Some of you will remember that Jayne Ann Krentz and I met about 18 months ago on a Mediterranean cruise.
A reader told me she was on board, too, and our mutual agent told me to find her. So I did. Here’s our first meeting in a lounge during, well, happy hour! More about that here.
Now although we’re on different coasts, we have fun through email. Today, as Jayne’s CLOSE UP, written as Amanda Quick debuts, we’re sharing one of those conversations with you. Enjoy.
JAK: So, Emilie, how is this whole Stay Home/Stay Safe thing affecting your writing? Personally, I have discovered I’ve developed some sort of obsession when it comes to sinks. I can’t pass one without stopping to wash my hands. Also, I should probably invest in Lysol because we’re using so much of it. I worry about people who are living in very small spaces — studio apartments, for example — and people who are living alone. But, then, I’m claustrophobic so I may be projecting. Oh. Wait. None of that has anything to do with writing, does it?
EMILIE: Actually, as sad as it is, this has everything to do with writing. First, we have all the time in the world to worry-hence the handwashing. And being writers, who constantly fantasize the worst or best-depending on our genres-we can’t help ourselves from imagining multiple scenarios a minute about what’s going to happen next. Even if we can shove that aside, at night time, it comes out to play. Result for some? Nightmares and at best, very colorful dreams that keep sleep at bay.
JAK: Yes, the dreams and/or nightmares are very strange and sometimes disturbing. I am dreaming much more intensely these days and I’ve heard a lot of other people say they are, too. Unfortunately I never get any useful plot ideas from my nightly journeys. But on the flip side there is the thrilling excitement of the InstaCart deliveries during the day!
EMILIE: And Instacart. Wow. The highlight of every day is creating my next list. And food? Dinner menus have taken the place of cruises, weekend jaunts, movies, and sitting down at restaurants
JAK: Yes! Menu planning! And figuring out how to stage the fresh veggies so that they don’t go bad before I get to them. As for my freezer, it has never been so stuffed. I have also learned to appreciate the wonders of technology. Zoom Happy Hours with friends have become one of the great joys of my life.
EMILIE: I was wondering today how this is going to show up in our books. I blogged recently about the way I had to change the entire time frame of one of my books in the midst of writing it because of 9-11. And now I have to do it again. I was sure I’d be okay because the book is set right now-or I should say was, because once again, time traveling back a year to Pre-Covid-19.
Have you had a similar problem? Are you wondering how you can work in this strange time in your future contemporary novels? It makes me want to write historicals. If I could just find a time without war and pestilence.
JAK: Good question. It so happens that at the moment I’m working on one of my Burning Cove novels which I write as Amanda Quick. They are set in the 1930s so I’m locked into that history. As for my contemporaries, I have always tried to make them feel “timeless”. I almost never reference politics or political figures or major world and national events. But I have sometimes been run over by technology. The arrival of cell phones is a glaring example. Modern forensics has also complicated plotting. One of the reasons I love working with the psychic/paranormal vibe is because I have an excuse to skip the police procedural stuff. The futuristics, which I write as Jayne Castle, give me the most freedom but they have their own rules and history, too.
EMILIE: Switching genres a bit clearly keeps your writing fresh, too, and more fun. There’s something for everybody.
I’m so glad you had time to visit my readers today.
JAK: Thank you so much for inviting me to chat with you. It was great to catch up with you. I love your books — A FAMILY OF STRANGERS was such a compelling read. You do the best family drama! Stay safe, my friend.
Emilie: And to you, Jayne, a huge thank you for the hours of reading pleasure you’ve given all of us. Nothing beats a book to take us away from real life for a little while so we can rest and these days, recover. I look forward to your new books and to more Jayne Ann Krentz, Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle in the future. I really appreciate you joining me at Southern Exposure today. It’s always so much fun.
Readers you can find Jayne’s brand new books and older ones, too, at her website with links to bookstores.