Author Interview of Marc Jedel
Q. How’d you get the idea for the Ozarks Lake Mystery series?
My wife has felt a little cheated that no character in my other books was based on her—even in some exaggerated fashion. As I started thinking about starting a second series, I thought it would be fun to set it in a small town in Arkansas so it would feel very different from my Silicon Valley Mystery series. My wife’s grandparents lived in Arkansas on a small ranch and I grew up in the south, spending time in and near Arkansas. That gave me the setting. I used some names and personalities of different relatives for characters in the stories. Although she contributed a number of the Southern sayings and conversations in SWIMMING WITH THE FISHES, there’s still no character based directly on my wife. I’m pretty confident this has been a wise decision for my marriage.
Q. What makes your cozy novels stand out from the rest?
I’ve become bored by cozies where the protagonist runs a bakery, bookstore, or bed & breakfast and this supposedly amateur sleuth gets extensive help from the police. So I made sure my characters don’t work with the police and have different jobs. Having both a male and female protagonist with different point-of-view chapters in SWIMMING WITH THE FISHES also allows me to show very different takes on suspects and other characters and go to different places.
My Silicon Valley Mystery series is especially unique with its male protagonist who’s not particularly competent, nor especially brave, as the amateur sleuth. Setting it in Silicon Valley is also unusual for cozies but worked well for this series. Despite finding himself thrust into challenging situations, Marty isn’t exactly hero material. He has a wonderful combination of wit, irreverent humor and sarcasm mixed in with nerdy insecurities, absent-mindedness, and fumbling but effective amateur sleuthing skills. He’s got an active inner voice and doesn’t do a lot of advance planning. Instead he throws himself into solving problems. Sometimes, he even succeeds.
Q. What’s the most exciting research you did to help you write this book?
Wingsuit flying, jousting, and bullfighting are all examples of crazy things that I’ve avoided doing in the name of research for this—or any—book. I’ve also not attempted tree shaping, extreme ironing, or competitive duck herding despite these being actual things that I’ve stumbled across during my internet searching. Instead, as I wrote this book entirely during the COVID pandemic, I spent most of the time in self-isolation—also known as normal author behavior. Besides hiking, walking the dog, and participating in way too many Zoom calls, the crazy research for this novel was mostly confined to internet searches. Fortunately I haven’t had any visits from law enforcement. But I’m hopeful that crazy research (although still excluding the wingsuit flying, etc.) will return to my life. After all, I’m planning to write more books so inspiration is always appreciated.
Some authors feel that outlining takes all the fun out of writing but for me, I feel I get to have twice the fun. First I get the pleasure of figuring out what happens, whodunit, and why. That can be fun, frustrating, and much like putting a puzzle together while hoping you haven’t lost one of the pieces under the couch. Then, when I start writing, I know where I’m heading and I can be more focused on making the scenes fun, writing great dialogue, and even improvising when something seems off in my outline. But how would I know if it were heading off a cliff if I didn’t have an outline?
The outlining helps me stay on track and gives me the flexibility to see where the characters will take me without going too far astray. Unless I decide to go astray because I’ve got a funny idea.
Q. What have you learned about yourselves since becoming an author?
Q. Anything else to tell readers?
I hope readers try my novels and enjoy them. My books aren’t the right fit for you if you’re looking for deep introspection, intense psychological thrillers, or dense, wordy prose where nothing much happens. I feel like there’s enough serious, intense, and scary already present in our lives so reading should be an escape where you’ll enjoy yourself.
SWIMMING WITH THE FISHES is available at: getbook.at/Swimming. The first book in the Ozarks Lake Mystery series, FISH OUT OF WATER is available at: getbook.at/Fish. You should also try my Silicon Valley Mystery series at: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PHNT7XM. The first three of those are also now out on audiobook from Tantor Audio, available everywhere audiobooks are sold. All of my books are free for Kindle Unlimited members.
I love to hear from readers as that motivates me to keep going on the next blank page.
Q. How can readers discover more about you and your work?
About Swimming with the Fishes
She’s settling into a new life. But when a fishing trip totally capsizes, can she get a friend off the hook for murder?
Elizabeth Trout still feels awkward being back home. Discovering a BFF from her raucous high-school days has become the perfect mom is as weird as staying with her mother while awaiting construction of her new home. But she’s shaken to her core when her newlywed husband and beloved dog are nearly blown out of the water in a dockside explosion which leaves another woman dead … and her bestie is arrested for the crime.
To clear her friend, Elizabeth and her spouse set out to reel in a killer by sifting through the murky depths of small town drama. But between missing money, ominous strangers, and a shady ex-husband, these amateur sleuths net more motives than they can handle.
Can this dynamic detective duo dig up an answer before the big one gets away?
Swimming with the Fishes is the sensational second book in the Ozarks Lake Mystery series. If you like clever couples, delightful lakeside settings, and a rollicking good time, then you’ll love Marc Jedel’s hilarious whodunit.
About Marc Jedel
Marc Jedel writes humorous murder mysteries. He credits his years of marketing leadership positions in Silicon Valley for honing his writing skills and sense of humor. While his high-tech marketing roles involved crafting plenty of fiction, these were just called emails, ads, and marketing collateral.
For most of Marc’s life, he’s been inventing stories. As he’s gotten older, he’s encountered more funny and odd people and situations. This has made it even easier for him to write what he knows and make up the rest. It’s a skill that’s served him well, both as an author and marketer.
The publication of Marc’s first novel, UNCLE AND ANTS, gave him permission to claim “author” as his job. This leads to much more interesting conversations with people than answering, “marketing.” Becoming an Amazon best-selling author has only made him more insufferable.
Like his characters Jonas and Elizabeth from the Ozarks Lake Mystery series, Marc grew up in the South and spent plenty of time in and around Arkansas. Like his character, Marty from the Silicon Valley Mystery series, Marc now lives in Silicon Valley, works in high-tech, and enjoys bad puns. Along with all his protagonists, Marc too has a dog, although his is neurotic, sweet, and small, with little appreciation for Marc’s humor.
Visit his website, marcjedel.com, for free chapters of novels, special offers, and more.