Jody Wallace (Author Interview)
Please tell us something unique about you we can’t learn from your bio.
I just asked my husband, “What would you say is one of the most unique things about me, honey?” and he said, “Your mystery illnesses.” Man, I hope he’s enjoying this couch we’re sitting on, because he’s sleeping here tonight!
What’s your writing routine like?
I get the kids to school, see if Grandma needs anything, eat breakfast, drink coffee, and head to my favorite spot in the world—the couch in my basement where my computer and crochet hooks live! I do marketing in the morning and writing/editing in the afternoon, until the after-school dance class taxi time. Sometimes in the evenings I get more computer time along with hubby time. This is on days I don’t have to run errands or help Grandma. She and her 4 cats live with us and our 2 cats. It’s a crazy cat house around here.
What’s the most exotic setting you’ve chosen for one of your stories and why did you choose it?
I’ve never been to Nome, Alaska, and I set part of a book there anyway. I read blog entries of people who lived there, who’d visited there, with an emphasis on photo essays. I also have an author friend who has lived in several places in Alaska, Cathy Pegau, and I have to give a shout-out to her awesome Charlotte Brody mystery series that’s set in turn of the century Alaska. If I hadn’t already had access to Cathy to pick her brain about small Alaskan towns, her books would have also provided some great research material.
If you could live in one of your stories, which one would you choose and why?
I would totally want to live on board Ship from the Maelstrom series! Not only is the medical technology astounding compared to ours – I may or may not suffer from some mystery illnesses, according to some jerk who’s going to be sleeping on the couch – but I would love to get to know a sentient AI in real life. I guess Ship probably counts as my favorite secondary character in the Maelstrom series as well.
What stories do you wish you had time to write?
Books 4-6 of the Maelstrom Chronicles! I have rough outlines sketched out, but I don’t know when I get to write them. I also really love working on a particular spoof science-fiction-romance series I’ve self-published, which is in choose your own adventure format. The Adventures of Mari Shu is absolutely terrible and more fun to write than a basket of kittens.
Adam Alsing has no idea who he is or why he’s huddled naked in the snow next to a mysterious silver pod. When a gorgeous, no-nonsense sheriff by the name of Claire Lawson rescues him, she explains the planet’s under attack—and he’s been missing for over two years. The problem is, what he doesn’t remember can kill them.
He nearly destroyed the world, but with her help, he can save it.
Keeping the peace in her post-apocalyptic town is all the trouble Sheriff Claire Lawson can handle. Until the MIA Chosen One—the guy who could have prevented the apocalypse—interrupts her supply run. The Shipborn aliens want to study him, and what’s left of the Terran government wants to lock him up. But his charming demeanor and his desire to help, along with his sexy smile, has Claire fighting her better judgment to keep Adam around. For now.
Adam Alsing—at least that’s what they tell him his name is—just knows he wants to stay with Claire. She’s the one thing that makes him feel grounded. Grounded and kind of turned on, but these are serious times. The monsters have stepped up their attacks and nobody knows why. He’ll help her protect her town, her Shipborn friends, and every human on Earth who hates him for being the man he can’t remember being. He’s afraid he’s still that man, the one who failed the planet. Or is he something entirely new and even more dangerous?
Claire flipped down the visor of the Humvee when the late afternoon sun nearly blinded her, reflecting off the white of the latest snowfall. She and two other loads of able bodies out of Camp Chanute were returning from a hardware- and tech-foraging mission to the mostly deserted city of Bloomington, Illinois. The long, straight roads, free of debris and stalled cars, didn’t lend themselves to ambushes— humans or monsters. Detritus littered the highways to the north, thicker as the roads approached Chicago.
She didn’t make foraging trips toward Chicago if it could be helped.
But the visor didn’t cancel out the glare. She blinked and squinted. Her eyesight had been enhanced by her Shipborn associates, enough to ascertain the flash of light wasn’t reflecting off the snow. For that kind of glint, it had to be a metallic object.
An object that hadn’t been there when they’d driven this road this morning. She knew this highway well, and that huge field had dead corn in it. Nothing else.
“Slow down,” she told the driver. “You see that?”
Will shook his head. “I just see snow. Snow and old, dead corn. Maybe it’s one of the Children of the Corn.”
“Shut up.” Claire flicked on the radio to talk to the supply truck. Dixie had the best binoculars. “Dix, what do you make on the right side of the road? Far midfield.”
Static crackled through the speaker before Dixie’s response. “I don’t see any…wait. Huh. There’s a big silver thingamabob, but sugar, I don’t know what it is. Weather blimp or something? Could be Shipborn.”
“That doesn’t make sense. Will, get us closer.”
Will stepped on the accelerator, increasing speed until the object came into focus—sleek and silver, possibly some kind of vessel. No landing marks around it, but no snow built up on it, either. Didn’t look like Ship 1001 or its shuttles, which tended to be roughly triangular. More like a giant pill, so brightly silver it was almost white. Hard to see against the patchy snow. Was that a window? A door?
The sun emerged from behind a cloud and sparkled on the metal again, obscuring the details.
“I’m going to check it out. Hold position,” she advised Dixie before directing Will off road.
When the Humvee thumped through the corn stubble that rose above the snow, she pressed a hand against the ceiling to keep from bouncing into it. A gentle rise ahead took them out of sight of the object.
“Be careful,” Dixie chided over the radio. “Last time you went to check something out, that group of survivalist dregs from Chicago ambushed you.”
Soul-sucking black shades and vicious flying red daemons, the most common varieties of the interdimensional entities currently attempting to destroy their planet, weren’t the only dangers on post-apocalypse Earth. The Shipborn had helped quell the worst of the human-against-human atrocities, but their code wouldn’t allow them to lord over the planet the way Claire sometimes wished she could.