Bret Takes 5 with Barbara Jean

Hi there, guys and dolls! And here we go again, another month coming to a close. With it comes one of my favorite things, cozying up to another one of my fellow writers. Please meet Bret Jones, who also loves all things past as much as I do. His LISTENER IN THE DARK, an Old Time Radio Mystery, is just fantabulous and I can’t wait for the next. Keep on reading to get to know the delightful Mr. Jones.

1. So tell me a little about your series and main characters.

The Old Time Radio Mystery series focuses on mysteries involving shows, items, Listener_frontMcGuffins from “old time radio,” which covers a period from the 1920s to 1962. Once the most popular medium for entertainment and media, radio had the life choked out of it when TV became popular. Today, there are several appreciation groups for the lost art form, as well as performers who re-create old shows at conventions and other venues. Tucker Niles, the series’ protagonist, is a DJ in a town in Oklahoma who has a Sunday night slot showcasing old time radio shows. In the first book, a fellow collector and fan of OTR finds the “lost ark” of missing radio shows and ends up dead. Niles sets to find his friend’s killer and discover what he had found.

2.  What is your writing process like? Do you thrive on routine or work spontaneously as the whim takes you? 

The writing process, unfortunately, is interrupted by life! I have writing chores I perform at my job – a Theatre professor at Wichita State University. I write screenplays and web series for student performers to film. I don’t wait on the muse. I try and schedule the time!

3. What exciting moment or moments have made you realize that you were really an “author”?

I thought of myself as an “author” when my first book was published. It made me feel as if I might be on the right track with my writing work.

4. What do you do to spark up your creativity when you feel the well of inspiration is running dry?

I listen to music, old time radio, or watch old movies. All of these spark my creativity and imagination.

5. Who are some of your favorite authors and how do you feel they have influenced your desire to write?

Thomas H. Cook, Charles Todd, and Simon Brett’s Blotto and Twinks series all have inspired me as of late. Cook’s work is so powerful in creating intense emotional moments on the page. Todd’s work is in a time period that I am interested in and study. The Blotto and Twinks series is so silly and fun, which gives me comedic inspiration.

Thanks for dropping by for a chinwag, Bret.  I just love meeting interesting people. And dear friends and readers, be sure to pick up your Kindle copy of LISTENER IN THE DARK today and click here to check out Bret’s website. You’ll be glad you did. Till next time, darlings!


Barbara Jean

About Barbara Jean Coast

Barbara Jean Coast is the pen name of authors Andrea Taylor and Heather Shkuratoff. She is currently hard at work telling the cozy tales of the fictional town of Santa Lucia, loosely based on Santa Barbara in the late 50's, early 60's, known as The Poppy Cove Mysteries.
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