Our people: Mayhem on her mind

Donita Massy Privett: Courtesy photo Darynda Jones of Portales enjoys writing characters who people are interested in reading about.

Portales resident Darynda Jones has been writing toward publication for nine years. She realized her goal when on Feb. 1 her first book “First Grave on the Right” was published. The book, the first of a trilogy, tells the story of a private investigator who sees dead people — dead people who want her to bring their murderers to justice.

“I enjoy telling stories, creating fun, evocative characters that people care and want to read about, thinking up creative ways to murder people,” she said.

Jones’ book has already been compared to mystery genre writer Janet Evanovich, author of the Stephanie Plum novels. Jones said she enjoys Evanovich’s books.

“She is a hero of mine. The comparison is both ridiculously flattering and terrifying,” Jones said. “That’s a lot to live up to.”

Jones received her bachelor of science degree from the University of New Mexico in sign language interpreting. She taught and interpreted in the Clovis and Portales area for 10 years before writing.