Q&A with Josh Lanyon discussion

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Story Discussions > The Holmes & Moriarity series

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message 101: by Josh (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 13609 comments Heather C wrote: "I finally finished ASW a few days ago and just had time to read everyone's posts. I really loved both books. I think I liked the mystery more in SKHE and the romance more in ASW.

That's pretty much how they're written. The emphasis is definitely on the relationship in ASW -- just as it was in ADT (the second Adrien English book). That's a natural progression if the relationship is important to the series because you can't hold off certain developments for three or four books without throwing artificial complications in the way or driving the reader nuts.

But of course in most cozy mystery series the relationship is NOT the central thing, so development is more easily delayed.

You're right. Kit's acceptance of the solution is more crucial to the story than the timing of the solution. At least, that's my thought as the writer. I guess there are still a few readers who honestly do want to be guessing right up to the last page.

The most interesting element in a mystery novel for me has always been motive -- because motive leads to characterization, and characters are the fun part.

So anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed the books! I probably laugh more writing those than anything else I write, so they're definitely fun for me. Definitely fun when readers share the joke.


Norma I'm a little late to the game on this one, but I've just finished SKHE (stayed up way past bedtime to finish it) and I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! Great story! I've read through a lot of comments here and skimmed a bunch too. I'm trying not to read comments on ASW, since I haven't read it yet. I thought Kit was great! What a great character. He's in a personal slump, but I kind of felt like I identified with him. Anyway, I thought I'd try to answer some of the questions Josh presented at the start of this topic because I'll be gushing about this book for a while now!

1)It’s common in cozy and amateur sleuth mysteries for the main character to have a job far removed from law enforcement. The “hero” of this series, Christopher Holmes, is a mystery writer. Does it matter to you whether the series premise is realistic or not? What makes a series like this fun to read?

I loved that he was a mystery writer. And not one like J.X either. I felt like he kind of became Miss Buttewith while investigating. I think it's part of what made him so endearing!

2) J.X. Moriarity starts out the book with a grudge against Kit. Did you feel his resentment was legitimate? Did you accept Kit’s explanation for his past behavior?

From the first time J.X. called Kit selfish, I guessed his reasoning. Kit kind of referred to J.X as a boy when they met (even though he was in his mid-twenties). I figured he was holding onto a mad from the past. I accepted the resentment and the explanation. It felt true to these characters' personalities. I'm also glad we didn't get the whole story until closer to the end. We had to get to know them both first.

3) Which events in the story stand out for you as particularly memorable or humorous? Hmm. I'll have to do a re-read first. I was grinning an awful lot!

4) Discuss the pace of the book and the style. Did the pace fit this comic, light-hearted novel? Was the language appropriate to the story and genre? I'm terrible at answering these types of questions because I'm not good at putting my feelings into words. But the pace and language were a lot of what made the story for me. Can't really explain it though.

5) The characters in the book love to talk. Was the dialogue realistic?
Did each character have a distinct voice?
YES! Loved the dialogue (both btw them and Kit's inner dialogue). I felt their voices. Kit is self-depreciating with a dash of pity-party. J.X. is confident and strong, but I felt his vulnerability as well.

6) As is typical of Josh Lanyon characters, Kit’s agent Rachel Ving has made some serious mistakes in the past. What mistakes do you find difficult to forgive fictional characters? Do you find your literary biases reflect your real life feelings or are you more open-minded when it comes to fiction? This one is too heavy for me. I can't say there is a specific thing that will make or break a character. I may something in one character but not at all in a different story. I find for me to like a book, I have to want to spend time with these people. Especially in a series. They are part of my life now. So while Rachel made poor choices, they weren't enough for me to not want her in my life.

7) By the end of the book Kit and J.X. seem to have put their past differences behind them and are romantically involved. Was this development realistic? Do you think Kit and J.X. make a believable romantic and sleuthing partnership?

I think they'll have some bumps, but I thought they made a good partnership. It'll be fun to watch them sleuth since they view things so differently.

8) At what point did you figure out who the villain was? Do you feel
the author “played fair” with the reader?

Tough question. I'm usually terrible at figuring out who it is. I like that it could have been anyone, but at the same time, it couldn't be just anyone. I had my suspicions and ended up being right about it. I guess I got it when J.X. went missing.

9) A number of readers have expressed problems with Kit’s character on the first reading of Somebody Killed His Editor. How, in your opinion, does Kit vary from other Josh Lanyon characters? What qualities do you look for in a main character? If you disliked Kit on the first reading, what made you go back and give the book a second try?
I'm still fairly new to Josh's books, so I can't really compare Kit to others. But I loved him. LOVED him. Another poster (can't remember who right now) suggested maybe it was an age thing. I'm pushing 40 so maybe that's why I was able to identify a bit with some of Kit's issues. He's in this slump and he's all woe-is-me. But I didn't feel like it was his true personality. Maybe the low self-confidence is, but I don't think he's really a downer. I felt like he's trying to find himself. I think there will be a bit more self-pity from him now that he's with J.X. It won't be easy to watch J.X. be successful and charming and in such great shape. But that's something Kit will have to deal with himself. I'll do a re-read for sure, but not because I didn't like Kit. I'll re-read because this was an excellent book! Can't wait until payday so I can buy ASW!!

Sorry this got so long (but I did warn you all I'd be gushing about this book)


message 103: by Josh (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 13609 comments Thanks so much, Norma. So glad you enjoyed the book.

I loved that he was a mystery writer. And not one like J.X either. I felt like he kind of became Miss Buttewith while investigating. I think it's part of what made him so endearing!

I think that's something I did unconsciously, but it turned out to be one of the fun things for me -- that Kit is old school and JX is very much the new school of mystery-thriller writer. It gives me a chance to amuse myself both with the genres and with their characters.


message 104: by Josh (last edited Mar 07, 2011 10:32AM) (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 13609 comments I'm still fairly new to Josh's books, so I can't really compare Kit to others. But I loved him. LOVED him. Another poster (can't remember who right now) suggested maybe it was an age thing. I'm pushing 40 so maybe that's why I was able to identify a bit with some of Kit's issues. He's in this slump and he's all woe-is-me. But I didn't feel like it was his true personality.

I do think if you haven't been there, you're just NOT going to get it. ;-D

But it's just one of those things that Kit has to work through. If he had it all together at the start of the series, it wouldn't be much of a series.

At the same time, it would get tedious if for five books Kit continued to fret about the same stuff. I like characters to show some growth.


Norma Just finished ASW. WOW. Let me just say that again. WOW. I LOVED this book! I had to keep going back to highlight passages and reread stuff I loved (while chatting with Heather C about it! LOL).

I'm likely in the minority here, but I didn't have the ending figured out until Kit pretty much laid it out for me. I dont know if it's because Josh kept me guessing or because I'm never good at figuring it out. I suspect a bit of both. I think a part of me doesn't want to guess the whodunnit. I want the author to spin a tale and take me for a ride. Well mission accomplished. HOLY COW. I was reading the last pages just now while watching a hockey game with my husband and I gasped so loud he thought someone scored!

I also loved the way Kit grew in this. Yes, it pushed the relationship along and yes I loved that too. But for me it was more satisfying to watch Kit work it all out in his head. I know a lot of people don't like first person narrative, but here it felt essential. JX wears his feelings for Kit on his sleeve. I loved being there to see Kit teeter on that edge.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE tell me there will be more (soon) to this series. It's going on my favorites list! PLEASE! *fangirl squeal*


Norma Ha. I just realized that in comment to what I said about SKHE Josh wrote, "At the same time, it would get tedious if for five books Kit continued to fret about the same stuff. I like characters to show some growth" Well, he did. He's not cured, but he grew. Perfect!


Heather C (HeatherCook) Josh, I saw you twitter post about H&M3 and now I'm sad :( do we need to give you some encouragement, because we love those guys!!

Norma, now I want to go read all my highlights from that one!


Norma Ack. I'm not on twitter. What was his post? Don't leave me hanging like that! It's not nice!!! ;)


Heather C (HeatherCook) I'm going to quote so I hope Josh doesn't mind:

"Woke up this morning with the strange conviction I didn't want to write any more proposals for this year. But that would mean no H&M3, etc."


message 110: by Josh (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 13609 comments It's not that there won't be a H&M3, just that I'm moving even more slowly than I'd planned. I still plan on at least five books in the series. But the thing is, the last few years have been non-stop. Every month some phase of a project has been due -- either the first or the final draft. Every single month.

So what I'm considering is pushing a couple of proposals back about six months, which means pushing the books back about six months too.

But they'll definitely happen. I love this series too, as a matter of fact. I always have fun with those books.


message 111: by Norma (last edited Mar 15, 2011 06:40PM) (new)

Norma Well that makes me very sad. :(

ETA: My reply was to Heather C.

Josh, I would say I get it, but I can't imagine. I'm not an author. But I certainly can't blame a man for needed to give his brain a break. I've never minded having to wait for a book. I'm just glad to know that I have something to wait for. :)


message 112: by Josh (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 13609 comments Norma wrote: "Well that makes me very sad. :("

No! No, I didn't mean NO H&M3, just postponing for a bit. Really.


Heather C (HeatherCook) Its ok Josh, we still love you!! As long as we eventually get another H&M. Jk ;)


Norma We're posting at the same time. :) It's all good. Not done, just postponed. :) *takes deep breath*


message 115: by Alyosha (last edited Mar 15, 2011 06:46PM) (new)

Alyosha | 37 comments Awww, I'm sad that my favorite series will not be getting a new addition soon, buut, I enjoy the waiting and anticipation. muahah.

And it's important that Josh is having fun while writing, too. ;}


Norma Alyosha wrote: "
And it's important that Josh is having fun while writing, too..."


So true!


message 117: by Josh (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 13609 comments Thanks -- all of you. I think I have to step back a little. Things have been so tightly scheduled for so long, and that's not really a creative mindset.

I mean, I do find deadlines necessary, or I would get nothing done, but there have been too many deadlines over the past couple of years. It reaches a point where it becomes counter-productive.


Charming (charming_euphemism) Josh wrote: "So what I'm considering is pushing a couple of proposals back about six months, which means pushing the books back about six months too. "

This sounds like a really good idea to me. Pushing that hard for too long can lead to a nasty case of burnout, or even affect your health. I did something like that once (in very different circumstances). Now I pay more attention to the danger signals.


message 119: by Josh (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 13609 comments Charming wrote: "Josh wrote: "So what I'm considering is pushing a couple of proposals back about six months, which means pushing the books back about six months too. "

This sounds like a really good idea to me. ..."


Thanks, Charming. A few months ago I was whining to my Facebook about my exhaustion and someone listed a bunch of physical issues she'd had pop up from stress -- and horrifyingly enough I'd been experiencing a lot of those and never thinking twice about it: insomnia, indigestion, blah, blah, blah. We're taught to ruthlessly ignore what our body is telling us, but it dawned on me then that if my body was experiencing extreme stress, it was probably not doing my creativity any good.

Although maybe an argument could be made for stress and creativity. Not sure!


Lauraadriana (httpthetipsybibliophilecom) I've been peeking into this thread in case anything came up about the next H&M book...I've been ravenously reading all your books since I discovered Adrien.

I can totally relate to potential burnout though, so slowing down is a good thing...shame for me though cause your books help me steer free from burning out from my sometimes very stressful job...you would not believe what a flashlight, a kindle and Adrien English can do for a girl stuck during a power cut in Somaliland, Ethiopia :)


message 121: by ❂ Endless (last edited Mar 16, 2011 11:08AM) (new)

❂ Endless (Ouroborus) | 2 comments Josh wrote: Although maybe an argument could be made for stress and creativity. Not sure! "

Ah but you see...most of us know that stress and creativity are inversely proportional to each other. There comes a time when one needs to de-stress in order for new thoughts to flow languidly fluid in an un-cramped mind and produce something beautiful :)

*yea i know i'm being a wise-ass* ;P :P :P but it's true!


Blaine (BlaineDArden) | 1555 comments Josh wrote: "Thanks -- all of you. I think I have to step back a little. Things have been so tightly scheduled for so long, and that's not really a creative mindset.

I mean, I do find deadlines necessary, or I would get nothing done, but there have been too many deadlines over the past couple of years. It reaches a point where it becomes counter-productive.
"


I hope you find a schedule that lets you breathe a little and keeps your muse happy, not to mention your SO :D


message 123: by Josh (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 13609 comments Anita wrote: "I hope you find a schedule that lets you breathe a little and keeps your muse happy, not to mention your SO :D"

Still working my way through that, but it's been a productive month so far, so I guess I'm moving in the right direction. If I find myself in the middle of next month with a bunch of colliding deadlines, I'll know I screwed up big time.


Ethan Day | 4 comments Hello All!

I'm hoping this is the right place to post this. : )

The latest interview has posted in my 5.4.8x5 blog series! Josh Lanyon sat down and answered a few questions about the first book in his Holmes and Moriarity mystery series, Somebody Killed His Editor.

Click the link below to read the interview and an excerpt from the book.

http://addictiontofiction.ethanday.co...


Sylvia | 339 comments Ethan wrote: "Hello All!

I'm hoping this is the right place to post this. : )

The latest interview has posted in my 5.4.8x5 blog series! Josh Lanyon sat down and answered a few questions about the first bo..."


You can't find a better place for this post and I think you did a great interview!


Norma ITA with Sylvia! Great interview!


Ethan Day | 4 comments Sylvia wrote: "Ethan wrote: "Hello All!

Thanks Sylvia! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I had a lot of fun with it, but that was easy...it was an awesome book. : )



Ethan Day | 4 comments Norma wrote: "ITA with Sylvia! Great interview!"

Thanks Norma! ; ) It's easy to have a great interview when the subject matter is as great as this book.


message 129: by Josh (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 13609 comments Thanks so much for the interview, Ethan. I love talking about that series!


Ethan Day | 4 comments Josh wrote: "Thanks so much for the interview, Ethan. I love talking about that series!"

Totally my pleasure. You made a lot of happy readers with these guys, me included! : )


message 131: by Lee (new)

Lee Brazil | 46 comments Very much enjoyed both of the books in this series as well, and waiting for the next. Loved Kit's character and JX's- however- would be nice of JX to be less perfect- though as we're seeing him through Kit's eyes, I suppose that's how Kit see him.

Completely see through that lens why Kit would be attracted to JX- however- Kit presents himself as the kind of boyfriend who'd make anybody nuts... would be nice to see exactly why JX puts up with it- I get that he thinks he's in love- but... why? Hoping to see more of that in future books.


Tamela (TamelaDB) | 17 comments I just finished reading Somebody Killed His Editor and loved it totally. Great atmosphere writing. As I said in my review, I was surprised to see a sunny day outside my windows when I looked up from my Kindle. I was expecting rain and gloom :)

Thanks for the fun read and the rest of this series is now on my To Read List.


message 133: by Josh (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 13609 comments Lee wrote: "Very much enjoyed both of the books in this series as well, and waiting for the next. Loved Kit's character and JX's- however- would be nice of JX to be less perfect- though as we're seeing him th..."

Glad you enjoyed them, Lee!


message 134: by Josh (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 13609 comments Tamela wrote: "I just finished reading Somebody Killed His Editor and loved it totally. Great atmosphere writing. As I said in my review, I was surprised to see a sunny day outside my windows when I looked up f..."

That's good to hear, Tamela. I have a love of fun with the series.


Kristie (fangirl1981) | 63 comments Recieved "All She Wrote" today, a whole week before the official release, thank you Amazon.com! I'm sure everybody but me has already read this but I'm psyched. :)


message 136: by Josh (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 13609 comments Kristie wrote: "Recieved "All She Wrote" today, a whole week before the official release, thank you Amazon.com! I'm sure everybody but me has already read this but I'm psyched. :)"

:-D Enjoy!


Becky (Fibrobabe) | 1248 comments Lisa wrote: "Its available in print? Cool. I checked the other day when I pre ordered the The Irregulars, but I didn't see it. I need Josh stuff in print even though I already have it digital!"

The Irregulars is available for pre-order? Where?


message 138: by Becky (last edited Sep 26, 2011 12:06PM) (new)

Becky (Fibrobabe) | 1248 comments Lisa wrote: "Blind Eye Books and Amazon!"

Weird. I looked for it at Amazon, and nothing came up. I'll poke around some more.

ETA: Looks like it's only the print version. I'm so used to buying everything in digital, I forget to check other formats!


message 139: by Josh (last edited Sep 27, 2011 08:57AM) (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 13609 comments All She Wrote comes out in print next week, yes. I just got my author copies a few days ago.

I think, last time I checked, Amazon still showed the old cover All She Wrote (Holmes and Moriarity) by Josh Lanyon

But it's the same book -- All She Wrote (Holmes & Moriarity, #2) by Josh Lanyon


Nicole | 423 comments Becky wrote: "ETA: Looks like it's only the print version. I'm so used to buying everything in digital, I forget to check other formats! "

Hey Becky, the digital version of Irregulars will be available for pre-order on weightlessbooks.com shortly. In the mean time though, I thought I'd mention that we have a promotion going at Blind Eye Books where customers who order a print copy of Irregulars directly from our site will also receive a digital copy for free. I was waiting for everything to be set up before announcing this promo, but since you all were discussing it I thought I'd give you a head's up. Should you choose to pre-order a print copy, just include a note about what format you'd like to receive in the "instructions to merchant" section. (we will have pdf, lit, epub and mobi.

Here's the pre-order link. There's also an excerpt of Josh's piece available.

http://blindeyebooks.com/irregulars.html


Becky (Fibrobabe) | 1248 comments Nicole wrote: "Becky wrote: "ETA: Looks like it's only the print version. I'm so used to buying everything in digital, I forget to check other formats! "

Hey Becky, the digital version of Irregulars will be avai..."


Cool, thanks for the heads up!


message 142: by Josh (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 13609 comments I LOVE that cover. Of course every one of the possibles was great, but that one is just eerie and ominous and...and...blue.

I am partial to blue. :-D

And glowing eyes.


Becky (Fibrobabe) | 1248 comments Josh wrote: "I LOVE that cover. Of course every one of the possibles was great, but that one is just eerie and ominous and...and...blue.

I am partial to blue. :-D

And glowing eyes."


The cover for Out of the Blue always makes me do a double take. It's so yellow!


Blaine (BlaineDArden) | 1555 comments Nicole wrote: "Becky wrote: "ETA: Looks like it's only the print version. I'm so used to buying everything in digital, I forget to check other formats! "

Hey Becky, the digital version of Irregulars will be avai..."


went over there very enthusiastically ... and then I noticed the shipping costs ... ouch.
Guess I'll have to think on it a bit longer ...


Blaine (BlaineDArden) | 1555 comments Josh wrote: "I LOVE that cover. Of course every one of the possibles was great, but that one is just eerie and ominous and...and...blue.

I am partial to blue. :-D

And glowing eyes."


The cover is beautiful, definitely :D


message 146: by Josh (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 13609 comments The cover for Out of the Blue always makes me do a double take. It's so yellow!

I love the hazy gold of that cover! :-D


message 147: by Josh (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 13609 comments Blaine D. wrote: "went over there very enthusiastically ... and then I noticed the shipping costs ... ouch.
Guess I'll have to think on it a bit longer ...
..."


It's harder for a small press to eat shipping costs like Amazon does, but the chance to get the ebook and the print book for the same price is awfully nice -- I say this as someone who is slowly going back and buying a lot of my favorite print books in order to have them available on my Kindle when I travel.

That's not a deal I've seen many publishers offer.


Blaine (BlaineDArden) | 1555 comments Josh wrote: "It's harder for a small press to eat shipping costs like Amazon does, but the chance to get the ebook and the print book for the same price is awfully nice -- I say this as someone who is slowly going back and buying a lot of my favorite print books in order to have them available on my Kindle when I travel.

That's not a deal I've seen many publishers offer. "


I know. It's a great deal (which is why I immediately went to buy it)
I love the idea of buying two formats for one price (print and e-format)
but with the shipping cost being 11.45 (making it a little over 24 dollars) It's still a larger buy than I anticipated.

I just have to take a little time to think about it


message 149: by Blaine (last edited Sep 29, 2011 01:34AM) (new)

Blaine (BlaineDArden) | 1555 comments Blaine D. wrote: "I just have to take a little time to think about it "

Slept on it.
Hubby'll probably kill me, but I caved
of course I caved ...

At least this way I'll have a copy I can actually lend to friends :) (the only drawback of digital versions)


Antonella | 4157 comments Well done! Spread the ''verb'' ;-)


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Books mentioned in this topic

All She Wrote (other topics)
Somebody Killed His Editor (other topics)
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L.B. Gregg (other topics)