Today we sit down for a chat with author Missye K. Clarke’s protagonist Jacob Vincent Pedregon—otherwise known as Pedregon or J.V. to his friends and Jay Vincent to his family—from her McGuinness/Pedregon Casebooks series.
What was your life like before your author started pulling your strings?
Pretty cool. I was home schooled since I was real little, and had my first-ever public school experience during junior year where Jersey Dogs takes place. I love all things genetics-related. My Nana Grace would make up super-cool games and got me into medical mysteries, solving not-so-gruesome crimes with that unique blueprint every living organism has.
I taught myself to dance through video games and watching my parents groove to 80s tunes, I’m into photography—I’m saving for a top-of-the-line film-loading camera to enter contests and for PI surveillance—and I love animals. I think in another life I’d have been a veterinarian, but I don’t have the patience or the headspace to learn the different systems animals have and how to treat those effectively.
What’s the one trait you like most about yourself?
I love learning and all things paranormal—angels, demons, ghosts, zero-gravity, flumes to other dimensions, the space-time continuum, clairaudients, clairsentients, clairvoyants, mediums, healers, shamans, EVPs.
What do you like least about yourself?
I didn’t mean it, but my jealousy, deep insecurities, and over-protectiveness for my sister then—and my current girlfriend now—really got out of hand. Good intentions don’t mean much in the long run, do they?
What is the strangest thing your author has had you do or had happen to you?
Other than hearing a tiger cub’s thoughts through my glasses, landing upside-down in a thick maple from an ambush attack and almost constricted to death by a black mamba. a reticulated python?
Do you argue with your author? If so, what do you argue about?
I refused to talk to her for the longest time, over a domestic violence plot line, until she declared two things: She threatened to fire me via killing me off or removing me from the book and putting my sister in my place. And she said the issue would be a theme in the 4th mystery, so deal with it. I didn’t want to, because it meant dealing with who the true Jacob Vincent Pedregon is. That’s scary. But I’m almost ready.
What is your greatest fear?
I thought my author had been playing favorites. Because I didn’t get top billing on the Casebooks, I felt like the third wheel. I suppose I had to realize she might be right on most things as I was wrong on those same most things, and let myself trust her.
What makes you happy?
Knowing everybody in my life really, truly cares. That’s rare in any world. And Cool Ranch Doritos, a frosty six of Dream Weaver, and a thick, juicy, fat-marbled porterhouse.
If you could rewrite a part of your story, what would it be? Why?
That I‘d never hit my current girlfriend. Or that I’d obsessed on this off-limits female during my spring semester junior year at Sam Adams Freedom Academy because she said I have gorgeous green eyes. Her father was game-set-match taking out a restraining order on me because I was stalking her. Then Dad found out. He assured the girl’s family I’d leave her alone if the order wasn’t enforced, since his mother, my Nana Grace, was beginning brain cancer treatments at the time and didn’t need that stress (and I can’t be a PI with a juvie record, expunged or not). In retro, that began my domestic violence issues, and I didn’t see the signs like I do now in my counseling sessions. That’s not an excuse, but the back-story sheds light in why I am who I am.
Of the other characters in your book, which one bugs you the most? Why?
Casper (whom my sister Andrea is unapologetically hopelessly in love with him). It’s not that he bugs me per se, but he’s an admitted paranormal atheist. So how come he gets to have this skill in the series I don’t have but want, but he has and doesn’t want? That was another reason I was so pissed with my author.
Of the other characters in your book, which one would you love to trade places with? Why?
Would you believe . . . Casper?!? I know, right??? Paranormal stuff aside, I can’t sing a note or play a note . . . but I’d love to know life, and another perspective, behind his eyes. And know what it’s like taking joshing for his name!
Tell us a little something about your author. Where can readers find her website/blog?
I’m hearin’ it’s gonna be maroonthesleuth.com (Isn’t that a cool imprint for her books? My sister Andrea’s into animals, but more rescuing them—elephants especially, like Missye is. And I heard she’s got one of my wingdudes with herself as a character in another series; she’d kill me if I told you who. Anyways, the logo’s pretty sweet-looking.) The other site is MissyeKClarke.io where her blog is, current events, and more than who she is apart from penning mysteries.
What's next for you?
Having a blast with my two best friends, being one of two best men at a future wedding, to eventually marry my girlfriend, and being a surrogate uncle to twin girls. Pretty much Carpe’ing my Diem in life and sleuthing!
McGuinness/Pedregon Casebook #1
Two adopted cousins. Two mysterious prostitutes. And a biologic father wants both sons dead.
Casper's and Logan McGuinness's junior year opens with a bloodstained, unexpected contact and an eerie text coming to pass. While Enzo and Angela de Francisci's stubbornly refuse to explain the boys' biologic parents' backstories, the cousins dig into their pasts in stealth, only to unravel a sordid history meant to stay unknown and bigger than they realized. The first of several attempts on the boys' lives reveals a desk clerk's true identity, and conversations with a former john, lands Casper and Logan on the streets of New York and respite from a former madam. Through an intricate tale of loyalty, humor, first love, and discovering trust and sacrifice, Jersey Dogs Casper and Logan venture into the personal and collective unknown to stop a brutal killer and a network of thugs from fulfilling a murderous to-do list—and learning to trust one another so they'll stay two steps ahead of alive.