1. I hear you have animals in your Man vs. Nature novels. Tell us about the books.
Man vs. Nature is a series of trilogies, each addressing a time in man’s evolution when we should have died out but didn’t. The first trilogy, Dawn of Humanity, takes place 1.8 million years ago when man was new on the landscape. We had no homes, weapons, clothing, few tools, no religion, and no fire. The next trilogy, Crossroads, takes place 1 million years later when man has learned to be tough, plan, create some weapons, and become a lot more human. We are still prey to larger predators but we give them a good fight! The next trilogy, Savage Land, jumps about 800,000 years ahead and deals with a time in man’s evolution where despite our dominance in the animal world, we still couldn’t beat Nature. It’s a dark time in our history when our species almost disappeared from the planet. The first book in this trilogy is due out in about two years.
But Jacqui (you say), I thought dogs were important to your stories?
Absolutely. For most of man’s evolutionary history, we considered animals dominant. In my stories, man and animal create critical partnerships that allow both of us to live better. Look at each book cover—they all include a proto-dog companion.
The latest novel in the Dawn of Humanity series—just published in October—is Natural Selection. It features a prehistoric dog named Ump and a Homotherium cat named Kit, both valued members of man’s tribe. Here’s the blurb for that book:
Lucy and her tribe leave their good home to rescue captured tribe members who are in grave danger. Since leaving her mate, Lucy created a tribe that includes an eclectic mix of species—a Canis, a Homotherium kit, and different iterations of early man. More will join and some will die, but that is the nature of prehistoric life, when survival depends on a mix of man’s developing intellect and untiring will to live. Each brings unique skills to the task of saving Raza and his Group from sure death.
Based on true events from 1.8 million years ago in Africa, Lucy and her band struggle against the harsh reality of a world ruled by nature, where predators stalk them and a violent new species of man threatens to destroy their world. Prepare to see this violent and beautiful world in a way you never imagined.
If you’d like to watch a trailer for Natural Selection, check this YouTube link: https://youtu.be/jZhlvou9hvg
2. Why did you add animals to these books?
In my life, animals are valued and cherished. This is a picture of my beloved puppy, Casey:
In the prehistoric world in this series, the big cats and proto-wolves were the alpha predators in a feral world. Man was his prey and had no idea that these domineering animals weren’t more powerful than the two-legged upright creatures they preyed on. I wanted to explore that sort of ‘frenemy’ relationship, show how each species found value in working together.
3. What other books have you written?
I first wrote non-fiction education books (they can be found at Structured Learning). I was a tech teacher without a curriculum so wrote one and then kept going. Then, as a hobby, I switched to fiction—thrillers—stories of flawed super heroes who saved the world at great personal cost. The ultimate super hero was our earliest ancestors, people who survived a feral world without claws, fangs, or physical power, where they were prey not predator. The story of how they endured powerful predators, violent natural disasters without clothing, weapons, or homes is pretty exciting! I write these stories as a series of trilogies, each addressing a time in man’s evolution when we should have died out but didn’t. The one I’m working on right now is called Savage Land.
4. How do you promote your books?
I sell all of my books through Amazon, as print or digital. They’re even free if you’re a member of Kindle Unlimited or Amazon Prime. You can find them on my Amazon Author page.
Here’s a quick visual summary of the three trilogies, their tagline, and what you can expect in the stories:
Most of the promotion is done through my blog, WordDreams. That’s where I stay in touch with other writers like me who love to talk and explore writing. My other social media links are:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Jacqui-Murray/e/B002E78CQQ/
From Marcia: Jacqui, thank you for being my January interviewee! I love discovering novels that feature interesting animals/pets, and I look forward to reading your books!
MONTHLY BLOG EBOOK CONTEST! Would you like to win a Marcia James’ ebook? Visitors to this pro-pet blog can join in the fun, comment, and/or share photos of their pets for a chance to win one of my ebooks! Each month, I’ll randomly pick one commenter to win. To leave a comment and/or a photo, click on the word “Reply,” which is just below the social media icons for THIS interview. (Don’t scroll past this interview to the next interview.) Go Pets!
Thank you so much for hosting me, Marcia, and sharing my books with your readers. What a great start to 2023!
Hi, Jacqui! Thank you for being my January interviewee! Your books sound fascinating. They are definitely going on my To Be Read list! Have a wonderful 2023!
Hi Jacqui! I enjoyed the trailer, and find the concept of your book to be very interesting. I look forward to reading it. This is Lucky staying warm.
Oh she is precious, Julie!
Hi, Julie! Lucky is definitely a cutie! I hope you’re also staying warm and that you have a happy 2023!
Fantastic books and have enjoyed all three series. I love animals and it was wonderful to see the relationship evolve from predator to companion over the series. Thanks Marcia for hosting Jacqui. One of my favourite authors.
Thank you for visiting, Sally! It always feels cozier when you’re around.
Hi, Sally! Thanks for stopping by my blog and supporting Jacqui! I look forward to reading her books. 😉 Have a great 2023!
That’s a great interview. It was a lot of fun to read this interview and the books of course. I loved the Dawn of Humanity series. Thank you and Happy New Year to both of you.
Thanks, Thomas. I appreciate your support. Can’t wait to talk Dogs with you.
Hi, Thomas! Thank you for stopping by the blog and commenting on Jacqui’s interview. 😉 Happy New Year to you, too!
I enjoyed this interview with Jacqui. I have learned so much about early humans just from reading her blog!
Our ancestors–they were amazing. Wait till you read about our next group.
Hi, Liz! I look forward to reading Jacqui’s books and learning more about early humans, too. Thanks for commenting! Have a wonderful New Year!
Casey is a cute pup!
Anyone who doesn’t like animals really worries me…
We have people stop us on the street–as they’re driving–to tell us how gorgeous he is. We love him, but he is a challenge.
Hi, Alex! I agree with you on both points–Casey is a cutie, and anyone who doesn’t like animals is someone I would be worried about. 😉 Have a great 2023!
Hi, Alex! You won one of my ebooks for commenting on Jacqui’s blog interview! Congratulations! I’ll email you with information on how to get the ebook. Have a great Valentine’s Day!
Great post, Jacqui. I think Ump is a great addition to your series. I remember reading once that humans and “dogs” have been together for so long that we’ve actually evolved genetically to read each other’s cues. It was a matter of survival. I think that’s very cool. And Casey is beautiful. 🙂 Thanks for hosting our friend, Marcia. 🙂
Absolutely true. Dogs didn’t have to be domesticated to be our partners.
Hi, Diana! Thanks for commenting on the blog and supporting Jacqui! I, too, think Casey is beautiful. Have a wonderful New Year!
Your Casey reminds me a lot of mine, Jacqui! (But I believe we’ve discussed that before.)
Wishing you all the best with your release. Marcia, thank you for hosting.
Hi, Staci! Thank you for commenting on my blog and supporting Jacqui. 😉 I hope you have a wonderful 2023!
I love the questions and answers here today! Thank you, Marcia, for featuring Jacqui. And a big congratulations to Jacqui!
They’re unique which made them fun. I’ve enjoyed my visit with Marcia.
Hi, Jan! Thank you for stopping by and commenting on Jacqui’s interview! I hope you have a great New Year!
Casey looks adorable, Jacqui!
I like the idea of exploring the “frenemy” relationship between man and animals in your books, and I like the names Ump and Kit. I bet they make interesting characters.
Wishing you all the best with your latest!
Thanks, Mae. 1.8 million years ago, our ancestors really considered animals their equal, if not their superiors. What an interesting time in our history.
Hi, Mae! Thank you for supporting Jacqui. I think her books sound amazing and look forward to reading them. Best wishes on a wonderful 2023!
Can never say that too often, Staci. Love that critter.
Thank you–and thanks for adding your comment.