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Thursday, 2 July 2020

ℚ Anarchy of the Mice: Third Chance Enterprises [1] - Jeff Bond

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Anarchy of the Mice (, Jeff Bond, 462 pages), an Action-Adventure, book one in the Third Chance Enterprises series.

"Thrilling! A really fun and exciting read. I loved the way the author, Jeff Bond, was so successful in bringing the 1940's pulp fiction feel to the book. PI's, shady organizations, complex characters working together to fight evil. This book has everything. Well written with dynamic characters that were present with such fluidity it was hard to put the book down for even a moment." ~ Amazon Verified Purchase

"Bond’s three main characters leap off the page ... hurtling from one life-threatening challenge to the next ... a gripping thriller, sure to please its target audience and likely to have crossover appeal as well." — BlueInk Reviews (starred)

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || The Series || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to returning author Jeff Bond; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What compelled you to write Anarchy of the Mice and the Third Chance Enterprises series?
"Anarchy of the Mice, which I began drafting maybe five years ago, was my first try at genre fiction.  I’d been writing more slice-of-life/literary stories, and I decided to move in a more commercial direction. 

I wanted to craft a series with the broadest possible appeal, to pull in readers from a range of subgenres.

I had the idea to include multiple protagonists, each belonging to a distinct mystery/thriller archetype: the Stephanie Plum-style single mother/private investigator, the Jack Reacher ex-military type, and the handsome wisecracking womanizer.  A little something for everyone."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"As with any story I write, I draw from my own experiences constantly—though not in such a direct way that you can draw a straight line from real life.

Molly McGill’s home scenes owe a lot to my own time raising young children.

Durwood Oak Jones’s core of decency and self-reliance came mostly from my father.

The influence for Quaid is less clear, but I think most of us have a wisecracking streak available to us if we dig deeply enough into our imaginations."
Molly, Quaid and Durwood
Molly, Quaid and Durwood are clearly very different, where does the inspiration to build their social media profiles and posts come from – yourself or people you know?.
"Along the same lines, I borrow from everyday life for social media—my friends’ Facebook feeds, news stories, random situations with other parents or neighbors or whomever.

Just about anything can be fodder, given the range of my three heroes’ personalities."
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating this book?
"Going back to my first answer—I learned that I love writing genre fiction.  I learned there was plenty of space to create complex, interesting characters in a plot-driven story.

I wasn’t sure I would enjoy it when I started, whether the need for chases and fight scenes and clue-dropping would feel limiting.  It wasn’t.  Of course any writing is hard work, but all in all, I had a blast with Anarchy."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover - why you chose that concept and who the artist is?
"I work with an amazing cover artist named Ethan Scott, who lives in Arizona.  We talked a lot upfront about this series and what its covers should convey.  The Third Chance Enterprises books are different from my other titles—more over-the-top, escapist, in the Indiana Jones mold.  I wanted the covers to communicate to new and existing readers of mine that they were in for a different experience, and we came up with the idea of doing these big, fun, splashy covers.

I described several Anarchy plot points for Ethan, and we decided that the guys jumping from the helicopter provided the most striking example of that over-the-top action.  Ethan had the idea for a burning landscape underneath to represent the chaos in the underlying world.  He actually did a photo shoot with local models, then painted the image from these reference photographs—along with some upcoming covers and art for

The one tricky part of the process was Molly.  She’s not actually in the helicopter scene of the story, but we decided to portray her as driving the helicopter to work all three protagonists into the cover.  I would’ve preferred to make her more central instead of tucked into that corner of the image.  I had to laugh when an early reviewer told me she didn’t like the cover because it seemed like “a boy’s war book.”  On the other hand, a few other reviewers have mentioned being drawn to the cover’s larger-than-life action vibe, so I think it is, in fact, doing the jobs Ethan and I wanted it to: attracting eyeballs, setting the proper expectation.

Covers are hard work. 🙂"
Why should we read Anarchy of the Mice and the Third Chance Enterprises series and what sets you apart from the rest?
"In my humble opinion, Anarchy of the Mice is nothing more and nothing less than a big awesome story.  It veers, it U-turns, it pauses for heartfelt moments then steps on the gas for 150 breathless pages—but it always entertains.

The three heroes have very distinct personalities and worldviews, and no matter where you come from or how you think, you’re going to fall in love with at least one of them."
Can you tell us something quirky about Anarchy of the Mice, its story and characters?
"That’s a tough one—in some ways, the book is nothing but quirks!

I think my favorite quirky passage is when Eunice, Molly’s cantankerous 74-year-old grandmother, needles her about the household’s Tupperware storage system.  Molly tries explaining that she doesn’t have a system, but Granny keeps at her, shouldn’t all the round ones go together?,  why not one drawer for lids and one for containers? All while Molly is up to her neck dealing with the kids and Blind Mice trouble. "
Who would you recommend  Anarchy of the Mice and the Third Chance Enterprises series to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I would recommend this book to anyone.  It’s got a little of everything, which is why I’m using the tagline, “Danger, intrigue, romance, action for miles – whatever you read, Anarchy of the Mice is coming for you.”

There’s some mild violence, fight scenes and such, but nothing gory.  And I never include swearing in any of my books."
What has been your greatest challenge as a writer?
"I’m a big pleaser—in my personal life, growing up as a student, in nine-to-five office jobs I’ve held before.  With writing, I spent a long time trying to tell the story I thought others wanted to hear: the story that would break me into the industry.  The sad part is I wasn’t even going for a story readers wanted; I was triangulating to create the best manuscript to hook a literary agent.

It took me years of flailing before I realized this was no way to become a writer.  Once I expanded my horizons and began telling stories I believed in for their own sake, both the output and quality of my work improved.

I’m still a pleaser, and in fact I do hope to shift into the traditional side of publishing when the time is right, which will require winning over those same agents I courted before.  The difference is that next time, I’ll be approaching them with my stories, not the stories I imagine somebody else will like."
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?  What has been the best compliment?
"I had someone really lay into me about the female protagonist of my first book, The Winner Maker.  The reader thought Steph, my must-do-it-all mother with a great career, was a stereotype that projected destructive dissatisfaction onto women.  It was a critique-group situation, and we talked it out.  Part of the problem was that she was critiquing based on chapter one alone.  When I explained that this dissatisfaction (and changing it) was central to Steph’s character arc, we got to a better place together.  Though I don’t think she ever came to love Steph.

My best compliment?  I’ve had a couple gratifying professional reactions to my April 2020 release, The Pinebox Vendetta.  Midwest Literary Review called it “a literary masterpiece,” and it won the gold medal in the Independent Publishers Book Awards, Popular Fiction category." 
What is in store next?
"Anarchy of the Mice is book one of a series, and fortunately for readers, book two is launching at the same time: Dear Durwood, a standalone mystery focusing exclusively on Durwood Oak Jones.

Book three will be devoted to Molly, The Begonia Killer later in 2020; book four will be Quaid’s, Astroplane; and I’m thinking book five will be another big, sprawling adventure starring all three."
Tell us something your readers may not know about you?
"I write a substantial portion of my books in the balcony of the gym where my daughters train.  They’re competitive gymnasts and practice from twenty to twenty-five hours per week.  Since they’re just ten and eight, I’m their chauffeur.

In general, I’m happy working anywhere, and only rarely notice the eau de sweat and chalk odor there."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit be better... Can you tell us about your hero or main influence? 
"I’m going to cheat a little and say Jonathan Franzen.  “Hero” would be overstating it, but he’s one of my favorite authors, and The Corrections is one of a handful of books—along with War and Peace and Gone Girl—that, at various points in my life, reinvigorated my love for stories and literature.

I was completely bowled over by how true-to-life his characters were.  There are 15-to-20 page stretches of that book—Chip self-destructing at the university, Gary grilling for the family—that are pure magic."
Did you ever get a chance to meet him? 
Jonathan Franzen
"I’ve yet to meet Mr. Franzen, but I did cross paths with an article he wrote as I was finishing up The Pinebox Vendetta.  My wonderful proofreader, in correcting a sentence of mine for style, jotted in the margin, “try to avoid comma-then trap.”  I had no clue what she meant.

When I asked for clarification, she pointed me to a recent article by none other than Jonathan Franzen, which criticized writers who structure sentences like “The dog jumped over the fence, then chased the cat…”  Apparently, such uses of comma-then are affectations of creative writing students and not at all how real people talk, or so Franzen explains in that authoritative, cocksure way of his."
Ah, yes, he also published an essay on the topic, in his book Farther Away: Essays.
"I could only laugh. I ’m not sure I even agree—I’m around real people all day, and that usage has never struck me as artificial—but nonetheless, I took an hour zipping through the manuscript, tweaking eight or ten instances.  As I told my proofreader, I just couldn’t bear the thought of Franzen, perched atop his metaphorical throne of culture and taste, looking down his nose at me through those chunky-framed glasses."
Understandable 😁
Thank you for sharing, Jeff!  We hope you are having a great tour and look forward to reading ...

Anarchy of the Mice
Available NOW!

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CMash said...

Thank you for posting this interview. I re4ad another book by this author and really enjoyed it. And with this interview, I was able to get to know the author behind his books.

Jeff Bond said...

Thanks so much for hosting me here. I always love the questions, and you do such a great job of pulling everything together for readers!