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Please give a warm welcome to Darynda Jones, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Charlie Davidson and Darklight Trilogy. I’ve bugged her through email for an interview and Darynda was kind enough to stop by and answer a few questions. I also shamelessly ripped off her biography, conveniently provided on her website for this awesome intro.
For reasons known only to the Big Guy upstairs, NYTimes and USA Today Best Selling author Darynda Jones won both a Golden Heart and a RITA for her manuscript FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT. But even before that, she couldn’t remember a time she wasn’t putting pen to paper. When she was five, she would pick up a pencil and notepad, scribble utter chaos onto the page and ask her mom to read her masterpiece aloud. Thankfully, her mother would play along.
I have done this too. My dad was working on his PhD and I had to be very quiet because it was very important. So at the age of five, I presented my mother with a bunch of pages covered in pencil marks and random math symbols. Hehe. Clearly there is a pattern here.
So, without further ado, here are Darynda’s answers to my brain-dead questions.
Could you please tell us about your series?
Absolutely! And thanks so much for having me!
The Charley Davidson series is about a female PI who was born, for lack of a better term, the grim reaper. She solves cases for both the living and the dead, which makes for some very interesting days. Charley gets into more trouble that a person has a right to and, because of her abilities, meets some rather unusual characters along the way, including her dark and mysterious love interest, Reyes Farrow. I also have a YA series called the Darklight Trilogy. It’s about a young girl whose life is irrevocably changed when the Angel of Death starts high school in her small town. The first two are out and the third one is coming out in October this year.
Usually when one thinks of the Grim Reaper, the image that comes to mind is that of a tall dark figure with a scythe. How is your Grim different?
Sadly, Charley just isn’t that tall. Or dark. And she doesn’t carry a scythe. Because of this, people are rarely afraid of her. But she likes to think her spunk makes up for her physical setbacks. Basically Charley is a bright light that the departed who are stuck on Earth can see from anywhere in the world. When they are ready, they can cross through her. As it turns out, the grim reaper does ferry the dead from one plane to the next, only they pass through her to get there. People often ask her, why did the dead guy cross to the other side? Just kidding. People never ask that. Little reaper humor there.
Is there romance in your books?
I actually considered the series paranormal romance. They are very sexy and have a super strong romantic element. But because they don’t have the traditional HEA (happily ever after), they don’t qualify as romance.
Could you tell us a little bit about the side characters? Is there one in particular that stands out? If you had to write a spin-off, who would be featured?
It seems like everyone who reads the series has a different favorite side character. Cookie is Charley’s best friend and assistant. She is fun and gets into her fair share of mischief. Then there is Garrett, a bond enforcement agent who helps Charley with a case every now and then, Uncle Bob, Charley’s detective uncle who keeps a steady paycheck in the mail, and Mr. Wong, an elderly departed man who hovers with his nose in a corner of her apartment, never moving, never talking. Even though Mr. Wong is just kind of there, people love that man. It’s awesome.
I do have a spin-off planned and let’s just say the cast will be splintered into two separate series. I just can’t tell you which ones without giving too much away. But I can say Mr. Wong is not just hovering in Charley’s apartment for no reason. 🙂
And finally, Darynda is such a pretty name. Is there a story behind it?
Thank you! My mother once told me that she heard the name when she was a girl and fell in love with it. She vowed to name her first daughter Darynda, and that is exactly what she did. It’s traditionally spelled Dorinda. I think she tossed a “Y” into the mix to throw everyone off.
Thank you again for having me!
Just to cement the awesomeness, Darynda is offering one signed edition of First Grave on the Right to one lucky commenter. All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog. The giveaway is open to US residents only and will end this Friday at noon central time.
Update: Please do not comment unless you are entering the giveaway. If you still want to comment anyway, please state: DO NOT ENTER ME.