When I was offered the opportunity to participate in a 45-minute phone call interview with New York Times Bestselling author Darynda Jones, the author of the fabulous CHARLEY DAVIDSON series (honestly, if you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you start it NOW as it’s one of the few Adult books I’ve read and loved), I was over the moon excited. Read on to find out what some of the questions we asked Darynda Jones and her answers! Make sure you enter the giveaway for the complete set of the series and a coffee mug, courtesy of St. Martin’s Press!
Eighth Grave After Dark
Author: Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #8
Genre: Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Mystery, Humor
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
is to serve as a cautionary tale to others.
Charley Davidson has enough going on without having to worry about twelve hellhounds hot on her trail. She is, after all, incredibly pregnant and feeling like she could pop at any moment. But, just her luck, twelve deadly beasts from hell have chosen this time to escape onto our plane, and they’ve made Charley their target. And so she takes refuge at the only place she thinks they can’t get to her: the grounds of an abandoned convent. Of course, if hellhounds aren’t enough, Charley also has a new case to hold her attention: the decades-old murder of a newly-vowed nun she keeps seeing in the shadows of the convent.
Add to that the still unsolved murder of her father, the strange behavior of her husband, and Charley’s tendency to attract the, shall we say, undead, and she has her hands full…but also tied.
Interview with Darynda Jones
Moderator: Darynda Jones, author of the Charley Davidson series, is with us today. Darynda, do you want to give us a quick hello and background on the series and the new release? And then we will go down the line and let everyone ask a question of you.
Thank you so much for being here. I write the Charley Davidson series. It’s about a female private investigator who was born the Grim Reaper. She solves cases for both the living and the dead.
The new book, Eighth Grave after Dark, comes out May 19th. It is, obviously, the eighth in the series and we’re really excited about it.
Kate from All Things Urban Fantasy:
Do you come up with the quotes at the beginning of the chapters? Or are they like actual real shirts that you see or signs or whatever? Because they’re hysterical.
Well, thank you. That’s not a bad question at all. It’s awesome. I actually do not come up with most of them. I come up with maybe one or two a book. But, for the most part, they are real T-shirts and real bumper stickers and real signs and Internet memes that have been forwarded 1,000 times.
They’re out there. I didn’t come up with them, unfortunately. I wish I were that clever.
Kimberly from Caffeinated Book Reviewer:
From the beginning of the series, has your–has the series changed from what you originally intended? Is – has it veered off in any direction maybe because of the characters?
It actually has. It’s changed immensely from my original idea. Basically, it was just going to be Charley doing her thing and solving mysteries, and it really wasn’t going to evolve as far as paranormally and the supernatural world. The more books I wrote, the more I kind of dipped into that and gave a little bit more and gave a little bit more. The readers were just so fantastic and it was like the bigger the world got, the more they loved it. So it’s really evolved, even with Charley. I’m working on Ninth now, and it’s getting bigger and bigger and I’m hoping that it just continues to grow. But definitely the supernatural worlds that I’m putting in were not originally part of the plan as far as where Charley was from and what she really is.
Mary from Book Hounds:
Of course, my question is dog related. Were the hellhounds inspired by your own dogs?
That’s the best idea I ever heard. You know, I will say that’s very possible. They have put me through heck. I was so excited. I just got my author copies of Eighth Grave, I put the box in my office, and I’m so excited. I get up the next morning and my eight-month-old, Steffy, decided to eat one. Thank God she only ate one because she ripped through that box and could have had the entire box. So it could very well be. You might be onto something. Thank you.
Mary from Book Swarm:
My question is that I’ve heard you have a soft spot for sci-fi heroes, the lovely Captain Kirk and Dwayne Hicks from Aliens. What draws you to characters like this? And how do they influence the heroes in your own stories?
Gee, I think what originally drew me to them was Captain Kirk was kind of my first love. When I was very young, I had never seen Star Trek. I was at my uncle’s house, and they had channels that we didn’t have. I think we had like two channels or something. I saw Star Trek for the first time and I was just stunned. I was in love. I fell in love with the series, and ever since then I’ve just had a huge love of science fiction and horror. I think the heroes in science fiction are not only, you know, obviously good looking as heck and capable and all the smoldering things that we love in a hero.
But they’re very intelligent, you know? They have to be really, really clever and almost techie in a way, and I just love them. I love science fiction. So, yeah, I think they’re great heroes.
I love just drawing on that cleverness and their ability to get out of any situation. You know, Captain Kirk got out of the most insane situations. He was so smart.
Natasha from Wicked Lil Pixie:
I’m going to ask, Mr. Wong. First, where did he come from? And when is he going to speak?
Okay. First, I’m not telling; and second, we learn everything about Mr. Wong in Eighth Grave. His entire story comes out. I will say it was so funny. One of my beta readers was reading the book before it went to my editor, and she sent me this e-mail that was just, oh, my God, over and over and over and over. She’s like I just got to the part about Mr. Wong. I’m so in love. It was just the greatest thing. So, I think that you will be pleased. I think that the readers will be pleased because he turned out to be a very, very neat person.
Rachel from Bitten by Books:
My question is what is your favorite scene from any of your books?
My favorite scene, I actually have one, and there’s a reason. It’s actually, believe it or not, and this is going to sound kind of morbid, but it is the torture scene in Third Grave Dead Ahead. The reason is because I knew going into that book that that scene was going to happen. I knew from the time I was writing First Grave that that scene was going to happen, and I had just worried over it and worried over it because I didn’t know if I could pull it off. So, when I pulled it off, and I – you know, it’s not perfect, but I did okay. I was just so thrilled that I pulled that scene off and that it turned out exactly the way I wanted it to.
It’s kind of like when you go to draw something, and it never looks quite like you want it to, you know? I just really wanted this scene to have a certain feel to it and then have a certain emotional turmoil. So, that is actually to this day my favorite scene because it was my first really true obstacle.
Scandal from Scandalous Book Reviews:
If someone were new to your books, like a paranormal rookie let’s call them, what would you want them to know or take away from the Charley Davidson series? How would you introduce them to it?
I would introduce them how I did whenever we opened, that it was a female investigator who was born the Grim Reaper. But, I would also add that they’re more lighthearted than most paranormal books. And they’re more humorous. Charley is completely irreverent to almost every situation. She doesn’t take a lot of things too seriously, except for her job to help people and to help the departed be on their way. So probably something like that, just to let them know ahead that it’s not quite as dark as others, but, it has dark moments.
Kelly from Effortlessly Reading:
Are there any parts in the series where you’re like I can’t believe I just wrote this? Like, will anyone like it?
Oh, absolutely. Oh, yes. In fact, I have to tell you. There’s a huge scene in Eighth Grave that I was absolutely terrified to put in there. I thought this is too much. It’s too much. It’s just ridiculous. Nobody’s going to believe this is really going to happen. When I sent it to my editor, I asked her. I put little notes in my manuscript to her, and I’m like, okay, this next scene, you got to be honest and tell me if it works or not because I’m really iffy on it. I’m kind of on the fence. She wrote me back, and she said that she loved it. It was so exciting. So it’s in there, I’m hoping that it doesn’t freak anybody out. There’s probably one scene a book that I really worry about and that I wonder if I didn’t really screw up and it’s going to be the end of my career type thing.
Kristie from Dark Faerie Tales:
I have kind of a two-fold question. You mentioned a possible spinoff in the future. When will that spin – in your planning, how far away is that spinoff going to be? And who is it going to feature? And is that character one of your favorite characters throughout this series? Or is this somebody that you’ve grown to love?
Okay. I haven’t been telling people this, but, I love that you asked it. I do want to do it someday, so I thought maybe if I put it out there people would really want it. My plan was to have both the Charley series and the spinoff going at the same time, but because of timelines it wouldn’t have worked. Even my agent was against it. She was like no, you’re just going to have to wait until the Charley books end and then do the spinoff. Of course, the way my mind is so chaotic and all over the place, I’m already working on the books for this spinoff that can’t happen.
I will say that from Eighth Grave they happen probably about 19 years later, if that gives you an idea of who it might be about. It’s Charley and Reyes’s daughter, and it’s her story. It does feature a character who I’ve introduced who I’m absolutely in love with. Osh, or Osh’ekiel, is going to be in it too. So that’s going to be their books later on down the line. Keep your fingers crossed.
This is a US only giveaway for a branded coffee mug and the complete Charley Davidson series, courtesy of St. Martin’s Press! Trust me, you want this!