Q&A WITH BRENT JONES: AUTHOR OF GO HOME, AFTON AND THE NEW AFTON MORRISON SERIAL THRILLER SERIES
A Disturbed Vigilante Children’s Librarian in Pursuit of a Violent Sexual Predator. A small town librarian with a dark side, Afton, twenty-six, has suppressed violent impulses her entire adult life. Impulses that demand she commit murder. Go Home, Afton is the first of four parts in a new serial thriller by author Brent Jones. Packed with grit and action, The Afton Morrison Series delves into a world of moral ambiguity, delivering audiences an unlikely heroine in the form of a disturbed vigilante murderess.
I had the chance to briefly chat with Brent about the series:
Question: What inspired you to write The Afton Morrison Series?
Brent Jones: After watching a rerun of Forensic Files—rest in peace, Peter Thomas—I got the idea to write a serial novel about a vigilante murderess, who’s just arrogant enough to think she can kill a man in cold blood without getting caught. The question was, who in a small town would be the last person suspected of committing a violent crime? A children’s librarian, that’s who.
It’s with that sentiment in mind that I sought permission to shadow Karissa Fast at Fort Erie Public Library. Watching her work allowed me to better understand the roles and responsibilities of a children’s librarian before writing Go Home, Afton.
Q: What sets Go Home, Afton apart from other serial thriller books?
Jones: Afton has conversations with an imaginary version of herself. An evil twin of sorts, known as “Animus” Afton, that tries to get Afton to commit reckless and indiscriminate mass murder, despite her moral objections. Her better judgment is always in competition with this invisible force.
Q: What do you hope readers will take away from the series?
Jones: The goal of my writing is never to preach or be sanctimonious, even though I do often tackle difficult subject matter. Oh, sure, there are themes in Go Home, Afton that some readers will be sure to identify with—good versus evil, moral ambiguity, the presumption of guilt, and so forth. But my primary goal was to write a series that would thrill, engage, and entertain readers. Nothing more.
Q: Tell us about the illustration in the Acknowledgements section. How did this come about
Jones: I mention an 11-year-old girl named Mackenzie in the Acknowledgments. She drew me a sketch of a human eyeball at a local library event last year—I'd volunteered to assist with a club for young writers—which I managed to work into The Afton Morrison Series. She'd told me she hoped her drawing would inspire me, and it did. I ended up dedicating the entire series to Mackenzie. The world, after all, needs more young leaders, readers, and writers.
I met with Mackenzie at the Fort Erie Public Library in April (as well as her mother, Pam) to present her with a printed ARC copy of Go Home, Afton, which hopefully she'll be able to read once her mother decides she's old enough.