About Jerold Last:
The author is a Professor at the University of California's Medical School at Davis in Northern California. Jerry writes “tweener” mystery books (tough mystery stories that follow the cozy conventions of no graphic sex and no cussing), all published as e-books on Amazon Kindle. Most of the novels are also published as fast moving and entertaining paperback versions. Several of the books introduce the readers to South America, a region where he has lived and worked that is a long way from home for most English speakers. He and his wife Elaine lived previously in Salta, Argentina and Montevideo, Uruguay. Jerry selects the most interesting Latin American locations he found for Roger and Suzanne to visit while solving miscellaneous murders. Montevideo, Salta, Machu Picchu, Cuba, the Galapagos Islands, and Iguazu Falls are also characters in these books, and the novels portray these places as vivid and real. Jerry and Elaine breed prize-winning German shorthaired pointer dogs; Elaine also provides technical advice for Jerry’s dog-related novels like The Deadly Dog Show, Hunter Down, Roger and the Cancelled Czech, Abra Cadaver, Dangerous Drugs and Dexterous Dogs, and the soon to be published Bloody Delta Dawn, as well as editing for all of the books.
What inspires you to write?
I've been a fan of mystery novels, especially PI format, all my life. Writing them came late in the game for me, when I finally found bits and pieces of time in my schedule to do so. I enjoy putting together the puzzles for readers to solve, and also enjoy sharing my experiences and knowledge with readers.
What authors do you read when you aren’t writing?
The classics: Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald; More recently, Michael Connelly, Walter Mosley, Robert B. Parker.
Tell us about your writing process.
Whatever outlining I do is done in my head before I begin writing a book. Once the story has begun to appear on paper it takes over and flows most of the time. When I get stuck (rarely), it's time for me to construct an outline of how to get there from here. My major series characters appear from book to book, so their characters are defined beforehand except for their first appearance. That first appearance usually happens when I need a new character wirth a specific skill set, and I'll prepare a character sketch before introducing them to a work in progress.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My characters most definitely do talk to me. Usually, but not always, I listen to them. However, in my heart I know they aren't real, so the conversation is one way, not back and forth. I often, especially when editing, ask "What would this character do (or what have they done before) in this situation?"
What advice would you give other writers?
It's a very, very tough way to make a living. Most authors don't. So don't be in a hurry to quit your normal job without a good game plan to be able to survive financially while you focus on your writing. And don't try to do it at all if it isn't fun to do.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I self-publish, mainly because I've never connected with a commercial publisher or agent. Maybe I haven't tried hard enough? But I still enjoy writing mysteries, and there are readers out there buying my books, so that seems to work for me. All of my 20-odd mystery books (except a couple) are published on Amazon KDP, which makes the transition from final manuscript to e-book and paperback versions for sale sale fairly simple and mostly painless. But with self-publishing a lot of effort has to go into do-it- yourself marketing.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
There are a lot of people out there who enjoy reading books in one or another format. I think that will continue to be true wherever new technology takes us. After that, my crystal ball seems to have fogged up, so I can't predict who will be publishing those books and how that will take place.
What genres do you write?: Mystery/thriller/suspense/scientific writing
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Both eBook and Print
Link To Jerold Last Page On Amazon
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.