James M. Jackson will be awarding the chance to name a character who will appear in FALSE BOTTOM (Seamus McCree #6) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
1. How did you choose your genre? What made you write this book?
I am an eclectic reader, but my first love is the mystery/suspense/thriller genre. When I decided to become an author, I figured I’d write the kind of books I like to read.
Empty Promises is the fifth book in the Seamus McCree series. I’m a pantser and with my novels, I usually find out what issue I’m writing about only after I complete the first draft. Seamus McCree has lived by the belief that his word is his bond. In Empty Promises I discovered I was exploring how he reacts after he takes a series of actions that increasingly conflict with his core values. Like most of us, he self-justifies his decisions, but as they accumulate, they begin to wear him down. His personal consequences are wrapped inside a page-turner of a story with all the twists and turns of a suspenseful thriller.
- Writers write what they know, and must observe the world. Are you a first born, middle or last child and how does this shape your view of the world?
I am the first born of three children. My sisters are five and ten years younger than I. To a considerable degree I reflect the first child syndrome: motivated to succeed, a need for control, something of a perfectionist, occasionally bossy, and boringly responsible.
In the Seamus McCree series, my understanding of these characteristics shows up in Paddy, Seamus’s son and only child. He displays all my characteristics, plus he’s always been comfortable in the adult world. Seamus has an older sister, but their father died when he was a youngster. As sometimes happens, he assumed the “male” role of the family at an early age, and so exhibits many of the characteristics traditionally thought of as first-born traits and few of the “baby in the family” traits. That he and Paddy are alike in many regards also means they can both be stubborn and at times overly sure of themselves.
- Where is your favorite place to write?
In the summer my study is in a second story loft that looks out a wall of windows through the trees and onto a small inland lake.
- How do you feel about killing your darlings, and what do you do with the remains?
My dead darlings fall into two categories. Sometimes I write wonderful scenes that are cute or funny or provide social commentary. Usually around the third draft, I’ll realize they have only a passing relationship with the plot or character and don’t have requisite tension for a good scene. I hit the delete key and forget about them forever.
I use real places in my novels, and in early drafts I can wax poetic when describing a location. Sometimes I only realize I’ve gone overboard when my editor points it out. Then my task becomes choosing the salient points and letting the reader fill in the rest of the picture.
- You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them?
I’ve been lucky to meet many of my favorite living authors, so let’s assume I can meet Ben Franklin during a séance. I’ve admired Poor Richard’s Almanac, his Autobiography, and his letters to newspaper editors, so, there’s much I’d like to know. But since I’m entangled with the dynamics of the McCree family in my writing, I’d ask him why he never reconciled with his son, the loyalist governor of New Jersey who exiled himself to England after the Revolutionary War.
- Inquiring minds want to know…tell readers something about you that no one knows.
I don’t’ do heights. My theory is that if we were meant to be high above the ground in places where we could fall, we’d have wings.
- You are stranded on a deserted island with only a back pack for company. What three items are in your survival pack?
I want to live through this. I’m taking a charged pre-paid satellite phone with GPS tracking to call someone to come get me, a filled water bottle, and a water purifier to replenish my supply.
- If you could have one super power in your existence, what would it be?
Here’s where my innate “ability” to look a gift horse in the mouth and worry about the negative consequences makes me shy away from the normal kinds of superpowers. However, I love being in new and interesting places and traveling can be a real hassle. I’ll accept the ability to safely teletransport myself and whoever I’m with to wherever I’d like to go.
- Favorite snack?
If I’m not careful I can eat a lot—I mean a lot—of trail mix.
- Indy 500 – Do you know how to get where you’re going or do you drive the speed limit?
Sometimes I have no clue where I’m headed, but I’m still doing seven miles over the speed limit. Thanks for having me today, Danita.
by James M. Jackson
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense/Domestic Thriller
If you love the suspense and plot twists of domestic thrillers, this page-turner will be for you. Seamus McCree’s first solo bodyguard assignment goes from bad to worse. His client disappears. His granddog finds a buried human bone. Police find a fresh human body.
His client is to testify in a Chicago money laundering trial. He’s paranoid that with a price on his head, if the police know where he’s staying, the information will leak. Seamus promised his business partner and lover, Abigail Hancock, that he’d keep the witness safe at the McCree family camp located deep in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan’s woods.
Abigail is furious at his incompetence and their relationship flounders. Even his often-helpful son, Paddy, must put family safety ahead of helping his father. Seamus risks his own safety and freedom to turn amateur sleuth in hopes he can solve the crimes, fulfill his promise of protection, and win back Abigail. Wit and grit are on his side, but the clock is ticking . . . and the hit man is on his way.
Had Owen returned my call? Had Abigail found anything? Any word from Bartelle after Owen ratted me out? My phone claimed it had no voice or text messages. Sometimes the signal is so weak the phone doesn’t receive messages, so I brought the remainder of my drink to the deck, where the signal was strongest, and dialed voicemail. The sun-heated decking was uncomfortable on my bare feet. I shifted weight from foot to foot to minimize the discomfort and keyed in my password.
You have no messages at this time.
Back inside, I booted up the computer and checked email. Nothing relevant and no help for my situation.
I had a long, positive history with Sheriff Lon Bartelle. Was it strong enough for him to cut me some slack over my initially lying to him? Surely, the best way to tell him of my malfeasance was face-to-face. Like a man mounting the scaffold for his hanging, I forced leaden legs to return me to the deck. My call to Bartelle brought the information that he was in the office but not available to come to the phone.
I put Atty on a lead to do her business and then shut her in the house. “Sorry girl, I need to leave you home for this one. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”
She trotted to the living room and, without a glance back, crawled onto the couch, where she didn’t belong. She pawed the throw pillow resting against one arm, knocking it flat, and stretched out, snuggling into the back of the couch and resting her head on the flattened pillow. Her eyes met mine and she grinned, as if to say, “What? I’m just following orders.”
James M. Jackson authors the Seamus McCree series consisting of five novels and one novella. Jim splits his time between the deep woods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Georgia’s Lowcountry. He claims the moves between locations are weather-related, but others suggest they may have more to do with not overstaying his welcome. He is the past president of the 700+ member Guppy Chapter of Sisters in Crime. You can find information about Jim and his books at http://jamesmjackson.com. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and/or Amazon.