J.A. Jance did the math before hitting the road for her current book tour. She realized she’s just published book No. 56, the latest installment in her popular mystery series featuring TV-anchor-turned-investigator Ali Reynolds.
It’s an impressive tally, especially considering Jance didn’t begin writing until she was pushing 40. A divorced single mom raising two kids and selling life insurance full-time, she started getting up early in the spring of 1982 to write stories before work.
She never stopped. Now she publishes two books a year.
The secret to her productivity?
“I work every day,” Jance says.
The best-selling mystery writer divides her time between the Pacific Northwest and the Arizona desert. She comes to Spokane April 18 to visit The Spokesman-Review’s Northwest Passages Book Club.
In an interview, she talks about her writing life, the nation’s most dangerous job and what surprises readers most about meeting her.
J.A. Jance’s Top 10
What are you …
1. Working on: “Field of Bones,” the next Joanna Brady book
2. Reading: Not reading. Writing. Can’t do both at the same time.
3. Watching: Loved “Victoria” and “The Crown”
4. Listening to: Willie’s Roadhouse on Sirius
5. Planning: Two back-to-back Silverseas Cruises later this spring
6. Enjoying as a guilty pleasure: Have had two Krispy Kreme doughnuts in the last two months, one in Georgia and one in Tucson.
7. Inspired by: the Grand Canyon.
8. Imagining: Being able to dance. (I’ve always been clumsy on my feet.)
9. Challenged by: Getting my steps every day.
10. Adding to your bucket list: Seeing Niagara Falls.
Mark your calendar: Upcoming Northwest Passages events
April 11: My Town Poetry Night with Tod Marshall
Celebrate National Poetry Month with former Washington state poet laureate Tod Marshall in conversation with columnist Shawn Vestal. Guest performers include Spokane poet laureate Mark Anderson, “Power 2 the Poetry” leader Bethany Montgomery and Spark Central executive director Brooke Matson. Get tickets at www.spokane7tickets.com.
Poetry open call: Do you have an original poem about living in Spokane you’d like to share? Message firstname.lastname@example.org to share your work; we’ll publish a selection of reader poems during April.
April 12: Baseball in the Movies
Kick off the new season with Baseball in the Movies Night. Join Spokesman-Review Editor Rob Curley and the Spokane Indians Baseball Club for a lively look at the best baseball stories on film. Get tickets at www.spokane7tickets.com.
May 16: Jess Walter’s Stories
Spokane writer Jess Walter is the author of eight books, including “Beautiful Ruins,” a New York Times best-seller. Proceeds from this event benefits Spark Central, a local nonprofit that offers learning programs, technology and creative tools for kids and adults. Ticket information will be coming soon.
Donna Wares is a senior editor at The Spokesman-Review and runs the Northwest Passages Book Club and Community Forum.
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