Thursday, March 20, 2014

New Jack Daniels Novel Q & A with Jude Hardin

The first Jack Daniels novel in four years, LADY 52, is now available on Amazon Kindle for $3.99.

What do Lt. Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels and private investigator Nicholas Colt have in common? 

Billiards, bourbon, bad jokes… 


And murder. Several, in fact. 


A homeless woman’s remains are found near Chicago twenty-six years after she disappeared. Her daughter—now retired in Florida—suspects foul play, and she hires Colt to fly up there and check it out. 


A prominent Chicago physician is slain outside a convenience store, horribly mutilated. A senseless street killing? A robbery gone wrong? Or something much worse?


As the homicide cases and those involved converge, it quickly becomes apparent that Jack Daniels and Nicholas Colt are in for the most challenging—and deadly—time of their lives. 

Filled with humor, suspense, and mystery, LADY 52 is sure to satisfy longtime Daniels and Colt fans, and is a perfect introduction to both series. It's approximately 250 pages long. 

Q: Why the collaboration? Why now?

Jude: When Joe started talking about franchising the characters from his Jack
Daniels series, I knew it was something I wanted to try. I’ve been a fan since WHISKEY SOUR, the first book in the series, came out in 2003. I started thinking that Jack and my PI character Nicholas Colt might make an interesting team, so I started putting together some scenes for them. I think it worked out pretty well.

Joe: Jude was one of my first blog commenters, way back in 2005. When he wrote his first novel, POCKET 47, I read it and enjoyed it. Very much in the Robert B. Parker/Robert Crais school of action, mystery, and humor. When we did the Colt/Daniels short RACKED, our styles blended very well, our characters had chemistry, and the fans liked it. Doing a novel was a no-brainer.

Q: There’s violence in LADY 52, yet there are moments of hilarity as well. Why mix the two?

Jude: Joe was one of the first authors to do that kind of thing with mainstream thrillers, and I wanted to try to match the tone of the previous books in his series. Plus, Colt has always had his own brand of humor, and I tried to maintain some of that as well. 

Humor’s tough, because you never really know what’s going to work and what isn’t. But if I’m amusing myself along the way, I figure I might be on the right track.

Joe: I laughed at a lot of Jude's jokes, and he's told me he's laughed at mine, so I think we found a good balance.

I really try to make the reader experience as many emotions as possible in a book. Make them laugh, make them cry, make them nervous, make them frightened, turn them on. Fiction is an entertaining way to give the limbic system a vicarious work-out.

Q: There’s a hot sex scene in LADY 52, in a car no less. Why include something like that in a thriller?

Jude: Well, like our friend Ann Voss Peterson says, a sex scene in a novel should really be about emotion. Sometimes the emotion might be love, but often it’s fear. It’s about adding to your characters’ challenges and vulnerabilities, taking them into an intimate moment and ideally revealing an emotional side of them that the reader wouldn’t otherwise get to see.

Joe: I didn't write my first explicit sex scene until the sixth Jack Daniels book, CHERRY BOMB, and I really thought it added to the book. The Codename: Chandler series I write with Ann (three novels, three novellas) have a lot of sex in them. Along with revealing character, I think a well-written love scene is just plain fun, like snappy dialog or a cool fist fight. Which is why I write erotica under the name Melinda DuChamp.

This sex scene, however, was all Jude. I think maybe I added a comma.

Q: There are a couple of major twists near the end, some things most readers probably won’t see coming. How did those come about?

Jude: I don’t want to reveal too much, so I’ll just say that a good mystery usually involves a backstory that remains offstage for most of the book. It’s that backstory that sets the wheels in motion and motivates the characters to do what they do. I never outline, so some of the plot elements were a surprise to me as I composed them. That’s a good thing, I think. If I can surprise myself, maybe I can surprise the reader as well.

Joe: Jude came up with a really fun plot that seems to be going in a certain direction, then takes a 180 degree turn. But it is a mystery, and the clues are there for readers to solve it before Colt and Daniels do.

Q: How many books does Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels appear in? Nicholas Colt?

Jude: LADY 52 is the eighth novel featuring private investigator Nicholas Colt. He’s a world-class guitarist who gave up on music when his wife and daughter and all the members of his band died in a plane crash. He was the sole survivor, so he carries that weight around along with everything else. LADY 52 is brand new, but in the Nicholas Colt universe the events in the book occur between those in my novels COLT and POCKET-47. So while it’s the eighth Nicholas Colt book I’ve written, chronologically it’s book #2 in the series.

Joe: This is Jack's tenth novel, and it fits in between BLOODY MARY and RUSTY NAIL.

Q: So how did the collaboration process work?

Joe: It was a breeze for me. Jude knocked out the first draft, and then I fleshed out the main bad guy and some of the mystery elements, added a few scenes and jokes, and tweaked my characters. Jude did a good job writing Jack and company, so it was fun to build off of his framework. It's a 60k word book, and probably 15k-20k of it is mine. So I got off easy. :)

I think anyone who is a Nicholas Colt fan will enjoy this, and anyone who is a Jack Daniels fan will enjoy this. It's a fun merger of their respective universes, and hopefully our fans will cross-pollenate and buy more of our books. Readers who like SNUFF TAG 9 will like FUZZY NAVEL, and vice-versa.

I also wrote many lines, and a whole scene, in Colt's POV. Jude will have to comment on how I did, there.

Jude: Joe has a lot more experience with collaborations than I do, and he’s written at least twice as many novels, so I pretty much let him take the reins once I turned in the first draft. I was really impressed when I read his approach to Nicholas Colt and some of the other characters I created. The goal is for everything to be seamless, and he nailed it! As for the actual mechanics of working together, we passed the manuscript back and forth via DropBox, and we addressed any questions and concerns through email. He changed some of my stuff here and there, and I changed some of his, and we bounced ideas back and forth until we were both happy with what we had.

Q: Will you collaborate again?

Joe: My schedule is crazy busy… I sat on LADY 52 for more than three months before I could find the time to work on it. But I'd work with Jude again in a heartbeat.

Jude: Writing a novel is a lot different than, say, writing a TV show, in that it’s generally a solitary affair, so it was a pleasure to work with another author for a change, especially a seasoned professional like Joe. I had a lot of fun with it, and I would absolutely do it again. I could see Colt and Daniels together at least one more time, maybe at a nine ball tournament somewhere between Florida and Illinois. Hmm…

Joe: If the fans want it, I say let's do it.

Q: What's coming up for both of you?

Joe: I've got a huge list of collaborations coming up. We just released the next Jack Daniels/AJ Rankowski thriller, BEAT DOWN, that I did with Garth Perry, and THE SEXPERTS: GIRL WITH A PEARL NECKLACE, which is a Melinda DuChamp funny erotica novella. Blake Crouch and I are still doing LAST CALL, wrapping up the Jack Daniels/Luther Kite story, and this month HOLES IN THE GROUND, a sequel to ORIGIN, will come out, co-written with Rob Iain Wright. And more. Lots more.

Jude: I’m working on a brand new series called iSEAL, a trilogy of techno-thrillers about a failed Navy SEAL candidate desperate for a second chance. As a pathway back into the program, he volunteers for a research study, allowing himself to be a human guinea pig for a revolutionary new brain-computer interface. I’ll just say that things don’t go so well for him after the surgery. The first book is out now, and the second is on the way.

41 comments:

Mark Edward Hall said...

Sounds great, guys. Can't wait to read this.

Jude Hardin said...

Thanks, Mark! We had a lot of fun with it.

David L. Shutter said...

Bought. Looks great. All the best with it.

Jude Hardin said...

Thanks, Dave! Hope you enjoy it.

Jeff Ezell said...

Been waitin'. Bought it. Readin' it. Lovin' it. Can't go wrong with Daniels and Colt. Can't put it down. Missing my critique group tonight.

Thanks guys!

Douglas Dorow said...

Just loaded on my kindle for a Spring Break read. Looking forward to seeing how you bring the two characters/stories together.

Jude Hardin said...

Been waitin'. Bought it. Readin' it. Lovin' it. Can't go wrong with Daniels and Colt.

So glad you're digging it so far, Jeff. Appreciate your enthusiasm!

Jude Hardin said...

Looking forward to seeing how you bring the two characters/stories together.

It helped a lot that Jack and Nicholas met in our short story RACKED, Douglas. Thanks for reading, and don't forget the sunscreen!

Merrill Heath said...

This sounds fun. I'm sure it'll sell like hotcakes.

Colin M said...

Hi Jude and Joe,

Congrats on the first of the franchise full novels. I've read all the JD and read Colt when you released it. You did a great job on Racked and I can't wait to see what you came up with here.

Since starting this writing thing, I haven't been reading much -- actually, I haven't been doing much of anything else -- but I'll have to work in some breaks for reading this.

I look forward to hearing how your sales do. Jude, let us know if you see an increase in sales of your other work. Joe, have you got any numbers for your franchise shorts yet?

Colin

Jude Hardin said...

This sounds fun. I'm sure it'll sell like hotcakes.

Thanks, Merrill! We put a lot of work into it, hoping it does well.

Jude Hardin said...

Jude, let us know if you see an increase in sales of your other work.

It'll definitely help get my name in front of a new set of fans. And since chronologically LADY 52 falls between COLT and RUSTY NAIL, maybe I'll even be able to talk Joe into a three-book bundle at some point. :)

Thanks for the kind words, Colin!

Tracy Sharp - Author of the Leah Ryan Series said...

Reading this one now! WOW! So hard to put down. Blaming you two for not getting as far along on my edit as I should be!

Excellent story! So much fun :)

William J. Thomas said...

Jude, it's been fun watching you grow from Joe's-Blog-Commenter-Newbie-Writer into the Seasoned-Lean-Mean-Fighting-Machine of a writer you are today. The Colt novels are very entertaining reads, and this collab. looks awesome as well. Can't wait to read it!

Timothy S Villa aka TGCVersion3Point0 said...

I recently bought Colt but haven't had the chance to read it yet. Now with Lady 52 and Racked available, I went ahead and picked them up. Seems like a nice little one two three punch to read. Good job and good luck on what I'm sure will be a big seller.

Jude Hardin said...

Reading this one now! WOW! So hard to put down. Blaming you two for not getting as far along on my edit as I should be!

Excellent story! So much fun :)


Thanks, Tracy! I love it when fellow authors say nice things about my work. :)

Jude Hardin said...

Jude, it's been fun watching you grow from Joe's-Blog-Commenter-Newbie-Writer into the Seasoned-Lean-Mean-Fighting-Machine of a writer you are today. The Colt novels are very entertaining reads, and this collab. looks awesome as well. Can't wait to read it!

Thanks, William! I was an extra in the movie STRIPES, and that "lean mean fighting machine" line always reminds of John Candy and female mud wrestling. :)

Hope you enjoy LADY 52!

Patrice Fitzgerald said...

I love a good author collaboration! Both as a reader and a writer...working on finding the right fit to work with me for my sci-fi/speculative fiction right now.

A great example is Johnny Truant and Sean Platt.

Jude Hardin said...

I recently bought Colt but haven't had the chance to read it yet. Now with Lady 52 and Racked available, I went ahead and picked them up. Seems like a nice little one two three punch to read. Good job and good luck on what I'm sure will be a big seller.

Thanks, Timothy! If you want to read them order, it would be RACKED, COLT, and then LADY 52. Hope you enjoy them!

Jude Hardin said...

I love a good author collaboration! Both as a reader and a writer...working on finding the right fit to work with me for my sci-fi/speculative fiction right now.

Before RACKED, and now LADY 52, my only collaborative effort was a novella I wrote called FIRE AND ICE for Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin's DEAD MAN series. It's tricky working with someone else's characters/universe, but it can be a lot of fun. As I'm sure you know from the Hugh Howey things you've published. Best of luck with it!

Ann Voss Peterson said...

Congrats, Jude and Joe! RACKED was a lot of fun. I can't wait to read this one! And see how you did on that love scene, Jude. :)

Jude Hardin said...

Congrats, Jude and Joe! RACKED was a lot of fun. I can't wait to read this one! And see how you did on that love scene, Jude.

Thanks, Ann! That scene is from Colt's POV, so at least I had that going for me. If I ever write one from a female character's POV, I might have to ask for some pointers. ;)

S. A. Lusher said...

I've gotta know, as I'm very interested in collaborations myself, how in the *hell* do you split the royalties?

Jude Hardin said...

I've gotta know, as I'm very interested in collaborations myself, how in the *hell* do you split the royalties?

Our literary agent manages the publishing side of it, along with the disbursement of royalties. It's a 50/50 split between Joe and me, minus the agent's cut.

Joe outlined an early version of the collaboration agreement in a previous blog post. http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2013/09/my-collaboration-agreement.html

Without a third-party manager, I suppose one author would have to keep track of everything and then pay the other based on whatever percentages the two agreed on. I have no idea how it works with, say, twelve authors who put a boxed set together. Maybe Joe could weigh in on that. I'm curious about it myself.

Joe Konrath said...

I have no idea how it works with, say, twelve authors who put a boxed set together.

We pick an author to do all the work (cover, compiling, sending out checks and 1099s) and they get 15% off the top.

S. A. Lusher said...

Thanks. I honestly wish Amazon would release some kind of automated feature that would just split the royalties between the authors.

Mark Edward Hall said...

"I honestly wish Amazon would release some kind of automated feature that would just split the royalties between the authors".

They don't have a problem splitting royalties between author and producer at ACX which is an Amazon company. They should be able to do the same for ebooks.

Anonymous said...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/stillburning/639800453/

A vending machine that sells books.

We need a Kindle dispenser too!

Jeff Ezell said...

Anon said "We need a Kindle dispenser too!"

Never happen. We have one = Internet! and/or Smartphone! Amazon wants all the reader's info to up-sell and re-market.

But who thought a Red-Box would run off Blockbuster (w/help from Netflix)?

Lyn Perry said...

Congrats as well, Jude and Joe. Keep 'em coming!

Jude Hardin said...

Congrats as well, Jude and Joe. Keep 'em coming!

Thanks, Lyn! I'm working on the second iSEAL book right now, but I could definitely see another Daniels/Colt novel in the future.

Paolo Amoroso said...

The closest thing to a Kindle dispenser is Amazon's Kindle vending machine in Vegas.

Jude Hardin said...

Readers interested in new thrillers at bargain prices, and thriller authors interested in a free promo opportunity, please check out my new website The Launch Pad:

http://hotnewthrillers.blogspot.com/

Jude Hardin said...

And of course LADY 52 was the first new thriller posted. :)

http://hotnewthrillers.blogspot.com/2014/03/lady-52.html

Silas Payton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jude Hardin said...

Thanks, Silas!

Mary Welk said...

Joe, did you know that your books are being given away for free on www.general-ebooks.com ? They claim to only give away public domain books, but yours and many other living authors are listed there.

Aimless Writer said...

My two favorite authors. I can't wait to read!

Jeff Ezell said...

Joe - Mary seems to be correct. Curious, I went to that site and attempted to download DISTURB as an .exe file, which then wanted to load several other .exe files (which I never heard of)w/permission to alter my computer. I declined.

I've already bought most of those books. Let us know whatsup?

Jeff Ezell said...

BTW Joe and Jude, Great job on Lady 52. Love the LOLFD comedy routines, the twists and McGlade and partner Herb's banter.

Don't miss it y'all. Read it. Review it.

Jude Hardin said...

BTW Joe and Jude, Great job on Lady 52. Love the LOLFD comedy routines, the twists and McGlade and partner Herb's banter.

Thanks, Jeff!