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I’m so excited to be a part of this tour. The anticipation for Summoned to the Thirteenth Grave has been intense. With Summoned being the final book in the Charley Davidson series, what better way to celebrate than to take a look back at the previous books and get some fun fact about what Darynda Jones was thinking when she wrote them. Enjoy these little tidbits about each installment!
||The concept for First Grave came about while Darynda was working as a sign
language interpreter in her hometown. She stole many of the names from students
at the schools where she worked, including Reyes, Garrett, and Amber. As far as
Darynda knows, they have all forgiven her for her thievery.
||Uncle Bob is a combination of two people: Darynda’s oldest brother, Luther, and
the principal at the high school where she worked for several years.
||This was originally titled Third Grave Straight Ahead, but Darynda’s web
designer, Liz Bemis, asked her to change the name to Dead Ahead. Firstly, it fit
the content better, and secondly, Liz got tired of spelling the word Straight wrong
while updating the website. Dead is much easier to type.
||Quentin Rutherford makes his first appearance in this book. While his first name
was stolen from Darynda’s little brother and his last name stolen from yet another
Jr. High student, Quentin is physically sculpted from her oldest son, Jerrdan, a
bona fide blond-haired, blue-eyed devil with a sparkling smile that melts even the
staunchest of hearts. And, like Quentin Rutherford, he was born Deaf. Not that he
let it stop him for a second.
||This book was fun to write! Darynda was trying to come up with something truly
creepy to throw into the book, and she figured what would be creepier than
having an apartment full of departed women crawling up the walls, skittering
across the ceiling, and huddling in the corners? Also, it is one of the hotter books,
so that was fun, too. Because, you know, Reyes.
||Darynda really wanted to open this one on a humorous note. She wanted to have
Charley on a stakeout with a departed elderly man, who also happens to be naked,
riding shotgun. Which begs the question: Are we really stuck in (or out of)
whatever we are wearing when we die for all eternity? ‘Cause that would suck.
||Osh’ekiel was originally supposed to be in one book only. And he was supposed
to be a very bad guy. But Darynda fell in love with him while writing the book
and decided to redeem him and give him a bigger role. Just how big his role
would become didn’t come to Darynda until plotting Eighth Grave. He has been
one of her favorite characters since she wrote that first scene with him.
||Darynda wanted to really turn the tables on Charley and force her to have to stay
in one place, thus the sacred ground of the convent came into play. It was fun and
challenging to write a “locked room” mystery, so to speak, but that’s why she
loves writing so much.
||One of Darynda’s favorite books in the series, she looked forward to writing this
book ever since she came up with the concept while plotting Sixth Grave. Part of
what makes a romance so fun is the falling-in-love part, and she wanted Charley
to fall in love with Reyes all over again. This book was doubly fun because the
audience knows all the characters’ backstories, and they get to watch in
anticipation as Charley slowly unravels the mysteries of her past, while seeing her
fall head-over-heels for the same guy all over again.
||This book had one of those too-close-for-comfort calls. Right before Tenth Grave
went to print, after going through editors and copyeditors and readers of all shapes
and sizes, a savvy proofreader let Darynda in on a little secret: A Sherpa is part of
a culture, not an occupation. Thanks to this razor-sharp reader, Darynda narrowly
escaped insulting an entire culture in one fell swoop. Aka, her worst nightmare.
Her gratitude is unending.
||Darynda dreamed of going to Scotland for so long, she finally decided to just put
it in one of her books. She had Charley accidently materialize in the magical
country, only to find out weeks after finishing the book that she would finally get
to go there herself. In person. For realsies. It was even more magical than she’d
imagined it would be, and she can’t wait to go back.
||This book has one of Darynda’s favorite epiphanies EVER!!! She thought, what if
someone out there in the universe, a child perhaps, knows everything about Reyes
and Charley? Everything starting from their supernatural heritage to their human
identities? And what if that person wrote a book about them? Or a series of
books? Say, perhaps, a set of children’s books and Garrett just happens to stumble
upon them while doing research? How fun would that be? And the international
bestselling children’s book (fictionally speaking) The First Star was born.
||By far the hardest story in the series to write, penning the last Charley book was a
bittersweet experience. But Darynda knew she had to go big or go home, so what
better way to go out with a bang than to end the world as we know it by starting
the zombie apocalypse? Because that’s what writers do. We start apocalypses.
Wasn’t that awesome? Now we have an idea of what may have been going through Darynda Jones’s mind as she wrote each installment of our favorite series. What was most surprising to you?