I’d like to give a warm welcome to Jax O’Connell. She’s stopping by The Self-Rescue Princess today to tell us a little bit about her adventure at a bead bazaar.
A bead bazaar turns bizarre when I discover a dead body beneath my sales table. Suspected of murder, my friend Tessa and I scramble to find the killer among the fanatic shoppers and eccentric vendors. We have our hands full dealing with a scumbag show promoter, hipsters in love, and a security guard who wants to do more than protect me from harm. Adding to the chaos, my quirky neighbor Val arrives unexpectedly with trouble in tow. I hope I can untangle the clues before I’m arrested for murder!
Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?
No! I’m an artist—a jewelry designer and glass beadmaker. The last thing I thought I’d be doing is discovering who murdered the woman I found beneath my sales table at the bead show in Portland. And this is not the first time I’ve had to use my sleuthing skills. A few months back I had to uncover a murderer after a young woman was killed in an alley behind a bead shop in Seattle.
What one piece of advice/wisdom would you like to pass onto young women?
My advice is that you don’t have to settle in life. If you don’t like how things are going for you, you have the power to change them. Me? I lived in Miami, had a boring job, and a boyfriend that more or less ignored me, that is, when he wasn’t out drinking with his pals. I found a way out of that unfulfilling situation and moved to Seattle. Now I’m pursuing my dream of living a life full of creativity with people who love and inspire me. Since I’ve moved, I have had some of the best years of my life. Yes, it was scary, but if I hadn’t stretched and stepped outside my comfort zone, I’d still be in Miami wondering to myself if I could have had more, if I could have been happy, had I been brave.
Who would you say is the least pleased about your additional career choice of amateur sleuthing?
My friend Tessa is always trying to convince me to step back and try not to save everyone all the time, until she’s the one that needs help. I don’t really consider what I do to be a career choice, since my career is actually something more fun than solving murders. I’m a glass beadmaker, which means I’m used to wielding a 2,000 degree torch to melt glass that I sculpt into multicolored glass beads. Working with molten glass has made me fearless, well not exactly fearless, but to have some fierceness. It means I stand up and fight for what is right, and that I’m not afraid to find the truth so that justice can prevail.
Describe what being a self-rescue princess means to you.
To me, being a self-rescue princess means that you can’t wait around for problems to be solved by someone else. That someone is you. Being a self-rescue princess means that you can’t stand idly by while others take actions and make decisions on your behalf. You must be responsible for your own destiny, rather than hope that someone—a knight in shining armor, perhaps—will come your way at just the right moment. I think the rest of being a self-rescue princess has to do with making sure that the other women around you know that they have the power to take care of themselves, too. When you and your friends support each other, together you can fight the harshest foes.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Can we start with my weaknesses? I’m addicted to coffee. It’s pretty bad, I seriously can’t make it through the day without at least four cups. The worst thing is, I’ve also turned my cat into an addict, but not coffee, which I think may be deadly for our feline friends. My cat, Gumdrop, is addicted to catnip. It can be quite embarrassing when he needs a fix. Another thing: I’m a really bad cook, and my housekeeping skills are questionable. But seriously, those things don’t matter that much in the big picture. And that’s probably my biggest strength—the big picture. When I’ve been in situations when there is a problem to solve, or a crime for that matter, I try to look at all the pieces and how they hang together. Then I try and figure out which pieces are missing and which are out of place. It’s kind of like designing a necklace—I can tell when everything works, when all the pieces work in harmony. I think that’s what has helped me be a good sleuth. I can see where there’s a mismatch in the events that have led to a murder—that’s where I need to look to solve the mystery and bring everything into perfect balance.
If you’d like to get to know Jax, take note that High Strung, the first book in the Glass Bead Mystery Series, will be 99 cents from Feb 7th through 11th and $1.99 from Feb 12th through 15th. Be Still My Beading Heart, A Glass Bead Mini-Mystery short story is free on Amazon and iTunes. A Bead in the Hand is available for the discounted price of $2.99 through February 15th.