Hello friends! Welcome to the pub for another chat with one of our fellow authors. This time, thriller novelist, Jeff Davis is joining me. We just got cozy with our drink of choice, Irish whiskey and are about to dive into Jeff's book, Preying Angels. So, grab yourself a tumbler of whiskey and settle in.
KD: Where did the idea for Preying Angels come from?
JD: Preying Angels came from several things. I was active in the 'CB' channels on CompuServe before the internet became affordable and available to everyone. I later got into the public chat servers out there. I saw a lot of carelessness when it came to people giving out information. At the same time, I assisted as a civilian consultant with some criminal investigations that were instigated in chat rooms. Each of those events helped me build the story that eventually became Preying Angels.
KD: Whenever I sat down to read your book I always walked away hungry! Michael was always whipping up something good to eat and from talking with you I know that you're quite a cook yourself. Do you identify most with Michael, or if not, is there another character that you do identify with?
JD: Well, you would call me a liar if I said I didn't identify with Michael. He and I have a lot in common, but as the old saying goes, “Write about what you know.” I love to cook and would like to be a chef or a professional musician if I wasn't so passionate about writing. But, I also share Michael's love for the Gulf of Mexico and deep sea fishing and basically being a beach bum. Michael has a dark side that we probably share, but I would never admit to it.
KD: What was the most difficult part to write and why?
JD: There were several difficulties in writing the book. First, I wrote about some obviously evil people and those people come from my imagination. It was difficult at first to share that work with my beta readers and friends. I wondered if they would be concerned where the characters came from. Second, is a character named Selena in the book that touched me. Her whole family just fell into place as I wrote. I did not create them, they came to me. It was the most emotional part of the book that I wrote. I will admit that when I re-read that part of the book, I still get emotional.
KD: Your book deals with the anonymity of the internet and the dangers that lie in that. What are your thoughts on the boom of social networking and what it means to you as a self-published author?
JD: Because of past experience, I'm probably one of the most paranoid people you will meet on the 'net. I think people really think there is anonymity in social networking but as you see in the book, a casual conversation can provide a lot of information to the wrong person if they are looking. I've been in chat rooms, Twitter, Facebook, etc., but you will notice I say nothing regarding my children, family, etc.. Call me paranoid.
KD: Anyone who has met you knows that you are big into music. Do you write to music? If so, what was the soundtrack for this novel?
JD: LOL. Yeah, I'm really into music. The song that I listened to often when writing about the serial killer was 'Lunatic Fringe' by Red Rider (Yeah, old from the 80's – go to youtube). I listened to a lot of Clannad, Jimmy Buffett & obviously Stevie Nicks. Stevie gives Michael a lot of inspiration for the 'brood mood' that he is so famous for.
KD: How long have you been writing?
JD: I can't remember not writing or putting down stories. I'm an artistic person. I'm never without a sketchbook. I put my stories down visually first. When I was a child I would fill up notebooks with sketches and words to tell a story. I got serious about writing in college but let it slip aside as I pursued music, but got serious about writing again years ago. It took several efforts and what I call near-novels to get me to Preying Angels. It was a learning experience. There are some good plots and stories back there. I learned a lot writing them, and would like to go back one day and write those stories the way they should be written.
KD: What genre do think would be the hardest for you to write and why? What about thriller/ suspense draws you to write it?
JD: Wow, never really thought about what would be hardest genre to write. Obviously, I could never see me writing 'classic' literature. I don't think I could write inspirational, feel good/be good stuff. I guess it's the cynic in me. That's a hard question that I really don't know how to answer.
Regarding thriller/suspense, I like the cat and mouse aspect. I like thinking things through and coming up with the plot and the technique. It challenges me intellectually.
I actually have a paranormal thriller in the vault that needs to be rewritten. It is by no means a YA paranormal story. After I get to a pausing moment in the Archangels Series, I would really like to pull it out of the filing cabinet and do a rewrite.
KD: Who are your biggest literary inspirations?
JD: John D. MacDonald influenced me a lot with his Travis McGee series when I was a teen, and I guess that's from being from the Gulf Coast. I'm an avid Dean Koontz fan. He's taught me a lot through his words. I've read a lot of Hemmingway, Lewis Carol, and Twain. I've read (and studied) James Patterson, Michael Crichton, Stephen King and such.
KD: If you were stuck on a desert island with three items and one book, what would the three items and book be?
JD: I would want 1) Calvin's (of Calvin & Hobbes fame) Transmorgrifier – It can turn any item (coconut) into anything (a filet mingon or anything else), 2) A solar powered LCD DVD player 3) all the episodes of Gilligans Island – hey, they made that deserted island thing fun.
The book? Wow, that's the hard part. If I had to go right now, I would take “Wind from the Carolinas” by Robert Wilder. A great epic about islands, pirates and such but, that may change if I don't get stuck until tomorrow.
KD: Do you have anything in the works?
JD: I'm working on the next book in the 'Archangels Series'. 'The Angel Makers' basically carries Michael and Gabby into their next adventure. I'm really happy with how it is falling together. I put together a beginning and the characters are carrying the story where it needs to go. That's what I really like about writing with these characters.
Jeff Davis is a former IT executive and computer security consultant. He grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and currently lives in Clinton, Mississippi where he writes, dabbles in real estate and does disaster recovery consulting.You can find Jeff at his website, on Twitter, on Facebook and on Goodreads. You can buy his book on [amazon-product text=”Amazon” type=”text”]B005O17G1G[/amazon-product], Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.