Q&A with Darynda Jones
How did you come up with Charley?
So, I’m lying in bed one morning, waiting for my turn in the shower, when Charley popped into my head in all her glory. I loved her from the get-go. I will add that I was looking for her. I had just typed The End on my second complete manuscript, a YA titled Death and the Girl Next Door which later sold to my amazing editor along with the Charley books. So, I was craving another project. I knew I wanted it to be adult and paranormal. That was all I had. And then Charley walked in.
What has it been like to planning and writing this series, and how does it feel to be wrapping it up?
I had no clue! I dreamed, of course. We all do that. But for that dream to become a reality…it’s quite surreal. I have the best job in the world. Planning and writing the last two books have been bittersweet. I love writing these books so much, so the fact that it’s coming to an end is a little heartbreaking, but I want to go out with a bang. Like a HUGE one. I hope everyone loves reading them as much as I’ve loved writing them.
Are there any side characters or plots you wish you would have developed more?
Actually, yes. In Fifth Grave Past the Light, I brought in a character named Nicolette Lemay, gave her an insanely cool gift, then never brought her back in again. We see her briefly in Twelfth Grave, but I wish I’d done more with her.
Can you give us a sneak peek into how it all ends? What do you hope readers feel as they reach the last page?
I am very hopeful that readers will feel a sense of happiness, closure and (dare I dream?) euphoria. All I can say is that this book is truly darkest before the dawn. Charley and Reyes have accidentally opened a hell dimension within our own, and they have to figure out how to close it before it takes over the world. But it’s expanding exponentially, and soon there will be nothing left of the world as we know it. But with a little help from Charley’s departed mother, one clue leads Charley in the right direction and, hopefully, to the secret to stopping the hell dimension and save all of humanity. Sadly, she only has three days to do it.
What’s the next project you’re working on?
Right now I am working on a brand new series, a trilogy set in a small town in New Mexico with a sheriff named Sunshine, a missing girl named Olivia, and a murder suspect named Levi. Too bad she is in way over her head, especially since the missing girl is her daughter’s best friend and Sunshine has been in love with Levi since she could breathe.
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