25 Nov 2013

Jinx Schwartz: Hetta Coffey

2 Comments Book Reviews



 I came across “Just Add Water” at a fellow author’s blog and was drawn in by the humorous style in which the author presented herself and her books.

The book, first in a series, hit the right tone with me instantly. The mysterious planned disappearance of an American man in Tokyo leaves us with a huge question mark before we turn across the Pacific and dive into a different story altogether.

Maybe as 40 year old gay man with a love for dogs I am a prime target audience for this book. It was certainly very compulsive reading to follow the main protagonist, Hetta Coffey through her adventures. She is single, pushy and could easily be best friend with many a gay man.
Not always entirely likeable but utterly watchable and eventually loveable Hetta cruises for a man in her life by the waterfront.

But we know that there is some foul play waiting for us ever since we read the prologue 5 years prior to us meeting Hetta. I was impatiently waiting for the moment where the past comes into the presence but the wait was sweetened by Hetta’s colourful and entertaining character, by quirky sense of humour, the dog and not last by the excellent one liners and her ‘tasteful un-pc-ness’ that just keeps the laughs coming.

With all humour it comes down to personal taste, so please make up your own mind but know that I spent some happy hours with Hetta and her Texan ways on the San Francisco sea shore.

Interview with Hetta:

Tell us a little about yourself as writer and a person. What would your friends tell us if we asked for your best and your oddest qualities?

My husband says I am a character, my friends say I am nuts, my enemies think I’m evil, and they are all right. As a writer I am independent and not swayed by formulas or rules, even though I believe you have to know the rules before you can break them. I am a stickler for constantly studying the craft and making my books better.

Who inspired the creation of your character Hetta? jinx desk on boat 2

As you know, Hetta Coffey is a sassy Texan with a snazzy yacht, and she’d not afraid to use it.

I was a perpetually single woman, traveling the world for work and fun, and tired of both. Seeking a change, I decided to buy a boat. A large boat. It changed my life, for I met the love of my life—Robert “Mad Dog” Schwartz—in a yacht club, and we sailed off into the sunset. So, Hetta is kind of my more flamboyant alter ego…although there are some who say we are one in the same.

What made you become a writer? Have you always written?

I fell into writing when I was doing a genealogy search on my Texas ancestors (I am a ninth-generation Texan) and saw my family besmirched in a history book. To set the record straight, I wrote a Historical/Western, The Texicans. Then, silly me, I decided to keep writing books.

When did you decide to write comedy and Hetta? 

I love comedy and come from a family that laughed a lot. Reading writers with a great sense of humor gave me heroes (Nelson DeMille, Larry McMurtry) to emulate. I adore the one-two whammy; make the reader laugh, then unload the triple whammy. Also, writing in first person allows Hetta to deliver her own brand of self-deprecating humor, and she’s not above using others in an occasional snarky bit.

I like to think of Hetta as more than just a comedy figure, but a role model for young women everywhere. Everywhere, that is, that embraces a cross between Eddy, Patsy, and Annie Oakley, with a touch of criminal tendencies and loose morals. The hardest part of writing a humorous series is keeping it fresh, and funny.

What do you like most about your characters? Which one is your favourite?

If I had children, choosing a favorite—American spelling:-)—would be like being ask to favor one. Each of my characters is like a good friend or a bad enemy. Hetta would probably choose Nacho, because he is sexy, in a criminal sort of way. Dr. Craig Washington has to be, however, my favorite guy. He is loveable and I want him to triumph over his bad choices in men. Both he and Hetta struggle with that issue.

Who would play the characters in a film?

Hetta? A cross between a younger Bette Midler and the older, grouchier, Shirley MacClaine. Of course I do have to factor in the Absolutely Fabulous gals here, as well, so a Joanna Lumley type for Jan. As for poor, patient, Jenks? I’d pick the younger version of Tommy Lee Jones. Just because I love him.

Are you like Hetta?

Yep.  013

What are your next projects?

I am working on Hetta #6 right now.

Tell us about your other books.

Troubled Sea is an out-of-sequence thriller featuring Hetta and Jenks, but much later, when they are married. I know, I know, but I wrote it right after The Texicans and it is doing well, so there you have it. Land of Mountains, told in first person narravtive from the point of view of a 10-year-old Texan who moves to Haiti in the 1950’s, it is what I call a fictography (a term I blatantly stole from John Grisham’s A Painted House), and is a much-embellished account of my childhood. Some say the protagonist, Lizbuthann, is actually Hetta. Hmmm.

What is your life like?

I live a charmed life, which worries me because my grandmother Hetta (yes, Hetta) warned me about that kind of thing. We Texans are a superstitious lot, and I don’t want to jinx myself.

What do you do for pleasure and work when you are not writing?

We tried working and found we did not care for it, so we split our time between golf and boating: golf (Mad Dog) in Arizona in the summer, and living on our boat in Mexico in the winter. When not at the computer (which is rare these days) I like to putter around painting things, and taking Zumba and Yoga. I do not play golf because I have way too much self-respect.

What are your favourite books/ films/ albums?

I like a good historical novel, light-weight beach books, and just about anything else in any language I can read. Music: Country Western and Classical.  Films: Rom Com, French farce, and vigilante justice. Hate all that animated explosion thing in so many of today’s film (me, fuddy-duddy???), but love Chicken Run and Happy Feet.

What are your views on independent publishing?

I think this is the age of the Indie. Thanks to KDP and other self-pubbing venues, I was able to part ways with my publisher and control my own writing career.

Can you recommend any indie books/ authors?

I’d better stay away from this one. I have WAY too many Indie friends to name favorites, sort like choosing that kid thing again. I am, however, going to start posting my reviews on my blog soon.


 What are your favourite animal/ colour/ outdoor activity?

Love dogs, red, and boating.

What would you take to a remote island? My boat.

Who would you like to invite for dinner and why?

Hunter S. Thompson in his prime, but I’d probably have to hire some security.

What are you writing at the moment and where would we find out about your next projects?

Working another Hetta book. You can keep up with me on

Facebook at http://on.fb.me/YJ7hXT

What else would you like us to know about you and your books?

I think I’ve talked enough about me and my books. Tell us about YOU!

She’s baaaak! Just the Pits, Book 5 in the Hetta Coffey series, is now available http://amzn.to/15orD90

And for the other four, get Hetta in a box. Hetta Coffey Collection Boxed Set Books 1-4 in Award Winning Series . http://amzn.to/10QsxpI

ALL other BOOKS just 2.99, including the others in award-winning Hetta Coffey series. http://amzn.to/QpYtAR 

Twitter @jinxschwartz

FB http://on.fb.me/YJ7hXT





She’s baaaak! Just the Pits, Book 5 in the Hetta Coffey series, is now availablehttp://amzn.to/15orD90
And for the other four, get Hetta in a box. Hetta Coffey Collection Boxed Set Books 1-4 in Award Winning Series . http://amzn.to/10QsxpI
ALL other BOOKS just 2.99, including the others in award-winning Hetta Coffey series. http://amzn.to/QpYtAR  Twitter @jinxschwartz FB http://on.fb.me/YJ7hXT



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