A LIFE THROUGH BOOKS INTERVIEW

Greg Jolley, author of 

Thieves

Book One: The Obscurité de Floride Trilogy 

For the full interview and other news, please visit http://authoreverleigh.blogspot.com

What is the hardest part of writing your books?

Most every part is enjoyable, but selecting the theme or themes is where I’m slowed up the most and for good reason. While “Thieves” and all the Danser novels are a twisted blend of roller coasters and haunted house rides, I try to give each of these stories a thematic undercurrent, such as the price of a life of crime. I typically spend a month or more researching such questions, which is always interesting and often frightening.

What songs are most played on your Ipod?

During the “Thieves” write, it was Neil Young’s “Arc” and “Weld” albums, which are rich in wild distortion and melody, his guitar tipping at times into madness and close to chaos. Working with Molly and April Danser and their own slippery grasp on reality and purpose, it was a perfect and disturbing soundtrack.

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

The closest I come is my work with my privately hired editor prior to sending the books to my publisher. We’ve done several novels together and it’s always a dance, a back and forth, concerning grammar, punctuation and continuity. She is brilliant at what she does and it’s always a humbling learning experience, one I welcome with open arms because we are both driven to the same goal: making the story the best it can be for the reader.

What book are you reading now?

Except for book club selections, I’m reading and studying every non-fiction book I can find on 1959, focusing on the history of hotels and motels with a notoriety for crime and homicides. This is research for Chas Danser’s second novel, where he’s staring in the movie “Snow Blind” set in that strange era.

How did you start your writing career?

With a dare to myself. I was always an obsessed reader, plowing through everything I could get my hands on, preferring the written world to real life experiences. As a young songwriter, I loved the magic of the brevity of lyrics, the challenge to say so much with so little. One day I asked myself, “Why don’t you move over to prose and stretch your legs by wadding into a novel?”  The decision was as simple as that. Without genre in mind, there were characters and locations I knew I wanted to work with so I began with sketches and research, filling a hundred or more index cards with penciled notes. After months of this, the story spoke up for itself, saying, “Now write me.”

Tell us about your next release.

Following “Thieves” the second book of the Obscurité de Floride Trilogy is “The Disposables,” scheduled for publication on June 1st of this year. The third book of the trilogy is “City of the Dead” coming out on October 1st of this year. It’s an aggressive publishing schedule and will continue through 2022, with four works coming out during that year. I’m jazzed by this, loving how my catalogue is getting into the hands of readers so quickly.

Your copy of “Thieves” can be purchased at all fine bookstores and on Amazon at:

http://amzn.to/2o4tIob

All the best,

Greg Jolley

The Danser Novels

www.TheDansers.com

MY READING ADDICTION INTERVIEW

March 16th, 2021

Greg Jolley, author of “Thieves: Book One of the Obscurité de Floride Trilogy”

(The interview can also be read at: https://bit.ly/3vC4rVV )

Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?

Crime pay and pays well, if you can avoid the deadly risks. For Molly and April Danser, this means not only outwitting the law but also somehow trying to escape the deadly claws of the US Marshal who wants then dead, not captured.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

To best honest, it’s mostly enjoyable, from the original story sketches straight through to the final proofreading with my publisher’s editors. During the writing of “Thieves” I was challenged to keep up with the dangerous twists and turns of minds of all three main characters. Every time I thought I knew what they were going to do next, they surprised me by taking ahold of the steering wheel and turning the story sharply.

How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

“Thieves” is my twenty-eighth novel. We have twelve in print, with the others in queue for publication over the next four years. I really don’t have a favorite as each is like a daughter to me, cherished and loved. 

If You had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?

Eva Green for Molly Danser, in a manic, hard eyed way.

Nicole Kidman for April Danser, at her most flighty and dangerous.

Steve Buscemi for the US Marshall, wild eyed, hearing voices and deadly.

When did you begin writing?

In 1982, with my first novel “Distractions,” which was published in 1984. Yes, a good long time (laughter). That book was also when I joined the Danser family, so to speak, delighting in discovering a generation of wild eccentrics I could cast and enjoy, even at their most frightening.

How long did it take to complete your first book?

That was back in the days of many many drafts, so the write itself took more than year. In those days, research was much slower and either from books or hunting down real experiences to learn from, like visiting gun ranges, climbing into crop dusters and haunting the parts of city’s I would never brave in real life.

Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?

The list was and still is short. While I’m still an avid reader, the voices that inspired me were Richard Brautigan, Peter S. Beagle, Truman Capote, John Cheever and Somerset Maugham. Each one brave and taking literary risks and challenges. 

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

The daily writes. I’m at it seven days a week, loving the immersion, challenges and frustrations. Most days, I don’t notice that the sun has risen or know or care what day it is, lost in the story. Writing “Thieves” was no exception. The four months of writing after endless research moved at a quick and exciting pace, sweeping me away from the real world out there somewhere.

Describe your latest book in 4 words.

Suspenseful, sexy, frightening, redeeming.

Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?

Gladly. I’m a quarter way through Chas Danser’s second novel, “Chas & Izzy.” This is book two of the “Vivre au Cinéma” series. Chas is seventeen years old and suffering from a neuroglial problem while knee deep in crime. As a budding actor, he has discovered a strange way to fully enter the roles he’s cast in. Outside the camera lights, he’s joined forces with his mother, Izzy, to rid the worst parts of Florida of its snake pits of criminals. Together, they are taking the law in their own hands, doing the dirty work that the legal system fails at time and again.

Your copy of “Thieves” can be purchased at all fine bookstores and on Amazon at:

http://amzn.to/2o4tIob

All the best,

Greg Jolley

The Danser Novels

www.TheDansers.com

Interview with Greg Jolley: March 9, 2021

Many thanks to “The Avid Reader” for this chance to discuss “Thieves.”


Interview with Greg Jolley: March 9, 2021

Thieves

Book One: The Obscurité de Floride Trilogy

  1. For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book, where should they start? The first stop might be non-fiction books about famous thieves and thankfully, there are many. For “Thieves” I focused my research on the clever and creative styles of the best. Knowing Molly and April Danser well, I had a clear understanding of their different motivations, but had no idea of the complexity to many of the finest schemes ever pulled off.
  1. How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book? I love working with those Dansers living on the dark side of the law and their guilt-free embrace of crime and greed. In real life, similar minds have always been a part of society, the brave and determined few who think laws and rules are for the foolish and cowardly. What I wanted “Thieves” to celebrate was their courage and single-minded dance outside the lines of accepted behavior. 
  1. What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them? My goal was show readers how cool it is to live beyond the boundaries most of live within. As with other Danser novels, “Thieves” is a fast-paced romp with the kind of people we rarely meet — and that’s a good thing (laughter). As always, I leave it to readers and reviewers to decide for themselves how effectively I pulled this off.
  • Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans? Absolutely. Write to me and let me know what you think. What you liked or hated? What worked for you and what didn’t? Hearing from you means the world to me. I always learn something new and I’m grateful for the time taken to question or comment.
  • What did you enjoy most about writing this book? The daily writes. I work seven days a week and once the months of research are completed, I get to enter and stay immersed in the story straight through to typing, “The End.” It’s always an adventure, no matter what I’ve planned. With “Thieves” it wasn’t long before Molly and April and the other characters took over the story and it was all I could do to be their lowly typing pool. 
  • Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future? “Thieves” is Book One of the Obscurité de Floride Trilogy, the other two coming out later this year. We are nearly finished with the final proofing, which allows me to focus on writing “Chas & Izzy,” which is the second title in a new series.
  • How long have you been writing? A ridiculously long time (laughter). “Distractions” was published in 1984, which says it all. I consider being a novelist as a blessing, a gift, allowing me a delightful second life with constantly new worlds and lives to explore.
  1. Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in (Please insert name of book here)? “Thieves” is Molly and April’s story of crime and the dangers their lifestyles bring on. The sisters are unique to themselves in what motivates them. Their passions often bring them into conflict with one another and are part of their downfall, as they’ve inspired a US Marshal from first desiring their capture to wanting them dead or alive. Preferably dead and in the worst of ways.
  • If you could spend the day with one of the characters from “Thieves” who would it be? Please tell us why you chose this particular character, where you would go and what you would do. While I adore Molly, I would spend the day with April. Being a surfer like she is, I’d like to paddle out with her and chat in between waves. There’s this great big hole in her past, a large number years where she disappeared alone. My first question would be, “Hey, April, I know you pretty well after you returned, but what the hell caused you to start acting so bat guano nuts?” 

“Thieves” is now available!

I’m pleased to share the publication of Thieves: Book One of the Obscurité de Floride Trilogy.

From Tropea, Italy to Michigan and Florida, the thieves Molly and April Danser are on the run, trying to escape from an enraged ex-US Marshal. He is hell bent on stopping them once and for all, his twisted black heart fired up for revenge and their total destruction. Will the sisters elude his blood-soaked hunt? They have their smarts and resource but have never faced a pursuit like this. 

Can they somehow put an end to his blood lust? 

What will they have to do to save themselves from his powerful and deadly claws? 

The hunt is on…

All the Danser novels are available at fine bookstores and Amazon: http://amzn.to/2o4tIob

All the best,

Greg Jolley

The Danser Novels

www.TheDansers.com

gfjolle@sbcglobal.net

“Thieves” Cover Reveal

Thieves

Book One of the Obscurité de Floride Trilogy

From Tropea, Italy to Michigan and Florida, the thieves Molly and April Danser are on the run, trying to escape from an enraged ex-US Marshal. He is hell bent on stopping them once and for all, his twisted black heart fired up for revenge and their total destruction. Will the sisters elude his blood-soaked hunt? They have their smarts and resource but have never faced a pursuit like this. 

Can they somehow put an end to his blood lust? 

What will they have to do to save themselves from his powerful and deadly claws? 

The hunt is on…

A LIFE THROUGH BOOKS INTERVIEW

“The Collectors” by Greg Jolley

January 13th,2021

What is the hardest part of writing your books?

While there are many creative challenges from the initial research to the final edits, I can honestly say it is always satisfying and rarely difficult. For “The Collectors,” my involvement with the publicist’s efforts are a little distracting, but that’s because I’m currently in the middle of a new write. The plus side is hearing from readers and reviewers and learning from their questions and comments.

What songs are most played on your Ipod?

For “The Collectors” it was Steely Dan. The write needed the complex, colorful and edgy jazz and heartbeat rhythms that the band loved to work with. While I didn’t listen closely, I did hear sparks of the caustic lyrics that can only encourage. 

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

I work closely with a hired professional editor before a book goes to my publishers, who then do additional editing. She and I have done several titles together, going through the book three time, back and forth. She is not only brilliant with grammar and punctuation, but invaluable because of her skill at pointing out continuity concerns.  

What book are you reading now?

All research. Truth be told, I rarely and only selectively read fiction. I’m in the middle of writing the “Chas Danser” novel so I’m studying the history of the doomed French attempt to establish Fort Caroline, Florida, in 1565. It’s a bloody and tragic story of classing nations and religious fervors.

How did you start your writing career?

It just made sense at the time, having been a compulsive reader through all my youth. I was in my mid-twenties – the days of typewriters – and started by writing sketches of locations, characters and events. After several months, I waded in to the actual write, no genre in mind, working with the skeleton and ingredients I knew I could bring to life. Quite simply, it was life changing. 

Tell us about your next release

“Thieves” is scheduled to be released February 15th, 2021. This is the first of three novels making up the Obscurité de Floride Trilogy, which will all be published during 2021. While the schedule is aggressive, I’m positively jazzed to be getting these into my reader’s hands.                                 

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About “The Collectors”

Welcome to Rainy Day Reviews

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About “The Collectors”

January 2nd, 2021

There is also an excerpt from “The Collectors” at:

https://bookjunkiemom.blogspot.com

One: This is Pierce Danser’s second novel, the first being “Dot to Dot”, published in 2014. In the prior work, he’s again a determined and self-proclaimed private investigator, making endless mistakes but bravely staying in the hunt.

Two: Pierce Danser and Pauline Place are also center stage in the novel, “Cream of the Wheat” that’s being released in 2022. This novel tells of their earlier lives, when working in the movie industry and trying to find their ways to sanity and love amidst chaos and danger.

Three: believe it or not, during the research for “The Collectors” I came across other museums and collections far more frightening and strange than those of Deung. As always, I am constantly amazed by the workings of minds and passions so far from the norm.

Four: While a few reviewers having commented that this novel is “not for the faint of heart,” and while that is true, “The Collectors” is also a love story. Set in a world of danger and the macabre, the love survives and gets stronger, as all the best ones do.

Five: I happily lost control of the first draft write when mid-way through, Pierce Danser and the other member of the cast took turns grabbing the steering wheel. As is often the case, I became little more than their typing pool as they came to life and told the story that they insisted on. One of the most satisfying parts of being a novelist is when this happens and I’m allowed a front row seat in their movie.

Six: Following Jane Mansfield’s tragic and untimely automobile death, the bumper bar at the rear of long haul trucks began to appear. The ‘Mansfield Bar’ is intended to provide some protection for cars running into the rear of eighteen wheelers.

Seven: “The Collectors” was written in 2016. Because I write seven days a week, there are several Danser novels in deep freeze, so to speak. As the editing of “The Collectors” began in earnest earlier this year, it was a delight to meet up with the cast again and go along on their adventure.

Eight: James Dean was found alive after his horrific accident. In one photograph taken just after the accident, he can be seen in the wreckage of his Porsche, siting up, dazed and staring. He died soon after.

Nine: After my involvement with a few movie productions, writing “The Collectors” was the first time I wrote with cinematic tools I had learned, loving and admiring the focus on visuals and dialogue. This structure and style also surprised me many times, insisting time and again that I knock it off with details and color and kept the stories’ pace rolling fast and true.

Ten: What I am enjoying the most with the novel’s release is hearing the questions and insights from readers. I am always delighted and surprised, be it good or bad. I’m always learning and treasure the gifts that readers take the time to share.

The Avid Reader Interview: Greg Jolley

Greg Jolley Interview

“The Collectors”

12/30/2020

By Nancy Allen

https://the-avidreader.blogspot.com/2020/12/30-Virtual-Book-Tour-Giveaway-The-Collectors-by-Greg-Jolley-RABT.html#more

  1. For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book, where should they start? “The Collectors” is in the same vein as works by Robert Bloch, Stephen King and Charles Addams cartoons. As some reviewers have commented, “The Collectors” is not for the faint of heart. That said, in the book’s strange and macabre world, there is a love story. Like the works of those suggested authors, this book also explores the dance between good and evil.
  2. How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book? I wanted to explore the unique and often strange and obsessive passion of collectors, to understand the relationship between the objects they desire and what acquiring them satisfied, if it truly did, in the hearts and minds of curators. The months of research were interesting, even when things got strange and creepy.
  3. What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?  For “The Collectors” I constructed a combination of a roller coaster and haunted-house-ride for my readers. From my vantage point, the story is well built, lyrical and has many dark and dangerous turns leading to an ending that wrote itself. I leave it to readers and reviewers to let me know if it stayed on the tracks.
  4. Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans? Write to me and let’s discuss what you liked and what you didn’t. A huge part of my motivation for writing “The Collectors” and all the Danser novels is those lively and interesting exchanges where I get new insights that can only come from readers.
  5. What did you enjoy most about writing this book? There’s always a fine lift when I get to type “The End,” but before I get there, I love it when the characters take over the story and I become the lowly typist while their adventures sweep us away. I loved working with Pierce Danser again, even though every time I knew he was going to turn left, he grabbed the wheel from my hands and turned the story in another direction.
  6. Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future? A three-book trilogy is being published in 2021, a suite called The Obscurité de Floride Trilogy. The three novels are coming out a few months apart and to say I’m jazzed would be an understatement. Each is a work of suspense and while they are stand-alones, they also share the new and vibrant and dark world of what most think of as sunbaked Florida.
  7. How long have you been writing? My first book, “Distractions” was released in 1984, so it’s a been a good while since I entered the Danser’s world. As of now, there are twelve in print with another sixteen completed and awaiting their eventual step into daylight. The main reason my publishers are releasing the books at such an aggressive pace is to get us to where new works are those I’ve recently completed. Personally, I love getting the past stories in reader’s hand and eventually having new ones in their hands sooner.
  1. Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in “The Collectors”? All three main characters were a challenging delight. While I didn’t have a favorite, Pierce was the most familiar. That said, all three were constantly entertaining and shocking. As often happens about a third of the way along, the cast took over the write and I became their story’s typing pool. Pierce Danser: He is always a surprising personality to work with. Big of heart, passionate in love, and often a loose cannon, I pretty much turned him loose. Soon as he put his nose to the sand and started tracking Pauline Place, I was comfortable taking my hands off the wheel. Pauline: She is the famous actress Pauline Place, who was also a pleasure to work with again. She is a rare beauty, strong-willed, no one’s fool and capable of getting in serious trouble – often of her own making – as a challenge to herself and her ways and wits. Deung: Ah, Deung… nothing more enjoyable than entering his twisted and dangerous mind. He was another chance to open the black box containing evil and dark lunacy, compulsions and sociopathic blood lust. Mix in his desire to wed and bed a deceased actress and he scared and revolted me badly more than once. 
  2. If you could spend the day with one of the characters from “The Collectors” who would it be? Please tell us why you chose this particular character, where you would go and what you would do. It would be Pauline Place, alongside Pierce at the end of the book. I’d choose her because she spent so much time in the shadows. I would want to head out with them from her perspective, experiencing her take on all that has happened and what she wants and needs to happen next between them.

A Slice of Oranges presents the Guest Blog by Greg Jolley

Books are Daughters

With the recent launch of “The Collectors” I experienced the same fine emotion I always feel when a book is shared with readers and reviewers. To me, each book is a like a daughter, stepping off the porch barefoot, a bit disheveled, but grinning –  perhaps smirking – as she heads out into the real world. As I watch her head on up the road with her battered suitcase and tousled hair, I wish her all the best, confident that I have loved her and done my very best to raise her well. We’ve had our ups and downs, disagreements and arguments, but this was always in the spirit of helping her become the best that she can be.

As always, I hope her journey is good and interesting, just before the screen door slams and I head to my back office, where another young one is waiting to be born.

This is why when I’m asked about having a favorite Danser novel, the answer is always no. How can you and why would you ever favor one darling child over another?

All the best,

Greg Jolley

The Danser Novels

THE COLLECTORS

Excerpt

Chapter One

TIN CAN

“Welcome to the film set, Mr. Kiharazaka. Please mind your step, we’re having a problem with vermin.”

The tall, thin man, fresh from Kyoto, adjusted his stride, placing each step of his spacesuit boots gingerly.

“I’m Rolf. Can I call you Zaka?” the assistant director went on.

“Please, no,” Mr. Kiharazaka replied demurely.

“Got it.”

“Will we be going weightless? It was in the original scene.”

“We’re woking on that, yes.”                                                                                                 

“Woking?”

“A joke. Sort of.”

A few yards away, green gaffing tape marked the edge of the darkened film set. Rolf spoke into her headset and the lights came up, revealing the interior of the spacecraft: the complex helm and seating for the crew. The second set—the crew table and galley kitchen—was half-lit in the distance.

Mr. Kiharazaka stared with unreserved delight. The crew had accurately replicated the 1990s television series Tin Can’s two most famous locations.

Members of the film crew were already on the set, at their places among the equipment; lights, extended boom mics, and various cameras, some dollied and some shoulder-held. Mr. Kiharazaka had to rotate stiffly in his spacesuit, turning his helmet, visor up, to watch the young, professional film crew. He nodded to some and spoke to none. For the most part, these serious professionals looked right through him, focused on their craft.

“Please step in, Zaka. We’d like you to feel comfortable in both locations.”

“Where is the cast? The Robbins family?”

“Soon enough. Please.” Rolf extended her hand and Zaka crossed the green tape and stepped into the helm, noting that the flooring was white painted plywood. With the flight helmet on, the voices about the set were muted. Zaka stared at the helm, admiring, but not touching, the multiple displays. He stood back of Captain Robbins’s helm chair, taking in all the exacting details of the complex spacecraft controls. Easing between the captain and copilot chair, he turned to Rolf with his white gloved hand out to the second chair, asked, “May I?”

Rolf gave him her buttery professional smile.

“Captain, permission to man the helm?” Zaka asked.

Rolf rolled her eyes, up into the complex scaffolding above. The client was already in role, using the famous and familiar dialogue from the Tin Can series. Since none of the cast was yet on set, Rolf answered for Matt Stuck, the sod of an actor who played Captain Robbins.

“Aye, mate. Take thar helm,” she spoke the next well-known line with a grimace.

Zaka bowed to her voice and twisted around into the copilot’s chair.

She looked on as Zaka began the familiar series of taps and changes on the right side of the helm. She could hear him identifying each click and adjustment he made. He was doing a good job mimicking the terse, focused voice of copilot Sean Robbins, but his inflections were clearly Japanese.

The director, Rose Daiss, entered the soundstage, crossed to the set, and for once didn’t trip on the snakes of cables. She wobbled her large rear into the La-Z Boy with “Director” stenciled on the back. Her nickname was “Bottles” and never used in her presence—it was a reference to the many times she had washed up. Her pudgy face was nip-and-tuck stretched, her skin was rough, but rouged well. She did have good hair.

The director’s personal assistants entered the soundstage and roamed to their places just back of the cameras. They donned headsets and leisurely took up their positions, standing deferentially to Bottles’s side, their faces lit by the glow of their tablets.

Rolf shouted for status among the film’s crews, and they called back equally loud. Lighting, boom mics, and cameras leaned in on the set. Mr. Zaka climbed from the helm and walked back into the spacecraft along the equipment bays on the left wall—the right wall of equipment didn’t exist, providing the view for one of the many cameras. He tapped a brief series on the wall panel and the air lock door opened with a gasp. He stepped through, the door closing at his heels, and crossed the short area of soundstage to the side entrance of the crew and kitchen set. Zaka took in every detail of the reproduced Tin Can galley as he moved carefully through the room. He eased himself into his role and the chair assigned to Ruth Robbins, the flight crew’s matriarch.

The director shouted at her assistants, barking orders and questions, sounding semi-lucid. Rose’s drug-addled, fast-clipped voice received intimidated replies. She was enjoying their pale, cowering expressions while chasing two lines of thought, a mixture of movie-making aesthetics and redundant direction. Her face was beading with drug sweat on her upper lip and brow.

Where’s my cast?” Rose bellowed, finishing the tirade. That done, she promptly nodded off, delighting Rolf, who then inherited the director’s role.

Zaka was exploring the many displays embedded in the galley table, trying to ignore the shouting.

“Heat it up,” Rolf instructed her underling

The assistant typed a series of brief commands on his tablet and the script dialogue for Ruth Robbins—whom Zaka had paid dearly to portray—appeared. The script was scroll ready and at an angle on the galley table that couldn’t be seen by the cameras.

Rolf heard the cast crossing to the set, a scuffing of moon boots and voices approaching from the soundstage. A sweeping flashlight beam guided their way. The cast moved into the back glow from the lights on the set. Rolf pressed the inside of her cheek between her teeth and bit down. Most of the original cast had been hired or persuaded to appear in the remake of the famous season seven-ending cat fight scene. The brawl between the Robbins’ daughters was nominally, impotently, refereed by the only member of the flight crew who was not a member of the family: the handsome, irreverent, and sociopathic engineer, Greer Nails.

Twenty-two years had been most unkind to the once-famous family members. Greer Nails appeared overinflated; the penchant for food and wine, and dessert, over the past years of dimming celebrity had taken their toll. His formerly idolized face was jowled, reddened, and fat. His spacesuit looked like a white dirigible.

The other cast members were naked save their space helmets. Time and gravity and overindulgence had also taken a toll on their bodies. Greer Nails was the lone holdout from nudity, and with obese good reason.

The scene that Zaka had chosen from the menu provided by the studio had cost him a breathless $3.7 million. An additional $1.3 million was invoiced when he selected the option off the Premiere menu for the cast to be nude except for space helmets. He had expressed his desire to be part of the famous scene’s reenactment, in the role of Ruth Robbins, the space family matriarch. Most of his role was to be aghast at the start of a violent family shouting match and brawl. Later, he would be able to view the vignette time and again, for all eternity, receiving sole ownership of the footage of this and the other short scene as part of the package he had paid for.

Zaka watched his castmates approach, trying to keep his eyes on their helmets, not their nakedness. He was delighted and light headed with his proximity to the famous—the real flesh instead of celluloid, but their memorized faces were distorted by their helmets.

Nods were used in lieu of greetings. They had met during rehearsal earlier in the day. Places were taken, and Rolf reviewed the lighting and camera placements.

The first scene was succinctly re-rehearsed. This was of little use to Zaka, who had the script committed to memory.  But the rehearsal helped him dissolve some of his lighter-than-air headiness. The rest of the cast drolly joined the read and walk through, their acting marked by a blend of boredom, professionalism, and chemicals.

Zaka was delighted. Here he was, a real actor with an important part in the infamous scene’s reenactment. It was all he could to not giggle. He somehow found the ability to maintain Ruth Robbins’s dithering mothering role.

Julianne, the slutty smart sister, stepped past Greer and pantomimed the jerk-off gesture that would set off her sibling, “Cy,” as in Cyborg. In the television series, Cy had been Greer Nail’s budding romantic interest.

Zaka was enthralled, but also concerned. He had paid for Captain Robbins to sit at the head of the galley table, and he was nowhere to be seen.A booming, authoritative voice carried from the back of the soundstage.

 “Welcome to Tin Can Two, Mr. Kiharazaka. You are certainly star material, mm-hmm!” Fatima Mosley called out.

Fatima was the studio head, noticeably short and burdened by a massive chest that gave her stride a wobble. She was dressed in an elegant and trendy style, including a beret. She had a titanium leg, the original lost to disease. The metal ratcheted when her knee articulated.

“Zaka’s doing a great job.” Rolf called over, not turning from the rehearsal.

“It’s Kiharazaka, please,” Zaka politely corrected Rolf again.

“Actually, it’s Ruth Robbins,” Fatima smiled, causing her cheeks to fill and her eyes to disappear.

Zaka flushed with pride at being addressed as Ruth.

“All is well, mm-hmm?” Fatima asked Zaka.

“Yes, yes. Might I ask? Is Captain Robbins ready? And son Sean Robbins?”

“Why, here’s Sean now,” Fatima answered, her crunched face dissolving downward, revealing her wise, ferret eyes. She didn’t explain Captain Robbins’s absence, and Zaka showed good manners by not repeating his question.

Sure enough, Sean Robbins, the Tin Can’s copilot appeared from the shadows of the soundstage, naked save his helmet and boots, looking slightly sedated—well, a lot sedated. His birdlike wrists hung limp.

There was a white worm of drool creeping from his face, now ravaged by years of amphetamine addiction. He was escorted by two of the bigger grips, who held his scarecrow thin arms and pulled him along, his moon boots sketching the soundstage flooring.

The sisters, Cy and Julianne, did not look pleased to be reanimating their once famous daughter roles, no matter the money. They were clearly drugged to an agitated condition and firing foul slurs, even before the shoot began. Julianne had a wrench tattoo on her naked, once-perfect boob. Cy’s sensual body was scarecrow thin, as though drawn of all blood.

The grips assisted Sean Robbins into the hot lights and seated him at the galley table. He opened one eye and panned it across the cameras and lights aimed on him, then barfed into his own lap.

“Unpleasant, mm-hmm,” Fatima observed.

Zaka did the brave thing—he stayed in role, putting on his best Mrs. Robbins bemused and maternal expression.

“Nice,” Rolf encouraged him.

One of the grips wiped up Sean’s vomit. The other cleaned off his chest. Sean stood up and looked on, patting one of the men on the top of the head.

Rolf called out, “I have the set!”

From the film crews came sharp, short calls, and the boom mics lowered overhead.

“Quiet, quiet!” Rolf delighted in her temporary directing role.

“Lock it up,” she hollered.

“Places,” she shouted to the cast.

“Cameras up!”

“Roll sound.”

“Roll camera.”

A young woman appeared with an electric slate, shouted a brief stream of incomprehensible code, clacked the device, and disappeared.

Zaka did well, not looking to Captain Robbins’s empty seat at the head of the table.

Rolf yelled, “Action,” and the movie magic began.

For Zaka, there was a spiritual lift, even as he stayed in his rehearsed movements. He allowed himself to experience the elation, but stayed in the role of motherly concern.

Julianne entered the scene from the door to the helm. She moved behind Sean, who had a line of dialogue but missed. Staring at Cy, she stepped to Greer’s side and hefted the weight of his groin. Cy transitioned fast and smooth, from agog to madness. She fired forward and attacked, going for the smirk on her sister’s face with a clawed left hand and the space cup in the other.

As scripted, Mrs. Robbins took one step back from her end of the table, her expression alarmed and offended.

Greer was looking down at his groped crotch like he was just then realizing he had one. He leaned back as Cy collided with Julianne, and the brawl exploded with screams and nails and fists. The two careened off the galley counter and shelving, swinging and connecting blows.

If Captain Robbins had been at the head of the table, he would have moved fast to separate the two, looking sad and determined and disappointed. Instead, a bit of ad lib occurred, the two brawlers tumbling low in the shot, fists and knees swinging and pumping. Greer performed the ad lib, turning to the mayhem with a slack expression and barfing on himself again.

Mrs. Robbins went into action. She stomped manfully to her scuffling daughters, arms shooing, intending to break up the chaos on the spaceship floor. She was two strides away when Greer stepped out and pushed her back. Mrs. Robbins resisted, flailing her arms, eyes wide with alarm. Greer held her true. The fight continued, the sisters grunting and gasping. Hair was grabbed, a low fist was thrown. Julianne coughed in pain. Cy let out a cry, “You bitch!”

That was Zaka’s cue. He looked away, eyes upward and spoke the season-ending line, “My daughters. The sluts.”

“Cut. Cut. Cuu. Cuush . . .” Rose Daiss, the replaced director, called out in a trailing off slur. She was ignored.

The brawl continued. A mangy rat crossed the plywood set boards, scurrying away from the fisticuffs. The two beefy grips stepped to the edge of the set, poised to separate the sisters. The brawl looked real enough to them.

Rolf took the director’s prerogative, screaming at everyone.

“Cut!”

***

Biography: Greg Jolley earned a Master of Arts in Writing from the University of San Francisco and lives in the very small town of Ormond Beach, Florida. When not writing, he researches historical crime, primarily those of the 1800s. Or goes surfing.

“The Collectors” and all the Danser novels are available at: http://amzn.to/2o4tIob

THE COLLECTORS Interview with Greg Jolley

Available December 15th, 2020

THE COLLECTORS Interview with Greg Jolley

Brought to you by BHC Press

Where did the idea for the book originate? What was the writing process like?

“The Collectors” came from a compelling curiosity with odd collections and museums and, of course, the people who construct them and their motivations, obsessions and compulsions. I researched and interviewed a few curators in an attempt to understand their psychological passion for capturing rare relics and oddities. It was a fresh and foreign mental landscape to explore. There is a strange side to the desire to collect and revere objects of nostalgia as well as fulfilling morbid fascinations with the famous and infamous. Without exception, they loved to talk about the wonder and reverence they felt and the ways they had gone about their collecting. Questions about their motivations were answered evasively, at best.

The write itself took seven months. Three of them were spent doing the research and character and location sketches and getting familiar with my cast. The write itself was that fine daily  immersion that makes being a novelist so rewarding. 

Introduce us to the main characters in the book. Who was your favorite to write and why?

All three main characters were a challenging delight. While I didn’t have a favorite, Pierce was the most familiar. That said, all three were constantly entertaining and shocking. As often happens about a third of the way along, the cast took over the write and I became their story’s typing pool.

Pierce

He is always a surprising personality to work with, always turning left when all the road signs and my plans scream, “Turn right!”

Big of heart, passionate in love, and often a loose cannon, I pretty much turned him loose. Soon as he put his nose to the sand and started tracking Pauline Place, I was comfortable taking my hands off the wheel.

Pauline 

Pauline is the famous actress Pauline Place, who was a pleasure to work with again. She is a rare beauty, strong-willed, no one’s fool and capable of getting in serious trouble – often of her own making – as a challenge to herself and her ways and wits.

Deung

Ah, Deung… nothing more enjoyable than entering his twisted and dangerous mind. He was another chance to open the black box containing evil and dark lunacy, compulsions and sociopathic blood lust. Mix in the desire to wed and bed a deceased actress and he scared and revolted me badly more than once. 

Movies and filmmaking feature prominently in your book. What is it about movies that fascinates you?

For “The Collectors” it was the continued fascination with the psychology of cameras.

Many of the Danser novels are set within movie productions for two reasons. The first is inspired by the historical Jewish proverb that I paraphrase as, “God loves stories.”  I interpret this as meaning that our use of free will and our choices tell the stories he loves to watch unfold.

The second is a question. What is a camera, metaphorically? If our lives are movies of our choices, then we also get to decide which side of the viewfinder we live on. Are we behind the camera, calling the shots as we view our world and our lives? Or before it, center stage, immersed in our stories and delighting in each new experience and decision? Either side of the camera can be a fine and interesting place to live (or narrate) our tales.

Pierce has a fondness for cars, especially Willys and Packards. Are you also a car aficionado? 

I’m so not. Lol, I drive a Jeep. That said, automobiles do have a functional mechanical beauty. 

To this day, American culture has a strong affection for car brands and models. Why I don’t share this, for the book I needed to explore and better understand that psychological attachment to objects, much like the collectors in the novel do.

The villain Deung is a twisted and chilling character. What inspired him?

It was a fascination with wealthy lunatics who have the means to pursue their macabre compulsions. There are many real-world examples of them. Some of my favorites were in the 1800s, in London; men with their gruesome collections on display. Many of these museums housed true horror shows for both curators and audiences; places to take twisted delight in. The States also has its share of macabre collections and museums of cruelty, crime, violence and, well, evil. Truth be told, they are really hard to look away from.

Deung is a collector of odd things” and readers have described your book as not for the faint of any kind.” Without giving anything away, where did your inspiration for his macabre hobby originate from?

He certainly has collecting and acquisition and control issues that I wanted to explore. Same with his bent and twisted mind, where he lives far south of the sanity border. I wanted to better understand how some of darkest of sick minds can calmly believe that their murderous ways make perfectly good sense.

What is it that you enjoy most about writing thrillers and suspense?

I enjoy it all, which is why I write seven days a week, but the pre-write research and sketching is often the most interesting and creative part. During those months, I collect miles of Ingredients, which are snippets of dialogue, mapping locations, choosing the cast, and deciding both theme and structure. From this, the Skeleton of the book forms itself naturally. I usually come in at around ten thousand words before I enter the write. In the case of “The Collectors” I was fortunate to be working with Pierce Danser again, which made the start very easy, knowing that as soon as I turned him loose, the roller coaster had entered the tunnel.

Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, whats the soundtrack for this book?

For “The Collectors” it was Steely Dan. The write needed the complex, colorful and edgy jazz and heartbeat rhythms that the band loved to work with. While I didn’t listen closely, I did hear sparks of the caustic lyrics that can only encourage. 

What are three things most people dont know about you?

I rarely read fiction, but consume tons of nonfiction. I have a lifelong passionate love of fiction and consumed most of the best. The reason I decided years ago not to read fiction had to do with the influence on my voice and craft. I’m both careful and selective with what I allow to effect my writing of the Danser novels. 

I surf every day after closing the office, needing to enjoy and experience real people in the real world. There’s so much to learn and be inspired by that isn’t available in imagination on its own.

I love all the reviews and reviewers and can’t say enough about how important and meaningful they are. Unfortunately, I can’t read them. I do look at the ratings and I’m sincerely grateful for those, as I am for everyone who graciously takes the time to share their thoughts and insights. My relationship with my readers is of huge importance to me, no matter if they love a book or trash it. The rub is the indirect influence on the daily write. As an example, I recall being taken to task for wrecking four brand new Buicks in “Dot to Dot” which was considered unnecessarily wasteful. When I found myself worrying about this concern a few days later, I knew I had a problem. As with the decision to not read fiction, I’m a bit obsessive with what influences I’ll allow inside the daily writes. That said, I love all the questions about the books and always delight in replying to them.

What are you currently working on?

“Chas Danser

Book One: Vivre au Cinéma”

Seventeen-year-old Chas is an actor who also has a severe neurological injury, experiencing fugues when he smells eucalyptus. (Yes, there are such cases in real life).

He uses that rich, dusty scent to fully immerse himself in the films he’s in, which allows me to work with the craft and tools and magic of movies. In the Chas novel, the film he enters is “French Slaughter” a cinematic telling of the historic, failed attempt of the French to establish a holding in Florida in the 1500s. The Spanish respond to this incursion in the deadliest of ways. 

This is book one of a series, using the same movie immersion as its centerpiece, bookended by his real life deadly adventures in the crime and madness of current day Florida.

Please feel free to contact Greg at any to the following location:

Email: gfjolle@sbcglobal.net

Website: www.TheDansers.com

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8261931.Greg_Jolley\

FB – author page: https://www.facebook.com/greg.jolley.581

“The Collectors” is variable in eBook, Hardbound and trade paperback at all fine brick front stores and on line, including Amazon.com at: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2o4tIob