Friday, February 26, 2016

Five Things I Didn't Know About Jason West and Sam Kennedy Until I Started Writing Them

 
Well, time is running out on my beach resort vacation. Knowing me, I'm looking forward to being home but already missing Catalina Island.

Anyway, on Tuesday The Mermaid Murders goes live! It's always exciting to launch a new series. I plan to write this particular trilogy quite quickly with a book out each March for the next two years. I think I've made a mistake in letting so much time lag between books in all these other series. But you know, to some extent this is all determined by creative drive. You don't want to thwart it too often or it really takes the joy out of the work.

The next adventure for Kennedy and West will be The Monet Murders. Which, to my ire, turns out to be a surprisingly popular title for a mystery. HOW DARE SOMEONE(S) THINK OF THAT BEFORE ME?!

Nonetheless that's what I'm calling it.

I'm a big advocate of doing a lot of the work before you ever begin writing. I like to outline and I like to have a pretty good idea of who my characters are and what their big conflict will be. That said, writing is an organic process and there are always surprises and discoveries along the way. That's why writing is as addictive for writers as it is for readers. We also get to lose ourselves for hours at a time. Not in the same way, but it's equally powerful for all that.

So here are a couple of things I discovered about Jason West and Sam Kennedy as I began to write their story:

1 - Sam is from Wyoming and was raised by a single mom in a conservative small town.

I had originally thought he might be from Texas and that he would come from a large family. But no.

2 -  Jason is a winker. (NOT a wanker! I did not say WANKER.) He's one of those smooth, maybe a little too smooth guys used to offering one of those knowingly charming smiles and winks...and watching everyone melt into a puddle.

But that's because he was a skinny, fragile kid with braces and a chronic case of heart-on-his-sleeve, so he's worked hard and long to build up that aura of cool charm.

3 - Sam has a masters in Criminal Psychology.

I thought his background would be law enforcement! I did not see him as someone who had actually spent a lot of time cracking psychology books.

4 - Jason's parents are elderly. He was a surprise baby who arrived after they'd already raised their two daughters.

I pictured him as a middle kid with a middle kid's insecurities. But he's actually not particularly insecure. About really anything. He's more emotional than I expected, more passionate. Very loud during sex. :-D I was thinking he'd be more quiet and restrained.

5 - They both love the artist Granville Redmond.

Where the heck did that come from?! I don't know. But it's a sure sign they are Meant To Be Together.



32 comments:

  1. Oh, the dichotomy of a great vacation: your lovely home is calling to you, but you don't want to ever leave. Remember, Josh, Catalina will always be there awaiting your next visit.

    I like alliterative titles especially in a series, and most especially by you. Wondering now what that third TMM title will be. :)

    And speaking of mysteries, that's great detective work finding out so much about your two MCs. What a relief to know Jason isn't a wanker, and to learn Sam got his degree in Criminal Psychology. But I guess it's no surprise you could find out all this information. You are after all, the Josh Lanyon! :-)

    Enjoy the final moments of your vacation, Josh.

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    1. The MacBeth Murders? ;-D How can I tie that in with art? Hmmm...

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    2. The last episode of Oz? That was art. Macbeth dying and taking Vern Schillenger with him. "That mo....f....er's dead!" Loved TMM and not just because it referred to my favourite of yours Winter Kill. Thanks.

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  2. It is fun to read, that the characters are taking the pen out of your hand, once in a while. I love that book and can't wait to hear more about the two. Enjoy your time at the sea :-)

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    1. We saw dolphins! And we *think* maybe killer whales. It was so wonderful.

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  3. LOL. You left me smiling widely at The Monet Murders (it is INDEED surprising that anyone dared to come up with the before YOU!). :-D

    And oh yeah, their love for the same artist is surely a sign written into stars! Everyone knows THAT. :-D

    And about that loud sex — you really outdid yourself this time!!! That loud sex was F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C.




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  4. One thing I hope you've learnt about Jason and can tell us: what colour is his hair? I know he has green eyes, but they could go with any colour hair!

    Hope you're having a lovely vacation.

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    1. What??!! Isn't it in there somewhere? His hair is dark. :-D

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  5. Well, I have never read a book called The Monet Murders, so there.
    And Jason is definitely not a wanker.
    50% through and loving it so far.
    Hope your vacation was super.

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  6. Aww, how wonderful that we get to know them in the book and along with the book and soon-ish in the next book. I love them, and I can't wait! :-) And i hope your vacation's lovely! :-)

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    1. I'm already planning out the second book. :-D

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  7. How about the Manet Murders instead?! Still a well known French Impressionist painter, still alliterative, but probably less likely to have a book named after him (I assume - I didn't actually google the title ;)

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  8. Hope you're having a great vacation! Of course the rest of us are being tortured waiting for the first... I mean, what's wrong with the 26th? Lol. Guess I'll just have to hope when I start reading at 12:01 a.m. that I'll get done before having to go to work that day. Thanks for the character snippets. Looking forward to falling in love with this story like all the others.

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    1. I had a wonderful vacation. It's very hard coming back to real life. Not that real life is so bad, but it doesn't have hours set aside for seal watching and cocktails. :-D

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  9. Is this Redmond Granville's artwork? I like them. I look forward to getting to know Jason and Sam better.

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    1. I guess he's actually named Granville Redmond (my bad) but yes! Isn't the work lovely?

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  10. Miss "Lanyon" are you ashamed of being a woman writer or do you have some other reason to conceal your gender?

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    1. Wow. This is fascinating. You spent the morning bombarding all my social media sites with this silliness.

      1 - I'm not concealing my gender. My gender is stated on all my social media sites. Do your homework.

      2 - Why *are* you so frantic about this? Seriously. It's troubling. You're spending hours hitting these social media sites with what? A shocking revelation of...? Something everyone already knows and didn't care about anyway? You need to stop and look at why you do this kind of thing. What's missing in your life that you're so terribly concerned with mine?

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  11. Oh brother! Nobody is concealing anything.

    Getting back on track to the subject, I can't wait to read your new novel. Last night I only had time for about 15 minutes of reading before I fell asleep with my Kindle in my arms. What's up with these midnight releases? They're so cruel.

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    1. Look at it this way, it's scheduled for the 29th and I thought that meant like ten o'clock in the morning, so it was actually sort of a few hours early! ;-D

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  12. Read it last night. Lovely romance, Josh. Nobody writes romance the way you do. Any chance you could write the sequel now?

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  13. Thank you. :-) I'd actually love to do that. Carina might have an objection or two though. :-D

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    1. Ok, I'd like you to start/finish the second book, too, but then you wouldn't be able to get the third "All's Fair" series book done. Arg! I was nearly having kittens when I saw the book pop up on my Kindle the 29th instead of the 1st. Woo Hoo!

      Fantastic book. Definitely another hit. I'll be rereading it this weekend. I just hope I don't develop aquaphobia. ;)

      Glad you're recharged after your vacay! Those first few days back are hard...and who says you can't build in time for seal watching and cocktails!?! And you call yourself creative. You Tube seal videos & premixed margaritas. Save time by drinking while watching. ;P

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  14. Dear Josh,

    As your biggest fan, may I have an honest confess? The books you put last year was... good, but I still feel like something was missing, mostly the romance and chemistry between the heroes. But THIS, THIS is truly the Josh we know and love, both the romance and the crime aspect of this was so so good and I just keep reading and reading and never a bored minute. Sometimes people complain that your culprit is too easy to guess, but I think it's the matter of HOW they get there, not really WHO. And the chemistry between Jason and Kennedy is sooo amazing, partly because it was so subtle at the beginning. They detest each other first but then realized the charming points, and Kennedy is such a heart-breaker! I feel like he has hidden charms that once you get to know him, you just can't stop thinking about him and his care for Jason is just so heart-warming. It breaks my heart a little to have to wait a whole year and a half to read the second, but Im sure it will worth the wait! Thank you thank you for such a wonderful read and I'm sure I will reread this many more times...
    P/S: please don't ever feel upset or give attention about the people that question your gender, we love you for your writings and your warm responses to us, and that all that matters :)

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    1. Thank you very much! And you know, it's only a year until the second book. Winter 2017 would be next January/February. Just time enough to figure out what that crazy killer is up to. :-D

      As for the gender stuff...I know. Sometimes I lose my temper, but I do know better. ;-)

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  15. I LOVED this book! I actually got up really early the morning it came out so that I could read it before work! (Is there a reason the books always seem to come out on a Monday?) Anyway, very much looking forward to the rest of the series and I'm glad that winter 2017 is early next year because I was thinking the end of 2017 and I don't think I can wait! I love when your books have an artistic theme to them. Also, someone asked about Jason's hair color and there was a reference to him having long dark hair when he was a teenager.

    Also, on an unrelated note, I was watching Jeopardy the other night and the current champion was named David Bradley! It made me chuckle. Do you think you'd ever write a story about him?

    Thanks for your excellent books!

    Becca

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  16. I finished the Mermaid Murders last night and of course, I loved it. Such a wonderful mystery and even though, I kind of suspected who the killer was, I had an awfully good time trying to find out why! And as for Sam and Jason, these two could quickly become a very close second to my two favorite gentleman of yours. A year between stories is not really all that long, I'm finding out with my own dealings with publishers. Waiting patiently and re-reading this story several times will be just fine. I love the title The Monet Murders. Monet is my favorite artist so I am really looking forward to this mystery and more Sam and Jason. Bravo Josh another wonderful story!

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  17. I loved Mermaid Murders, the conflict between the mains was engaging.

    I took Art History several times, but we never focused on many American artists...and so I never saw Granville Redmond's work, except for when I drive to work after a rain! Guess I need to go find some commercial prints now. Amazing.

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  18. Just finishend Mermaid Murders and loved it! True to form, Josh.
    Never a dull moment beween those two. And their final bickering was hilarious "Just asking for a date" had me in stitches!
    Gerda

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  19. Just finished the book its awesome and as usual i was all over the board tryign to decide the perp . great job and looking forward to more from west and kennedy . I gotta confess i dont know squat about art but definitely looking up some of the pieces mentioned lol kudos

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