Today Darynda Jones visits our blog for an interview. Darynda writes the Charley Davidson series for adults and the Darklight series for Young Adults.
Welcome to Pearls Cast Before A McPig, Darynda.
Could you tell a bit about yourself for those people who don’t know you yet?
Absolutely! 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. Like my heroine 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. First Grave also won some pretty big awards, including a Golden Heart, a RITA, and a Dahpne du Maurier. I also have a young adult series out called the Darklight Trilogy. In 2012, I hit the NY Times best sellers list for the first time. It was very exciting.
You have two series: the Charley Davidson series for Adults and Darklight for Young Adults. Are the two series connected or they set in different settings/worlds?
Confession time: I wrote Death and the Girl Next Door, the first in the YA trilogy, several years ago and, figuring it would never sell, I stole a lot of the storyline and put it in the Charley Davidson series. Yes, I cannibalized my own work. So, Charley was very much a byproduct of Lorelei with a little more sass thrown in for good measure.
While they are not connected, they are a little alike. They are both contemporary paranormals set in New Mexico, but in completely different towns. But they are probably a lot alike because of my cannibalism. When DGND sold, I had to go back and rewrite the foundation of the story. Fortunately, the main story didn’t change much, just the underneath stuff.
How many books will there be in both series?
My editor wants to keep the Charley Davidson series ongoing, so there’s just no telling. I would love it to continue for quite a while longer. I adore writing about Charley and her antics. 6-8 in that series recently sold, so I know for sure there will be three more. The Darklight series will be a trilogy: Death and the Girl Next Door, Death, Doom and Detention, and Death and the Girl he Loves which will be out in October.
Have you ever been tempted to use people who’d been rude to you in real life as victims in your books? Or have there been other people you used as characters in your books?
I can say that I was so mad at the creator of the TV series Sons of Anarchy after he killed off my favorite character, that I was going to name all of my bad guys after him. But I figured people would catch on pretty quickly to who the bad guy was if I named them all Kurt Sutter. I do use a lot of my friends’ and family’s names, but they are usually quite different in the books than they are in real life.
Are there any other projects you’re working on or thinking about starting in the near future?
I have so many projects started, I was having a hard time keeping them all straight, so I created a spreadsheet and listed them all. Right now I am actively writing on 27 different projects, so yes. :) I’m a fast writer, but I wish I were faster. I have a solid, writable new idea every week.
What did you do to celebrate the release of your first book?
I had a launch party in my hometown with the release of First Grave. A lot of family and friends came. It was so special and I was very honored.
What is the best thing about being a published author?
I can work in my pajamas.
And what do you like the least about being a published author?
There is so much more to being a published author than just writing, and sometimes I try to do too much. I am learning to say no, but so much of being published is promotion, blogging, and social networking. Finding a balance is the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to accomplish.
What authors have been an influence to you? And have you read any books lately that you want to share with us or have you been too busy with writing to read?
I always try to read. I think that reading is a big part of an author’s job. If we aren’t reading, we aren’t learning. We aren’t staying up with our field and our colleagues. I just read a great paranormal by a friend of mine, Robyn Peterman, that comes out in September, I believe. I absolutely loved it. Now I’m reading Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison. I’ve been dying to read it. I finally started it last night and OMG! It is so so so so good! I’m kicking myself for not reading it sooner.
As far as influences, I have so many. I read everyone from JR Ward and Jacquelyn Frank to Jim Butcher and Stephen Hunter. I just love books in all geners. My earliest influences were Kathleen E. Woodiwiss and Stephen King. An odd combination, but there you have it.
Are there zombies or pigs in any of your books or will there be any in future books?
Ha! As much as I love pigs, I don’t have any as of yet, but I do have a middle-grade series that features a kind of creature that could be considered a zombie of sorts. (Is that vague enough for you?) I love zombie stores! I can’t wait to write that story. I’m about one-fourth the way into it. One day I’ll finish it.
I'll have to keep an eye out for that story. Thanks for dropping by!
Thank you so much for having me!
About First Grave on the Right:
A smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper
Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. 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 (i.e. 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.
Darynda kindly offered a signed copy of one of her Charley Davidson's books (winner's choice) for a reader of my blog.
The winner is Bube
A winner will be picked at random on October 19th.
Open internationally to everyone who's legally allowed to enter this giveaway.
Don't forget to leave a comment:
I decided to have an event wide giveaway on my blog for commenters.
At the end of this event I'll pick one commenter on any author post of this event at random and that person will win a book of his/her choice as long as bookdepository ships to where you live, you're legally allowed to enter, and the book costs no more than 10$
And drop by Between Dreams and Reality as well for more great author posts.