Episode 249: Thrillers, Cozies, and Everything in Between — Interview with Jon Land

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Hey there word nerds!

Today I have the absolute pleasure of hosting Jon Land on the show!

You may remember Jon from a previous episode where he took part in a round table interview  live from last year’s ThrillerFest along with two other bestselling thriller authors: Lisa Gardner and Karin Slaughter. Today though he’s here solo to let me pick his brain and give you his own nuggets of writing wisdom.

Jon is the USA Today bestselling author of over 44 books, including the critically acclaimed and award-winning Caitlin Strong series, whose ninth installment, Strong to the Bone, won the 2017 American Book Fest Award for Mystery/Suspense.

Also in the mystery genre, Jon took over writing the Murder She Wrote series in 2018 with A Date with Murder as his first entry.

His latest novel, the most recent installment of his Caitlin Strong series, Strong as Steel, is available now, and his next entry in the beloved Murder She Wrote series, Murder in Red, will be released in May of 2019.

So listen in as Jon and I chat about these two amazing books and the ways in which cozies and thrillers converge.

In this episode Jon and I discuss:

  • How to juggle writing two very different series at the same time.
  • The structural elements of the thriller vs. the cozy mystery.
  • How the scope of your world supports the character’s quest.
  • The mechanisms used to craft a cozy thriller.
  • Being genuine and honest with your readers.

Plus, Jon’s #1 tip for writers.

About Jon Land

Jon Land is the USA Today bestselling author of over 44 books, including the critically acclaimed and award-winning Caitlin Strong series. One of the latest books in that series, Strong to the Bone, won the 2017 American Book Fest Award for Mystery/Suspense.

Also in 2017, Jon teamed up with ThrillerMaster Heather Graham to write The Rising, the first in a groundbreaking sci-fi series.   

On top of all this he also took over writing the Murder She Wrote series in 2018 with A Date with Murder as his first entry.

Jon’s latest novel, the most recent installment of his Caitlin Strong series, Strong as Steel, is available now, and his next entry in the Murder She Wrote series, Murder in Red, will be released in May of 2019.

To connect with Jon check out his website at www.jonlandbooks.com.

And listen in to Jon’s round table interview with Lisa Gardner and Karin Slaughter where they discuss crafting strong female protagonists in thrillers at DIYMFA.com/213.

Strong as Steel

1994: Texas Ranger Jim Strong investigates a mass murder on a dusty freight train linked to a mysterious, missing cargo for which no record exists.

The Present: His daughter, fifth generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong, finds herself on the trail of that same cargo when skeletal remains are found near an excavation site in the Texas desert. She’s also dealing with the aftermath of a massacre that claimed the lives of all the workers at a private intelligence company on her watch.

These two cases are connected by a long buried secret, one that men have killed and died to protect. Caitlin and her outlaw lover Cort Wesley Masters must prove themselves to be as strong as steel to overcome a bloody tide that has been rising for centuries.

Murder in Red

In the latest entry in the USA Today bestselling series Murder She Wrote, Jessica loses a loved one to unnatural causes and sets her sights on the mysterious local hospital before more people wind up dead on arrival…

Jessica Fletcher’s favorite gin rummy partner, Mimi Van Dorn, checks into the brand-new Clifton Care Partners, a private hospital that’s just opened up shop in town, for a simple procedure—one that leads tragically, and inexplicably, to her death. Seeking justice in her inimitable fashion, Jessica decides to pursue her own investigation on the hospital and its shadowy business dealings.

On the trail of what initially appears to be medical malpractice, Jessica digs deeper and learns her friend was actually a victim of something far more sinister. Death is bad for business, but murder is even worse, and Jessica will find plenty of both as she races to bring down Clifton Care Partners before someone else flatlines…

If you decide to check out Strong as Steel or would like to pre-order Murder in Red, we hope you’ll do so via these Amazon affiliate links, where if you choose to purchase via the link DIY MFA gets a referral fee at no cost to you. As always, thank you for supporting DIY MFA!

Link to Episode 249

(Right-click to download.)

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