Welcome to What to Read Wednesday! Can you believe it’s the last Wednesday in the month of July? Time sure is moving fast.
Today we have another fun author joining us. Join me in welcoming PJ Jones who is here to share her latest release DRIVING ME NUTS! So sit down and settle in because not only are you going to learn more about PJ and her book, but she has brought along a prize.
That’s right…a PRIZE!
All you have to do is leave a comment with your email address and one lucky commenter will win a signed copy of DRIVING ME NUTS! Can’t beat that.
Hi PJ…I’m excited to have you here. Tell us a little about yourself 🙂
I write parody and dark comedy under the name of PJ Jones. I also have another penname and keeping the two afloat and separate is a bit of a challenge at the moment. I wrote my first parody, Romance Novel, which pokes fun of all romance novels plus Twilight, a few years ago when I was very ill. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big fan of romance, but the laughs were cathartic at the time. Now that I’m feeling much better, I still enjoy making myself and others laugh.
I love that…there’s nothing better than getting a giggle or an outright laugh from a book. If we looked in your refrigerator now, what would we find?
Lots of organic, whole foods and chocolate. 🙂
Mmm…chocolate! Okay, stop trying to sidetrack me! Lol What makes you love a book?
I used to say that I needed to escape the mundane drama of life, but I actually love my life. I have a wonderful family and much better control of my health. I love books because depending on the genre, they can inspire me and broaden my views of the world and life in general. But a really great book will make me laugh.
You said it perfectly! What genre (s) do you write?
I write dark comedy and paranormal parody.
How did you get started writing?
I was writing ever since I was a child. I’ve never stopped.
Driving Me Nuts! Three mental patients, two loaded guns, one stolen car…and a whole lot of trouble.
Every Friday night Ruckus and Fred sneak out of Shady Grove Home for the Mentally Insane for a ride in their orderly’s convertible. A trip to the used book store and Dairy Queen is Ruckus’s one little routine among the chaos of pissing all over the lunch trays.
There is nothing routine about Apple, another Shady Grove resident who wants to go joyriding with the boys. It quickly becomes obvious she has bigger plans than getting an ice cream cone— plans that could land them in jail or even worse.
When their lives are threatened by three angry ex-cons and a crooked cop, it’s up to Ruckus to get his friends back to Shady Grove in one piece. First, they all need to face reality and confront their tragic pasts. Soon Ruckus realizes that if Apple doesn’t drive him totally nuts, she just may help restore his sanity.
Let’s play LUCKY SEVEN…describe your book using 7 words.
Funny, tragic, heartfelt, redeeming, quirky, romantic, southern
Share the first sentence from your book.
It was a nice day to go for a drive in the Texas hill country, especially if the car you were driving belonged to Mr. Otis.
What was the hardest part about writing this book?
Emotional scenes are always hardest for me. I’m drained after writing one. There are several moving scenes in this book where the characters have to come to terms with their tragic pasts.
The funny scenes, especially with Fred. He’s my favorite character in the book and he was a joy to write. Think of a thirty-seven-year-old man with the attitude of a five-year-old child.
Where do you come up with your story ideas?
Driving Me Nuts!, like most of my story ideas, came to me in a dream.
How interesting. I’ve heard other authors say that but I never get ideas in a dream because I can’t remember any of them. LOL Please share an excerpt from DRIVE ME NUTS!
“Where to now?” Apple asked.
Fred clapped his hands together and jumped up and down. “I want donuts!”
“The donut shop isn’t open yet.” Apple smiled at Fred and patted his forearm. Not the way Maureen stroked him. This touch looked different. Almost as if she cared for him.
Ruckus felt a brief stab of jealousy. He didn’t understand why. She was just another nut case. Just a scuffed shoe.
Seemingly just as unfazed by her touch as he was with Maureen’s, Fred leaned forward, a hopeful expression in his wide eyes. “We can go wait in the donut parking lot.”
Angling her torso, she pointed toward the faintly illuminated tower clock. “If that clock is correct, we still have another six hours before they open.”
Eleven o’clock. One and one half hours after ‘lights out’. Eight hours away from ‘rise and shine’. The latest Ruckus and Fred had stayed awake in a very long time.
Ruckus sank back into his seat, heaving a grateful sigh. He was tired anyway. He got to piss in a mailbox, something he hadn’t done since before he checked into Shady Grove.
“I guess it’s time to head back and get some shuteye.” Ruckus tried his best to sound disappointed. He could always put in a request for donuts with Shady Grove food service.
Fred was not about to let Apple off so easily. “You said we’d get donuts in a few hours!” He made a loud grunting sound and stomped his foot.
“Six is a few,” she said.
Suddenly, Ruckus was worried. Would she really keep them out another six hours? Two hours before ‘rise and shine’? There was no rising or shining with only two hours of sleep.
Ruckus shook his head, keeping his voice firm, unbending, just the way Miguel, the staff nurse, treated him when he refused to comb his hair. “I think we need to get back.”
Turning her gaze to the road, Apple started the ignition and put the car in drive. “I need to run an errand.”
Ruckus shivered as he felt a slight tickle at the nape of his neck. This was not good. Ruckus only got ‘the tickle’ when something bad was going to happen. Like the time they ran out of tater tot casserole just as it was his turn in the lunch line. He knew they were going to run out. He’d had ‘the tickle’. Or the time Caroline had convinced him to downgrade their insurance plan. He’d had ‘the tickle’ that day, but she’d wanted so badly to save money for a cruise.
Swallowing hard, Ruckus leveled Apple with a hard stare, just as he felt every nerve ending in his body go numb. “What kind of errand?”
Keeping her gaze on the road, she shrugged. “I need to stop off at my dad’s house.”
“Yippee!” Fred yelped behind them. “I get to meet your dad! This is so exciting.
Does he like fishing? Will there be presents?”
Ruckus couldn’t tear his gaze from Apple’s face—the slight twitch in her jaw when Fred asked for presents. Somehow, he thought this visit entailed more than just presents.
“Do you think he’s gonna like you leavin’ Shady Grove?” he asked in a not-so-subtle accusatory tone, despite the heavy knot which had settled in his chest, making breathing, much less speaking, difficult.
She clenched the wheel until her knuckles whitened and punched the accelerator. Their necks jerked back as they raced out of town, in the opposite direction of Shady Grove.
“I don’t give a rat’s ass what he likes,” she growled between clenched teeth.
“So why we goin’ there?” The knot in his chest had dropped to his gut, settling there like a plateful of liver and onions with creamed spinach on the side. The only foods that soured his stomach worse than putrid liver were leafy vegetables.
“I’ve got some business to take care of.” Her tone sounded like an echo of the Apple he’d known just moments ago.
She drove not in the left or in the right lanes, but right down the middle, as if she was being pulled by the center line, called to it like dry soil thirsts for rain. Her mind was definitely preoccupied on something. And that something was not good.
What type of scenes are your favorite to write?
Funny scenes are always my favorite. Laughter energizes me and motivates me to write more.
What one piece of advice would you share with a newbie author just getting started on the road to publication?
Don’t go at it alone. Don’t fall in love with your first draft. Find a critique group. Join writers’ groups. Learn the craft. And when you think you’ve learned everything about writing, there’s always more.
Terrific advice PJ. Care to give us a little hint on what you’re working on now? 🙂
I am working on a book for my other penname and I’m working on two short parodies for PJ Jones. If you love Jane Austen, you will either love or hate my upcoming parody. 🙂
Oooh, that sounds interesting. You’re very talented to be able to write comedy/parody. And finally, where can we find you and your book(s)?
Amazon Link to Driving Me Nuts!
It’s also on other ebook sites and in print.
And here’s my Amazon author’s page:
Thank you for joining me today PJ…I had a great time and am so glad you visited!
Thanks so much for hosting me. 🙂
Don’t forget to leave a comment with your email address to be entered in a signed copy of DRIVE ME NUTS!