Marc Jedel author of the Silicon Valley Mystery series. Hit and Mist is the fourth book in the series.
From the headlines to Hit and Mist
“The idea for Hit And Mist was sparked by a newspaper article that I read. To explain it would give away the story’s ending but I’ve included a link to the article at the end of my novel for readers who are interested. Most of my stories start with some spark of real-world experience or something I’ve read and then I figure out how to throw my characters into the middle and how to make life harder for my protagonist along the way. Although the books can be read standalone, they share many of the same characters.”
More than just humor
In what he called a rare moment of introspection, Marc decided that the Silicon Valley Mystery series should be about more than just humor wrapped in a mystery. “A literary scholar, if one were ever foolish enough to select my novels for their dissertation, might say they’re about a search for family life, friends and happiness. However, Marty, my protagonist, typically doesn’t realize this is what he wants out of life, so he tries hard to return to the quiet, simple and peaceful life that he had before his sister and his nieces moved to town.”
Marc said, “I’ve wanted to write a book forever. For the longest time, it seemed I couldn’t come up with a good plot. Yet, my writing research clearly demonstrated that having a plot is critical for a successful book. One day, I received this awesome birthday drawing from my nieces. And my kids, or nieces, or one of my friends’ kids had done some crazy things. Probably all of the above.”
Once the ideas started, Marc was able to develop a mystery about a self-absorbed, fashion-backward software engineer, his sister, and his nieces. “The ideas kept flowing,” Marc said. “I had characters, plot points, and concepts for more books. I’ve finished four so far and have ideas for two more and a separate series.”
From introvert to outgoing
“Ever since I started down the path of becoming a mystery author, I’ve found that my internet searches have become quite strange,” Marc said. “I definitely hope that no one has hacked my Wi-Fi and wonders why I’m looking for unusual ways to kill people or researching whether certain substances will cause instant versus lingering death.”
Marc has also found himself paying far more attention to people in lines at restaurants and other public places. “While I’ve always been an introvert, I’m now very willing to approach people I’ve never met to ask them about their unusual clothes or to ask a question about something I overheard. Who’d have thought that becoming an author would make me more outgoing and odd at the same time?”
Drawing from experience
“A surprising number of the anecdotes and parts of the text exchanges in my books are based on real life. For example, most of Buddy’s escapades across the series are based on a few friends’ dogs. My own dog is too small and neurotic to be helpful as an inspiration for Buddy.”
Marc said that for an action scene in Uncle and Ants, he needed an entertaining way for his protagonist to escape trouble. The problem was that, despite Marty’s almost overwhelming desire to be an action hero, he’s not.
“After a lot of research, I stumbled across a homemade smoke bomb made from common household materials. But then, I wasn’t sure if this would really work the way I wanted so it was time to experiment. Fortunately I was smart enough to test this outside on my driveway because the thick, acrid smoke drove me and the neighbors hustling inside to avoid the stench. You’ll have to read Uncle And Ants (book 1) to find out why and how it was set off and what happened next.”
Learn more about Marc Jedel at marcjedel.com.