Name (s) Rebecca K. Jones
Genre(s) LGBTQ+, thriller, crime
What drew you to the genre you write? I grew up reading mysteries and crime fiction—one of the perils of having a mystery writer as a parent. My dad, Josh Pachter, introduced me to Golden Age writers at an early age. From Christie, Sayers, and Marsh I graduated to Connelly, Lescroart, and other modern courtroom/police procedural writers. Combine that with my career as a prosecutor (I spent five years handling sex crimes cases and now do complex drug trafficking and racketeering cases), and this was a natural choice.
What sets your book apart from what is out there? Although many of the individual characteristics of my book can be found in others in the genre, my book is the only one I know of that combines all of the following factors: my days are spent doing the work that’s the subject of the book, I’m still a “young” prosecutor (I’ve only been doing this for ten years) and am writing about a young prosecutor (who has only been doing the job for seven years), and my protagonist, Mackenzie Wilson, is gay. Additionally, although the subject matter of Steadying the Ark is dark, I’ve tried hard to infuse the book with the humor that people in the field use as a coping mechanism. My hope is that these things will appeal to readers who may not typically be reading crime fiction.
What are you currently writing? Mostly, my writing right now is non-fiction for my day job! I’ve recently started doing some appellate work, and that keeps me pretty busy. As far as fiction is concerned, I am in the editing process for a short story that I expect to appear in a forthcoming anthology of crime fiction inspired by Paul Simon songs. I’m also, very very slowly, working on a sequel to Steadying the Ark.
Do you write a series or standalones? Why? I’m hopeful this will be a series! As a reader, when I find a character with whom I identify, I always want to know more. What’s the next adventure? How do they cope with change? How do they grow? Since that’s what I want as a reader, that’s what I’m trying to provide as a writer. The protagonist of the book has also appeared in a few short stories that are forthcoming.
What are you reading right now? I read a lot and I read quickly, so my answer to this changes multiple times a week. Lately, I’ve been revisiting the Hercule Poirot and Inspector Alleyn series as audiobooks, which has been a delight. I just finished State of Terror by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny, which I loved. I also just read A Line to Kill, Anthony Horowitz’ most recent, and that was great. Outside of crime/suspense, I’ve been reading a lot of memoirs and oral histories, and am starting to dig into Fredrik Backman’s work.
What is your favorite deadline snack? I struggle with choosing favorites of anything—I don’t want to leave out good options. I like to alternate between Belly Flops, which are the irregular Jelly Belly jellybeans, and fresh popped popcorn.
Do you have a favorite quote or life motto? There are so many! Hanging in my office is a sign with my three New Years’ resolutions, which I’ve used with great success for about ten years now: Practice Gratitude, Have More Fun, Kick Some Ass. That’s what inspires me to keep moving forward.
Favorite writing space? I get distracted very easily, so I have to be very careful about where I work and/or write. No coffee shops here! I do my best work in my home office slash craft room using the Pomodoro method—25 minutes on, five minute breaks, longer break every two hours.
What do you see when you look up from writing? On a good, productive day, I see my dogs. I have a chihuahua, Dr. Watson, and something like a chihuahua, Professor Moriarty. On an unproductive day, they’ve put themselves to bed before I finish working, and I see the framed Broadway and concert posters dotted around my house.
Readers: Have you ever used the Pomodoro method or something similar to get tasks done?
Here’s a bit about Steadying the Ark: Assistant District Attorney Mack Wilson’s days are devoted to arguing a high-profile pedophilia case in the courtroom, but her evenings are troubled by a series of crimes that hit closer to home. Her complicated relationship with ex-girlfriend Anna Lapin, the media madness that swirls around her trial, and the mounting evidence that an unknown stalker is watching her a little too closely combine to threaten the confident prosecutor’s brilliant analytical mind…and her instinct for self-preservation.
Bio: Rebecca K. Jones is a prosecutor and the author of the new book Steadying the Ark. Inspired by her career handling sex crimes cases,
Steadying the Ark follows the twists and turns of a high-profile case and the private lives of the female characters pursuing justice. A proud graduate of Choate Rosemary Hall, Middlebury College, and the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, Rebecca K. Jones now lives in Phoenix with her girlfriend and dogs. This is her first novel.