Please welcome St.Martin's Press paranormal romance author, Darynda Jones.
Welcome to my blog! Let's start with an easy question - who is Darynda Jones?
Winner of the 2009 Golden Heart® for Best Paranormal Romance for her manuscript FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT, Darynda was born spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike.
After the Golden Heart final, she pimped herself as best she could, landed an amazing agent and sold to St. Martin’s Press in a three-book deal. Darynda lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband of more than 25 years and two beautiful sons, aka the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys. She can be found at www.daryndajones.com
So, that’s the official story. The real one, the story behind the story, is much more interesting. It involves murder, car chases and random explosions. Just kidding. I’m about as boring as a girl can get, but I sure have fun pretending I’m not. Except for that one time I was thrown out of a restaurant for impersonating a CIA agent. That took some explaining.
You impersonated a CIA agent?!? I bet you won't be doing that again in a hurry. LOL
When did you start to write and how long did it take you to be published?
I started writing when I was five. Yep, a born storyteller. Not, however, a genius. I didn’t actually learn to read and write until I was six. No way was I going to let that stop me. I would scribble on a paper and swear it was a romantic play or a story about a boy and his duck. (Long story.)
I wrote on and off for decades, taking breaks with kids, school, and career, until I finally got serious and started writing toward publication in 2002. It took me seven years to sell.
So, what's been happening in your world since the RWA conference in Orlando?
My first book, FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT, just came out from St. Martin’s Press, so I’ve been super busy with promo and socializing. I’ve been amazed at how intricate and involved the process it.
I've been following part of that journey via some of your blog interviews. Phew! What an exhausting process!
It's always interesting finding out what sparks a writer's creativity. Is there anything that helps yours?
Anything and everything, but mostly music, movies and other books.
Hmm, a lot of my guests speak of similar interests. Now, onto one of my favorite questions - what do you think it is about your genre that readers find fascinating?
The impossible coming to life.
Part of my job as a writer is to make the unreal real. I have to make it so believable, so everyday, that you jump into the story and never doubt it’s possibility for a minute. If you do, then I haven’t done my job. The men are powerful and surreal, the woman strong and clever, and the stories are so much fun and inventive that the reader just loses him- or herself. Pure escapism. Pure entertainment.
Are you a panster or plotter? Is it your characters or your plot that influence you most? What's your writing process from start to finish when writing a book?
I plot like there’s no tomorrow, but the characters definitely influence everything about the book. The characters always come first. It’s their story, after all. If they are not at the wheel, then the story loses its soul and I am telling a story for the sake of plot. I am giving directions to the nearest gas station. Not something I want to read, nor would I expect my readers to put up with that.
Please, tell us about your new release!
Absolutely! This is from the publisher:
Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper. Meaning, she sees dead people. Really. And it's her job to convince them to "go into the light." But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (like murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice.
Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she's been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely. But what does he want with Charley? And why can’t she seem to resist him? And what does she have to lose by giving in?
With scorching-hot tension and high-octane humor, FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT is your signpost to paranormal suspense of the highest order.
Whoo-eee! What a story, I can't wait to read it! So, what's next for you? What are you working on now?
With books two and three of the Charley Davidson series, SECOND GRAVE ON THE LEFT and THIRD GRAVE DEAD AHEAD, safely with my publisher, I am now working with my editor on a young adult series that also sold to St. Martin’s, the first of which is titled GRIMSIGHT and slotted for an April 2012 release date.
Congratulations! It must be incredibly satisfying to have another series on the go with three books coming out! I wish you well on its success, Darynda.
For those looking forward to reading Darynda's debut series (with St.Martin's Press), here are the US release dates:
FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT-Feb 2011
SECOND GRAVE ON THE LEFT-Aug 2011
THIRD GRAVE DEAD AHEAD-Feb 2012
All right, last question, I promise! For those out there on the long journey to seeing their work in print, do you have any advice/handy tips/craft skills you'd like to share with unpublished authors?
Just this: Finish the book. And as soon as it’s finished, start the next and finish it too. Practice makes perfect.
Thank you so much for having me, Kylie. I was so honored to present you with your Golden Heart® in Orlando and can’t wait for your book to hit the shelves!
It was a pleasure meeting you too, Darynda. That's a night I won't forget in a hurry. Thanks for visiting my blog, it's been a hoot!
If you'd like to know more about Darynda or want to read the excerpts from her books (*spoiler alert, proceed at your own risk!), click on this link for her website. You can also follow her on Facebook or Twitter.
Darynda's other books:
|Second Grave on the Left|
|Third Grave Dead Ahead|