Thank you for visiting Jagged Edge Reviews. We have a lot of exciting reviews, guest posts, cover reveals and book blitz coming up! I apologize we are going through a bit of a change as we have been away for a short time but we are getting back into the swing of things! Just getting a bit organized again, please be patient.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Interview: Jeff LaFerney


Would you like to tell us a little about yourself?
Let’s see…I am an English teacher. As a coach, I have a career record of 434-151. I have a son who plays college basketball and a daughter who wants to be an orthodontist. I played three varsity sports in high school and so did both of my kids. I’m a logical thinker who never thought of myself as particularly creative until I started writing. I like rock music, still participate in sports, and like to read. I’m an imperfect person, flawed in lots of ways, so I’m not judgmental, but I definitely think and write from a conservative Biblical perspective. Some of my favorites are Mt. Dew, crab legs, and Butterfingers. I love University of Michigan football and North Carolina Tar Heel basketball. I’m pretty much ambidextrous. Is that a good variety of things?

What inspired you to write?
I’m an English major, and I’ve always known I could write well, but writing novels was something of a surprise. As a teacher, I read a lot of books so I could advise my students, and I found that a lot of books—award winners and bestsellers—weren’t written very well. I thought I could do better than a lot of them. I needed a topic, some time, and some motivation, however. Lots of circumstances revolving around my teacher career, parenting, and my coaching led me to give it a try. One by one, I got a topic idea, I finally had time, and I got extremely motivated.

What authors influenced you as a writer?
I especially like John Irving’s story-telling style, the way James Patterson paces his books, the fun dialogue of Robert B. Parker, and the mystery-writing ability of Harlan Coben.

What is your favorite quote?
Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it.”

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?
Robert B. Parker wrote a book called Double Play in which the setting was the late 40’s when Jackie Robinson was beginning to play in the major leagues. I would have loved to be a pro baseball player, and I like that time period best.

What is at least one thing that every writer needs to have or do?
I think every writer needs to have an understanding that what they (we) write can always be improved, and then be willing to make changes. Something that I WISH I had was a photographic memory in regard to time in my books. I find plotting and managing time in my books is the hardest thing.

Are your books different than your personal favorite books by other authors?
One way that my books are definitely different is that my books are clean…without swearing and graphic sex and such. I’ll read it, but I can’t bring myself to write it. Otherwise, I try (with limited success) to tell a story like John Irving, to manage a twisting plot like Harlan Coban, to pace a book like James Patterson, and to make the book fun to read like Robert B. Parker.

What led you to writing in this genre?
I like mysteries and suspense, so I read those the most, so I feel like it’s the genre best suited to my interests.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?
I actually like the research because I find it exciting to learn, but I think my favorite part is when an idea pops into my head at an unexpected moment and I make it work in my books.

Least favorite part of the writing process?
Time is the hardest thing for me, and I get frustrated when I occasionally hit a wall and cannot write anymore because I’ve painted myself timewise into a corner. Then I have to go back and rewrite things, and with a novel, when one thing is rewritten, it tends to affect the whole book, so loads of revision has to be done. I just wish I could get the time right the first time.

What are you currently working on?
I’m working on the third book in the Clay and Tanner Thomas series called Bulletproof. Clay and his son will solve a mystery of a crime spree and a murder at the same time. There are several ghosts in the book as well as the unique parapsychological abilities of my heroes. I’ve also already researched a lot of material for an Indiana Jones-type adventure that includes time travel. I can’t wait to start on that.

Where readers can find you?
I have an author page on facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jeff-LaFerney/139308736084156), a webpage (www.jefflaferney.com), and an e-mail address (cardhoopcoach@aol.com).

Bio:
Jeff LaFerney has been a language arts teacher and coach for more than
twenty years. He earned his English and teaching degrees from the
University of Michigan-Flint and his master's degree in educational
leadership from Eastern Michigan University. He and Jennifer, his wife of
twenty-five years, live in Davison, Michigan. Torey and Teryn are their
two children. Loving the Rain and Skeleton Key are the first two
installments in the Clay and Tanner Thomas mystery series.

Book Blurb:
After a tragic train wreck, Depot co-owner, Adrian Payne disappears. Seven
years later, Clay Thomas meets Payne’s beautiful wife and determines to
help her by using his mind powers to solve the mystery of Payne’s
disappearance. With the help of Clay’s son, Tanner, the local chief of
police, and Adrian Payne’s ghost, Clay discovers the body, catapulting the
investigators into a mystery—a mystery with more questions than answers.
If there was foul play, why do the coroner and Adrian’s ghost disagree? If
there wasn’t foul play, why do all the suspects appear to be guilty? A
twisted plot, full of surprises and interesting characters is the result.
Lessons of faith, friendship, personal growth, and peace give meaning to a
one-of-a-kind mystery.

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