Jordaina Sydney Robinson - Murder Mysteries Set in the Afterlife
Author. Novice Jiu-jitsu-er. Persistent daydreamer. Average knitter. Husky parent. Expert tea maker. As our Author of the Day, Jordaina tells us all about Unexpectedly Dead, the 7th book of her Afterlife Adventures Series.
Please give us a short introduction to what Unexpectedly Dead is about.
It’s the seventh installment of the Afterlife Adventures Series, which are murder mysteries set in the afterlife.
In this book, Bridget is feeling dissatisfied with her role in the afterlife, and then someone starts murdering alive folks with a scythe that belongs to one of Hades’ reapers. Charon, the ferryman of the dead, charges her with finding the culprit within twenty-four hours or he’ll be forced to mete out repercussions.
Bridget, with her best friend and housemates in tow, wades into the investigation, but her biggest concern isn’t finding the killer. It’s how she'll survive the mundanity of the afterlife when the investigation is over.
Can the Afterlife Adventures books be read as standalones? How do they tie in with one another?
They can be read alone, but I think you’d get the most out of them if you read them in order. The mystery in each book is completely resolved so there are no cliffhangers, but the thing that ties them together is the relationship between the characters and the personal growth of Bridget. If you read them out of order, some comments or references might not make complete sense.
Tell us more about Bridget. What makes her so special?
When Beyond Dead (the first book in the series) begins, Bridget is self-involved, whiny and shallow. But as the series continues, Bridget grows and learns the value of friendship. The Bridget we meet in Unexpectedly Dead (book #7) is very different from the Bridget in Beyond Dead (book #1).
My readers tell me there are two particular things they love about Bridget (apart from the humour and the snappy dialogue!). The first is that Bridget learns from her experiences and grows as a person. The second is that she is supported by so many female characters. They bicker all the time so it’s not a “girl power” type of book, but she has a strong support system.
Readers say you kept them guessing who the bad guys really are. Why did you take this approach?
I absolutely loath it when I’m reading a book or watching a TV show and I know who the killer is early on. I’m actually terrible company when watching murder mysteries ‘cause I’m always like “That’s the killer!”. I find waiting for the sleuth to catch up steals some of the enjoyment of the story.
And I love it when there’s a twist right at the end, so I try to write the books I would want to read.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I play the guitar—I’m not great, but I LOVE it. And I’m pretty good at crafty stuff. I can knit, crochet, I’m decent at calligraphy and brush pen art. And jigsaws. I’m not sure that qualifies as a secret skill, but I love jigsaws.
When starting on a new book, what is the first thing you do?
I would love to say I have a system and I plan and everything is organised and I always start this way and follow a pattern. However, each book is different. Sometimes I know where it’s going from the outset so I can sketch an outline to keep me on track, but other times I start writing with only a fragment of an idea of what the first chapter looks like and discover the story as I go.
What are you working on right now?
I’m currently working on a new series. It’s another mystery series with a paranormal element. It’s similar to the Bridget universe, except it focuses on vampires and werewolves instead of ghosts.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
I’m not really a social media person no matter how I try, so the best thing to do is sign up for my weekly newsletters. We occasionally talk book stuff, but most of the time I’m gossiping about my neighbors or overheard conversations!
Oh, and when you sign up you can grab a copy of the first book for free so you can meet Bridget and see if you’ll be friends!
Here’s where you can grab a copy: https://jordainasydneyrobinson.com/get-your-free-book