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Chutes and Ladder:
A Silicon Valley Mystery
by Marc Jedel
About the Book
Chutes and Ladder: A Silicon Valley Mystery
2nd in Series
BGM Press (March 12, 2019)
Print Length: 195 pages
Dead friend. Free fall. Girl Scouts. Can Uncle Marty untangle the mystery before things really get out of control?
Juggling a budding relationship, demanding job, and mischievous nieces, Marty Golden struggled to keep his head above water — even before his friend’s death. Trying his best to be a good boyfriend and fun uncle, Marty had his own ideas for the weekend until his cunning sister tricked him again.
Convinced his friend’s death was no accident, Marty tries to summon superhero powers but merely manages to bumble along as an amateur sleuth. When Marty’s cousin shows up, she wreaks havoc with his plans and pulls him into yet another mystery.
As threats blossom, Marty doubles down now that his family’s involved. Besides, it’s poor manners to let your friend’s death go unsolved.
Can Marty figure out what happened before a killer, or his imagination, gets to him?
Chutes and Ladder is the second novel in a refreshingly modern mystery series set in Silicon Valley. If you like clever humor and wacky side characters, you’ll love this twisty mystery.
Interview With the Author
Author Interview – Marc Jedel
What initially got you interested in writing?
Marc: Like most authors, I’ve always loved to read and make up stories. As a child, I had a special notebook for writing my stories. Once, when I was young, I even got in trouble for my writing. I carved my name into a wood side-table in our family room. I tried to pin the blame on my sister, who clearly had tried to get me in trouble AGAIN. This seemed like a winning argument until my mother pointed out that my three-year-old sister couldn’t yet write.
What genres do you write in?
Marc: Both of my novels, Chutes and Ladder and Uncle and Ants, are cozy mysteries so I’ll choose the cozy mystery genre.
What drew you to writing these specific genres?
Marc: On a vacation, I picked up my wife’s copy of a Janet Evanovich novel. She got mad when I didn’t return it until I’d finished. My wife that is, not Janet. Janet would be happy because I’ve purchased a number of her other books and even consulted her How I Write book when I started Uncle and Ants. I’ve read other books in this genre and enjoy the good ones for a light, humorous read.
How did you break into the field?
Marc: In many ways, my entire professional life in marketing has been about writing fiction. We just called those emails, websites, and marketing collateral. After wanting to write a book for many years, I finally focused on it. Lots of work, walks with my wife and dog, and drafts led to my first novel getting published. The second novel came easier, but still involved a lot of dog walking, although he’s not getting co-author credit.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
Marc: I hope readers laugh and enjoy spending time with the characters while they read my novels. There may be some deep, meaningful themes incorporated in my stories, but those would have happened by accident. Chutes and Ladder is a fun, light story about a good guy, who wants a nice, quiet life and to spend more time with his new girlfriend. When he stumbles across his friend’s dead body, his life begins to spin out of control as a misbehaving pup, a kooky cousin, and a maniacal ninja put his survival skills to the test.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
Marc: I now have a good excuse for asking people to be quiet because I’m listening to voices in my head. In addition, I really enjoy hearing from readers. It’s a great break in the day to read crazy stories from readers about their own dogs, cats, dads, uncles, siblings, etc. I love that readers find something in my stories that makes them laugh, or remember something fun, and then share that with me.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
Marc: Balancing the humor with the need to keep the plot moving along. Fortunately, I have a great editor who’s always telling me, “that’s very funny, but you need to keep the mystery front-of-mind.” Forcing the plot to finish in about a week is one of the tricks that I use to drive myself to keep the pace high and plot moving along. I might come up with a funny scene that I want to insert but there’s literally no time in Marty’s day to add in something extraneous — unless I think it’s really funny and can somehow tie it to the plot.
What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?
Marc: Read more — in your own genre and others. Reading different authors and genres is the best way to learn what works and what doesn’t. And, start writing. Even if you only have a few minutes to keep a short diary, practice is essential. There are gazillions of writing prompts and blogs for writers all over the web to inspire and help you get started.
What type of books do you enjoy reading?
Marc: I read both fiction and non-fiction. When I’m looking to relax, I read mysteries, thrillers, and sci-fi.
Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?
Marc: A surprising number of the anecdotes in both books are based on real life. For example, most of Buddy’s escapades in Chutes and Ladder are based on a family friend’s dog. And the ice cream truck story that finishes chapter two in Uncle and Ants is completely true, believe it or not. As for the rest, it’s loosely based on reality except where I’ve exaggerated, made it up or falsified my memories to fit the story.
What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
Marc: Chutes and Ladder and Uncle and Ants are available free to Kindle Unlimited readers and will only remain at a discounted price on Amazon for only a short while so be sure to buy them today. For more about me or my books, please visit:
- My Website: www.marcjedel.com is the best place to learn more about me. You can get free chapters, learn more about me and my books, and sign up for my newsletter.
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/MarcJedel.Author
- Linked In: www.linkedin.com/in/mjedel/
- BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/marc-jedel
- GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18403497.Marc_Jedel
About the Author
For most of my life, I’ve been inventing stories. Some, especially when I was young, involved my sister as the villain. As my sister’s brother for her entire life, I’m highly qualified to tell the tale of this evolving, quirky sibling relationship.
My writing skills were honed in years of marketing leadership positions in Silicon Valley. While my high tech marketing roles involved crafting plenty of fiction, we called these marketing collateral, emails and ads.
The publication of my first novel, Uncle and Ants, gave me permission to claim “author” as my job. This leads to way more interesting discussions than answering “marketing.”
My family would tell you that Marty’s character isn’t much of a stretch of the imagination for me, but I proudly resemble that remark.
Like Marty, I live in Silicon Valley and can’t believe that otherwise normal people would willingly jump out of an airplane and call it fun. Unlike Marty, I have a wonderful wife and a neurotic but sweet, small dog, who is often the first to weigh in on the humor in my writing.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.marcjedel.com
- FaceBook: www.facebook.com/MarcJedel.Author
- LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/mjedel/
- GoodReads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/18403497.Marc_Jedel
- BookBub: www.bookbub.com/profile/marc-jedel
Purchase Link: Amazon
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