Interview with Greg Jolley, author of “View Finder”




Press Release: Thursday, April 23, 2020

The interview and other material can be viewed at:


Interview with Greg Jolley, author of “View Finder”

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

Often, crime does pay and pay well, if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty. In the case of View Finder, that meant BB Danser deciding to dig up his father’s corpse to retrieve the suitcase of cash buried at his feet.

The other side of that coin is the moral challenge that a person can experience when greed and the need to survive cause them to act in dreadful ways. In BB’s case, these worries are few, but always tugging at the back of his mind, coloring his struggle to balance right and wrong, good vs. evil.

The other message in View Finder, is the warning to be careful of the dreams you chase. In some ways, View Finder is a cautionary tale as BB Danser pursues his cinematic vision and career, finding success, but dogged by a conscious he can’t quite kill. During a life often lifted by brilliant work behind movie cameras, his crimes tarnish his soul and twist his mind.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Staying dedicated to the current write while other interruptions like PR and correspondence and editing my other books need to be taken care of. It helps to write seven days a week and to put all of that aside for five hours, staying immersed on the new story. I can then handle the other sides of an author’s life with care and focus.

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

 I am one month into my twenty-fifth novel, Izzy on Ice. With each book being about a member of the Danser family, the novel Cream of the Wheat is a favorite. In it, I gather most all of the family in one place and let them run amok; their passions, obsessions, crimes and of course, their loves. Cream of the Wheat is scheduled for publication by Épouvantail Books in 2022. Since the Danser novels are not a series, it will fit right in.

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

Gregory Peck because he physically resembles BB Danser and both have the capacity for expressing a wide range of good and evil, sanity and madness. Johnny Depp is tempting for many of the same reasons, ever turning left when all the street signs point right. Ideally, I would talk to film director Tim Burton to move to the other side of the viewfinder, for looks, style, quirkiness and his beautiful visions.

When did you begin writing?

 When I was twenty-six. I was a compulsive reader since I was a boy and one summer day, quite simply, a voice in my head said, “I dare you.” Grinning, I took the dare, buying two packs of index cards and a few fine tipped Pilot pens. Months later, I had a hundred or more cards filled with what I still call Ingredients, talking to theme, structure, cast, locations and a lot of snippets of dialogue that pleased me and sparked my character’s personalities. The next step was also a dare, “Stop thinking. Jump on in, no more toe tips into the water.” I stared the novel Distractions that same day, not sure where it was going, but loving the fact that it was out on the road.

 How long did it take to complete your first book?

 After filling an open cigar box with the index cards, all standing up for easy reference, I spent ten months writing the first draft of Distractions. That was unfortunately in the days when I wrote a dozen or more drafts, so that took up the better part of the second year. When I typed “The End” on the last draft, my next step was hiring a professional editor, something I still do this day. Quite simply, I learned the importance of having my grammar decisions challenged and I loved it when she asked, “Greg? The gun was in the glovebox. Now it’s on the kitchen table?” It is seriously cool to have continuity issues repaired by an editor vs, readers. All in all, the first book took twenty-two months to complete.

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

Somerset Maugham, JD Salinger, Truman Capote, John Cheever, Richard Brautigan and Peter S. Beagle were invaluable inspirations, each with a rare, fresh and brave voice and love of making the story more important than anything else.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

 I love doing the research, spending months at that before I start a novel. This is an ongoing process as I’m always gathering ingredients for future books while writing the current work. The ingredients will often be about 15,000 words before I start the novel, focused mainly on structure, theme, the characters and locations, along with lots of vignettes of dialog that might or might not find their way in the book, but provide windows into each character’s personality and motivations.

I also enjoy the lift of typing “The End.” I consider each Danser novel to be a daughter of mine and take delight in watching them each leave the front porch, often barefoot and with a battered suitcase, as they move out into the strange and interesting world.

Describe your latest book in 4 words.

A twisted roller-coaster ride.

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

 I’m currently writing Izzy (w.t.), a story of revenge and justice. This novel is based on my coverage of the Joey Bova murder trial in 2019, where, after six years lost discussing his mental competency, he was tried for the first-degree murder of Zuheily Roman Rosado, a vibrant and hardworking mother of six children. As is so often the case, much of the focus was on the killer, a reality I find repulsive.

During the trial, my intent was to tell his victim’s tragic story in a non-fiction book: The Murder of Zuheily Roman Rosado. Prior to the trial, I read all the court and investigation reports. I viewed all the still photographs and security camera footage. I interviewed Bova as well as members of the Rosado family, the press, attorneys and investigators. And yes, I studied the autopsy reports. These more than anything revealed the full impact of Bova’s cruel and senseless crime.

He was found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to forty-five years in prison, no parole. The Rosado family took some comfort in the verdict, but faced a lifelong loss of Zuheily. I was struck by the fact that no matter how much the non-fiction work would focus on Ms. Rosado, some light would be cast on Bova. Quite honestly, he is both unimportant and undeserving. I decided to do a fiction book about justice, involving this and similar senseless murders, where the scales are so often weighed to the criminal’s benefit.

All the best,





A LIFE THROUGH BOOKS Interview with Greg Jolley

April 17th, 2020 Press Release: View Finder by Greg Jolley

A life Through Books Interview

Please visit us at for more on this title:


Author w: Ray credit

A LIFE THROUGH BOOKS Interview with Greg Jolley

What is the hardest part of writing your books?

Hoping I don’t run out of espresso. That and staying dedicated to the write while other interruptions like PR and correspondence and editing my other books need to be taken care of. It helps to write seven days a week and to put all of that aside for five hours, staying immersed on the new story. I can then handle the other sides of an author’s life with care and focus.

What songs are most played on your Ipod?

Lately it is a blend of Little Feat and Los Lonely Boys. I like music playing while I work, but it can’t be a distraction, so I don’t listen to songs where the lyrics cause a pause. For my needs, I want up-tempo music that quickens the heart without pulling my attention away.

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

Before a novel goes to my publisher, I work closely with a professional editor. While my publishers have a fine editing staff, I insist on paying my own to ensure a clean, grammatically correct draft with all questions of continuity, fact checking and story pace worked beforehand. I can’t speak highly enough of the importance of professional editing and in my mind, editors should get equal billing with the author.

What book are you reading now?

I read almost exclusively non-fiction, mostly about crimes and trials during the 1800s. The rare exception is James Ellroy and a few others. I stay far away from any works of fiction that are in my genres. I find it best to avoid possible influences that might be harmful to staying with my own voice and style. I feel much the same about reviews, which I also don’t read. Laurell K. Hamilton said it best:

I seldom, if ever, read reviews, so it doesn’t impact me. I’ve found that even good reviews can mess with my muse and me, so I’ve learned that simply not reading is the only sane way to go. My publisher will occasionally send me reviews to read and I will look at those, but beyond that I see almost none of them. Haters are going to hate, trolls are going to be trolls, there is nothing you can do about them, except not feed them.

There’s also this:

The artists who want to be writers, read the reviews; the artists who want to write, don’t.

~ William Faulkner

How did you start your writing career?

As a child and teen, I was a compulsive reader, consuming whatever I could get my hands on. While finishing the collection of John Cheever stories and with a head full of the lyrical Richard Brautigan, the idea of writing came to me causally, but stayed around. Quite honestly, I heard myself say, “I dare you.” Grinning, I accepted, starting in with a stack of blank index cards, collecting what I call ingredients. After a few months and with a hundred or so cards capturing themes, structure, the cast and locations, I started in, still not sure where I was headed, but curious and jazzed. To this day, I think that diving in without doing too much planning is vital. While I’m not a fan of company logos, I do love Nike’s.

“Just do it.”

Tell us about your next release.

Black Veil

By Greg Jolley

Épouvantail Books


Murder and Madness in the High Sierras

The tragic and gruesome story of the Donner Party is being made into a movie, a tale of cannibalism and treachery high in the snowbound mountains. The cast is made up entirely of children. One by one, they are dying. The series of deaths are haunting the production, each one of the “accidents” at the hands of Florentino Urbino. Driven by greed and jealousy, he is killing off the film’s stars to line his pockets by selling off the gruesome footage of the accidents.

Six-year-old actress SeaBee Danser in her black veil is his next target. She is the only one who can see through the black curtain that Florentino Urbino drapes over his deranged and murderous heart.

Can she survive?

Can he be stopped?

Will any of the children be left standing?




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Twitter: @gfjolle




BHC Website (Publisher)

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Also in iBooks




I was recently asked to write an article about the my publishing experiences, namely the editing processes.

Java John Z hosted the article. The full release can be found on his excellent site at:

April 10, 2020

Java John Z “View Finder” Book Blast, Guest Post, and Giveaway


The Publishing Experience: Editing

Revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done.”

~ Stephen King

Kill our darlings, indeed.

When View Finder was published, many fine and creative people played important roles: the cover designer, the interior designer, the pre-launch reviewers and most important in my mind, the editors.

Being a firm believer in the value and gifts a book receives from professional editing, I want to talk about that important of collaboration. From my first novel, Distractions (1984) through the following eleven Danser novels, I have been graced to work with passionate and creative and professional editors. This second set of eyes, with the gift and crafting skills of revision and questioning, are invaluable.

As a novelist, I live within each work for months; a daily dance of choices blended with imagination and all that I’ve researched. Therein lays the rub and the siren call – there are times when I can no longer see a plot glitch and yes, a misused word. 

Part of the delight in writing seven days a week is in the exploration of language and its musical tools: punctuation. Voice is constructed with these, but sometimes the musician is off key, having a grand old time and so immersed in the storytelling that the weed field of, say, semicolons or “ands” he or she has developed a jones for are tripping up the readability of the book.

In rides the editor, with a fresh and exacting view, who can take a scythe to that field of word grass, cutting for clarity and focus without nicking the flowers.

And let’s face it, no matter how many drafts a writer works through (I typically do three before a novel leaves the front porch), sometimes we can be blind to the fact that the 9mm Glock has somehow teleported from the kitchen table to the glove box in the sedan out back. Don’t know about you, but I’d much rather have this pointed out by an editor than a reader.

The final vital ingredient in the relationship is trust: the belief that both author and editor have the singular focus on the readability of the story. Not much else really matters.

I am currently working on the revisions of the next the next Danser novel, Black Veil, which is in the capable (and brilliant) care of Nicki Kuzn, quite simply one of the best editors on the planet. She and I will go through the book at least three times before my publisher and their editor gets it. As always, I’m looking forward to her ideas and revisions and suggestions. And making sure I don’t leave any guns laying around unfired.

All the best,


 “A very good editor is a collaborator.”

– Ken Follett


Interview with Greg Jolley


Published by The Avid Reader – April 8th, 2020

(For the full release, please visit us at:

Interview with Greg Jolley  

For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book, where should they start?

Anyone who wants to read odd crime fiction can open a Danser novel and start their adventure. The books are not a series; the only constant is that each is about a member of that strange and eccentric family. All are under-bridged with the themes of crime, with some trying to solve them and others merrily engaged in theft, murder, madness and revenge.

How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

Off and on I have haunted movie production companies, so using a few for BB’s story was a natural choice, especially since this is also the tale of a cinematographer with visions that compel his life. I also wanted to explore the criminal greed that so often sparks senseless act of violence. And the consequences of that, of course.

What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them? 

I wanted View Finder to read like a movie being watched. This is often my goal, creating what the French call livre de film (movie book). As with all the Danser novels, the goal is to build a world for the reader to enter, much like stepping into a cinema, where much is familiar and much is, well, strange, but also compelling. And as always, story rules.

Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

First and foremost, I enjoy hearing from you. The good, bad or raving lunacy. I don’t write for the money, I write to reach an ever-expanding readership. Because I write seven days a week, I am seven books ahead of my two publishers, a gap I will be closing with Épouvantail Books as they have agreed to publish two weeks per year. I enjoy the questions the most because that encourages interesting conversations.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Building the miles of ingredients, prior to starting the write. I do a ton of research, which is always a joy. Before I start a book, I typically have 15,000 words of ingredients, speaking to the cast, theme, choice of structure, locations and motivations. By then I also have what I call the skeleton, not to be confused with an outline. While I will have scenes and events and snippets of dialog as well as all the other material, I also know that once I start in, all those little darlings are at risk, as they should be. This leads to the second delight; watching the story and characters take over and relegating me to the typing pool.

Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future?

Later this year, Black Veil will be launched by Épouvantail Books. This is a dark macabre retelling of the Donner Party tragedy as it is being made into a movie. Black Veil has two alternating story lines. One is of the trapped pioneers and their turn to cannibalism. The second goes on behind the scenes on the movie set, where a deadly and twisted movie company executive has cooked up a way to riches by killing off the cast and selling the gruesome footage to private collectors.

How long have you been writing?

Since I was twenty-six, when I wrote the novel Distractions, my first exploration of the pathways to madness and possible recovery. Unlike the following Danser novels, this one didn’t have crime as a major element. I had yet to discover the powerful sway that compulsive greed and vengeance and other sides of crime could add to stories.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in View Finder? 

The main character is BB Danser, whose life is followed as he chases a cinematic vision that he tries to overlay on his sordid and criminal real life. His life, quite simply, is a roller coaster ride through haunted houses. He’s not evil by nature, but survival calls for acts of violence as he struggles to find a way to live with his visions. At times, his ability with viewfinders brings him acclaim. At others, they are the cause of his madness and downfalls.

If you could spend the day with one of the characters from View Finder who would it be? Please tell us why you chose this particular character, where you would go and what you would do.

I would be Pierce, BB Danser’s older son. He is one of the few to recognize his father’s deteriorating mental health and has a chance to steer him from his planned dark denouement. That said, being Pierce – a future cinematographer – would also mean being more concerned with keeping a professional distance and letting the movie, the story, to play out as it must. 


About the Author

Author w: Ray credit

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.



Contact Links



Twitter: @gfjolle




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