Today Marty Golden is visiting Ascroft, eh? from Hit and Mist, to tell us about this latest novel in the Silicon Valley mystery series.
Welcome, Marty. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tell us about the novel that you live inside and the series.
I’m Marty Golden, the hero of HIT AND MIST, the fourth book in the Silicon Valley Mystery series. How cool is that to have four books written about your own life? I don’t own a bakeshop, bookstore, or bed & breakfast place although I do eat, read, and sleep a lot. My friend, Marc Jedel, takes my notes and writes down the parts of my life that turn into murder mysteries. I hate that phrase. It makes me sound like I’m going around killing people, but I don’t hurt anyone. I’m a nice guy with a good sense of humor and an active inner voice that sometimes convinces me to jump in to solve a problem even if I don’t yet have a plan.
Although all these other people keep getting killed or know someone who dies, I’m too busy to get involved. But my parents stressed good etiquette when I was growing up so sometimes I have to help out. After all, it’s poor manners to let your friend’s death go unsolved. Or in the case of HIT AND MIST, I couldn’t let my friend go to a prison for a murder I was sure he didn’t commit.
Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too?
It’s a little philosophical to ask someone whether they control their own destiny, isn’t it? All I know is when something bad happens around me or I’m in the middle of trouble and struggling to find an escape, I don’t see Marc Jedel, the writer, there helping me out. He tends to sit at his computer typing all day. Although I’ve seen his office and he now has a sit-stand desk so perhaps that midnight requisition that unfolds in HIT AND MIST was based on reality? For the most part, Marc takes my notes and turns what happened to me into a more polished story. Well, actually his copy editor does all the important polishing so I’m not really sure what Marc’s role is.
How did you evolve as the main character?
The story is told in first person so I kind of had to be the main character. Since I’m the guy who seems to encounter these dead bodies and run into these unusual circumstances, it only makes sense for the story to be about me. I mean, you could write a story about my friend Raj because he’s smarter and helps me when he’s not busy at work, but he’s not as funny and doesn’t seem to get into trouble as often. Also, I’m the one with the secret code name alert in the San Jose police department’s computer system. Just don’t ask me what it is.
I once read a summary that the author wrote about me. Marc said, “Marty isn’t exactly hero material. He has a wonderful combination of wit, irreverent humor and sarcasm mixed in with nerdy insecurities, absent-mindedness, and fumbling but effective amateur sleuthing skills. Sometimes, he even succeeds.” I thought that was rude and didn’t talk to him for a while, even though he was probably accurate.
Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them?
I really enjoy sharing the story with my girlfriend, because, well, she’s my girlfriend. She always has clever ideas when I’m stuck and I’m constantly discovering unusual, new skills of hers.
In addition, I like spending time with my nieces. When my own kids were younger, I worked too much and wasn’t the most involved father. So I’m trying to spend more time with my nieces. Besides, they’re young enough that they still enjoy my dad jokes, or at least I still tell them my favorite ones. The best part of being an uncle is that I can have fun with my nieces and then say goodbye when I’m tired, or they’re cranky, or when Skye becomes a teenager.
What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story?
HIT AND MIST, like all the novels so far in the Silicon Valley Mystery series, takes place in Silicon Valley, centered around San Jose, California. This area was once known as the Valley of Heart’s Delight for its scenic beauty, mild climate, and thousands of acres of blooming fruit trees. Today’s traffic and difficult, overcrowded living conditions for so many people now make this a less than ideal place to live. But the weather is still awesome! Silicon Valley often gets portrayed as some weird, geeky place full of startup billionaires in movies. And while all that is true, the movies miss the wonderful mix of people from different backgrounds, most fairly new to the area, the energy, and the scenery where you can go skiing, hiking amongst redwoods, or surfing all within a few hour drive. And, did I mention the weather?
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book?
Well, I think HIT AND MIST is awesome. I mean it’s all about me, my nieces, sister, girlfriend, and friends so why wouldn’t I think it was the best story ever? My friend, Marc Jedel, thinks my adventures will interest readers because it’s rare to find a cozy mystery with a male sleuth who doesn’t have a conventional cozy mystery job, nor live in a typical cozy mystery locale in a small town by the water. Marc once described me as “Monk meets Inspector Gadget meets Pink Panther.” I’m not so sure about all that but I do think he forgot to include “meets James Bond” in that description.
Thanks for answering my questions, Marty, and good luck to you and your author, Marc Jedel with Hit and Mist, the latest book in the Silicon Valley Mystery series.
The novel is available at the following online retailers:
About Marc Jedel: For most of his life, he’s been inventing stories. His writing skills were honed in years of marketing leadership positions in Silicon Valley. While his high tech marketing roles involved crafting plenty of fiction, he called these marketing collateral, emails and ads.
The publication of his first novel, Uncle and Ants, gave him permission to claim “author” as his job. And achieving Amazon Best Seller status gave him even better adjectives to use in front of “author.” Like Marty, he lives in Silicon Valley and can’t believe that otherwise normal people would willingly jump out of an airplane and call it fun. Unlike Marty, he has a wonderful wife and a neurotic but sweet, small dog, who is often the first to weigh in on the humor in his writing.