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Summoned to Thirteenth Grave by Darynda Jones
Summoned to Thirteenth Grave by Darynda Jones is number thirteen and the last in the series. But thirteen is a lucky number for her and those that have followed the Grim Reaper Charley Davidson.
This book opens with Charley returning to earth after being exiled for a hundred years in another realm. But like dog years having a one to seven ratio, there is a one to ten ratio since 100 actually is ten days on earth. After returning the first thing she does is rekindle the desire and love she has for everyone in her family including her daughter, husband, and Uncle. She then combats with her husband Reyes those trying to take over Albuquerque New Mexico and find ways to keep her daughter Beep safe. It all comes to a head in an epic showdown between good and evil.
Unlike many paranormals Jones is able to balance successfully humor and suspense. Fans of this series will not be disappointed with the ending.
Elise Cooper: Is thirteen your lucky number?
Darynda Jones: We knew for awhile thirteen would be the last one. The whole series came out organically, because I set things up as I went. Thirteen has always been a number my family likes considering my brother while playing football had as his jersey number, thirteen. Also, my niece was born on May 13th.
EC: Do you believe in the afterlife?
DJ: Yes, I think we do go on to something bigger and better. Having grown up in a religious home, I never believed when we die that is just the end. I don’t think ghosts are real even though I had a couple of experiences that are difficult to explain. Yet, I heard from readers who told me about their experiences, and my good friend told of something that happened to her. There is no way explaining what happened without bringing in some spirituality. I am not closing any doors and remain open-minded.
EC: People say this book is Christian based?
DJ: It has saten, demons, and angels, but also there is the influence of Greek Gods. This allows me to have levity. When I conceptualized the idea, Reyes, the hero, was The Grim Reaper. But I was told too many stories had that type of character so I came up with Charley, my heroine, as The Grim Reaper. I think of her as a sarcastic version of The Ghost Whisperer. Thankfully, I never heard from anybody that the stories were unbelievable.
EC: So in this story 100 years converts to 10 days on earth?
DJ: I also put in a quote science based, “I’ve done the math. The more the dimension expands, the more mass it acquires. The more mass, the faster it will expand until, in less time it took to gain a mile, it will encompass the entire planet.” This part is thanks to my college course, Astronomy 101. In my world, there are as many supernatural realms as stars in the heaven. I love the concept, not only are there different realms, but also completely different times that can move faster or slower. Even the Christian Bible sees a hundred years as a day in heaven.
EC: How would you describe Charley?
DJ: She has grown over thirteen books, especially in her heart. She is definitely sarcastic and irreverent. She knows what happens when someone dies. I wanted to make sure she took in her stride that she was The Grim Reaper because I do not like characters who whine about their position in life. She will do anything to save people.
EC: Did you draw from yourself or those in your family?
DJ: Charley is the opposite of me, but people I keep meeting think I am a lot like her. All we actually have in common is ADHD. I do steal from my family quite a bit. A big part of Uncle Bob, one of my characters, is one of my older brothers. I would say 20% is stuff I get from my life.
EC: How would you describe Uncle Bob?
DJ: He has always been there for Charley, more of a father figure than her own father. He always backs her. I just love him.
EC: Has ADHD helped or hurt you with your writings?
DJ: Both. I have this imagination that goes on forever and never stops. On the other hand, sitting down to write is sometimes difficult. I have learned little tricks, like if I eat a low carb diet I can focus better. I think overall it has helped me more than it has hurt me.
EC: You became a sign language interpreter?
DJ: It has helped me respect different cultures and see things from their point of view. My mind has to work in a certain way to connect the word to the sign. Because I have a deaf son I went to school to communicate better with him. I wanted to have conversations with him about anything. I also think it has helped me write because it has opened my mind. My deaf son is now 29, and I can talk about anything, while my hearing son holds stuff back.
EC: Do you read paranormal?
DJ: When I first starting writing, I never read anything in the genre. I am glad I didn’t because the stories are dark without anything light and fluffy. Had I known that I might not have gone in this direction. Now I enjoy the genre. I watch TV shows and movies and read other authors like Jeaniene Frost and Chloe Neill.
EC: Why the Scotland setting?
DJ: I always wanted to go there. I feel it is where my spirit is. Since I never thought I would ever go there I wrote it into the books. I think I am from there originally. (LOL) I finally went to Scotland in March of this year, eleven years after I started writing the books.
EC: Can you give a heads up about your next books?
DJ: I am going to start another series, a trilogy set in a small town in New Mexico. It is about a female sheriff named Sunshine. There is no paranormal and it is a straight mystery romantic suspense. Sunshine is a single mother with a teenage daughter. I pitched it as the Gilmore Girls meet Fargo. The reason I come up with these professions, Charley as a PI and Sunshine as a sheriff, is to have the profession allow for them to be placed in a certain situation.
I am also thinking of writing a spin-off to this series. I wanted to do it ever since book four. Charley’s daughter Beep must deal with her enemies. Charley and Reyes will be in it as secondary characters. They all will still be super natural. BTW, the reason for the name Beep is that when Charley was pregnant she compared her baby to the size of a black-eyed pea.
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