If you love mysteries, the chances are very good that you are familiar with J.A. Jance. She is the NY Times best-selling author of not one, but four successful series, beginning with the J.P. Beaumont novel Until Proven Guilty in 1985. Her other marquee characters, Joanna Brady, Ali Reynolds, and the Walker family round out her massive body of work which currently stands at sixty-nine novels, with the most recent being The A List in the Ali Reynolds series.
The conversation was fascinating, as J.A. tells us story after story of the development of her career as a writer, from being told by a college professor that “women did not become writers,” to editors who told her that no one would by books about a man, told from a man’s perspective, from a writer named Judith, to her first husband who told her there was only going to be one writer in the family, and it wasn’t going to be her. (Full disclosure – all three stories got me pretty steamed at the gender I was assigned. Why do we men insist on being such assholes?)
But I digress.
Because the real topic of discussion was, as has been our theme in January, the development of her characters, and she describes the genesis of J.P. Beaumont, (she started that series thinking she was writing a one and done), Joanna Brady, (because she was getting bored with Beaumont) and Ali Reynolds (who was J.A.’s shot of revenge at an Arizona news director’s decision to fire her favorite newscaster between the 12 o’clock news and the 5 o’clock news).
Now, I know you want me to tell you more, and I could go on and on, but for crying out loud! You’re going to want to listen to the show and get the skinny straight from the source. Enough of my prattling on. Go listen to Episode Eight!