Author Adrienne Jones and her book, The Hoax
Bio: Adrienne Jones is author of the books Brine, Gypsies Stole my Tequila, The Hoax, and editor of the collection Grimm and Grimmer. She lives in Rhode Island and writes full time. Her website: http://adriennejones.net/
About The Hoax:
Bored accountant, Joey Duvaine, needed a career change. World domination seemed like a fun gig. Allowing himself to become a puppet in his genius friend’s religious con, Joey plays his part in a fraudulent miracle devised by a private special effects team. As the media and the public are divided on whether he’s a modern prophet or a clever scam artist, an FBI agent becomes interested in Joey’s financial transactions, possible terrorist motives, and the overnight popularity of his new cult.
But the agent’s investigation leads him down a path he’s unprepared for, as Joey’s benefactors have barbarous motives beyond the smokescreen of the hoax, and for them, humanity is merely a disguise.
Marilyn: Adrienne, tell me about your back ground.
Adrienne: I have a degree in mass media, which I more or less abandoned after a few years working in film/video production. I did some fun, crazy projects, but the majority of the money came from things like filming open heart surgery for medical students—not exactly flexing my creative muscles. So I quit and did a lot of freelance scripting and some journalistic stuff after that, and it was nice to be writing, but was far from riveting; writing television ads about a sale on fresh produce or anti-shoplifting messages.
So I flirted with professional writing on the side for years but it took me a while to hunker down and actually do my own thing, not someone else’s.
Marilyn: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
Adrienne: This is probably a cliché answer, but since childhood. I won a writing contest when I was in first grade, age six, and I remember the fuss and the way people responded, like it was this strange thing. I was no genius, but they acted like I was a talking dog or something. I found it fascinating because it was praise for something that came easy to me—which most things didn’t; I was mediocre at math and science. So I felt like I was being congratulated for eating candy, and I sort of got addicted to seeing people’s reaction to what I’d written, and if they didn’t react the way I wanted, I’d step it up or make it weirder.
I entered more contests and won more prizes, so I thought, okay, astronaut is out—I guess I’m a writer! Took me a couple decades to actually take it seriously…but the seeds were in there somewhere, just had to clear out a little life dung to get to them. So now I run with a whole pack of talking dogs, and being a writer isn’t so unique anymore, but that feeling comes back when the work really affects someone, and they take the time to contact you or write a review.
Marilyn: What gave you the idea for this book?
Adrienne: I knew a man who pulled sleazy cons, like completely fabricating his resume and getting a job as a CEO with a company he knew nothing about, or using a rented wheelchair to cut line at Disney Land. But the ultimate was declaring himself a minister and his home a church to try and get tax breaks (when he wasn’t visiting strip clubs). But it was this idea of a fake minister that intrigued me, and I started thinking…there are plenty of false prophets and cults and various churches out there, but what would it take for something like that to go global now?
I started reading up on cult leaders and mass hypnosis and incidents where blind faith led to murder and historical insanity. The conclusion I came to was that although humanity has proven at times to blindly follow anything, nothing in the information age could fool people on such a grand scale as to infect the entire world, especially with all the conflict and diversity in beliefs. So I asked, how COULD that happen, then? So I went beyond the known world, and that’s when the book shifted from mystery to paranormal mystery. Then it just went nuts.
Marilyn: What kind of things are you doing to promote it?
Adrienne: I’m doing a lot of Internet promotion right now, but I’ll be doing some festival appearances in the fall (I keep better in the cold weather) and have been lining up some press coverage for the book, which I’ve had some luck with since presenting my book as potentially scandalous—go figure. I also have a new spanking promo video for The Hoax, as I’m finally resigned to the truth that we live in a visual world—and people have responded well to that. It was a great way to condense the book’s plot and the emotion behind it, whereas summarizing a full length novel in words on a page can be grueling and often ineffective.
The promo video can be viewed via my website; http://adriennejones.net/
Marilyn: Where can my readers find a copy of your book?
THE HOAX is available now at Mundania Press.
Marilyn: Anything else you'd like to tell my blog readers?
Adrienne: I want to entertain you. I want my novel to make you feel something, even if it makes you feel like tarring and feathering me and dragging me through town square behind a donkey. But I hope it doesn’t. Enjoy!
Marilyn: Not only does the book sound fascinating, you do too. Thanks for visiting me today.