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J.C. Lane Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Tag, You're Dead (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Bound by Mystery(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

J.C. Lane is an author of thriller novels for adults and young adults who made a bit of a splash with ‘Tag, You’re Dead’, her first book in 2016.


J.C. Lane is a pen name for Judy Clemens. Clemens has been in the writing game for quite a while and is credited with producing the ‘Stella Crown’ and ‘Grim Reaper’ series.

‘Tag, You’re Dead’ was the result of Judy Clemens’ attempts at experimenting with a few new ideas. The book is Clemens’ first thriller novel.

J.C. Lane has a husband and two children. She lives in Ohio. When she isn’t writing or reading, the author is shuttling her kids around. Lane also watches plenty of television, not to mention baking and cooking.

+Literary Career

J.C. Lane came into being because Judy Clemens wanted to write a Young Adult novel. And she wrote ‘Tag, You’re Dead’ with that intention in mind. This is why she made all the protagonists teenagers and chose to delve into issues that surround that particular age bracket.

Lane was pretty sure she had a hit on her hands at least as far as first-time YA thriller writers go. However, when she took her story to her publisher (Poisoned Pen Press), they were not convinced by the YA angle.

If anything they thought the story was more likely to appeal to adults. Not that Lane was discouraged by the revelation. Knowing that her first thriller novel could appeal to all age brackets told Lane that she definitely had a future as a thriller novelist.

The inspiration for the book struck the author while she was listening to her husband, a physical education teacher, talk. To appeal to the YA audience, Lane knew she had to write a thriller with dystopian themes.

But with so many dystopian novels on the shelves of bookstores, Lane knew she needed a hook, something that would allow her novel to stand out from the competition. The idea of a life and death game of tag initially sounded ridiculous.

But some polishing brought the plot into focus and that set J.C. Lane on the path to conquering the YA and Adult thriller fields.

Lane’s first thriller novel was more of a challenge than she expected because she was writing the story from the perspective of six main characters. Lane admits that she had to do a little bit of studying, scrutinizing books like ‘The Plot Whisperer’ by Martha Alderson to get a better handle on the process of balancing so many characters.

The idea of using a pen name was raised by the author’s publishers. ‘Tag, You’re Dead’ is as different a book as one can get from Judy Clemens’ previous works. And J.C. Lane’s publishers decided that a pen name would prevent confusion among Judy’s fans.

The ‘J.C. Lane’ pseudonym was created using the initials of Judy’s three names. She wasn’t comfortable keeping her identity a secret. And fortunately, her publishers also agreed to let readers know that Judy Clemens and J.C. Lane is the same person.

Though, the pseudonym created confusion in the author’s marketing efforts. She wasn’t always certain which name to put on promotional material. In fact, some of her fans do not know what to call her.

The author has admitted that she has had an easier time succeeding as J.C. Lane than she did as Judy Clemens. Back then, Judy was a stay-at-home mother struggling to juggle little children with her writing career

It didn’t help that her husband’s work often took him far from home. J.C. Lane must contend with some of those same struggles but she is better equipped to manage her time and balance her various duties. Though, she admits that finding the time to write is still a challenge.

Lane is fortunate because she is so determined. Even with all the excitement in her household, she knows how to plant herself in her chair and stay there until she meets her daily writing objectives.

The author imputes a lot of her success to the fact that she works with a small publishing house. Lane appreciates the fact that her experience with her publisher is so personal.

She knows so many of the people at the publishing house by name. She even knows some of the other authors with whom they work. And that close relationship has allowed for a successful collaborative relationship to manifest.

+Tag, You’re Dead

There is a game of tag unfolding in Chicago, one that finds six young people chasing one another through the streets and buildings and crowds, determined to either find their target or stay ahead of their pursuer.

They all know how twisted this particular game of tag can get. They all know that getting tagged means dying.

Of these six players, three are ‘It’ and they have each entered the game with a particular goal in mind. Brandy will not rest until she brings a naturally beautiful girl to ruin, and she’s ready to use her surgical enhancements to achieve her objective.

Robert wants to be on the basketball team. He wants all the fame and the adoration that his target, a superstar, enjoys. But he doesn’t have the talent.

Charles just wants to put his intellect to the test by taking on someone that can match him in wits.

This trio of elites buys their way into a deadly game, certain that they can kill their prey and walk away consequence-free. The so-called ‘Runners’ awaiting their wrath include Laura, Tyrese, and Amanda; a lovely small town girl, a celebrated athlete and a gaming genius.

With the threats against their loved ones forcing them to participate, these runners will fight to survive and turn the tables on their hunters.

J.C. Lane’s first thriller novel follows the exploits of three spoilt teens who enter a game of tag with the intention of taking the people they despise, hunting them down and killing them.

The antagonists in question-the spoilt teens- hold grudges against three other teens because they are either prettier or more talented than them in some way. They determine to resolve their feelings of inferiority through violence.

This book is very simplistic in its writing and structure, the idea being to appeal to both older and younger readers. The book has been described as a combination of The Hunger Games and The Purge.

Book Series In Order » Authors » J.C. Lane

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