I'm happy to welcome Earl Javorsky to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Earl writes the Charlieminer Mystery series. DOWN TO NO GOOD, the second book in the series was released last week.
Kathy: In DOWN TO NO GOOD, private investigator Charlie Miner is called to check out a "psychic to the stars." Have you ever been to a psychic?
EJ: Actually, yes. Well, this guy was a channeler. My wife is into that sort of thing, so I tagged along to a session. As a skeptic, I tend to resist most claims to extraordinary powers, and to label the claimants as frauds. But this guy—his name was Ron Scolastico—felt legit. I think of his offering as one of a deep intuitive nature, one so profound that it seems “other” and is therefore attributed to ethereal beings in some unseen reality.
Kathy: Charlie is quite a unique character, especially since he had a "full-death experience." Are you interested in researching the afterlife? Do you believe in ghosts?
EJ: I do not believe in ghosts, and I am ambivalent about the possibility of an afterlife. I am intellectually a skeptic, but my heart leans toward the spiritual and larger possibilities. Nor do I read much in the way of supernatural or paranormal fiction; the first page of Down SOLO spilled out one day, and I had to go with it.
Kathy: Charlie has first-hand experience with the inexplicable. Have you?
EJ: Well, as a member of the recovery community, I’ve seen many people, including myself, tap into something that has a powerful effect. Merriam Webster has several definitions of the word “miracle”— 1:an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs the healing miracles described in the Gospels; and 2: an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment—The bridge is a miracle of engineering. I think conflating the two is problematic, and I tend to favor the second definition to describe the depth of psychic change that can occur in recovery.
Kathy: What first drew you to mysteries?
EJ: My dad used to have Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine on his toilet tank. I would swipe them and become entranced. He also had Fantasy and Science Fiction, which really grabbed me.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
EJ: I just had a short story called "Spanking" accepted for the upcoming issue of a literary magazine called Adelaide. I’m especially pleased to have published something that isn’t about drug fiends and murders.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
EJ: Charlie Miner, inexplicably revived from death, can still operate his body; he can even leave it and roam around. His first mission is to find out who killed him, which leads to some pretty dark places. In the sequel, he is recruited by an LAPD homicide detective to help solve a series of crimes that seem to involve a supernatural element.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
EJ: I like Dave Robicheaux, the central character in an astonishingly good series by James Lee Burke. He’s believable, introspective, predictably unpredictable, has enormous heart and empathy, and is endowed with Burke’s wonderful voice, so his insights into human character and the nature of evil are expressed not only through his words and thoughts but also his actions.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
EJ: Originally, I had two. One was a book called COLD HEAVEN by a favorite author of mine, Brian Moore. It had a character who had died but somehow carried on—he was a secondary character, but the weirdness of it stuck with me, especially because there was no other emphasis on the supernatural; it was just there as an accepted fact.
Then there was the film Memento, by Christopher Nolan. I liked the idea that my character, Charlie Miner, would have an impaired memory due to the bullet in his brain, and would have to pursue his killer as past events leading up to his own murder were revealed to him.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
EJ: The same impulse that made me want to record and publish music when that was my aspiration: to share something on an intimate level, to bring you into a mood and a world that engaged and, hopefully, moved you.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
EJ: I would really like to sit down with Ray McKinnon, who created the character Daniel Holden in the TV show Rectify, which I think is a powerful work. Iain Pears, a British author (STONE'S FALL, AN INSTANCE OF THE FINGERPOST) would be a great dinner companion. Then there’s Karen Armstrong, whose books—especially ThE BATTLE FOR GOD—are full of deep understanding. Same for Joseph Campell, but to get back to fiction writers, let’s add Barbara Kingsolver or James Lee Burke.
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
EJ: WRITTEN OFF, by Sheila Lowe, a gifted writer who is also a handwriting expert, as is her chief character. Then I’ll start Lou Berney’s THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
EJ: I am a lifelong surfer and just about drowned in Mexico the day before yesterday to prove it. I still love playing guitar, especially now that the heat is off to perform. And, I’m a hoops fiend. I play about six nights a week at the local gym. Old guy with a corner shot.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
EJ: Ice cream, salad makings, frozen Gatorades (for basketball sessions), and good bread.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
EJ: I have a third Charlie Miner book sketched out called DOWN ANDOU T COLD. I’m currently collaborating on a project with an interesting writer in Boston (I’m in San Diego) and will sometime start a project with the real Dave Putnam, who is the model for the Dave Putnam character in my Charlie Miner books. Also, I have a father-son novel in mind that is close to my heart.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
EJ: When I connect, when someone reads something I’ve done and I know they “get me” at a level that counts, at depth. And when I get a laugh here or there. My favorite books reach me mind to mind and heart to heart, and that’s my goal as a writer.
Down to No Good
by Earl Javorsky
on Tour October 30, 2017 - January 6, 2018
Earl Javorsky’s DOWN TO NO GOOD is wildly original, wildly energetic, wildly funny – it’s just straight up wild, and I mean that in the best possible way.
– Lou Berney, Edgar Award-winning author of THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE
It's a shame you missed Down Solo:
“Earl Javorsky’s bold and unusual Down Solo blends the mysterious and the supernatural boldly and successfully. The novel is strong and haunting, a wonderful debut.”
– T. Jefferson Parker, New York Times bestselling author of Full Measure and The Famous and the Dead
– James Frey, New York Times bestselling author
“Don’t miss Earl Javorsky’s Down Solo. It’s kick-ass, man. Excellent writing. This guy is the real deal.”
– Dan Fante, author of the memoir Fante and the novel Point Doom
“Javorksy’s writing reminded me of the Carl Hiaasen novels I’d read sprawled out on the deck on one sunny Florida vacation. Perfect entertainment, with the right amount of action to keep me alert (and to keep me from snoozing myself into a sunburned state). But there’s also a deeper layer in Down Solo, which left me thinking past the final page.”
“Javorsky’s dark and gritty prose is leavened with just enough humor to make Down Solo a compelling story that will take readers to the outer limits of noir.”
– San Diego City Beat
Book Details:Genre: Mystery
Published by: The Story Plant
Publication Date: October 31st 2017
Number of Pages: 224
ISBN: 1611882532 (ISBN13: 9781611882537)
Series: This is the sequel to DOWN SOLO.
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Read an excerpt:
He is the black sheep of a family of high artistic achievers.