Sunday, April 10, 2011

Website Update & Review Clips & Interviews & Condom Covered Cucumbers...

So, I've gotten a few reviews for Dead Light District in the last couple of weeks, plus I've done two interviews.  Rather than posting everyting, I've cobbled together some of the highlights and added them to my updated website and have excerpts below. 

Two bloggers in particular have done interesting things with me and Dead Light District, and I thank them both for it.  Rebecca Emrich, who runs the blog "Living a Life of Writing", covered Dead Light District over a series of three blog posts on writing and publishing.  Bill Selnes, who runs the blog "Mysteries and More" posted reviews of both my books, plus a Q & A section and a follow up discussion. 

I really got a kick out of doing the Q & A with Bill.  He only asked five questions, but gave me as much room as I wanted with my asnwers.  In one question, he asked about  tough, edgy sleuths.  That  brought to mind the world of the hardboiled PI and what events or influences in my life inspired such a setting for the Sasha books.  I think much of my writing is influenced by all the years I worked in bars while I was a student (I did more than eleven years of post-secondary schooling). 

Once upon a time, a guy tipped me a condom covered cucumber.  It was autographed.  That was weird, of course, but over the years that I worked in bars, I met more than my share of freaks... the guy who ate fettucini alfredo with his hands, the crackheads who asked me for empty coke cans, the suave playah who liked to get it on with women in the washroom, the drunk manager who habitually fell into the ice machine, the weirdo who kept sending me flowers and teddy bears at work, the gambling addict who lost $2500 playing Trouble (remember that game: pop-a-matic pops the dice, pop a six and you move twice...)  I don't think a writer can completely divorce himself from his experiences.  The influences are always going to be there, and they shape the writing, even if only peripherally.

Finally, Professor Gloria Filax from Athabasca University interviewed me for the MAIS newsletter.  I did my MA at Athabasca; my area of concentration was Cultural Studies, and I did several papers on women in mysteries during my MA.  I loved every minute of working on my Master's and much of the work from my program found its way into my creative writing.  It was great fun talking to Gloria about the academic side of crime fiction, and I look forward to seeing the interview when it's posted later this month. 

Bye for now... Jill

Snippets from reviews for Dead Light District

"Dead Light District was sure worth the wait. Jill writes great mystery novels. The book flows... Dead Light District is well written and very interesting. Sasha is a good character, but the key to a good plot is a bit of surprise. Dead Light District is a light read... where I find the plot is good enough to sit and read it all the way through. I didn't suspect the ending... Jill has a surprising way to keep me reading" -Rebecca Emrich, Living a Life of Writing

"Sasha Jackson is back... searching for a missing prostitute in a milieu suited to her tough girl personality. Trashily dressed and heavily made up, the remarks of attempted clients on a hot summer night, confirm Sasha has successfully gone undercover as a call girl. With the book in first person narrative by Sasha I found the short first person comments of Mary Carmen made her character come alive. Mary Carmen’s painful past and ongoing desperate decisions are vividly expressed. [The] plotting is more assured. I liked Sasha better in this book. She was wittier and a little less sarcastic, while remaining as strong willed and stubborn. Sasha reminds me of Stephanie Plum in Janet Evanovich’s series. With the growth of Sasha’s character I am looking forward to the third in the series" -Bill Selnes, Mysteries and More

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