Two Jacks received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.
Following find an interview with author Rex Deerman.
What is the name of the book and when was it published?
Two Jacks by Rex Deerman was published on 10/15/22.
What’s the book’s first line?
“How in the Hell is seventy miles per hour a reasonable speed limit these days?” Jack asked Wally, as the needle tipped past the hundred on the speedometer of Jack’s Grand Cherokee.
What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.
Jack Landower is a 44-year-old accountant and math wiz who is stuck in a rut, with a dead-end job and a stagnant marriage. Plans for a low-key vasectomy weekend in Las Vegas are turned upside down when he wins free entry into the largest Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournament in the world. His good luck and good fortune at the poker table raises Jack’s spirits and outlook on life, which he parlays into improved outcomes at work and in the bedroom. When his unexpected success threatens the old poker guard of Vegas, he becomes the target of schemes and blackmail that put his marriage and livelihood at risk. Two Jacks takes readers on a wild ride through midlife crisis, sexual proclivities, blackmail, marital strife, coercion, conception, deception, and psychological drama.
What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?
Two Jacks tells the story of a daydream I had when driving to Las Vegas after one cup of coffee too many. The exciting part about a weekend getaway in general and one to Las Vegas especially, is that truly anything can happen. I wanted to tell the story of something wild and exciting that could conceivably happen that takes a regular character into an entirely irregular environment. Some of the sub-plots and characters are inspired by personal events and people that I know. The goal was to blend a wild daydream-like plot with real characters, feelings, and challenges.
What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?
Two Jacks allows the reader to escape their regular lives in a way that’s different from other books. If you ever find yourself thinking about how things would go if you stumbled into immediate good fortune, this book is for you. If you’re having trouble coming to terms with aging, this book is for you. If you love your spouse like crazy, but sometimes have trouble reaffirming that connection, this book is for you. If you love Texas Hold’em Poker, this book is for you. One thing that has been really humbling to hear in the early feedback on the book is that people who don’t connect with any of those threads are enjoying the book too. Whatever your reason or background, I hope you’ll give it a try.
What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?
Jack Landower is the main character. He’s smart, analytical, and mathematically gifted and yet, despite those strengths, he struggles to feel comfortable and confident in his place in life. I took many characteristics from myself when creating Jack. I’ve heard people tell me they picture a variety of actors who they imagine as Jack when they’re reading. I get a kick out of feedback like that. For what it’s worth, names like Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Topher Grace have come up.
Is this the first book you’ve written?
Yes, Two Jacks is my debut offering.
What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?
I love the independence it offers. I wrote about something I wanted to write about, at a pace that works for me, with exactly zero guardrails or pressures. Whether anybody reads it or not, I’m regarding this experience as positive. I had a blast writing it. I hope readers get the same escape from reading it that I did from writing it.
The hardest part is the flipside of that independence. Two Jacks has adults-only content. I don’t like when books yada-yada-yada the adult content. So I intentionally wrote it with no boundaries. I’m glad I did it. But the hardest part about writing with no guardrails is knowing your parents, siblings, and neighbors will all read it. I told my Mom not to read Chapter 9 for example (she didn’t comply).
Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)
It might sound corny, but I woke up one day last year and realized I haven’t put anything out into the world. Writing a book and publishing it changes that. One day, when I’m old, I’ll have something I made that reflects how I thought and what I thought about at the time. That notion motivated me throughout the writing process. Holding my first book in my hands was a really great feeling that I’ll never forget.