We are pleased to announce a new feature on the Blog – Author of the Month – where we want to feature another author that we love each month. This Feature was inspired by our month-long Love Fest for Katie McGarry in August, and this month we will have Darynda Jones on the Blog!
About Darynda Jones
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. She can be found at www.daryndajones.com.
Where to find Darynda
Event Schedule at The Bookworms
- Why we Love Darynda Jones – Week 1
- Interview with Darynda Jones – Today!
- Darynda Around the World – Week 3
- Darynda’s Favorite Quotes – Week 4
Interview with Darynda Jones
We are so excited that we had the chance to talk to Darynda about her writing, her series and also what comes next!!
One of our favorite things about your characters, like Charley Davidson, is that they have such snarky and razor sharp senses of humor. Is this something that comes from your personality, or is it something that you really have to work on when writing the books?
I started cutting my teeth on comedic writing at a pretty young age, but I never thought I could pull it off, so I never really gave it my all until working on First Grave. With that first book, I literally had to learn how to write funny. I read books on the subject and articles. I watched a lot of Buffy—because Joss Whedon’s sense of humor is incredible—and Gilmore Girls—equally as incredible—as well as lots of sitcoms and movies. Once I studied how to write comedy, it all started making sense. The techniques writer’s use. WHY something is funny. The difference between situational and character comedy. After that first book, all that knowledge seemed to gel and solidify. I’m not that funny in person and I’m a horrendous public speaker. But I don’t have to work at humor in my books anymore. It’s just there when I write, thank goodness. Sometimes I do have to dial it back. 🙂
Apart from your female protagonists there are also the boys or men that many woman find especially sexy and exciting. Both Reyes (Charley Davidson Series) and Jared (Darklight Series) are kick-ass, hot, sexy but not easily placed into the good or evil drawers. What is your recipe in creating this amazing three dimensional characters?
First of all, thank you! I love me some tortured heroes. To create them, I often rely on the character’s backstory. I give them a cringe-worthy past and let their personalities evolve from that. That also gives them the ‘excuse’, if you will, of being just a little bit bad, if not very bad. I love the antihero like there’s no tomorrow. I love not knowing 100% if he can be trusted, if he will come through in the end. Again, there has to be a reason for the ‘anti’ part in antihero, otherwise he’s just an ass that nobody likes. That’s never good. A past full of trials and tribulations not only gives them depth, but also gives the reader a reason to feel empathy even if the hero doesn’t always do the right thing. The writer can push that darkness a little further.
Fifth Grave Past the Light is the fifth and latest book in your Charley Davidson Grim Reaper series. What do you find challenging about writing a series and keeping each book fresh?
It’s so funny because I don’t worry as much about keeping things fresh as I do the continuing story lines. I’m always afraid I’ll forget something or get something wrong that I’d set up before. I find that, as I’m planning the books and then as I write, I get so many ideas it’s insane. I can’t possibly incorporate them all, so I have to start deleting. So now, six books in (I’m working on Sixth Grave on the Edge now), it gets harder and harder to pull in all of the story lines, make the story fresh and vibrant, and setup the threads for future books. It’s like putting a puzzle together. Each book is a little harder than the previous.
Heather: I’ve recently taken an online writing course on Visceral Responses taught by Margie Lawson, and passages from your books were used as examples on how to do things right. Margie is an excellent teacher, and do you have any recommendations for new writers who want to hone their craft through online writing courses?
Margie is the bomb! I love that woman. I learned so much from her. If you are a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), they have some excellent writing courses, both through individual chapters and through RWA University. But there are really tons of online classes and workshops out there.
But be wary whenever an instructor uses the words ‘never’ and ‘always’, not that I haven’t used those exact words myself. Just really analyze what they are saying. Often times if a sentence starts with one of those words, it’s not a real caveat but the instructor’s opinion of how something should be done. It’s not always about what’s right or wrong. Sometimes it comes down to style and personal preference.
Is there a spin-off series in the works for the Charley Davidson world? Any news on how soon the first book would hit shelves?
There is, actually! I’m really excited about it, but I have to admit, it will be quite a while before anything hits the shelves. I’m not 100% certain how to pull off what I’m trying to pull off. LOL. But I started setting up the spinoff in Fifth Grave. Sixth Grave will see a huge leap in that direction.
Now, let’s move a little to your Young Adult Series – Darklight. The third book “Death and The Girl He Loves” is coming out this month. Will this be the last book in this series?
It is, sadly. I’m a little sorry to see those characters go. I actually wrote the first in the series, Death and the Girl Next Door, years before I wrote First Grave. I’d originally envisioned it as ongoing, but the more I wrote, I came to the conclusion it really needed a solid ending. I built up the major event so much that I felt it needed to be resolved ay-sap. So the Darklight Trilogy was born.
So sad to hear! Do you have any plans for a new Young Adult series?
I have exactly 27 plans for new YA series. LOL, okay, I probably have more than that, but yes, I do have lots of projects in the works. Out of the 27 projects I’m actively working on (it’s ridiculous, I know), I’d say 25 of those are YA. I might even bump a couple of them up to New Adult, which is like YA, but the protagonists are a tad older and face a different set of developmental issues, like moving out on their own for the first time, paying bills, going to college or getting a job. They can also get a bit steamier. Steam is good. 🙂
That would be so awesome!! A New Adult from Darynda Jones would be amazing!!
And last but not least – everyone LOVES your Chapter Headings in the Charley Davidson Series. Which T-Shirt would you wear personally?
Ha! I have the one that says “Jenuis”.
Thank you so much for stopping by today and for being our Featured Author of The Month!
Thank you so so so so so much for having me!!!
Find Darynda Jones at the Bookworms
- All posts tagged with “Darynda Jones”
- Charley Davidson Series Review
- Fifth Grave Past the Light Review
- Audiobook Special
Find her Books
- First Grave on the Right – Book 1 – Feb 1st 2011 – goodreads | amazon | Book Depository
- Second Grave on the Left – Book 2 – Aug 16th 2011 –goodreads |amazon | Book Depository
- Third Grave Dead Ahead – Book 3 – Jan 31st 2012 – goodreads | amazon | Book Depository
- Fourth Grave Beneath my Feet – Book 4 – Oct 30th 2012 – goodreads | amazon | Book Depository
- Fifth Grave Past the Light – Book 5 – July 9th 2013 – goodreads | amazon | Book Depository
- Sixth Grave TBA in 2014
- Death, and the Girl Next Door – Book 1 – Oct 2nd 2012 – goodreads | amazon | Book Depository
- Death, Doom and Detention Book 2 – Mar 5th 2013 – goodreads | amazon | Book Depository
- Death, and the Girl He Loves – Book 3 – coming October 8th 2013! goodreads | amazon | Book Depository
And now, we have a Giveaway sponsored by the Bookworms and by Darynda herself! And the best thing? The Giveaway is open internationally (as long as Book Depository ships to you)
Be sure to come back next week when we have more exciting content from Darynda!