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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

"Moving Target" by J.A. Jance- Author Interview

SUMMARY :


“Jance adroitly combines well-rounded characterizations and brisk storytelling with high-tech exploits, arson, kidnappings, and a shootout for an entertaining and suspenseful addition to this solid series.” Booklist

 

“This extremely interesting story has the reader traveling across the globe for a good dose of thrills. . . . Great characters make this new story one of the best she’s written in her entire career. Enjoy!”
Suspense Magazine
 
Upon embarking on a trip to England with her longtime household assistant and right-hand man Leland Brooks, Ali’s greatest concern is helping her friend face his long-estranged family.  Yet, she soon finds herself investigating violent crimes spanning two continents and eras—as vicious attacks unfold in Texas and an unsolved murder from 1950s Bournemouth—Leland’s hometown—resurfaces.  Near Austin, Lance Tucker, an incarcerated juvenile offender and talented computer hacker, is set on fire and severely burned while Ali is investigating Leland’s father’s murder in England.  The two cases at first seem unconnected and faraway, separated by time and an ocean—until Ali nearly fatally veers off of an English roadway at the mercy of an unidentified man interested in Lance Tucker’s computer hacking skills, especially those involving the “dark web.”
 
 
PARTICULARS OF THE BOOK :
 
Published by:  Touchstone
Pages:  352
Genre:  Suspense/Thriller
Author: J.A. Jance
 
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR :
 
 

J.A. Jance is the New York Times bestselling author of the Ali Reynolds series, the J.P. Beaumont series, the Joanna Brady series, as well as four interrelated Southwestern thrillers featuring the Walker family. Born in South Dakota, and brought up in Brisbee, Arizona, Jance and her husband live in Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona.

Biography


Considering J. A. Jance's now impressive career -- which includes two massively popular mystery series and status as a New York Times bestseller -- it may be difficult to believe that she was initially strongly discouraged from literary pursuits. A chauvinistic creative writing professor advised her to seek out a more "ladylike" job, such as nurse or schoolteacher. Moreover, her alcoholic husband (a failed Faulkner wannabe) assured her there was room in the family for only one writer, and he was it. Determined to make her doomed marriage work, Jance put her writing on the back burner. But while her husband slept, she penned the visceral poems that would eventually be collected in After the Fire.
 
Jance next chose to use her hard times in a more unlikely manner. Encouraged by an editor to try writing fiction after a failed attempt at a true-crime book, she created J. P. Beaumont, a homicide detective with a taste for booze. Beaumont's drinking problem was clearly linked to Jance's dreadful experiences with her first husband; but, as she explains it: "Beaumont was smart enough to sober up, once the problem was brought to his attention. My husband, on the other hand, died of chronic alcoholism at age 42." So, from misfortune grew one of the most popular characters in modern mystery fiction. Beaumont debuted in 1985's Until Proven Guilty -- and, after years of postponing her writing career, Jance was on her way.
As a sort of light flipside to the dark Beaumont, Jance created her second series in 1991. Inspired by the writer's happier role as a mom, plucky small-town sheriff Joanna Brady was introduced in Desert Heat and struck an immediate chord with readers. In 2005, Jance added a third story sequence to her repertoire with Edge of Evil, featuring Ali Reynolds, a former TV reporter-turned-professional blogger.
And so, the adventures continue!


Interview!!!!   Many thanks to Ms Jance for this private interview...


1)            Tell us something about yourself, please.  How do most people describe you?

 
I've always wanted to be a writer and a storyteller.  Not being allowed in a Creative Writing program in college on account of being a "girl" was a bump in the road but not a roadblock.  In the past thirty years I've penned 50 books, 49 of them mysteries.  Because of that, people often refer to me as "prolific."  I would rather be called "productive."
 
2)            Briefly, from where did the idea for your novel germinate?
 
Leland Brooks has been part of Ali's life for seven of the eight previous books.  I've always wondered about his back story.  Moving Target gives me a chance to explore that.  And an article I read about the Dark Web turned into the Lance Tucker part of the story.
 
3)            Who first told you you could write well, and how did it affect you?
 
As a high school sophomore, I was enrolled in Latin II.  As an extra credit assignment, I wrote a paper on Servius Tullius, one of the five kings of Rome.  The handwritten paper came back to me with an A+ written in red in the upper right hand corner of the first page.  At the bottom of the final page, also written in red, was a note from my teacher that said, "Research worthy of a college student."  That note from Mr. Guerra was the first hint in my life that maybe, just maybe, I might be college student material.
 
4)            Which contemporary authors do you most admire?
 
J.K. Rowling, Ann B. Ross, Jo Nesbo, Lee Child.
 
5)            Who are your favorite classical authors?
 
Charles Dickens.
 
 
6)            What was your first book as a child?  What’s your all-time favorite book?
 
Smokey the Crow was the first book I read on my own.  My all time favorite?  The Wizard of Oz.  While reading that book in second grade I was fascinated not so much by the wizard hiding behind the green curtain as I was in Frank Baum, the man hiding behind the words.  From the moment I read that book, I wanted to be a writer.
 
7)            Read any good books in the past 6 months?
 
I just read a Department Q. book, The Purity of Vengeance, by Jussi Adler-Olsen
 
8)            What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
 
Working in the refreshment stand at the Fort Apache Drive-In in Bisbee, Arizona.  I was fired for waiting on the kids who were first in line rather than the grownups who were standing in line behind them.
 
9)            What’s your earliest memory?
 
We moved to Arizona from South Dakota in early 1949 when I was four.  It was 28 degrees below zero on the day we left the farm.  A team of plow horses had to pull the car through the snow to get us out to the road.  I don't remember any of that.  We bought the house in Bisbee and moved into it in March.  There was an ornamental iron fence that ran all around the yard.  My first memory is from the day we moved into the house.  I was hanging on the fence, looking up into a clear blue sky, and feeling the sun all over my body.  I've been in love with the desert ever since.
 
 
10)          What’s your most treasured possession?
 
The battered copy of The Treasury of the Familiar that once belonged to my father.  When I was growing up, on long evenings, both winter and summer, before television made it over the mountain pass and down through the canyons to Bisbee, our whole family gathered in the living room or out on the front porch to listen to our father read from that treasured Treasury.  The Wreck of the Herperis, Horatius at the Bridge, The Song of the Shirt, It was Six Men of Indostan.  The words may be in my head, but in my heart I hear them in my father's voice.
 
11)          Are you working on a new novel?
 
Joanna Brady # 16 is due out this summer.  I'm doing editorial work on it right now, and I'm writing next winter's Ali Reynolds book.  So far Ali # 10 is unnamed.
 
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions for us, Ms Jance.  Your books have kept me up many a night!


 
THE BOOKISH DAME'S NOTE :

This is Jance's 50th  suspense/thriller!!  I think it's very worthwhile taking a look at this winter!

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