Monday, October 20, 2014

A Chat with Jax Daniels || THE DEAD MAN'S DEAL #Mystery #Fantasy

Today's guest is author Jax Daniels. Welcome to the Snarkology! First, gotta say, I love your name! Thank you for joining me today. :-)

Jax Daniels with her dogs, Savannah and Bert.

Jax, please tell us, how long have you been writing?

I started writing in 1992, when I got frustrated with all these little "adventures" I had in my head. I decided I needed to put them down on paper so I don't forget them. It wasn't until years later when I joined a writer's group (Leasspell) that it became a craft and a passion.

What inspired your current book?

A number of inspirations confluenced to make the Witherspoon Mansion Adventures; my fear of bugs, and my love of urban fantasies to name a couple. A big one was moving to New Orleans. The city itself has a magic vibration all its own. As I walked the streets in the Garden District and gaze at the wonderful homes I found myself wondering about the people and the history within them. Then my imagination takes over...

Please tell us about your current work in progress.

I'm currently working on The Cook's Curse, the follow up to The Dead Man's Deal. I'm hoping it will be released in May of next year.

How do you come up with your book titles?

Typically names for my novels are extremely difficult, which I've discovered is a common problem for writers. I supposed we're good at longer works! But this series' book names came really quick and easy. I confess, I love alliteration.

How do you name your characters?

I've always been an Agatha Christie fan, but as a reader I constantly had problems keeping "the players" separate in my head (Mr. Smith... was he the banker or the exotic importer...?) I knew I wanted a large cast of characters so to help the reader keep them straight I gave them more whimsical and functional names. For example, the heroine is Winki Witherspoon (fun, more alliteration), her scientists (her big guns) are Smith and Wesson, the maid and cook are Mrs. Black and Mrs. White, and the butler is Jeeves (what else could it be?). A bit more challenging, but much more fun for both me and the reader.

Name one person, living or dead, you'd most like to meet.

Samuel Clemens (or Mark Twain). My favorite quote of his is, "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug." I strive constantly to find the right word.

Tell us something strange or interesting about yourself.
I majored in mathematics at UC Berkeley (Go Bears!) for two reasons: I loved math and I hated English! I didn't like reading or writing, as a rule. So I'm a bit behind in the game of writing -- my writer's group can attest to that! When I left college I ended up in the high tech industry as a software engineer. Go figure! Moreover, only in the last decade did I become a big reader, largely to due e-readers.
Quick quiz:

  • Favorite food? Pizza!
  • Favorite color? Today, orange. It changes every few years...
  • Favorite animal? Dogs. Got two of 'em.
  • Biggest pet peeve? Pot holes of New Orleans!
  • Dream car: I don't own a car. I'd really love more/better/faster mass transit. Honestly, I'd rather read or write or do a puzzle or even daydream or ANYTHING rather than drive.

When Winki Witherspoon lost her husband she inherited his New Orleans mansion and his magical talent. Can she master it and discover his traitor before she too is destroyed?

 Available for purchase:

Amazon UK

Chapter one excerpt

It happened again last night.
I sprawled lifelessly on my sofa, without the nerve to sleep alone in our... my king sized bed the last few months. Will passed away unexpectedly last November. Since then I had spent miserable and depressed days flipping emotionlessly through TV channels, napping on and off as the rest of the world hummed and buzzed about its business with a vitality, or even vague interest, I no longer possessed.
Driven from the world by my anguish, driven from the bed by my loneliness. As a result, I made my camp on the davenport.
But lately, in maybe the past week or so, this weird experience, or dream, or something kept happening. Just as I dozed off, just after Craig Ferguson said his goodnight on the Late Late Show, just as my attention lost its already tenuous mooring, it happened again. The TV and all the lights in the room popped and dimmed, as if a sudden brownout had hit the city. Then the clasp. Cold, very cold fingers clutched my forearm, just above my wrist. Just as it had the nights before.
I jerked upright. My heart raced as panic filled me. Let go of me! I looked down but saw nothing. Though I could see no indentations on my skin the grip remained tight and unyielding. I lurched off the sofa but the clutch never wavered. I felt trapped. I felt helpless. I felt like I was losing my mind. As I gasped to scream—another pop. The lights and TV brightened and the grip vanished.
Just as they had the other nights.
What the hell was happening to me?

Jax Daniels was born in Chicago, raised in Denver, educated in Berkeley (go Bears!), and employed as a software engineer in the Bay Area and Seattle, and even lived in Las Vegas. Needless to say, she’s seen a good deal of the continental US, so when it came time for her and her husband to settle down, they picked New Orleans. They live in a townhouse they call “The Tower” in Uptown with their two dogs, Savannah and Bert. Other passions besides writing are walks, yoga, and her stained glass creations.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jax,
    Welcome to the Snarkology. My apologies for my tardiness. I thought I'd commented earlier today but maybe I failed to hit 'post'.

    Thank you so much for sharing with my readers today about yourself and your story. I've only been to New Orleans once but it truly is a magical city. I very much hope to be able to visit again someday.

    Best of luck with your new release and your promotion!