Darynda: First, thank you so much for having me!!! The Charley Davidson series is about a female PI who just happened to have been born the grim reaper. Because of her supernatural status, she is often called upon to solve cases for both the living and the dead. It makes for an interesting day. She is shoved into one messy situation after another and she handles it with more sass and bravado than she probably has a right to.
In the meantime, she is dealing with the intensely hot Reyes Farrow, a being that is part human and part…well, not. In the first book, First Grave on the Right, he seems vaguely familiar to Charley, and she sets out to ascertain exactly who and what he is. But she soon discovers he is surrounded by danger and a darkness that she never dreamed really existed. Falling in love with him would be a mistake, but Charley never claimed to be the most sensible girl in designer underwear.
Jen: One of the things I love so much about this series is the humor. Is the snark something that comes easily to you or is it hard to be so funny?
Darynda: Admittedly, with the first book it was difficult. I had to really think about it, to put it there on the page purposely. Now, as I work on the fourth in the series, it kind of flows out of me. I hardly think about it anymore, a fact for which I’m grateful.
Jen: Think about Charley as you first envisioned her and compare her to the character she has become. Has she changed much from your initial vision or has she stayed true to your original idea?
Darynda: What an interesting question. She has stayed 100% true to my original vision. She is exactly what I wanted and continues to amaze me with her antics.
Jen: Other than Charley and Reyes, which character in the series would you like to develop more?
Darynda: Mr. Wong. LOL.
Jen: Will we be seeing more of Donovan?
Darynda: In the fourth installment, yes. I’m not sure how visible he will be afterward, but he is so much fun, I can’t see ditching him entirely. I have such a great storyline for him in Fourth Grave, I’m excited to write it.
Jen: How many books do you have planned in the series? Do you have (or have you always had) an ending in mind?
Darynda: The series is ongoing, so we aren’t sure how many there will be right now, but as far as an ending goes, I do have one in mind. I hope we know for certain which one the last will be, because I have quite the plot lined up for our girl, Charley. She will never be the same again.
Jen: Could you explain to readers where the short story “For I Have Sinned” fits into the series?
Darynda: That’s a toughie. I actually wrote it after writing Third Grave Dead Ahead, but because it came out in between books one and two, they dubbed it Charley Davidson 1.5. However, there is one line in the short story that will throw readers. I’ve had several emails because of it, so sorry readers! It will all make sense after Third Grave!
Jen: If you could Hollywood cast Charley or Reyes, which actors would be closest to the mark to how they look in your mind?
Darynda: It’s so funny, because for Charley, I have so many actors I think could play her to a tee. Everyone from Mila Kunis to Emma Stone. As for Reyes, he was originally based on actor Jason Behr and I believed then, as I do now, that he could make a stellar Reyes. A lot of my readers don’t see him as aggressive enough, but I’ve seen some of his darker roles. Trust me, he could handle it. 🙂 It actually sold to CBS, so here’s hoping they do something with it! I would love a TV series!
Jen: Becoming a writer has been a long journey for you. Now that that you’ve published three books, to such positive reception… what has been the most surprising part of your success?
Darynda: Well, the success, actually. I was utterly floored by the reception and so very, very grateful. I never expected the books to be so loved by people. I adore writing Charley and the fact that I can continue to do so thrills me to no end. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Jen: What are you looking forward to most from AAD in New Orleans?
Darynda: Besides New Orleans? (Excuse me while I drool…) I would have to say being surrounded by such an amazing lineup of authors. I mean, honestly. It will be like paranormal heaven. I get giddy just thinking about it.
Jen: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I’ve really loved your books and I can’t wait to see what happens in Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet.
Darynda: LOL, thank YOU so, so much!!!! I appreciate this opportunity so much!
The awesome folks at MacMillan are providing a free audiobook of Third Grave Dead Ahead to one lucky winner in the US. Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. In the meantime, be sure to check out Darynda on her website and on Twitter.