JA JANCE GOES ROGUE – SPOILER ALERT! She gives Rogue Readers the Inside Scoop on FIELD OF BONES

by | Aug 24, 2018 | Extraordinary Guest Bloggers, The Writer's Life | 6 comments

Submitted by Robin Burcell

We’re delighted to host New York Times Bestselling author, JA Jance on Rogue Women Writers. You’ll love reading her inside scoop on Field of Bones. And at the end, there’s a personal note from JA Jance, along with links where you can pick up autographed copies! Enjoy!

By JA Jance

There’s a new book coming, and it’s called Field of Bones. Joanna Brady #18 goes on sale September 4.  (Wait, how can there be that many of those already?  Didn’t I just start writing them yesterday?  I guess time flies when you’re having fun.)

Spoiler alert:  In this book JOANNA HAS THE BABY!  It’s a girl!  

The last time Joanna was expecting, the story-line for Denny’s pregnancy and birth meandered through three separate books. This time it’s only two. Oh, and she WINS THE ELECTION!  The problem is, if she didn’t win, that would most likely mean the end of the series. I’m not ready for that, and I doubt my readers are, either.
FOB out Sept. 4, 2018

Where did this book come from? One of the characters, Latisha Marcum, showed up in my head and wouldn’t go away. She is by turns naive, tough, resilient, brave, stubborn, and ultimately believably triumphant. The thing is, she didn’t go away even after I finished writing the book. A week or so after I completed the manuscript, I had a dream about Latisha in which the two of us sat down and had a long conversation. I knew I was the writer. She had no idea.  It’s the first and only time in all my years of being a writer that I actually dreamt about one of my characters.

Most of the action in FOB, as we call it around here, takes place in the corner of Arizona that stretches from Douglas east to the New Mexico border, right along with the border with Mexico. People in Cochise County routinely refer to those two entities as New Mexico and Old Mexico respectively. Whenever I make that differentiation in one of my books, I receive E-MOOs  (E-mails of Outrage) explaining in high dudgeon that there’s no such thing as Old Mexico.  Sometimes, however, that’s what you get to do when you write regional books—you get to BE regional.

That seemingly empty corner of Arizona comes loaded with history.  Skeleton Canyon in the Peloncillo Mountains is where Geronimo surrendered. The Mormon Battalion passed through Skeleton Canyon, too, where they found the terrain so steep that they had to disassemble their wagons and raise and lower them and their livestock by using a block and tackle. And it was here in the San Bernardino Valley that Texas John Slaughter lived and ranched while also serving as the Sheriff of Cochise County. I find Arizona endlessly fascinating, and I hope my readers do, too.

One of the advantages of writing a series is watching as a character evolves over time.  We’ve seen Joanna’s daughter, Jenny, grow up before our eyes. In this book, she’s off to college.  Not only is Joanna juggling two little ones in FOB, a kindergartener and a newborn, she’s also struggling with a new role in life.  In the previous book, Downfall, she was preoccupied with the details of losing her mother and stepfather and with planning Eleanor’s and George’s joint funeral and memorial services. Now she’s stepping out as the “older generation.” She’s now the grownup in the room because she has to be. Let’s see how she handles it.

Enjoy, and happy Dog Days of Summer.
Avoid the heat wherever possible.

Duel of Death out in paperback Sept. 2018

A personal note from JA Jance:

Regular readers of my blog have already seen this information, but newsletter readers may not be aware of it, so I’m repeating it, just to be on the safe side. I’m having issues with my right shoulder. It doesn’t interfere with typing—I’m icing it right now—but it interferes with traveling. Things like dragging luggage around airports or lifting it into an overhead compartment aren’t in my wheelhouse right now. So for this time out, I’ve taken the book tour off the table.  That’s why there are no scheduled events posted—there aren’t any. Some retailers will have signed but not personalized books available. Barnes and Noble stores will have a limited number available nationwide. Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, Mostly Books in Tucson, and V.J. Books in Portland will have signed books as well.  (By the way, the last one mentioned is an on-line presence only—no brick and mortar.)  In addition, copies of Field of Bones sold by Costco will have an additional piece in it—an essay recounting the story of how a chance encounter with a serial killer in 1970 ended up bringing me into the world of mystery writing some fifteen years later.

All that is to say I’m sorry I won’t have a chance to meet up with any of you on the road, but them’s the breaks.

JA Jance

JA Jance, thank you so much for stopping by! We wish you well, and hope your shoulder is better soon. We’re looking forward to reading Field of Bones. 

So, Rogue Readers, do you have a favorite book by JA Jance?

Don’t Miss a Thing!



  1. Gayle Lynds

    Thrilling to have this intel! Can't wait to read Duel to the Death!

  2. Robin Burcell

    Thanks so much for stopping by, JA. I can't wait to get my copy of FIELD OF BONES and see how a baby adds to the mix! (I just love that you did this. Seems to me that most of our main characters are divorced or kidless, because of the complications it provides. (I suppose for someone like 007, this might be true, but for the characters who are–fiction-wise–more like the rest of us, this is a natural progression.)

  3. Karna Bodman

    "A chance encounter with a serial killer?" Tell us more about that. Also, incredible that you actually dreamed about a conversation with your character….this FIELD OF BONES sounds like a real winner. Good luck and sure hope your shoulder feel better ASAP. Thanks for a great post.

  4. Chris Goff

    J.A., I love the E-MOO acronym. I have been on the receiving end of emails correcting me for minor, minor errors that are seriously important to the reader of record. For instance, the color of a peregrine falcon's eyes, the signal for OK when you're diving, etc. And, I've always thanked them for pointing out my errors. In your case, however, it seems as though you've fallen victim to "truth vs. belief." I know a few authors who have received scathing emails correcting them for things that are true. You hear authors say that what matters most in fiction is that it's believable. Fiction writers write some farfetched things sometimes, but I wonder how many of us perpetuate things/ideas that are commonly believed but really aren't true. I suppose it's easier than trying to change people's minds. And sometimes, many times, it would be very difficult to give a reader the facts to support the truth. Now I'm anxious to read FIELD OF BONES, not just for the great story you always tell, but to see how you handled this thorny issue.

  5. Lisa Black

    I love hearing about the real life history—they stuff you don’t see in old Westerns!

  6. Jamie Freveletti

    Old Mexico and Skeleton Canyon! Love the regional aspect and the area steeped in history. Can't wait to read FIELD OF BONES and thanks for being our guest!