Sunday, January 27, 2013

FIRST LOVE BLOG HOP: Paranormal Mystery Author, Jeff LaFerney

Jeff LaFerney, Author
Jeff LaFerney writes about a father/son whodunit team who have a bit of an advantage over the bad guys. Although they live in "the real world," they both have mind-controlling abilities. LaFerney has published three Clay and Tanner Thomas novels described by one reviewer as "a stunner mental gifts series.” 

A coach and language arts teacher for more than 20 years, LaFerney today lives in Michigan. He likes to laugh, and believes he spends way too much time on FacebookHis favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird and his favorite movie is the "inconceivable" Princess Bride -- both favorites of mine. 

Click the link at the end of this article to check out the First Love Blog Hop and learn about other participating authors and how to win a Kindle and many more prizes.

Q: What inspired you to write about a father/son team with mind-controlling abilities as a whodunit series?
Jeff LaFerney: I had an idea—which I didn’t use—about a basketball-playing son who transferred schools, and then his JV coaching father got fired as a result. When the head coach was murdered, the boy’s father, who was framed, was arrested. In order to get out of jail to solve the mystery, I came up with the mind-control abilities. After studying the brain, I came up with a theory about parapsychology that I used in the books, but I also came up with a different plot.

Q: How did you create, as one reviewer said, “characters you'll love to love and others you'll love to hate”? Your reviewers really appreciate your characters. Are they based on people you know?

Jeff LaFerney: It seems like my “bad guys” and my minor characters are reader favorites, and they’re nothing like anyone I know. They’re fun to write about, though, because I make them up completely. I think readers like my heroes because they’re strong morally, they’re loyal to each other and they have a good sense of humor.

Q: How do you help readers believe and accept the world and characters you create?
Jeff LaFerney: My characters are really just regular guys. The parapsychology is looked at as both a gift and a curse. They don’t believe that others should be manipulated, but they also believe in justice, so they use their gifts to obtain clues that others are unable to procure. My “world” is actually very realistic and my characters believable.

Q: Is humor important to telling your story?

Jeff LaFerney:  I love to use physical humor and witty dialogue.  To me, it balances the drama, the sadness, and the suspense and makes for a read that runs a gamut of emotions.

Q: Could your story occur in any setting? Or is the setting a critical part of the story?

Jeff LaFerney: Well, I wrote all three books with settings close to where I live. I did it because in the first book, the sports and setting were comfort zones. When readers liked the story, I used other local settings, which has helped me to sell a lot of books. People living in my county will recognize the settings, but those settings could have been anywhere. They aren’t critical.

Q: Do you write purely for entertainment? Or do you have something to say to your readers?

Jeff LaFerney: I write mostly for entertainment, but as an English teacher who teaches literature in school, I feel that my stories should have recognizable themes and, I’m proud to say, moral values.

Q: Why are you a writer?  When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?

Jeff LaFerney: I’ve always enjoyed the stories I’ve written, but I decided to write a novel because of the classroom library I was building. There were a lot of books I read that were award-winners that I didn’t think were very good, and I kept telling myself I could do better. Because of some life circumstances, I decided it was time to do something new with my life, so I chose to write a book. I have three—none of which has won an award. How ironic is that?

Q:  Tell us something about yourself, e.g., do you like to exercise? Eat? Go to plays? What’s your favorite holiday, book, author, character, play, movie, celebrity?  What do you do when you’re not writing? Do you have a muse?
Jeff LaFerney: I’m from a very athletic family. My wife and I both played three varsity sports and so did my son and daughter. My dad and I were both successful coaches, and I’ve played sports my whole life, so I still exercise. I love salty foods better than sweet ones, except I love Mountain Dew. I love action movies, especially with super heroes, but my favorite is The Princess Bride. My favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird, and my favorite authors are Robert B. Parker, Harlan Coban, John Grisham, Michael Crichton, and John Irving. I read more than I write, I  My blog is all about fun. I’d love for people to check that out too.

My books are suspense and mystery. Clay and Tanner Thomas are a father/son team. Each of the books can be read alone, so I’d love for people to check them out and choose one to get started on. I’m grateful, Joyce, for you to spotlight me and introduce me to your followers. Thank you.

About Jeff LaFerney

Jeff LaFerney has been a language arts teacher and coach for more than twenty years. He earned his English and teaching degrees from the University of Michigan-Flint and his master's degree in educational leadership from Eastern Michigan University. He and Jennifer, his wife of twenty-five years, live in Davison, Michigan. Torey and Teryn are their two children. LOVING THE RAIN is his first novel in the Clay and Tanner Thomas series.  The second, SKELETON KEY, and the third, BULLETPROOF, are paranormal mysteries, set in the Flint area.  When Jeff sets a goal, he achieves it; when he has a friendship, he cherishes it; and when he imagines, he writes about it.  He loves competing at sports, connecting to good books, and creating words that make people laugh.

Mind powers are to be kept unused and secret. At least that's what Clay Thomas believes until a determined rival from his past enters his life, seeking revenge. When Clay discovers that his athletic son has his own mind powers, they set out together to undo consequences from Clay's past and to put an end to Jack Harding's plans. As his enemy closes in and Clay and Tanner's powers grow, Clay is forced to choose between protecting his secrets and protecting those he loves most. LOVING THE RAIN, the first stand-alone novel in the Clay and Tanner Thomas series, is a suspenseful story about an exceptional man forced to face the choices of his past and the extraordinary love and forgiveness that finally offer him peace from a lifetime of secrecy.

After a tragic train wreck, Depot co-owner, Adrian Payne disappears. Seven years later, Clay Thomas meets Payne's beautiful wife and determines to help her by using his mind powers to solve the mystery of Payne's disappearance. With the help of Clay's son, Tanner, the local chief of police, and Adrian Payne's ghost, Clay discovers the body, catapulting the investigators into a mystery--a mystery with more questions than answers. If there was foul play, why do the coroner and Adrian's ghost disagree? If there wasn't foul play, why do all the suspects appear to be guilty? A twisted plot, full of surprises and interesting characters is the result. Lessons of faith, friendship, personal growth, and peace give meaning to a one-of-a-kind mystery. SKELETON KEY, a stand-alone novel, is the second in the Clay and Tanner Thomas series.

After a devastating injury to his father, Clay Thomas is abandoned by two of the people closest to him while being pursued by the local police chief for crimes he didn't commit. He is determined to find the culprit of a series of local robberies while fulfilling a promise to a ghost to solve his eleven-year-old murder. Clay and his son, Tanner, incorporate their unique mind-control abilities to solve the crimes, restoring broken relationships in the process. BULLETPROOF, a stand-alone novel, is the third exciting installment in the Clay and Tanner Thomas mystery/suspense series.

Purchase sites
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  1. Thank you, Joyce. You've gone over and above with this interview. I really appreciate it.


  2. I found your great blog through the WLC Blog Follows on the World Literary Cafe! Great to connect! What a wonderful way to find new and interesting blogs to follow, Joyce.

  3. I found your great blog through the WLC Blog Follows on the World Literary Cafe! Great to connect!