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The Road To Jam Run

Coconut palm trees silhouettes at sunset. Russell Brooks
Jam Run Palm Trees Russell Brooks

An update on the upcoming suspense thriller, Jam Run.

Great news. I finished writing Jam Run, the sequel to Chill Run. Now for the less than great news, there’s still several months to go before you’ll get to read it.

Why the long wait?

Simple. I only finished writing the first draft on October 21, 2020—which is well ahead of the December 15 deadline I gave myself. The next steps are the revisions, and the fact-checking with collaborators. I’m getting help from Norris Douglas, the CEO of Real Tours Jamaica which is based in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Since COVID-19 shut down almost everything, including my travel plans to Jamaica earlier this year, I’ll be working with Norris virtually. Since the story takes place in Jamaica—and considering that I’ve never visited the island, he’ll be my eyes, ears, and nose for all the Jamaican subject matter and content of the novel. Sure, I’ve done research online, but there’s only so much one can get from news articles, magazines, documentaries and other videos. Then there’s fact checking the use of guns, martial arts, and also some scientific subject matter .Once that’s done, I’ll be working with my editor, Lisa Martinez, to bring the manuscript to publication standard.

Wait a minute, Norris Douglas will also be your nose?

That’s correct. As I mentioned, I’ve never been to Jamaica, so I don’t know the landscape. The last thing I want is to have Eddie and Corey being somewhere like a funeral home or a church at a specified location—only to have a Jamaican citizen email me to inform me that Eddie and Corey would’ve been next to a sewage treatment facility.

But Chill Run didn’t have Ridley Fox and Nita Parris. Where are they?

Ridley and Nita are still around. When I last checked on Fox he was recovering from serious injuries he sustained during hand-to-hand-combat. As for Doctor Nita Parris, she was somewhere under NOC (Non-Official Cover) after intelligence reported that someone may try to weaponize a mutated strain of COVID. But since that’s classified, I can’t tell you anymore.

So you’re bringing back Eddie Barrow and his best friend Corey Stephenson? I thought that Chill Run was supposed to be a standalone.

I thought that it would end up being one too. That was until I was researching subject matter for the next Ridley Fox/Nita Parris story when I recalled reading about the savage murder of a drag queen in Montego Bay. A teenage boy named Dwayne Jones was bold enough to attend a straight dance club dressed as a woman. He had everyone convinced that he was a female until he was outed by a young woman from church who was also at the club. Jones was viciously beaten and stabbed, then left for dead in a ditch where he was found the next day. Up until this day his killers have not been caught. What bothers me the most is that even though there were well over 300 people in attendance, no one came to Jones’s help.

I was exploring ideas for a follow-up to the events of The Demeter Code, but I couldn’t get the story of Dwayne Jones out of my mind. Then I asked myself, “What if Eddie and Corey witnessed something similar, what would they have done? And, how would their lives be endangered from doing the right thing? Or, what if Eddie found clues pointing to something bigger? The more questions I asked myself, the more of the story I wrote to get the answers.

There were many readers who complained that Chill Run started off too slow and wasn’t fast paced. May readers expect the same thing from Jam Run?

Ha! Those readers certainly did not read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. That story took a very long time before it got moving, and certainly much longer than Chill Run, in my opinion. But even though TGWTDT began slowly, it’s still a great novel, and one of my favourites—along with the other two books in the trilogy. I recommend to readers the importance of being patient while reading.
With Jam Run, the story takes place roughly 2 ½ to 3 years after the events of Chill Run. By the end of the first chapter there’s already a dead body. The plot is more complex than its predecessor, so there’s a larger story to tell.

Will this be a cozy mystery, such as Agatha Christie or Murder She Wrote?

No cozies from me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against cozies. It’s just that I’m not the right author for them. Jam Run’s a mystery, but a hard-boiled one, similar to J.A. Konrath’s Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels series. And just like Chill Run and The Demeter Code, the reader will be guessing from chapter to chapter. They may think they figured everything out, only to be thrown another curveball. As usual, there will be plot twists, and several questions will be raised. By the last chapter, they’ll all be answered.

Will Jam Run also be available as an audiobook and/or will it be translated in other languages?

These are separate projects that I am currently working on, and I’ve applied for grants for each. Getting them completed all depends on whether I get these grants or not.

Now that Eddie and Corey are back, will there be future novels in this series?

There are tons of stories out there that could feature both Eddie and Corey. They aren’t the same kind of people as Ridley and Nita. For instance, you’ll see Eddie and Corey at the grocery store or the gas station and you may know who they are. As for Ridley and Nita, you may bump into them without even knowing who they really are or what they do for a living. With Eddie and Corey, the life and death situations they’ll face in Jam Run are like none they’ve ever experienced. This will forever change them. As a result, it will help them adapt to different challenges they’ll face in the future.

Expect Jam Run to be out in 2021. Chill Run can be purchased here.

 

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