Monday, January 28, 2013

Interview with Mystery Author Jinx Schwartz

My guest this week is the funny, often outrageous Jinx Schwartz. Jinx is the author of the Hetta Coffey mysteries.

What’s the best thing about living on a boat?
Being on the water. I love, love it, even at a marina, but prefer to be at anchor. We are surrounded by sea birds diving for fish, rays doing an aerial ballet, turtles blowing in the night, and dolphins cavorting. Once in awhile, a whale blows. Now THAT will get your attention, especially if it is close!

What’s the worst thing?
See photo. Need I say more? Getting caught in a storm you can't hide from. We now have another boat.

What, if anything, do you miss about living on land?
We live on land several months of the year, and it's fine. I like my dishwasher. Given a choice, I'll take the boat, but both work for us. My husband is a golfer; he gets summers on the green, and I get winters on the water. I do not play golf, for I have way too much self-respect.

Have you actually met some of the characters you write about?
Oh, yes. First off, people who venture offshore in a boat less than several hundred feet long are a different breed. They are risk takers, rebels, dream seekers, and some are just plain nuts. Great material for books.

Do you suspect some of the people you meet are running or hiding from another life? 
Absolutely. We were approached on the beach once by a guy who stood out like, well, a landlubber. Turned out he was an insurance investigator and wanted to know if we knew a guy named X, who was reportedly living on a sailboat down here in Mexico. When I asked the name of the boat, the man said, "Elusive." He stomped off while I was still rolling on the ground laughing.

Who, living or dead, would you most like to spend an evening with? Why?
My parents and grandmother, of course.
However, for a stranger I'd pick Hunter S. Thompson, in a bar. Who wouldn't want to spend time with a guy who said: "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity, but they've always worked for me."

Which, if any, other authors have influenced you?
Larry McMurtry. Seriously, who wins a Pulitzer Prize for a Western?  I love his sense of history and, because I am a Texan, his Texas-ness. We have our own brand of humor, sense of place in History, and even self-deprecation.  I am a ninth-generation Texan, which makes me even more unbearable than most. 

Who would you like to play your main characters in a movie?
Hmmmm. Hetta Coffey? A younger Bette Midler. Even if she is a Yankee. Hetta Coffey is a sassy Texan with a yacht, and she'd not afraid to use it!

Which of your characters would you most like to meet in person?
Oh, I've met them all, trust me.

Anything else you want to say?
I always have a lot to say, just ask my friends. Some of it is even true, although the odds aren't that good.

I was raised all over the world, in Texas. My dad built dams and we dragged relatives, and chile con queso, with us to Haiti, Thailand, Puerto Rico and the like. I followed his steel-toed footsteps into the building bidness and continued wandering around the globe. I started writing to set the record straight after reading a Texas history book referring to my ancestors as "a congenial society for evil." That just wouldn't do, so I wrote The Texicans.
Twitter: @jinxschwartz I manically retweet interesting stuff posted by others. If boring, I Unfollow.

JUST ADD WATER (Book 1) Award-winning Hetta Coffey series
Amazon author page:


Sandy Cody said...

Nice to meet you Jinx. It seems you're doing what many dream about, but never quite around to doing. Kudos!

By the way, I'm not from TX, but from MO (transplanted to PA, which I also love). Friends tell me I still I have a bit of the "show me" quality. Hope so. I think it a good thing to be both open to new places and true to your roots.

Thanks, Ellis, for introducing us.

Jerrie Alexander said...

Great interview ladies. My husband would love to live on the water. We tease him that he'll come back as a black bass in his next life just to tease other fishermen.

Much luck, Jinx!

Sunny Frazier said...

I'm a wimpy Californian and, although I was in the Navy, I really don't care much for the ocean (go figure). I feel secure in the San Joaquin Valley, protected by mountains on all sides and safe from the Angelinos. The only water I want is in my pool.

However, I do love your sense of adventure and admire that you can live in a confined space. Have no idea where you put all your books but imagine you have a Kindle. I put sailing right up there with mountain climbing--something for the risk-takers that I will never be enticed to try.

Ellis Vidler said...

All I remember about my year in Texas is being astonished that school lunches included tortillas instead of biscuits and that it was HOT.

I'm really a landlubber but I do love lakes and rivers. I admire you for doing what you love. Hetta's fun too!

Thanks for being here, Jinx.

jinx schwartz said...

Thanks to all for your comments, and Ellis, for having me as a guest. I am anchored out right now, and got really lucky with Interent this afternoon, but normally it is either not at all or very slow.
However, guess who is getting some writing done??? Yippee!

Polly Iyer said...

Nice to learn more about you, Jinx. Would have popped in earlier, but I was on my way to the beach. I love the ocean, more looking at it now than diving in. I admire your adventurousness.