Mark Terry

Friday, February 16, 2007

Take 7 With Jay MacLarty

February 16, 2007

Bestselling author Jay MacLarty's fourth Simon Leonidovich (pronounced Leon-o-vich) novel has just hit the shelves. Simon is an international courier. For a high price, he will deliver whatever the client wants wherever the client wants, guaranteed. This allows Simon to get into an awful lot of trouble, whether he's delivering confidential pharmaceutical records, top secret government files, or ransom money. In MacLarty's fourth novel, CHOKEPOINT, Simon is hired by his friend Big Jake Rynerson, who is building a casino in Macau (China), to deliver a priceless artifact--the Crest of Chi-in--from the Smithsonian to the Chinese government to help seal an alliance between China, Taiwan and the United States. And it's a given that all hell breaks loose.
I'll review CHOKEPOINT early next week, but for today, Jay has stopped by for an interview. Oh, and I just want everybody to know that I just love Jay's novels--they're paperback originals so you should run out today and pick them up. They're a lot of fun.

1. Based on photos from your website, you’ve been to China. Did you do any special China research for Choke Point?
No, not really. I rarely travel with a specific story in mind, but prefer to soak up the culture; and then, whenever possible, use my experiences as background for my stories.

2. Last time I talked to you, you had plans to move abroad? How are those plans going?
Though slightly delayed (until I finish the book I’m currently working on), everything is still a go. Right now, I’m thinking of Amsterdam for the summer, then moving on to Spain or Italy for the next year . . . or so.

3. Where’d you get the idea for Simon?
I developed the idea with a writing colleague, Louise Crawford. We were simply brainstorming ideas, trying to come up with an interesting profession that would thrust our protagonist into unexpected problems and perils. We intended to work on the story together, but found that to be an impossible task, and I ended up moving forward on my own.

4. I know you have a fairly colorful employment history. Can you give me a brief rundown of your pre-writing careers?
I started in the hospitality business, putting together a nation-wide chain of restaurants and nightclubs. Burned out by the age of thirty, I created a computerized handicapping program, then “ran away to play the ponies.” That was too much fun, so I decided to do something more serious, and ended up working for a year on a presidential campaign. What can I say, the guy lost, and I had to find real work; so, turned my attention to the organizational business, and a chain of retail stores. Along the way I managed to start a small software company, and write The Courier. The rest, as they say, is history.

5. Looks like your next novel is non-Simon. Any more Simons in the future?
I don’t think so. The fact is, I like women, and I’ve lived with that man for four years – ate, drank, and slept with the guy – and I’m ready to move on!

6. What’s your writing schedule like? Last time we talked you were starting in the middle of the night.
That was part of the pain of writing a series, and having to turn out a book every twelve months – there weren’t enough hours in the day – not at the pace I write. So that’s another thing I hope to have put behind me. I now get up between five and six, am at the keyboard by seven, and work until two or three in the afternoon. And when I’m working on a book, I always work seven days a week.

7. Living in Vegas, when you see news reports that New York state got 8 or 9 feet of snow, what do you think?
I think about growing up in Minnesota – been there, done that – and am very happy not to be going through it. Now days, I like my snow in the proper place: on the slopes.

Thanks Jay. Good luck with CHOKEPOINT and thanks for stopping by.
Mark Terry


Anonymous spyscribbler said...

Thanks, Mark! This is definitely one I'm adding to my TBR pile. (And I loved the interview yesterday, with Derek! Tried to comment, but computer's on fritz!)

And Jay, I am so jealous of you, living in Las Vegas!

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Blogger Ron Estrada said...

I'm gonna have to bust my novels out of Michigan and see the world. You guys have too much fun. Mark, if you didn't have to walk the office manager three times a day, you probably wouldn't mind the snow.

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