J.A. JANCE: I DON’T PLAN TO RETIRE ANYTIME SOON
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
The legendary author of mystery and horror novels J.A. Jance continues to be very productive writer at the age of 71. She is huge example and inspiration for all her younger colleagues. Not only that, she still sets very high standard with her works.
J.A. Jance will release her next novel Clawback on March 8. The book is part of Ali Reynolds series. We’ve got a chance to meet with our honorable guest in the following interview. Let’s welcome at Land of Books J.A. Jance.
– Judith, your next book Clawback is set for release on March 8. Tell us more about it?
– In Clawback, Ali Reynolds’s parents, Bob and Edie Larson are victimized by a Ponzi scheme. When Bob goes to confront his long time friend and investment advisor, Dan Frazier, Bob finds Dan and his wife gravely injured and dying. As the first person on the scene and covered with blood from trying to render first aid, Bob becomes the prime suspect in the murders. It’s up to Ali Reynolds and her husband B. Simpson to set things right.
– How did you decide to write the story of Ali Reynolds?
– I had momentarily tired of all my characters, and my publisher suggested that I write something entirely new. Being given that much freedom sent me into a case of writer’s block. It was so bad that I started compulsively watching the news. Then my favorite newscaster in Tucson, Arizona, was let go from her anchor position at age 53 because her 35 year-old news director thought she was “too old!” Within days I was writing about Ali Reynolds losing her news anchor position. By the way, it’s always a bad idea to make mystery writers mad.
– What was the biggest challenge in a long series?
– Being consistent from book to book—maintaining characters names and heights. For example I discovered after writing Brady number 8, that someone I had killed off in book number one was back in the story. It took several books to paint my way out of that corner by making the new character the dead character’s nephew and namesake.
– Tell us something more about your main character Ali? Is she close to someone from your real life?
– For part of that see question 2 above, but there are lots of similarities between her life and mine—most notably the way the scholarship she was given in high school changed her life. Had I not been given a scholarship, I wouldn’t have been able to go on to college.
– How much time did you need to finish the story and to publish it?
– It feels like it took forever to write that book, but about six months to write it and about the same for the editing process—so a year in all.
– Cold Betrayal received huge positive feedback. What is different in this book compared to the other adventures of Ali Reynolds?
– My depiction of a fictional polygamous cult closely mirrors a real cult here in Arizona, and I think it accurately depicts the fates of women and children caught up in those kinds of movements.
– Who are you?
– Determined, loyal, singleminded. The best way to get me to do something is to tell me it can’t be done.
– What are your writing habits?
– I write every day.
– Are you satisfied by the sales of your books?
– Of course I’m not satisfied!!! I always want more readers—always!
– What are you doing to promote your book by the best possible way?
– I’ll be contacting the folks on my new book notification list; I’ll be going on a month long book tour; and I’ll be doing any number of interviews just like this one.
– When we will see your next novel and would you unveil something more about it?
– I’m working on the next Joannna Brady right now—a book currently named Downfall. It should be out in late summer.
– Your fans are curious when they will meet again with JP Beaumont and Joanna Brady. Will you give them some hints?
– Three of them—Joanna, Beau, and the Walkers—belong to one publisher. In other words, those folks have to take a number and wait in line.
– You worked as a school librarian and a teacher. How much those jobs inspired you to become a writer?
– I always wanted to become a writer, from the time in second grade when I read the Wizard of Oz. For me, teaching was a means to that end. When I became a librarian, I was working on the Tohono O’odham reservation in southern Arizoan. I told 26 stories a week in K-6 classrooms. Many of those stories were the traditional tales and legends of the Tohono O’odham people, and I have woven much of what I learned on the reservation into the background of the Walker Family books.
– If you may ask yourself one question in the interview what it will be?
– Question: When do you plan to retire? Answer: Not anytime soon.
Take a look at her books:
Remains of Innocence (Joanna Brady Mysteries Book 16)
Second Watch: A J. P. Beaumont Novel