Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Dire King Blog Tour: Interview with R.F. Jackaby and Giveaway

Hi Everyone! I have a very exciting post for you today as part of the blog tour for The Dire King. Many of you may know that I am a huge fan of the Jackaby series. That's why I jumped at the chance to help the ladies at the Fantastic Flying Book Club plan this tour for the final book in the series. If you missed the review I posted on Monday, check that out here.

And so as part of the blog tour I have a super exciting post to share. I was able to secure a very rare interview with the titular character of the series, one Mr. R.F. Jackaby. If you are not aware, Mr. Jackaby is not only the titular character for the series but also a paranormal investigator. I was able to ask him a few questions about himself, his colleagues, and his work. Scroll down for all that. But first, some info about The Dire King. 

The Dire King (Jackaby #4)

by William Ritter
Release Date: August 22nd 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
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Synopsis: The thrilling conclusion to the New York Times best-selling series the Chicago Tribune called “Sherlock Holmes crossed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer” sends the eccentric detective and his indispensible assistant into the heart of a war between magical worlds. 

 The fate of the world is in the hands of detective of the supernatural R. F. Jackaby and his intrepid assistant, Abigail Rook. An evil king is turning ancient tensions into modern strife, using a blend of magic and technology to push Earth and the Otherworld into a mortal competition. Jackaby and Abigail are caught in the middle as they continue to solve the daily mysteries of New Fiddleham, New England — like who’s created the rend between the worlds, how to close it, and why zombies are appearing around. At the same time, the romance between Abigail and the shape-shifting police detective Charlie Cane deepens, and Jackaby’s resistance to his feelings for 926 Augur Lane’s ghostly lady, Jenny, begins to give way. Before the four can think about their own futures, they will have to defeat an evil that wants to destroy the future altogether.

The epic conclusion to the New York Times best-selling Jackaby series features sly humor and a quirky cast of unforgettable characters as they face off against their most dangerous, bone-chilling foe ever.

About the Jackaby series

"A little Dr. Who, a little Harry Potter, and a lot of Sherlock, New York Times bestselling author Will Ritter’s Jackaby series has thrilled YA readers with magic, mystery and adventure since the first book introduced us to a supernatural sleuth and his trusty assistant. In The Dire King: A Jackaby Novel (on sale August 22), Ritter sends the series out with a bang, with even more mystery, romance, and the most epic battle yet. We hope you’ll strongly consider prominent coverage for The Dire King--and all the Jackaby books—as we say goodbye to our crime-solving friends in New Fiddleham.

“A humorous, energetic, action-packed, and magical conclusion.”
 —Kirkus Reviews, starred review Ritter’s debut novel

Jackaby (a New York Times bestseller and 2015 Pacific Northwest Book Award winner) introduced readers to R.F. Jackaby, a quirky detective with a knack for the supernatural; Abigail Rook, his skeptical and observant assistant; Jenny Cavanaugh, the ghostly landlady of 926 Augur Lane; and Charlie Cane, a shape-shifting police officer. Beastly Bones and Ghostly Echoes followed the crime-solving team from their home in New Fiddleham to the depths of the underworld as they uncovered more clues about the evil forces behind Jenny’s murder.

Hello Mr. Jackaby, Thank you so much for agreeing to answer a few of my questions. I am a big fan of your recent exploits and cases in New Fiddleham and Gads Valley. I know the book related to your big case with The Dire King is coming up so I thought this was as good a time as any to get to know you a little better.

1.) For those readers who might not be familiar, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

Yes, of course I can. What a silly inquiry.

2.) You live in New Fiddleham, how would you describe the city to those who might want to come visit? 

Hm. Yes, how to put it simply? New Fiddleham’s aura is a maladroit shade of heliotrope with undertones of bright anticipation and rhythmic distress. It smells like hope and boiled potatoes and also over-seasoned frustration. Except on Tuesdays. On Tuesdays it smell like cabbage. Miss Rook informs me that the roadways feel like they were designed by chimpanzees throwing handfuls of wet linguini at a blank bit of parchment and tracing the noodles, but I find her theory improbable. Where would the chimpanzees have boiled the water? Anyway, the roads and I have gotten along just fine since we’ve gotten to know each other.

3.) 926 Augur Lane is a very unusual place. What unique features did it have when you moved in and what did you add? 

The building was like any other, I suppose—three stories plus a decent attic space, a trim little garden, a spectral undead remnant of the previous owner, and a well-maintained kitchen. I made minor modifications only. These included demolishing the kitchen to create a functional modern laboratory, rebricking the facade with custom apotropaic masonry, making room in the master bedroom for a humble observatory, and transforming the spacious third floor sitting room and adjacent chambers into a selfsustained ecosystem with a prominent duck pond. I did keep the original drapes.

4.) Speaking of 926 Augur Lane, it's owner and proprietor Jenny Cavanaugh is currently a ghost. Can you tell us about your first meeting Jenny? 

I was enlisted to perform her exorcism, actually—but I found the spirited specter perfectly well-mannered and frankly far more grounded than most corporeal humans I have met. I made tea. She seemed to find me amusing, not that I recall saying anything funny. As the conversation wore on, I found myself quite enamored with Miss Cavanaugh’s sharp wit and her forthright good humor. In the end, I informed my client that the ghost would be staying precisely where she was for the foreseeable future, and that should he make any further efforts to expel her from her family’s estate, I would personally attend to the lady’s defense. My client decided to be done with it and bequeathed the property to me.

5.) You recently began working with a new assistant named Abigail Rook. How would you describe Abigail to our readers? 

Abigail is hopeless. She has very little sense of self-preservation, no rational fear in the face of absolute peril, and a burning curiosity that could kill a hundred cats. She reminds me a little of myself when I was her age. I’m quite proud of her progress. Although, in spite of the very clear instructions in my advert, she did look right at the frog. Right at it.

6.) Describe your relationship with the New Fiddleham police department. Would you say it's a good working relationship? 

I think the New Fiddleham Police are beginning to come around to me. I have even been given special access to certain areas within the precinct. Well, access to the inside of the holding cells, mostly. Also they allow me to keep some of my things in their evidence lockers. It’s a special sort of relationship.

7.) You are a many of science and logic. What, in your opinion, is the most important skill for a detective to have? 

Extrasensory perception is a real time-saver, obviously. Except in especially tricky cases, like when the perpetrator turns out to be just something woefully ordinary, like a human being. I almost always miss those ones.

8.) Which mythical creature would you not want to meet in a dark alley? Which one would you love to meet instead? 

I would dislike encountering one of the hecatoncheires in a dark alley, if only because conversation is always so uncomfortable—I am never sure which head to took at. Also, they are tatanic giants, so there would not be much alley left after they had stuffed themselves into one. I would much prefer something small, like a sprite or pixie.

9.) If someone suspects they may have an unusual or perhaps mythical occurrence on their hands, what should they do? 

That depends entirely upon the occurrence. If one finds oneself speaking to a large, golden fish, for example, I would advise one to word their wishes carefully. If one finds that furniture is frequently rearranged in the morning, I might suggest giving the new arrangement a try for a day or two. Some poltergeists have a real eye for interior design if given the chance. If one finds oneself facing a large, black hound with three monstrous heads, I am told he is partial to cake. Consider bringing cake with you at all times. Just in case.

10.) You have quite an unusual security guard at 926 Augur Lane. Can you tell us a little bit more about Ogden? How did he come into your life? 

Ogden is a robust specimen of the genus Occulus Flatulanum, although Hank Hudson, the fellow who procured him for me, prefers the vernacular ‘eye fart frog.’ Ogden is actually quite an affable and agreeable amphibian, so long as one avoids touching him, moving his terrarium, standing too near, standing too far away, breathing too heavily in his direction, or looking at him. It is only when provoked that he emits a noxious gas from his eyes, which can quickly fill a room. It is an odor that hangs about like an unwelcome relative.

11.) You have a library at 926 Augur Lane. What's your favorite book? 

I get the most practical use out of my rare edition of the Apotropaicon, although Mendel’s Magical Menagerie remains dear to my heart as a childhood favorite.

12.) What has been your most memorable case to date? Why was it so memorable? 

My most memorable case would have to be my first. Something very bad came for somebody I cared for, and it fell to me to save her. I didn’t.

13.) By request of my interviewee, the thirteenth question has been redacted. 

Your understanding and cooperation on this issue is greatly appreciated.

14.) What is next for you? What can we expect from you on The Dire King? 

Not enough, I’m afraid. Things have gotten a bit out of control, even for me. Miss Rook had a nice little word for it—what was it… cataclysmic. Yes. Things are just a little cataclysmic right now, but I intend to give it my best shot.

15.) And finally, a kind of silly question I ask everyone I interview. If you were trapped on a desserted island, what dessert would your island be made out of? 

A perfectly reasonable query. Saltwater taffy is the obvious choice in an oceanic environment.

Thank you for your interest in my work. Should you find yourself in the area of New Fiddleham, particular if you find yourself there in or around 1892, be sure to stop in

Thank you so much for being here Mr. Jackaby. It was my pleasure sharing some of your wit and knowledge with my readers.

If you have not read the Jackaby series I highly recommend it. It's one of my all-time favorite series because it perfectly combines history, mystery, and fantasy. You can enter a giveaway for the first book down below. If you need more encouragement, my review of the first book in the series, Jackaby, can be found HERE. And if you are up to date, you can find my review of The Dire King HERE.

WILLIAM RITTER is an Oregon educator and author of the New York Times bestselling Jackaby series. He is the proud father of the two bravest boys in the Wild Wood, and husband to the indomitable Queen of the Deep Dark.

Thanks everyone for stopping by. Definitely check out some of the rest of the tour. There are some really cool and exciting posts coming up. And again, read the Jackaby series. If I can make one thing clear it's that this series is amazing. Read it and thank me later. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!