The Dead Man's Deal: Interview with author Jax Daniels
When her husband Will is unexpectedly killed, Winki Witherspoon inherits more than just a New Orleans’s mansion. She inherits his talents, which are magical abilities she never knew he had. The new domestic staff—her butler Jeeves, her maid Mrs. Black, her cook Mrs. White, and her mad-scientists, Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson—help prepare her for the annual Tournament, a brutal conflict where House Champions vie to decide who will control the flow of good or evil energy into the mortal plane. Winki soon realizes, however, that one of them is a traitor, and possibly her husband's killer. From beyond the grave, Will guides her through her new life, and warns her about the temptations of evil. With the help of her silent healer and her cockroach familiar, Winki must use her newfound talent to defend her home, find Will’s traitor, and protect the world before she is killed...or turns evil herself.
1. Describe your novel in three words?
"Facetious", "fun", and "fast"!
2. Winki Witherspoon inherits her husband's talents. What type of 'talents' does she inherit?
Ah, this is part of the plot: Within her household everyone expects her to inherit the same abilities as her husband. But they are surprised (and worried) when they realize her gifts are completely different... and more powerful (for example -- spoilers -- manipulating time). Given that's she's new to the world it's going to take her some time to discover, master, and use her talents.
3. There is quite a cast of characters in this book. Which character--other than Winki-- did you have the most fun writing?
Her cockroach familiar, Hercule. He's such a curmudgeon. It was fun tapping into and writing the grumpy side of me!
4. This is book 1 in The Witherspoon Mansion Adventures. How many books will be in this series?
I have at least five books in mind, but tons of ideas. If the series goes well I'd be very happy to continue the Adventures.
5. When will the next book be out, and can you give us any hints as to what will happen?
The next book, The Cook's Curse, I'm hoping to get out in May of 2015. The dust has settled a bit from the aftermath of the first book and we pick up roughly eight months later, when two of her staff have started a small but successful detective agency called Lost Souls Investigations. The local police have asked for their help in the case of Saffron Jolly, a famous New Orleans chef, and the tragic demise of her family. Oh, and of course more tournaments, talents, plot twists... the usual!