Let's give it up for my guest this week, Heather Brainerd. Heather's written a very fun (and funny) detective series, presumably starring her alter ego.
Stuart, thank you so much for having me over to chat.
*Heather, tell us about the Jose Picada, P.I. series.
Josie P. Cates left the corporate world to strike it out on her own as a private investigator. Of course, nothing is ever easy for Josie. The first little hitch: all her promo material was misprinted as “José Picada, PI,” and the cheapo printing company disappeared. Josie can’t afford to get it redone, so now she’s stuck using all this misprinted junk. And boy, do things get interesting from there!
*I can't even get along with my brothers, let alone write with them. But whatever you're doing, it works. How in the world does the process work?
Dave and I live three hours apart, so we email our various manuscripts back and forth. We each have total editorial power over the other. For the most part, we are of the same mind. The only thing we really can’t agree on is whether it’s “duck tape” or “duct tape.”
*Josie's a fun character. Best of all, she wields the razor-sharp tongue and wit that all good detectives do in noiresque tales. Based on anyone you know? (And no cheating, I happen to know you worked the same job Josie did before she became a detective!).
Thanks, Stuart. I really like Josie, too. She’s quick-witted and doesn’t take crap from anyone. I wish I could be more like her. She’s purely fiction, however, not based on anybody real. My insurance coworkers were, for the most part, pretty normal.
*Along these same lines, Josie's go-to computer geek, Bobby, seems to be based on...um, many people I've met in the past. Truth or fiction?
Total fiction. Except that my brother is a genius with computers and math stuff. I’m horrible at both. Math plays an important role in the third José Picada book, so Dave got to use some nice big words while we were writing that one. It’s just in one scene, though – we didn’t overdo it. Oh, and Josie’s reaction to all the math-speak is pretty funny.
*I was certainly surprised (in a good way!) when you took Deception Al Dente down an unexpected supernatural alley. Can we expect more supernatural twists in the follow-up book, The Sound of Sirens? In future Jose Picada entries? In a way, the series reminds me of the late, great George C. Chesboro's "Mongo" series. (There dang well better be future entries! Don't MAKE me come over there, Heather!).
Hmm, sounds like I should check out the Mongo series! It’s funny, but we had no intention of taking Deception Al Dente in a supernatural direction when we started writing it. But that’s the way it wanted to go, so we followed along. And yes, you will see more situations along those lines in future José Picada installments. In fact, there’s a reason why Josie seems to attract supernatural shenanigans. But we’ll save that for later.
*What's Dream Shade about?
It’s a teen paranormal romance with a touch of mystery. Or maybe a teen paranormal mystery with a dash of romance. Either way, it’s about ghosts, and it was inspired by growing up in a haunted house.
*What's next in the ol' Brainerd and Fraser noggins that you're going to share with everyone?
We’re working on the third and fourth/final books in the José series. Before that, however, we have our first middle grade novel coming out this summer. It’s called Shadows of New York, and it’s a totally new spin on the vampire-werewolf theme. In fact, it kind of turns that subgenre on its head.
*Bonus round question! From oldest female detective to youngest...who would win in a fight, Miss Marple or Veronica Mars?
Miss Marple. She has a lifetime of experience to draw on.
Hmm, I may have to disagree with you there, Heather. Regardless, foks go grab the first Josie Cates book, it's good fun. Thanks for going under my grill, Heather.
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