Giveaway Ends 10/9
What does it mean to you to be called an author?
My dream. Ever since I was twelve years old and wrote my first short story for English class, I fell in love with writing. Yet, I also knew there was a huge difference between writing and being an author. It wasn’t until years later after I had published a few books and received not only great reviews, but several book awards. That’s when I realized that I am an author now, and it thrilled me to my toes. But I’m still working towards being one heck of a great author. We all need goals in life to push us forward.
Can you tell us a bit about the story and its main characters?
Deuce is the third book in my Jax Diamond Mysteries series. The first two books take place in New York City in 1923, during the flashy, fun filled Roaring Twenties. There are three main characters, PI Jax Diamond, his courageous German Shepherd partner, Ace, and Laura Graystone, a rising Broadway star. In Deuce, they travel to Laura’s hometown to investigate her father’s death since she doesn’t believe it was an accident. And the small town of Millbury not only has a few quirky characters, there’s a killer on the loose.
What inspired the idea for your book?
I began the series last summer after my mother passed away at a ripe old age. She was my best friend, and I needed a break from my previous, more intense historical romances. My mom and I used to watch those old detective movies together, Sam Spade and the Thin Man. So, the books are murder mysteries, yet fast-paced, light, and fun. I chose Millbury, MA, for the setting in Deuce since my family used to vacation nearby in Gloucester for a few days every summer.
What was the most surprising thing you learned in writing this book?
I know there are a lot of pet lovers, but I’m amazed that Ace simply steals the show! I also did a lot of research about the 1920s and probably what shocked me the most was the fact that gangsters like Al Capone and Bugsy Malone were making over sixty-million dollars a year bootlegging liquor!
Tell us about a favorite character from the book.
Ace, of course. And he’s based upon a real character. Since I was five years old, I dreamed of having a German Shepherd companion, and years later when I moved to the country, I found her…or rather, she found me. She was beautiful, loving, protective and courageous. She saved my son’s life…and mine, too, in a different way. I’m so glad I finally found a place for her in my books – although she’d be mad that I changed her name and gender😊
Do you have any “side stories” about any of the characters?
In a nutshell, Jax was left on the doorstep of an orphanage when he was one year old. The nun found the jack of diamonds playing card at the bottom of his basket. That’s how he got his name. We’ll get into this more in Book #5.
Side story related to Deuce: Laura’s father was an auto mechanic and race car driver, which is why she’s an auto expert. Her father died during the Dead Horse Hill Climb race in the book, but it was a true, annual race that took place in Worcester, MA, 1905-1911, attracting over 7,000 people and drivers from all over the world.
How do you define success as an author?
As I said earlier, winning awards for my books is wonderful. Selling books is another part of success. But for me, when a reader enjoys the book just as much as I enjoyed writing it…ahh, now that is true success!
Can you share a day in the life of an author?
I have it pretty easy since I’m almost fully retired. So, I get up around five o’clock in the morning and write for a couple of hours before my husband and little Boston Terrier wake up. Then, I pretty much write here and there all day, depending on whether I’m playing with my two grandkids who live nearby or working or outside enjoying the weather. I usually shut down by dinner time each day.
What was the defining moment that made you say, “Today, I will publish.”?
Oh, boy, dare I admit this? Twenty years ago, I had completed seven historical romance novels without any thought of publishing them, and I never let anyone else read them. I simply needed an escape from a less than happy marriage. After my divorce, I gave up writing for several years and had quite a good time living life, for once. Three years ago, my second yet best husband found my stories and urged me to publish them. I was scared to death, but surprisingly they did rather well, so I started writing again. And I’m loving it!
What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?
Read books in your chosen genre. Write daily, even if it’s just a paragraph. For me, it’s not just about writing a scene, though. I have to imagine the entire scene in my mind first. I’m a visual person, so I need to ‘see’ exactly what’s going on before I can write it down exactly as it happens.
What are you working on in the near future?
I have the novella, Two of a Kind, Book #4 coming out in December, which is about how Jax and Ace meet. Blackjack, Book #5 will be released on June 1, 2023, and Jax learns some shocking things about his past.
Do you have any quirky writing rituals?
I need background music. If it’s too quiet, I get distracted. And it can be anything from classical to jazz, rock-n-roll, modern, or country.
What comes first for you — the plot or the characters?
I start by imagining one, maybe two, characters in my head and a bit of the plot. I think characters should come first since they drive the plot. My very next step is finding or designing a book cover that fits my idea. I mentioned that I am a very visual person, so with this series, I also add related images to each of the chapters, teasers, if you will.
What has been your favorite reader feedback?
“I loved this series. Set in 1920’s at the time of prohibition, they are classic, slightly tongue-in-cheek detective books. Think Sam Spade meets Judy Garland. A heartwarming cozy mystery with a slew of potential killers and a cast of wonderful characters. I love this series. Did I already say that! I love everything about it. The romance, the mystery, the suspense but most of all I fell for Ace! I will be at the front of the queue for the next book.”
How do you interact with your readers?
I need to improve this. I love interacting with readers, and I’ve been in several Facebook groups and met the most fabulous people. I interact a lot on Facebook. Instagram, not so much. I’m ‘older’ and probably need help navigating my way around better. I do have a website, email, and interact on Goodreads, too. And I love hearing from readers – whether it’s good or bad (we all learn a lot from criticism).
Aside from writing or reading, what are your hobbies or interests?
Outside of my love for historical research and watching baseball (Yankees), I love birdwatching. We have a pond in our backyard, so we put up a birdfeeder and have tons of ducks, some families of geese, blue herons, kingfishers, green herons, hawks, osprey, etc. etc. Wintertime hobby? Hibernating (we’re in upstate NY)
If your book were made into a movie, which actors would play your characters?
A young Brad Pitt would play Jax Diamond; Myrna Loy (‘40s actress) would play Laura; and Ace would be played by Rin Tin Tin (does anyone remember him?)
5 do better
Name three fun facts about you or your work.
–I nearly failed history in high school, and yet, I often spend more time researching historical people and events than I do writing my books.
–I plowed a 30-acre field in a John Deere Tractor for a neighbor farmer when his worker was sick.
–I owned a small breakfast diner for a couple of years – I could write a book about that!
If you went on a road trip with any author, where would you go?
I am not a horror fan, but I would love to spend some time with Steven King, pick his brain (how the heck did he come up with his book ideas??), see his home in Bangor, Maine, and go to a Boston Red Sox vs. Yankees baseball game (he’s a huge sox fan, and I’m a huge Yankees fan).
About The Book
DEUCE (JAX DIAMOND MYSTERIES Book 3)
One for sorrow, two for spice triggers a game of three blind mice.
While vacationing in New England, PI Jax Diamond and his courageous canine partner, Ace, bite off more than they can chew when two small town deaths reveal two big time killers, and the locals don’t take too kindly to strangers.
Laura Graystone, Broadway star, auto expert, and Jax’s heartthrob, is once again front and center digging for clues while trying to ditch an old boyfriend. That is, until her brother becomes Jax’s prime suspect. Then all hell breaks loose, and Ace is left in the lurch, tracking down leads with his new sidekick, Susie.
A crazy duet of crimes sends Jax, Laura and Ace into a tailspin in small-town USA during the Roaring Twenties. Where no one is above the law, everyone is a suspect, and time is running out before the clock strikes one.
Purchase Link: Amazon
About the Author
Award-winning author Gail Meath writes historical romance novels that will whisk you away to another time and place in history where you will meet fascinating characters, both fictional and real, who will capture your heart and soul. Meath loves writing about little or unknown people, places, and events in history, rather than relying on the typical stories and settings.
The subgenres of her books vary from action-packed westerns, plot-twisting murder mysteries, and biographies of powerful women who defied the strict rules of society fighting for the freedom of their countries. Currently, she is spending all her time writing her new, fun Roaring Twenties Cozy Mystery series, Jax Diamond Mysteries.
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