Interview with J. D. Tynan author of Charlie Ford Meets Secret Agent Man A Better Be Write Publisher (2007) ISBN 0977197158 Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (4/07)
Today, Juanita Watson, Assistant Editor of Reader Views talks with J. D. Tynan, author of the humorous mystery novel “Charlie Ford Meets Secret Agent Man. ”
J. D. Tynan was born in Portland Oregon. She attended Oregon State University before moving East and becoming a live-in nanny in Southern Connecticut. She now writes entertaining, somewhat zany, romances and adventures in hopes to make writing a full time job some day. For now, she works as a real estate assistant for The Hasson Company Realtors in Vancouver. She's a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Rose City Chapter, PNWA, Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She also holds the position of President of the PTA. She lives in Vancouver, WA with her husband and two young children.
Juanita: Welcome back to Reader Views J. D. , we are thrilled to have the opportunity to talk with you once again. You’ve just released your new novel, “Charlie Ford Meets Secret Agent Man. ” How does it feel to have your second novel published?
J. D. : I’m thrilled as this is my favorite novel that I have ever written and it’s the first book in a series, so it’s just that much more exciting to know that I can continue on with more adventures staring ‘Charlie Ford’.
Juanita: So, “Charlie Ford Meets Secret Agent Man” is actually the first in a trilogy. Would you tell us about your series and your leading lady, Charlie Ford?
J. D. : Charlie is a woman who was always in the shadow of her two perfect brothers. One is a doctor like her father and the other, a football player, so her entire life, she’s been trying to impress her father…therefore rebelling to get attention. So when she was 17, she told her dad she didn’t want to go to college. He then said, “Fine, join the Army. ” She was so angry and defiant that she actually joined. And then stayed for 8 years because she loved it. Being a tomboy all her life came to good use and she ended up in the Army Rangers (a very special, elite unit of Rangers)
But the reader doesn’t see any of that. They meet Charlie after the Army…Charlie, the nanny!
Juanita: What happens in “Charlie Ford Meets Secret Agent Man”?
J. D. : A lot of self discovery on Charlie’s part. She realizes she wants an exciting life, way beyond law enforcement like she previously envisioned in her future.
It starts with her latest nanny job. Taking care of a Hollywood action star’s teenage daughter. They end up in Africa, on a decrepit plane that gets high-jacked. The fun and adventure begins there in the Serengeti! It’s so much fun. And very exciting.
Juanita: There’s a high level of laugh-out-loud humor in this book, as well as fast-paced adventure. Was it as fun to write as it is to read?
J. D. : I love writing fun adventure. It gets pretty crazy at times and I’m a very emotional writer, so my hope is that the reader senses the ups and downs as well as all the excitement and great moments of hilarious action! If I get bored writing, I can’t very well expect to keep the reader engaged, so- yeah- I entertain myself as I’m writing.
Juanita: Where did the nanny idea come from?
J. D. : I was a nanny in southern Connecticut, so many of my novels have a nanny tie in. With Charlie, it was easy. I just picked her name, gave her an occupation that I could relate too and started on page one. I didn’t even know where the story was going to take me.
Juanita: I’m interested to hear about your thoughts on Annabelle’s pretentiousness, which is probably quite an accurate description in these modern times. How does she contribute to the story, and were you making some pointed statements with her character?
J. D. : Annabelle was much like any teenager around that age, but more-so because of her parent’s divorce and their fame. Being the daughter of two Hollywood superstars must come with some emotional strain, but I also wanted to create a character that Charlie could empathize with…a teenager who feels neglected and just wants her father’s attention. I wasn’t making any sort of statement, I just developed Annabelle’s character to really compliment the side of Charlie that I wanted everyone to fall in love with. The nurturing and loving side.
Juanita: J. D. , why did you decide to use Africa for this book? Have you ever been there and how does this particular setting factor into the story?
J. D. : No, never been there. Did a little research on what types of food they could come up with to eat and got out the encyclopedia, but I wanted it someplace really remote and believable as they were out of touch from everyone for several days. Plus, I thought it would be fun to use my imagination and just create the Serengeti in my mind.
Juanita: This is a great time of year to release your book as it has perfect summer vacation content, sounds like a great beach read.
J. D. : Beach reads are great. Perfect for vacationing or laying by the pool. Laughing is always fun on vacation!
Juanita: As with most chic-lit, we have some romance brewing in “Charlie Ford Meets Secret Agent Man. ” What can you tell us about the steamier side of your book?
J. D. : It’s not nearly as steamy as my first offering, Jill 9, but there’s some great *** tension between Charlie and Secret Agent Man. Very underlying though. It’s most definitely not a romance novel, but there’s some fun moments of sexy banter between them. He’s not the typical handsome hero found in most novels, but I think he is really a fun man for Charlie to fantasize about.
Juanita: What does the trilogy format allow for you as an author? Will the three books be in chronological order, recurring characters? Will we see a progression of Charlie’s character?
J. D. : All three books will be titled Charlie Ford Meets…Charlie is the main character in all the books. Book three has not been conceived, but book two is ready for next year. I can’t really tell you more than that. Just that book two is a bit “hotter” sexier maybe and definitely more dangerous for everyone involved. Writing a trilogy is fun. I love Charlie as a character so her adventures might even go past a trilogy. We just never know.
Juanita: J. D. , why do you write? Is it the actual process of writing that draws you or are you more interested in the final product, and providing great entertainment for readers?
J. D. : Writing. I love making up characters, developing their personalities and seeing where my imagination will take them. I don’t outline or pre-conceive anything. I just start writing and it flows. I feel very lucky to have that gift. Plenty of writers talk about writers block and getting stuck. Hasn’t happened to me yet. If it’s not working in a scene, I just chop off a couple of lines and take my story in another direction.
Juanita: J. D. , this storyline is much different than your first novel, “Jill 9. ” Did you find the writing process to be different? As well, did you learn anything from writing/publishing “Jill 9” that made your second book easier?
J. D. : The biggest difference is that Charlie Ford is written in the first person. Totally different than writing in the third person, like in Jill 9. And now that I have started writing in the first person, it’s going to be difficult to transition back. I’m addicted. It’s too much fun to get into one person’s head and stay there.
As far as publishing goes. They are both out from A Better Be Write Publisher. Everything is much easier the second time around because I’m more comfortable in my ‘author’ shoes. I’m having the time of my life.
Juanita: Thanks so much for talking with us today J. D. We’ve enjoyed talking to you once again. Best to you, with your new Charlie Ford books. How can readers find out more about “Charlie Ford Meets Secret Agent Man”?
J. D. : Everything you want and need to know is at www.jdtynan.com or www.abetterbewrite.com. Please visit me on there often and tell your friends. Word of mouth works wonders and I guarantee everyone will find something about this book that they love. Thanks, Juanita!