SIX MINUTES WITH DARYNDA JONES:
Joining LitPick today for the first time is USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Darynda Jones! Darynda is the award winning author of two series with St. Martin’s Press, the Charley Davidson series and the Darklight Trilogy. The Charley Davidson series begins with book one, First Grave on the Right and is currently up to book nine, The Dirt on Ninth Grave: A Novel, with book ten, The Curse of the Tenth Grave: A Novel due out in late June. The Darklight Trilogy includes the books Death and the Girl Next Door and Death, Doom, and Detention. Darynda’s awards include a prestigious RITA, a Golden Heart and a Daphne du Maurier.
How did you get started writing?
I started making up stories and pretending to write them down when I was five. Storytelling was just always in me. I've never questioned it, but I didn't know I wanted to actually be a writer until I was in high school and my BFF suggested it. I was shocked. No way could I be a writer! I thought all writers were either geniuses or alcoholics. Since I was neither, I just never really considered it a real goal until I went back to college (after marriage and kids) and graduated Summa cum Laude. I figured maybe I was smart enough after all! I began writing the first manuscript I ever completed soon after graduation.
Who influenced you?
So many! In the beginning, it was mostly Walt Disney. Later came the usual suspects. Edgar Allen Poe. Ray Bradbury. Stephen King. Then I stumbled upon my first historical romance. It was A Rose in Winter by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, and I've never been the same.
Do you have a favorite book/subject/character/setting?
I have too many! Topping the list is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, The Duke and I by Julia Quinn, Envy by Sandra Brown, Lover Awakened by JR Ward, Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning... I could go on and on.
But you probably meant as far as my writing, yes? :) In that case, I love all my characters. My favorite book is the one I'm working on at the moment. I will say, however, that I have a favorite scene! It's a scene from Third Grave Dead Ahead. It was my first "torture" scene and I had no idea if I could pull it off. I was very nervous about writing it. When I did pull it off and actually accomplished what I wanted to, I thought I'd won the lottery. That was when I really started believing I might actually be able to pull this writing thing off. Who knew?
What advice do you have for someone who wants to be an author?
Sadly, the same thing every other author says. Write. Finish the darn book. Then write another. And another. It took me seven years and three manuscripts to sell, and I learned so much in that time it's unreal. So write, but also read. Really analyze what you are reading. Figure out what you liked about this book and what you didn't like about that one. The more you read, the better writer you'll be.
Where is your favorite place to write?
My office! I love it! I also like to write at Starbucks, but I seem to get more done in my office. That's where I'm the most at home and the most productive.
What else would you like to tell us?
Just thanks for having me!!!
Darynda, thank you for joining LitPick for six minutes! We have enjoyed getting to know you! We found the list of authors who have influenced you to be an interesting mix.