Novel Reaction is super excited to welcome Jayne Ann Krentz a.k.a. Amanda Quick a.k.a. Jayne Castle to talk about one of my favorite literary characters, dust bunnies. What is a dust bunny you ask?! Well Jayne is going to tell us about these great creatures but first let’s learn a little bit more about Jayne herself.
The author of a string of New York Times bestsellers, JAYNE ANN KRENTZ uses three different pen names for each of her three “worlds”. As JAYNE ANN KRENTZ (her married name) she writes contemporary romantic-suspense. She uses AMANDA QUICK for her novels of historical romantic-suspense. JAYNE CASTLE (her birth name) is reserved these days for her stories of futuristic/paranormal romantic-suspense.
“I am often asked why I use a variety of pen names,” she says. “The answer is that this way readers always know which of my three worlds they will be entering when they pick up one of my books.”
In addition to her fiction writing, she is the editor of, and a contributor to, a non-fiction essay collection, DANGEROUS MEN AND ADVENTUROUS WOMEN: ROMANCE WRITERS ON THE APPEAL OF THE ROMANCE published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. Her commitment to her chosen genre has been strong from the very beginning of her career. Each year at the annual convention of the Romance Writers of America she participates in a special day-long workshop for librarians and speaks on the importance of the romance genre.
“The romance genre is the only genre where readers are guaranteed novels that place the heroine at the heart of the story,” Jayne says. “These are books that celebrate women’s heroic virtues and values: courage, honor, determination and a belief in the healing power of love.”
She earned a B.A. in History from the University of California at Santa Cruz and went on to obtain a Masters degree in Library Science from San Jose State University in California. Before she began writing full time she worked as a librarian in both academic and corporate libraries.
She is married and lives with her husband, Frank, in Seattle, Washington.
**Photo credit Marc Von Borstel
BEWARE THE DUST BUNNIES By JAYNE ANN KRENTZ
If you read me under any or all of my three pen names: Amanda Quick (historicals), Jayne Ann Krentz (contemporaries) or Jayne Castle (futuristic/paranormals) you already know that I write romantic-suspense with a strong psychic vibe. I am currently in the middle of my Arcane Society novels, a series that contains all of these elements and crosses through each of my three fictional landscapes. I know, it’s not the easiest series to follow! I apologize. Trust me, I never intended to end up with three writing careers under three different names. But that’s another story for another time.
Ahem, back to the subject of dust bunnies. If you do read my books, you will also have noticed that I frequently put animals into my stories. I do this for two reasons: a) I love animals, and, b) animals are very useful in a plot because they reveal so much about the human characters. For example, it’s pretty much a given in my books that the heroine’s dog will not like the bad guy when he comes on stage, even if the bad dude is fooling everyone else in the room.
But the animal question I get asked the most is, how did I come up with the idea for the dust bunnies in my Jayne Castle Harmony series? As one of my writer friends, Cathie Linz, once remarked, for characters that have no dialogue in the stories, the dust bunnies have somehow managed to take over the entire Harmony series. It has come to the point where I dare not write a Harmony book without a dust bunny. (For those of you who read the series, I can tell you that the dust bunny in my next Jayne Castle release, CANYONS OF NIGHT, is named Rex. He carries a clutch purse)
Where was I? Right. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the species, here’s a quick description of a dust bunny: A scruffy ball of gray fluff with six paws and two sets of eyes, adorable baby-blue eyes for daylight use and a second set of amber-colored eyes for hunting. Dust bunnies are playful and cute when they’re in a good mood. They are very fond of bright, shiny objects and assorted snacks. If they are attacked or feel compelled to protect their human companions, however, they are dangerous. As the saying goes, by the time you see the teeth, it’s too late.
I think the dust bunnies have become so popular in my Harmony books because they combine so many of the elements that we love about our own animal companions — loyalty, companionship, and a sense of a bond that for many of us has an element of a true psychic vibe. After all, anyone who has spent a lot of time with animals knows that much of our communication with them takes place on a level that does not involve speech. Call that kind of communication whatever you want, I’m going with the term psychic because that’s what it feels like to me. In the case of the dust bunnies, I just take the psychic connection between human and animal one step beyond.
And that’s pretty much all I can tell you about the dust bunnies. When it comes to the little critters, there are still a lot of unknowns. If you read my Jayne Castle Harmony books and if you’re a fan of the dust bunnies, what is it about them that appeals to you? I’d love to know.
Jayne Ann Krentz
Jayne, thank you so much for sharing a little bit more about the dust bunnies here on Novel Reaction. My favorite dust bunny is Elvis in Dark Light, he has his own dressing room, sunglasses and Hawaiian shirt. Jayne Ann Krentz is one of my favorite authors and the great thing is she offers novels in just about every romance genre. I highly recommend her books (I read the entire Harmony series in one week), you can read my review of Ghost Hunter, the third book in The Harmony Series here.