconnected as I sat at a light, wondering what guacamole would look like if avocados were orange.
I finally shifted my attention to the dead kid in my backseat. He had shoulder- length blond hair and bright blue eyes and looked somewhere between fifteen and seventeen.
“You come here often?” I asked him, but my phone rang before he could say anything. That was okay. He had a vacant stare, so I doubted he would have answered me anyway.
“Sorry about that,” Uncle Bob said. “Do you want to discuss the case?”
“We have a case?” I said again, perking up.
“How are you?”
He asked me that every time he called now. “Peachy. Am I the case? If so, I can solve this puppy in about three seconds. I’m heading down San Mateo toward Central in a cherry red Jeep Wrangler with a questionable exhaust system.”
“Hurry, before I get away!”
Check out the Charley Davidson series:
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1 lucky winner will win themselves a copy of Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
1 lucky winner will win themselves a copy of Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
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