Today Chloe Jackson is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about From Beer to Eternity, the first novel in the Chloe Jackson, Sea Glass Saloon mystery series.
Welcome, Chloe. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tell us about the novel that you live inside. Is it part of a series? If so, please tell us about the series too. Hi, I’m Chloe Jackson and this is my debut in the Sea Glass Saloon mystery series. So I’m excited (and a little nervous, but don’t tell anyone!) In From Beer to Eternity I work at a beach bar – the Sea Glass Saloon in the panhandle of Florida. Normally, I’m a children’s librarian in Chicago so this has been a scary change for me. The worst part is the woman I’m here to help (my best friend Boone’s grandmother) doesn’t want me here! But I promised Boone I’d help her so you can see what a terrible situation I’ve been thrown into. (Looks at writer – shakes fist.) And then I found one of our patrons dead behind the bar. Let me tell you that was no fun at all. Next thing I know Boone’s grandmother is suspect numero uno and the only way I’m ever going to make it back to Chicago is to find the real killer. If I make it out of this mess there are more books in the series – she’s writing the second one, A Time to Swill, now. From page one she is putting me through a lot.
Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too? Between us, I let the writer think she’s in control. It’s just easier that way, but we all know who is really calling the shots – me!
How did you evolve as the main character? I was the obvious choice even though the writer had a lot of trouble naming me. I was like “hello, I’m Chloe” but she didn’t pay any attention. When we finally got over that hurdle we had to pick a car (vintage red Volkswagen Beetle), find a place for me to live (she really put me through the paces with that one), and agree on my backstory. Native Chicagoan that had a tragic incident happen when I was ten that pretty much shaped my entire life. She also saddled me with two older brothers – go figure. Everyone has different ways of dealing with their tragedies, but I’m still trying to figure all of that out.
Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them? Joaquín Diaz – fisherman by morning, bartender the rest of the time. He has more moves than Elvis and Ricky Martin combined. He’s my first friend in Emerald Cove and he’s the pacifier to the oil and water that defines the uneasy relationship between Boone’s grandmother and me.
What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story? It is stunning! White sandy beaches, aquamarine water in the Gulf of Mexico. And even though the bar I work in is called a “saloon” it’s more tiki hut than western bar. The view is spectacular. There’s a reason they call this area the Emerald Coast. Tourists flock to the place so the traffic can be iffy.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book? I quickly found out that dealing with drunks and toddlers wasn’t that different. My librarian voice works well with bar patrons. And whew, am I glad I took the self-defense course for librarians when it was offered. I didn’t think I’d ever need it, but I couldn’t have been more wrong!
Thanks for answering my questions, Chloe, and good luck to you and your author, Sherry Harris with From Beer to Eternity, the first book in the Chloe Jackson, Sea Glass Saloon Mystery series.
The novel is available at the following online retailers:
About Sherry Harris: Sherry is the Agatha Award-nominated author of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery series and the upcoming Chloe Jackson Sea Glass Saloon mysteries. She is a past president of Sisters in Crime, and a member of the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime, the New England Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers.
In her spare time, Sherry loves reading and is a patent-holding inventor. Sherry, her husband, and guard dog Lily are living in northern Virginia until they figure out where they want to move to next.