Author Bio: NYTimes and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work, including a prestigious RITA, a Golden Heart, 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. She currently has two series with St. Martin’s Press, the Charley Davidson Series and the Darklight Trilogy. Darynda lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband of more than 25 years and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.
Welcome and congratulations on your upcoming book releases!
1) When you first created the Charley Davidson character, did you have any idea she’d fill so many novels with so many adventures?
I certainly dreamed she would! I have a million ideas. They never stop coming, but to be able to actually write her stories is such a dream come true.
2) The Dirt on Ninth Grave will be officially released on January 12th and I noticed The Curse of Tenth Grave is due out in June of 2016. Are you working on an eleventh book in the series? Is Charley’s journey coming to an end?
I’m putting the final touches on Tenth right now, but book eleven is right around the corner. I’m hoping her journey continues for a long time to come. Again, so many ideas.
3) Charley is hilarious. She is able to shrug off some grim circumstances with wonderful sarcasm. She’s been described by fans as “smart and snarky.” Does her sense of humor mirror your own?
I used to didn’t think so. I felt like Charley was her own girl with very little of me in there, of my own personal brand of humor, but I’ve been told by many that is not the case. I guess it’s the fact that she can say things I would never dream of saying. And she gets away with it! I would so be called on about 90% of what comes out of her mouth. Then I’d mope and feel guilty for eons.
4) The titles from your Charley Davidson series are reminiscent of the Stephanie Plum series from Janet Evanovich in that they are numbered and clever. Are you a fan?
I am indeed, and I loved what she did with that. I hate having to memorize the order of books in a series, so I figured I’d give my readers a break and just fill them in up front. We certainly aren’t the only ones who’ve done this, but I like to think readers appreciate it. I also like to think readers worship Charley Davidson and would travel thousands of miles just to meet her creator. That hasn’t really happened yet, but I like to think it.
5) Your novels are layered with private investigations, otherworldly beings, murder, romantic chemistry, humor and so much more. Where do you get your ideas/inspiration? Any particular TV shows, books, movies that fuel your creativity?
I get ideas from anywhere and everywhere. Nothing is sacred. NOTHING! I love true crime shows like those on Investigation Discovery and can take a kernel of a story from there and turn it into a full-blown murder mystery in 30 seconds flat. But I love fiction in any medium first and foremost. There are so many authors, TV shows, and movies I love, we could be here all day and barely scratch the surface, so I’ll just say, yes. Yes there are.
6) The series has been described as urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and paranormal mystery/suspense. Is genre something you think about?
Only when I have to answer that question! When I’m writing, no. The story comes first in whatever I’m writing. I let my agent and publisher worry about where to shelf it.
7) Your Darklight Trilogy received much praise as a YA series. Congratulations! What shifts in the approach to your writing did you take to prepare for a teen audience? Any other YA books in your future?
I have many, many YA stories I’d love to write one day as well as new adult. I don’t really take a different approach at all. I’m not sure if that’s savvy or not, but teens are crazy smart. They don’t need us mucking things up by trying to write “to” them. I just write the story going around in circles in my head and hope for the best.
8) Do you feel the market for paranormal has become scarcer in recent years? Agents seem to be shying away from it. Regarding new authors with paranormal titles, do you think it will make a comeback soon?
I think publishing is cyclical and that paranormal will indeed make a huge comeback in the traditional world. Oddly enough, in the indie world paranormal is kicking some serious butt cheeks. It’s an odd paradoxical event that I’m not sure I’m smart enough to understand, but I will say that readers are the bottom line and they CLEARLY want more paranormal. Yes, including vampires. So while NY is shying away from the strange and supernaturally infused, readers are not. It’s here to stay.
9) I assume you write every day. What does your writing day look like? Are you at the computer early in the morning for a set number of hours? Do you set goals each day, like word counts or scenes?
It kind of depends on where I’m at on my deadline. I have tried everything under the sun to be more productive. I am at the computer everyday. Do I get a real word count everyday? Not so much. I am an expert at procrastinating using the guise of research and promotion. Seriously, ask me anything. But I am putting my big girl panties on getting better at showing up and writing everyday. I get up fairly early, usually around 5 or 5:30 am, shower and dress, and try to be at my computer by 7 where I like to get in at least 5-6 hours of honest-to-goodness writing. If I would write as fast as I’m able every single day, I’d have dozens of books out. No, a hundred! NO! A THOUSAND! Or somewhere thereabouts.
10) What novels/authors are some of your personal favorites?
Again, so many! Okay, I’ll go with: Karen Marie Moning, JR Ward, Robyn Peterman, Patricia Briggs, Julia Quinn, Dakota Cassidy, Stephen Hunter, Suzanne Collins, Lee Child, Stephen King, Kevin Hearne, Donna Grant, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Colleen Hoover, Tessa Dare, Brandon Sanderson, Brent Weeks, and so many, many more. Those are just the ones off the top of my head. I know I’ve forgotten several who are amazing. It’s like that saying goes, authors are my rock stars!
Thank you so much for having me!
Thank YOU, Darynda! What a pleasure to chat with you!
For more information about Darynda Jones and her books, please visit the following links:
Be sure to visit Darynda’s Goodreads Fan Group for discussions, reviews, giveaways, and Q & A’s!
Stay Tuned for these Upcoming Author Q & A’s:
January 18th — Q & A with Liza Wiemer, her debut YA novel, HELLO?, was published November 10, 2015 by Spencer Hill Contemporary.
January 26th — Q & A with Melissa Gorzelanczyk, her debut YA novel, ARROWS, to be released by Random House/Delacorte Press, on January 26th.
In the meantime, for more information about these authors, please visit their websites:
Liza Wiemer: www.lizawiemer.com
Melissa Gorzelanczyk: www.melissagorzelanczyk.com/blog