INTERVIEW WITH JAYNE KRENTZ

 

UNTOUCHABLE by Jayne Krentz is the finale in the Cutler, Sutter, and Salinas series. It intertwines a good mystery, suspense, and a little romance, while delving into the world of mind control through lucid dreams and hypnosis.

The hero of the story, Jack Lancaster, has his mother killed in the cult fire set by Quinton Zane when Jack was 12, and since then he has been on a quest to find the murderer. His profession is related to his obsession, becoming a professor, author, and consultant on Cold Cases that have the victims killed by fire. The lucid-dreams give him the ability to be partially awake and able to manipulate them. This allows him more clarity in solving the cases he’s working on. But when his fiery dreams begin to take a disturbing turn, Jack seeks the help of Winter Meadows, his neighbor in Eclipse Bay on the Oregon coast. She is a hypnotist billed as a mediation instructor who is helping him control the dreams.

The initial bond formed between Winter and Jack comes from the connection of losing their parents to tragedy. This escalates after he saves Winter from a stalker who wants to kill her. Convinced that this has something to do with Zane he enlists the help of his father and brothers who also lost loved ones to the fire. Jack and Winter’s ensuing investigation becomes a game of cat and mouse between themselves and a criminal who always assumes he is the smartest in the room. With Winter’s assistance, Jack begins what he hopes will be his final quest to capture Zane.

This story has a unique plot and likeable main characters. The investigation is fast-paced and compelling as the foster family, assisted by the women they become romantically involved with, attempt to find and bring down the cult leader before he brings them down.

Elise Cooper:  Are you interested in the psychic stuff?

Jayne Krentz:  This book delves into hypnosis and lucid dreams.  It is a blending of not being quite awake and being in the world.  It means you are in a dream that can be controlled to some extent.  Regarding hypnosis, it has been around for hundreds of years, but always has that woo-woo factor. In my research, I found it impossible to conduct a double-blind test because some people are not hypnotizable, and others are susceptible to suggestions. In this story, I took both to extremes.

EC:  Sleepwalking?

JK: I also put in about sleepwalking, which is supposed to be a childhood thing that people outgrow.  I think it is more of a trance-like state.  I do know people who have done it and they are aware enough not to hurt themselves.  I am told they just wake up in another place.

EC:  You have a quote throughout the book, “Anything can be found on the Internet.”  Is that how you did the research?

JK:  People can verify a simple fact in minutes.  The librarian in me is cautious because I always want to know the source of that information.  I find what I want by using the correct key words and then I find clues.  Of course, I make sure to know the source of that information before I consider it as fact.

EC:  The catchword for hypnosis is Winnie The Pooh, are you a fan?   

JK:  Who doesn’t love the Pooh bear.  I wanted to find something a child would hang on to after losing her family.  With this character Winter had a touch of her past when things were happier.

EC:  How would you describe Jack?

JK:  He is my core hero prototype.  He is a strong and decent man who believes in honor.  Because of his psychic vibe he brings another talent to the story, a larger than life element.  He likes to control his emotions and is very cautious.

EC:  How would you describe Winter?

JK:  Gutsy, with similar elements to Jack including honor, courage, and integrity.

EC:  How would you describe their relationship?

JK:  In my stories the hero and heroine see the same virtues in each other.  This attracts them to each other at first.  I think before falling in love they admire each other.  This is what their love is based upon.  Winter and Jack understand and accept each other and never see each other as flakes.

EC:  Arizona Snow was an interesting character?

JK:  She has popped into my books for awhile. Over the years I keep bringing her back. I am very fond of her.  Arizona has a mysterious background.  I think she is a beloved character with my readers.  In one of my futuristic books I made reference to her, creating a character that was her great-great-grand-niece and named her Sedona Snow.

EC:  Fire was almost like a character in this book?    

JK:  It is a really exciting element to work with.  It can be destructive or useful.  I like writing stories that have elements that have a dark and light side.  Fire does this since we use it to heat our homes, cook our food, and chase away the monsters at night.  Yet, it can tear down our shelter and can kill us.  In my book, fire is the tool that is mishandled by the bad guy.  In his hands, it becomes a weapon to clean up his dark past.  For him, fire is a cleansing element.

EC:  Why did Jack wear white and Winter wear black?

JK:  Jack wore white shirts because it was a function of control for him.  It was like an engineering uniform where he did not have to make choices.  Winter wore black as a nod to her past and because she appeared as a witch-like character.  Black attire gives her a sense of mysteriousness.

EC:  Do you roast cauliflower like Winter does?

JK:  Yes, it is the best, especially with olive oil and salt, and golden in the oven to make it good and crunchy.  My husband and I are vegetarians so we always are looking for new things to do with vegetables.  We do eat fish, but for health reasons we stay on this type of diet.

EC: Can you give a shout out about your next book?

JK:  It is an Amanda Quick book.  This is my pseudonym for when I write historical novels. They are set in the 1930s in California in a fictional town about 100 miles outside of Los Angeles.  It is a time when gangsters are reinventing themselves since alcohol is legal again.  For me, the 1930s is a fascinating time with WWII looming in the background.  My latest is titled Tight Rope, about an ex Trapeze artist who has a stalker.  It will be out in May.

THANK YOU!!