DAB: Welcome Jazzy Brass - Do you prefer Jazzy, JB, or good doggie?
JB: Okay, so you want fact and fiction - Jazzy Brass is actually my story name - stage name, if you will. My agent (GK) calls me Jazzy, but my real name is Jazmin. I've been called Jazzy Blues, Jazzy Boots, Jazbo, sweetie, honey, hon, sweetheart and baby. I don't care WHAT you call me, just call me - and have a treat in your hand if you really want to make points.
In "The E Z Knight Reports" series, E Z just calls me Jazzy or Jazzy Brass.
DAB: Jazzy it is - what is your favorite kibble?
JB: For real: anything GK is eating. For dog food, he used to give me Blue Buffalo, but now he gives me some pretty tasty Beneful, and I always get a spoonful or two of pumpkin every day. He says it gives me fiber. I lo-ove it! Don't tell anyone, but on special nights we go to Starbucks and GK gets me a Puppy Latte (a dash of whipped cream in a cup) - yum!
In character: pretty much the same thing. Living with E Z on a sailboat - we eat a lot of fish. But when we eat out, I love chicken nuggets - and yes, Puppy Lattes, as well.
DAB: So tell us a few interesting morsels about your master.
JB: For real: he's more of an agent/caretaker/confidant than a master. He's kind of weird. He likes to play ball, go to the dog park, go for walks and that sort of thing, but he loses focus very easily, and before I know it, he's back at his laptop, working on his latest novel. That really gets boring. He keeps telling me, "I gotta pay the bills, you know? You do want to eat next week, right?" I think we'd be better off if we just moved over to the dog park. Bring my dog sofa, pitch a tent, and we'd be fixed - er, uh, set (I hate the word "fixed").
In character: E Z has done and seen about everything. But as he gets older, he's not into the excitement and adventure as much. He's become somewhat of a loner - which I don't mind a bit. That means he and I spend more time together. But his past and the people around him keep drawing him into the fray. He's really a simple guy. He likes sailing, snow skiing, and SCUBA. He loves nature. He likes Jimmy Buffet and Darius Rucker - he even plays the guitar and sings their songs. He's really good. I join in once in a while with a howl or two.
DAB: How did the two of you meet and what prompted the meeting?
JB: For real: It's hard to remember those early days - after all, that was when I was ten-weeks old; over a year ago! I guess I could be subconsciously blocking it out. GK tells me that it was more of a rescue than an adoption. He paid $300 for the honor (I think that's pretty cheap for a girl like me). The couple who had me and my bros and sisters was smellier than any of us, and they had more fleas. GK says he thinks they were living out of their crew-cab pickup with three other puppies besides me. GK answered an ad in the paper about "golden retriever pups for sale" and met these folks about fifty miles away at a rural Casey's Junction convenience store. The man actually gave us our shots while GK and his lady friend held us.
GK says when he saw me, it was love at first sight. When I saw him, I saw a ticket out. But I grew to love him pretty fast.
When he got me home, it took two baths to get rid of the fleas and the smell.
In character: you'll find out how we met in the next novel, KNIGHT'S BIG EASY - a prequel to KNIGHT'S RANSOM, due out at the end of April. Without spoiling it, I'll tell you that's my debut. Like many other folks, E Z saves my life.
DAB: Who would you say is your master's favorite human in his first caper, KNIGHT'S RANSOM?
JB: For real: of course KNIGHT'S RANSOM wasn't the first caper GK wrote. He's written about authorities tracking down criminals before. JEZEBEL involves an animal control director solving a crime that takes the lives of dozens of people and even more dogs - spooky, if you ask me. DEAD RECKONING involves a female NCIS agent (was written before the TV show - even before its predecessor, JAG) who goes undercover aboard a war ship to stop terrorists from killing thousands of Americans (yes, even written before 9/11, as well).
With KNIGHT'S RANSOM, GK's favorite has to be the protagonist, E Z Knight. He easily identifies with E Z, because of similar backgrounds and interests. Many of the character's experiences are actually drawn from GK's own (most of them embellished to the point of being supercharged, of course).
In character: E Z is really taken with Smokey Smith. She's a widow as well as the lovely thirty-something proprietor of Smokey's Marina. She and her son rabbit watch over me when E Z's out giving bad guys their comeuppances. One little caveat here: E Z is easily "taken" with many women, especially the beautiful ones. His relationship with Smokey is platonic, and with E Z being the man he is, he has to find an outlet somewhere.... In KNIGHT'S RANSOM, E Z becomes very attracted to the young Russian beauty, Zoya, who's really smitten with him as well. They go "off to the races" in more ways than one.
DAB: Conversely then, who would you say is your master's least favorite human in this caper and why?
JB: For real: this being mostly a first-person narrative, GK wasn't able to get inside the antagonists heads, like he normally would. That's fun stuff, he tells me. But he loves all of his characters, even his bad ones.
In character: E Z sees the bad guys for their deeds: bastards and sons-of-bitches (excuse my doggy language). He'd probably tell you his least favorites are the Russian assassin, Karl (a.k.a. Kirill Diakov), as well as a former comrade gone really bad, Ramon Pena. You'll find out more when you read KNIGHT'S RANSOM. Of course there are a few despicable recurring characters in the series as well as some one-time-jerks in each of the episodes.
DAB: Have you both ever been in a situation where you feared for your life or your human's?
JB: For real: not since I've been around him. But he tells me a number of situations when his life was at risk. He did a lot of crazy things, years ago - he's way calmed down now. But in his younger days as a reckless teenager, a Recon Marine and member of Marine "Super Squad," parachuting, SCUBA diving, etc., etc., he sought more of life's risky adventures than its comforts. He tells me about rescuing a friend from a cliff in Sardinia, parachute malfunctions, swimming with a shark, firing missiles, flame thrower mishaps, machine gun fire over his head, bar fights, and on and on.
In character: with E Z, it's pretty much the same, but ten times more. There are whole weeks that go by when I'm concerned for his safety. In KNIGHT'S RANSOM, our friends are attacked by some very bad people when E Z isn't there. I try...well, you'll find out more when...yeah, you read the story.
Also, GK has fixed me up with my own four-page blog on his website at http://gordonkessler.com/Jazzy/. There's a special subpage where you can actually view "Jazzy Brass's Missing Scenes" from the different episodes. You'll find what was going on with me, in my point of view, while the storyline was following E Z in the novel. It's going to be fun.
DAB: With everything happening around your human, why do you stay with him?
JB: For real: Not much happens around ol' GK anymore - boring! I guess I feel sorry for him. I mean really...look at him - a face only a dog could love. Any joking aside, he's my buddy.
In character: Are you kidding? I'm as big of an adventure hound as E Z ever was. E Z says he wants to lead a relaxed life and be left alone. But you can tell when the dog poo hits the propeller; he's ready for action and enjoys kicking bad guys' tails! Me too!
DAB: Will we get to see the two of you together again?
JB: For real: all the dang time! And I love it.
In character: I'm hoping to make it in at least a minor role in all of the series episodes. Besides those, GK is considering a Noir spinoff with E Z's great grandfather, as well as a Western spinoff with E Z's direct ancestor five generations back. I'm guessing both will have a dog - but golden retrievers weren't around in the Old West, so - I might have to play a bloodhound relative of mine...I don't know.
DAB: Tell us one last thing about this first caper you find yourself in with your human.
JB: In character: this is one of the most action-packed, fast reads you'll find. What starts out as a little story ends up at the Academy Awards on Oscar night. The twists and turns will surprise you and yank you along one heck of a doggone thrill ride! Have fun reading KNIGHT'S RANSOM, and please give me a whistle on my blog sometime!
Thanks so much for taking the time to visit with us Jazzy - so there you have it folks! Pick up a copy of Gordon A. Kessler's KNIGHT'S RANSOM today for free on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Knights-Ransom-Knight-Reports-ebook/dp/B007F08MU8/. Remember also to visit his blog at http://gordonkessler.com/ and check out the "Knight's Girls" and Jazzy's fabulous blog. Remember to also check out the blurb for KNIGHT'S RANSOM below. Fabulous read!
For E Z Knight, when it rains, it pours - and it seldom tastes anything like water.
In this first episode of "The E Z Knight Reports" a series, E Z has a million-dollar contract on his head and a whole boatload of hit men after his ass. Even worse, a young Russian beauty has just handed him a photo of his six-year-old goddaughter wearing a vest wired with enough plastic explosives to bring down the Golden Gate Bridge.
Nowadays, all E Z wants is to be left alone. He seeks an uncomplicated and safe life, living with his golden retriever, Jazzy Brass, on a sailboat in Southern California. But his past won't cooperate. When, only two minutes before his neighbor's sailboat blows up in front of him, he's handed a picture of his best friend's kidnapped daughter strapped with Semtex, he knows there'll be no peace today. He's stared down death more times than he can remember, but death hasn't come to harvest someone this close to him since his wife was murdered six years ago.
E Z's former best friend, Jason Ryder, is up for an Oscar, and the man's newly divorced wife, actress Stella Hutchins, is E Z's very hot ex-girlfriend. With their little girl in jeopardy, they must put on a facade of normalcy on the biggest night of their lives - that also could be their last.
A walk down the Academy Awards' Red Carpet is a new experience for an old Leatherneck, but former US Force Recon Marine, E Z Knight isn't shy. He'd do anything to get his goddaughter back safely - be it by bullet or by bedroom - and he must have a little of both to get to the bottom of this one.
Teaming up with a spicy little Russian who carries a Mach 10, an old woman who flips him the bird every morning, and a couple of his old comrades-in-arms, E Z's bound to track down little Sophie Ryder's abductors, rescue her and get her home unharmed, and do away with some very nasty bastards, all in short order. But, in the hours to come, a deadly old nemesis returns, and a new team of very lethal assassins strikes at his heart.
E Z never liked killing, but he's good at it, and the next forty-eight hours are bound to be murder.