Marc Jedel is the author of the Silicon Valley Mystery series. Fish Out of Water is the first book in his Ozarks Lake Mystery series.
Fish Out of Water – the beginnings
“My wife has felt a little cheated that no character in my other books was based on her—even in some exaggerated fashion,” Marc said. “As I started thinking about starting a second series, I thought it would be fun to set it in a small town in Arkansas so it would feel very different from my Silicon Valley Mystery series. My wife’s grandparents lived in Arkansas on a small ranch and I grew up in the south, spending time in and near Arkansas. That gave me the setting and I used some names and personalities of different relatives for characters in Fish Out Of Water. Alas, there’s still no character based directly on my wife. I’m pretty confident this has been a wise decision for my marriage.”
Marc’s main goal in writing Fish Out of Water was to tell a compelling, yet humorous, murder mystery. “It starts off with the struggle to uncover clues, turns into an avalanche of secrets that get revealed and ends with a rollicking race to the finish. Most cozy mysteries are written from the perspective of a single, typically female, character. I thought it would be fun to have both a woman and man providing first person point-of-view perspectives in roughly alternating chapters. They can go different places, sometimes at the same time, and have very different opinions on the same person. Having them be newlyweds adds the element of new-ness to their relationship as they are still learning about each other.”
It’s all about the escape
“I write my novels for fun and distraction and hope that the stories provide the same things to my readers. I view my novels as successful if they’ve made you smile, caused you to remember some unusual person or situation from your own past, or made you want to spend more time with the characters. My books aren’t the right fit for you if you’re looking for deep introspection, intense psychological thrillers, or dense, wordy prose where nothing much happens. I feel like there’s enough serious, intense, and scary already in people’s lives so reading should be an escape where you’ll enjoy yourself.
“Wingsuit flying, jousting, and bullfighting are all examples of crazy things that I’ve avoided doing in the name of research for this book. I’ve also not attempted tree shaping, extreme ironing, or competitive duck herding. Instead, as I wrote this book entirely during the COVID pandemic, I spent most of the time in self-isolation—also known as normal author behavior. Besides hiking, walking the dog, and participating in way too many Zoom calls, the crazy research for this novel was mostly confined to internet searches. Fortunately I haven’t had any visits from law enforcement. But I’m hopeful that some amount of crazy research will return to my life. After all, I’m planning to write more books and, as they say, life is stranger than fiction.”
Learn more about Marc Jedel at marcjedel.com. Did you like this interview? If so, click here to read more Behind the Story interviews from your favorite authors.