Thursday, December 1, 2011

25 Days of Jubilation: Interview and Giveaway with Darynda Jones

Guess what - it's December! Can you believe it!?!?!? In honor of this busy month and the holiday approaching, I am participating in the 25 Days of Jubilation!

Each day from now until Christmas, a different blog will post something special and include some sort of giveaway...and I am stop number one!!! I have something VERY special for you my little packmates - an interview and giveaway with Darynda Jones, author of the Charley Davidson series!!!

If you live under a rock, Darynda writes some of the funniest and most intriguing paranormal books out there:

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)   Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson, #2)   Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson, #3)

Here's what she had to say:

Goldilox: Your heroine, Charley, is very unique (snarky, independent, clumsy, hilarious…). What were your inspirations for her character?

Darynda: Thank you so much!!! I wanted to create a heroine who was very appealing, yet normal. A lot like you and I. Obviously, she’s put into situations we don’t face, but I wanted her to be funny, silly, kind, tough, etc. I wanted her to be able to say and do the things a lot of us think about saying and doing, but we don’t. Charley gets away with those things. I don’t respond as well to characters who are too perfect, too beautiful and loved by everybody. That’s not realistic. 

Goldilox:  Reyes is also one of a kind. In First Grave on the Right, he is incorporeal and intangible, which is very different from other love interests in the genre. What made you decide to write his character that way?

Darynda: I wanted Reyes to be otherworldly, yet very different from all of the other paranormal male characters. I wanted him to stand out in a crowd. Also, Reyes is close to the kind of man I would like to see in real life! He’s the perfect object of any girl’s fantasy, and he definitely was born in one of mine. :) It was enjoyable bringing him to the page. 

Goldilox: The Charley Davidson series seems to balance on the line between many genres. I know that my local bookstore shelves it under mystery, while many readers refer to it as paranormal romance. How do you categorize the series?

Darynda: It was hard to categorize for me too, and my publisher. There should be a new category called: Just Fun to Read. It also comes close to being Urban Fantasy, and for a while I thought they might go with that. It’s given a contemporary setting, and obviously some pretty fantastical circumstances occur in Charley’s world, and yet it doesn’t fit the definition of any of those. So I have finally settled on paranormal mystery. 

Goldilox: You have a child who is deaf and a degree in sign language interpretation. Have you ever considered bringing those aspects into a story?

Darynda: Yes, as a matter of fact I have. I wrote a romance novel several years ago that included a young, deaf boy and his older, hearing sister. It was set in the regency era Cotswold English countryside. In it, the main characters use rudimentary (home) signs and early British Sign Language, and it incorporates aspects of British Deaf culture. A famous person from American Deaf Culture makes a guest appearance, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, as well as Laurent Clerc, his famous French colleague, and we get a glimpse of how modern American Sign Language and Deaf culture developed.

It was quite a departure from what I am currently writing. At this point, I would have to totally rewrite it in order to ever publish it, as it was one of my earliest completed works, but it has a soft spot in my heart that will never go away. I would love to bring those aspects into a story at some point in the future. We’ll just have to see how things go. 

Goldilox: How many books can we expect (i.e. impatiently stalk the bookshelves for copies of) in the Charley Davidson series?

Darynda: While I don’t have a specific number at this point, I have ideas in my head that can keep Charley’s story going for quite a while. In my imagination, she has quite a long life being built up. I love writing Charley so much, that I’m not ready for her to end any time soon. I’ve already plotted the next three books in the series.

Goldilox: I love the character Garrett Swopes, especially in Second Grave on the Left. Is there anything you can tell us about where his character is headed?

Darynda: Well, I don’t want to give too much away, but his character will be getting more face time. He has a big part to play in book three, and we will build from there. I like him being in the story, and I like him being in Charley’s life.

Goldilox: Alright, fess up…What are some of your favorite Charley quotes that you’ve written?

Darynda: There are just so many! While I didn’t write this (it really is a t-shirt) my standing favorite is: Never knock on death’s door. Ring the doorbell then run. He totally hates that. That quote explains Charley’s personality so well. Let’s see, I love: So many dead people, so little time and Better to see dead than be dead. I’d have a longer attention span if there weren’t so many shiny things is also quite appropriate in many ways. 

Goldilox: When you’re not feverishly working on giving us more Charley, Cookie, Reyes, and the rest of the gang, what are you up to?

Darynda: I always have ideas running laps in my head. There are so many stories to tell! I sold a Young Adult trilogy, the first of which will be released on March 31, 2012. I’m very excited about that. The series is called Death and the Girl Next Door, and I’m currently sweating through the second in that series. It should come out in the fall.

Other than that, I have lots of ideas for stories. There are other Young Adult stories I want to write. I want to create my own literary genre! Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha! I plan on writing for quite some time. It’s all I’ve ever really wanted to do.

Thanks to Darynda, you can now enter to win one of the first two books in her Charley Davidson series. The winner can choose either First Grave on the Right OR Second Grave on the Left! 
The only requirements are that you be 13 or older and live in the US. 
Just enter on the Rafflecopter form below:

Be sure to visit all the other blogs participating:

Thursday, December 1st:

Friday, December 2nd:

Saturday, December 3rd:

Sunday, December 4th:

Monday, December 5th:
Shannon at Books Devoured

Tuesday, December 6th:

Wednesday, December 7th:

Thursday, December 8th:

Friday, December 9th:

Saturday, December 10th:
Ginger at GReads!

Sunday, December 11th:

Monday, December 12th:

Tuesday, December 13th:

Wednesday, December 14th:

Thursday, December 15th:

Friday, December 16th:

Saturday, December 17th:

Sunday, December 18th:

Monday, December 19th:
Karis at YA Litwit & Sarah at Workaday Reads

Tuesday, December 20th:

Wednesday, December 21st:

Thursday, December 22nd:

Friday, December 23rd:

Saturday, December 24th:

Sunday, December 25th:
Merry Christmas!


  1. That was a very enjoyable interview and I have heard so many good things about this series especially the humor.

    Thanks for the post and the giveaway opportunity.

  2. oh... i wanted one of her book but im international...

  3. Yay!! I've always been curious about this series, so thanks for the chance to win! :D

  4. I love the interview! This series has become one of my favs, and I've only been able to read the first one so far. I've even been inspired to name my "girls" like Charley did- although I went with "Indeed" and "Daniel Jackson"... (I love Stargate SG-1)

  5. Ooh, this looks like a good read! Thanks for hosting the giveaway.

  6. Great interview, and what a way to start off the jubilation!

  7. Nice interview, Christen! You know I haven't gotten around to reading these books, but I'd sure love to!

  8. Thank you very much great giveaway!

  9. Another awesome interview. You pick the best authors. Darynda Jones rocks! And I am in full support of the "Just Fun to Read" category ;)

    So since we're buddies and all, you'll read the Disillusionists Trilogy and interview Carolyn Crane next... right?

  10. thank you for the giveaway. i just started reading first grave and i love it! charley is hilarious and awesome.

  11. I haven't tried this series, but apparently, I really need to!

  12. Oooh I've been really wanting to read these! Thanks for the great giveaway!

  13. That was such a great interview! I have officially added all the books on my TBR shelf because the series sounds fantastic! Funny, strong female characters are my favorites so I can't wait to pick up this series some day :)

  14. what a FUN interview!!

    i LOVE the covers of this series. i've been curious about it - never having read it before - but the author sounds really fun, so the books must be pretty fun too!

  15. Sorry it's taken me so long to visit! Thank you for participating in this event... and for the fun interview! :)


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