Sometimes I wonder if the purpose of my life
is to serve as a cautionary tale to others.
EIGHTH GRAVE AFTER DARK by Darynda Jones
So, last week, I was lucky enough to be a part of a group of bloggers who got to interview Darynda Jones, organized by St. Martin’s Press. It was a little surreal, talking to Darynda and hearing questions from so many bloggers who I’ve never met IRL and so cool. Anyway, we chatted about her upcoming release, EIGHTH GRAVE AFTER DARK (scroll to the bottom for an awesome giveaway–the whole series and a coffee cup to hold the caffeinated beverage of your choice, courtesy of St. Martin’s Press!). We had enough time for me to ask her a couple of questions…and I included a couple more questions and answers from other bloggers that I enjoyed. Because I’m a giver.
EIGHTH GRAVE AFTER DARK (Charley Davidson #8) by Darynda Jones
UF/PNR, hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: May 19, 2015
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. While the angry hellhounds can’t traverse the consecrated soil, they can lurk just beyond its borders like evil sentries, so Charley has been forbidden from leaving the sacred grounds. Luckily, she has her loyal team with her, and they’re a scrappy bunch who won’t let a few thirsty hellhounds deter them.
While the team scours the prophesies, searching for clues on the Twelve, for a way to kill them or at least send them back to hell, Charley just wants answers and is powerless to get them. But the mass of friends they’ve accrued helps. They convince her even more that everyone in her recent life has somehow been drawn to her, as though they were a part of a bigger picture all along. Their presence is comforting. But the good feelings don’t last for long because Charley is about to get the surprise of her crazy, mixed-up, supernatural life….
Mary @ BookSwarm: Hi. So, 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?
Darynda Jones: 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.
Mary @ BookSwarm: So, you write some really strong alpha males, of course Reyes and, you know, Osh and all those guys. How do you keep them from crossing over into alpha-hole territory or becoming total jerks?
Darynda Jones: Well I’m not sure that I succeeded in that. I will say that I had several people around Fourth Grave who really thought he was becoming a jerk.
I thought, well, darn, because I still really like him. I mean to me, he always had Charley’s best interest at heart. He’s so devoted to her. So I didn’t really see him as a jerk. But some did.
But to me that’s the key element, that no matter what they do they have a very noble purpose in their heart.
I think that’s what’s important. If they’re a jerk to somebody else, it’s because that person was a jerk to the person they’re protecting. That’s a huge reason for that type of behavior.
Kate @ All Things Urban Fantasy: …I was wondering– this might be silly – but, 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.
Darynda Jones: 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.
Mary @ Book Hounds: Were the hellhounds inspired by your own dogs?
Darynda Jones: 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 [sp], 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.
Kristie @ Dark Faerie Tales: 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?
Darynda Jones: 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.
One (1) winner receives: A branded coffee mug plus the complete Charley Davidson series!
(Giveaway open to US addresses only. Prizing and samples provided by St. Martin’s Press.)
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author DARYNDA JONES won a RITA Award for best first novel for First Grave On The Right. 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. Jones lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.
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