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Author Interview: Jeffery Craig

Jeffery lives in the southeastern United States with his husband and partner and a menagerie of much-loved pets. He co-owns a local art gallery/gift store that provides an outlet for area artists to showcase and sell their work. When not wring, he can often be found working on a painting or sitting on the covered porch of his historic southern home with a good book in hand. His currently working on the Reightman & Bailey series.

  • : I have also been an observer of the world and have always enjoyed a good story. Words fascinate me and the idea of stringing them together to show others a glimpse of the world I see around me was very appealing.
  • : Yes! I was probably in the third grade and I wrote (and illustrated!) the life adventures of Daniel Boone. I wish I knew where that little booklet was now!
  • : My latest book, Hard Job, is a continuation of the series I started with Done Rubbed Out. It is set in the south and revolves around a most perplexing murder. In some ways, it's a traditional thriller, but in others it is more than just a mystery. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear it's really about the vivid, unconventional characters we find around us, making astonishing new friendships, and their power to change us. It captures what I feel are important social themes around equality and acceptance.
  • : I have written for the business world for some time and wrote some poetry when I was a very young. It's just been in the last year that I've started writing fiction in earnest.
  • : I don't have a hard and fast rule about when I write. Some days I start soon after I get up, and on others I write late at night and into the morning. The main thing is I try to write everyday.
  • : I am currently working on book three of the Reightman & Bailey series, Skin Puppet. I have a few other things underway as well and I keep adding ideas to the file. I try to stay focused on the project at hand, but sometimes it's difficult!
  • : I try to get it all down in a first draft as quickly as possible. I let it stew for a while and then work my way back through each and every page and rework the areas that need it. Since I'm working on a mystery series, I stop about every 50 of 60 pages and make sure I haven't dropped any clues, and that the trail is there. I don't want it to be obvious, but it has to be there. After I have been through the first draft a few times, I send it out to my great beta readers and then incorporate their feedback where appropriate. Then it's time for real editing.
  • : I read a lot of different genres and enjoy them all. I love authors who paint images and I tend to like complex novels. I also go through phases where maybe I want to read literary fiction, and then suddenly I'm in the mood for a good space opera. My specific favorites change and evolve as my life does. Old standbys include The Three Musketeers, Desiree, anything by Joseph Campbell, and Mary Renault.
  • : I have done many different things. I have been a theatrical designer, and accredited gemologist, an executive at very large high-tech firm focused on the financial services sector, and am currently a co-owner of an art gallery. All of those adventures have provided a lot of character fodder!
  • : I'm fortunate to have a terrific cover designer. When I started this journey, I felt it was important to find someone who I could work with on several books. I wasn't sure I could find someone who I clicked with, but fortune smiled and I found someone in the same city. I have ideas about what I want to cover to say (sometimes more than the designer wishes me to) and I provide an outline of what I'm thinking. We talk it over and look at images and thankfully, she reels me back in when I need it. After the initial concept is done, she goes to work and always brings me something much better than I could have every imagined.
  • : I do a bit of both. I make what I call a sketch of the book and capture the major threads in an outline. Then I write and give the characters themselves a lot of free rein. Sometimes they take me to places I would never have dreamed up and the end product is wonderful. Other times, I have to have a stern talk with them to get us back on track. Often I will let them go on for a while, even if I don't use everything I write. I learn more about them, and myself, when I let that happen.
  • : The best feeling in the world is when someone finds a message that means something personal to them in what I write.
  • : You can always find out what's going on through my website or on social media. I can be reached at https://www.jefferycraigbooks.com and I'm on face book under the same name. I try to keep my current activities sync'd up, but if I'm in the middle of a book, I might miss a step.
  • : Read what you love, and if you come across a good story, tell your friends. Support those who write.
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