Sunday, September 25, 2011

Awe-Thors Blog Tour - Interview with Christine London

I'm pleased to have fellow Awe-Struck Publishing author Christine London as my guest today. She writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense with a British Commonwealth twist. Christine was born in Chicago, Illinois, but left the long winters of the Midwest as a child to find her roots in the sun and charm of California, both North and South. Her adopted home became Great Britain when she spent a year of college in the east end of London with three male flat mates; one from each country on the main island. Her fascination and love affair with all things British has grown over the years, facilitated by summers spent trading houses.

Graduating from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Chris continued with family, teaching, singing in a jazz sextet and running foot races (and winning) before discovering her true passion….the romance and adventure of writing.

It took one Scot to awaken her poetic appreciation of Scotland's natural beauty, and another Scot to ignite her passion for writing. Thank you, gentlemen.

Here's a blurb from Christine's Awe-Struck novel Leap of Faith:


Film student Faith Holmes is on an Italian holiday bought and paid for -- a familial inducement to finding an Italian husband. She wants none of it. Boredom and curiosity make for a volatile mix and Faith is lured into the heart of the island of Forio's exclusive international film festival not as guest, but crasher. Hollywood's premiere publicist Hunter Jameson has more than enough on his plate when his client, English film sensation Alex Winslow decides he's departing from the straight and narrow. One American party crasher should be the least of his worries. He has no idea that Alex's growing feelings for Faith rival his own. The only thing for certain is his life will never be the same.

Jana:  What do you do to market your book? What is your favorite method of promotion. What is your least favorite?

Christine:  Evidently not the right thing as I have yet to connect in a meaningful way with the masses of people who do NOT consider themselves avid readers. It is these that comprise the largest numbers. It is this (potential) reader that will, through word of mouth, tell his family and friends that he read the most extraordinary book. "You must read it!" are the musical words to an author's ears.

  It is through this vehicle--the everyday person who loves good entertainment AND is willing to invest 6-12 hours of her precious time to read YOUR book, that we create a tsunami of "you must read this".
  What is the magic to connect to this person? Now if I knew that I would not only be a gazillionaire through my writing, but also the greatest book promoter of all time. lol.

My favorite method is writing my travel and Hollywood event blogs. ( My "London Blog" at: http://christinelondon.blogspot.com/ ) Through my travels--description and photos--I can share some of the world's most beautiful and alluring locations. People enjoy, if only vicariously, travel through Europe, Australia and the good ole U.S. of A. as well as the ability to 'see' into Hollywood red carpet and awards events--an outsider looking in. In this way I provide desirable, entertaining content to folks who might then turn around and think-- Hey..I wonder what her books are like? That is the theory at least. As I said, to date, I have hundreds/thousands who love my blogging, but have not found the same cross over--YET--to my very visceral novels.

What is my least favorite promotions? Anything that requires me to crow about myself/my work. It speaks for itself, as do my blogs and therefore should stand alone. I dislike anything that requires a huge learning curve--such as creating book trailers/blog radio/website work. These technically based things not only bore most creative people and are best left to those who love to do them, but we are not good at them! We authors are good at writing books, not HTML, graphics and techno-babble!

Jana: I so hear you about your least favorite promotions. I feel very uncomfortable blowing my own horn, and I'm lousy with technology. Where did the idea for your latest Awestruck release come from?

Christine:  Leap Of Faith is my Awe Struck offering. The heroine is a compilation of my son and daughter. As a mom I spent years defending my son and being his advocate.

He is an epileptic. He also has ADD.

The heroine, Faith Holmes, is a vibrant outgoing young woman terrified by her recent diagnosis. She feels flawed and unworthy of the attentions and love developing between her and the hero. Sound like any young person you know?

Through this story I have found not only a vehicle of entertainment and inspiration, but a way to uplift the reader, educate her and make her feel capable of overcoming her own issues. Pretty special, eh?

Jana:  How do you research? Internet, interviews, books, etc.? Do you like to research?
  
Christine:  I research online as I am writing as questions arise. It is the most wonderful tool ever invented to find answers to almost any query. I have interviewed people in the past, but tend to find that a bit stilted. My Coast Guard Helicopter rescue mission gone wrong book-- Against The Current-- ( Phaze Books, an imprint of Mundania Press -ISBN: 978-1-59426-809-0) called for the most up to date pilot info. So I contacted an L.A. air station pilot and we sent emails to and fro.

Usually I do any outside 'research' during my summer travels abroad. I take thousands of photos and blog about my travels, often to places I already want to use as setting for a future work. Sometimes I find a place or person that inspires an idea I did not have before. Travel is the great eye opener and educator. So I use it to enrich my life, the lives of my blog readers and, eventually the lives of my novel readers.

Jana:  What is the most unusual thing you have ever done in the name of research?

Christine:  Hard to choose one--so I won't..lol. I crashed an international film festival on the Italian island of Ischia (Faith does the same in Leap Of faith), talked my way into an exclusive restaurant in London (As Erik of Soul In His Eyes does for his lady Christine), attended the Visual Effect Awards at the Kodak Theater where the Academy Awards are held, in order to write believable awards ceremony scene(s) and basically act the part in any given situation so that I may gain entrance to see, feel, hear the things I need my characters to experience.

Hutspa? Gumption?.....You bet!

Jana:  Why do you write?
  
Christine:  To uplift, inspire, entertain and educate.  It is both great gift and great responsibility. What grander calling? What better way to leave legacy?

Thanks for this opportunity, Jana.

Warm Regards,
Christine London

Here's an excerpt from Christine's Awestruck Publishing novel Leap of Faith:

 "You!"
  

The commanding voice stopped her in her tracks.

"I thought you'd never get here."

Turning slowly, Faith was surprised to find the gruff voice belonged to a fair-complexioned Brit, the first she'd seen, or heard since landing on the little Italian island of Forio.

"Beg your pardon?" she asked, her eyes dipping briefly to her scant attire.

"Here." He shoved a silver tray carrying four flutes of champagne into her hands. "Mostriani is waiting." With that, he strode around her and disappeared into the great room.

Faith hesitated, trying to process what had just happened. She turned toward the ornate grand living area; eyes again dropping to the towel barely clinging to her hips took a deep breath and marched in to meet the notables.

The spread of Italian baroque furniture complimented the plush olive area rugs, more ornate than it had appeared as she'd peeked through the windows. Against the far wall was an Italian vanity made from walnut highlighted by an intricately carved gilt frieze supporting a triple arched mirror. Upon it were multi layered trays decked in canap├ęs.

"Senora." Her thoughts were yanked from the amazing spread to the man sitting in the largest of the sculpted cabriole chairs. "Vino."

He summoned her with a strong backward pointing gesture, index finger repeatedly touching his yellow chintzed shoulder. The nerve, she thought and did they really make men's suits with such a gaudy shine?

Balancing the tray on her palm, she glided it to within his reach.

"Ah, no, no, no. Not the champagne. I asked for a ninety seven Umbrian Barolo." Bushy black eyebrows knitting in disapproval, he craned his neck to search the hall.
< em>"Where is Marcello?" 

"I…I don't know sir." She retracted the tray and dipped her head in apology.

"Why do-a they send the pool staff into the hotel?" He pushed to stand, nearly knocking her to the floor as he swept by. "Marcello will have the answer."

Faith watched as he vanished into the same hall she had used to enter. Sheltered by lush vegetation and shaded by pines, Hotel Annuzio nestled at the end of a small bay, a cobbled traffic circle isolating it from the fashionable shopping strip. It was a location cut off from the local community, unknown to all except the elite. This week it was the international film festival and all the elite were out in force.

Quickly disposing of the four flutes, Faith put the tray down on a barman's bussing cart and slid through a partly open door into the adjacent room. Royal blue carpeting, whitewashed walls and rows of cushioned chairs faced a linen-draped table at the front. Six microphones placed at equal intervals, three pitchers of water and tri-fold nameplates indicating the last of the day's expert panelists gave silent testament to the fact she'd stumbled upon the very heart of the event. Professional camera equipment lined the back wall, uplifted on a small portable stage. Yes. This must be the room where the actors and directors were interviewed by the press.

Cool and vacant, it reminded her of any other conference setting. Wall to ceiling banners provided backdrop behind the panel table and to its right, the area where photographers took pictures of the celebs before they sat for interview. 

Dropping to one of the audience chairs, she drew in a large lungful of air. Fortified against the odds, she nevertheless felt a bit shaken by her brazen crashing of such a restricted affair.

Relieved to see the barmaids around the pool wore bikini tops and towels wrapped about hips, Faith had quickly used her beach towel to mimic them, tucking it in low-slung fashion. Now she sat in the deserted convention room wondering how she'd manage to get past the staff. No doubt Mr. amazing hair Brit would have all them all out looking for the imposter. Any other occasion would have encouraged Faith to pursue such a gorgeous broad-chested specimen, but she was definitely the outsider at this event.

It wasn't everyday a girl from San Fernando found herself amongst the beautiful people, much less in such close proximity to fame. The poster in the lobby touted some of the names expected to attend. Her favorite English actor was one of them.

Squaring her shoulder, she stood to face the music.
                                                               ****
"Why didn't Gabriella show?" Hunter leaned over the sink. Staring at his reflection in the mirror, he pinched the bridge of his nose.


"Something about her mum having the flu."  Joey handed a towel to his boss. "Hiding here in the loo isn't going to solve the shortage."

"I'm nursing one hell of a headache, so go a bit easy?"

"Okay, but don't say I didn't try to warn you about that one."

"The local girls are supposed to be reliable."

"Not when their boyfriends call to whisk them to the beach on a scooter."

Hunter splashed more water on his face. Wiping it from his week's growth, he looked at Joey's reflection in the mirror. "Are you telling me--"

"No sir. I don't know about Gabriella, but if I'd been cooped up in a small flat all week without a ray of sun, I'd be likely to have flu first day of decent weather."

"They would truly perish in London," Hunter quipped.

Joey chuckled. "That they would."

"How did you find the gorgeous brunette?"

Joey's brows furrowed. "The what?"

"That replacement girl out in the lobby."

"There are no `replacements'," Joey stated emphatically.

 Hunter cocked his head, gave one more swipe of his jaw line and tossed the towel to the collection basket.

"Mister Jameson, I--"

Door swishing closed behind him, Hunter hadn't time for Joey's speculations. He'd find out who'd taken the tray from him in the lobby hallway or know why.

 Leap of Faith can be purchased from Awe-Struck Books

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Awe-Thors Blog Tour - Interview with Susan Roebuck

I'm very happy to welcome Susan Roebuck as my guest today. Susan's first book with Awe-Struck Publishing is "Perfect Score" and I can tell you it's a wonderful book. I won a copy at a blog where Susan was a guest, and though I'd never read a m/m romance before and wasn't sure if I'd like it, I found myself falling in love. Susan has created characters that we want to cheer for.

So, without further ado, here's Susan.

Jana:  When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

Susan:  Like so many other writers, the answer’s forever. I can’t confess to writing plays for my little playmates at a tender age because I believe they’d have bashed me up and stolen my trike, but I did adore writing for myself. I was that nerdy kid in English class who, when everyone else groaned, jumped for joy when a written composition was announced for homework. 

Jana:  Where do you get ideas for your stories?

Susan:  Good question. I wish I knew. My brother was my muse. He was so talented and imaginative, creating amazing artwork and wonderfully wicked stories. At the age of 14 he gave me the basic idea for a short book and I wrote it. It won a school prize but I cringe when I think of it now. Over the years he also helped me on to win art-prizes. Unfortunately my beloved brother is no longer with us and it has left me bereft. However, every now and again I get an idea that spins in out of nowhere. Could it be that he’s still around somewhere? I like to think he is. In any case those flash ideas are the ones that work.


Jana:  Where did the idea for your latest Awestruck release come from?

Susan:  I’d better just say that I’m a pantser not a plotter (sounds like Michael Jackson’s “I’m a lover not a fighter” LOL). That means I write flying by the seat of my pants. In the very first version of “Perfect Score” my main characters were male and female. But I realized that the character who eventually became Sam, and was the female, could never have survived the childhood – and continuing - trauma. So the character changed sex – no pain involved, I promise. Seventeen versions later “Perfect Score” was finished. So the ideas flew in like bees – and often flew out again – until the story evolved all by itself.

Jana:  Do you have any strange writing quirks?

Susan:  I think the answer to the previous question just about sums this one up! I’m a very “nervous” writer too. I get up, wander about, sit down, go for a walk, cut my nails, procrastinate big time before I finally settle down and write. Once the flow comes, though, I’m glued to the screen and time whizzes by – three hours can seem like a minute. That’s probably not much of a quirk because many authors experience this. But still, my husband thinks it’s weird.

Jana:  How do you deal with rejection?

Susan:  I’m going to answer this one and get a little personal, perhaps, so forgive me. Obviously I’m not referring to Awe-Struck for whom I have the utmost admiration and respect.

When I first had “Perfect Score” out on submission I received a few rejections, as everyone does. Each rejection hurts but, as writers, we should shrug our shoulders, stick the letter in a drawer and just look to the future. What I’m going to say now is a little message to publishers/agents: Please remember that there is a human-being going to receive your very impersonal, form rejection. Try to be just a tad understanding (i.e. be nice). Because I received a form rejection on the day I received the diagnosis of breast cancer.

(I’m very well now, thanks to the wonderful care I’ve received – and this was over two years ago).


Jana:  I'm so glad you're well now, Susan!  Can you tell me about your Awestruck release?

Susan:  I’m always ready to do this one, because I’m quite proud of “Perfect Score”.
"Perfect Score", set in mid West USA in the 1960s, is about family relationships, corruption, growing up, integrity, responsibility, and being a man of worth in a society of the worthless.

Alex Finch, who lives with a wealthy uncle, is a blend of musical genius and stubbornness, and firmly believes in his fantasy that his love for Sam Barrowdale is reciprocated. Sam has more direction in his little finger than Alex has in his whole body. He’s strong, yet of small stature and has developed a tough outer-coating after the knocks of a traumatic up-bringing which left him homeless. His one aim in life is to earn enough money to look after his disabled sister. He has no time for a spoiled, rich, guitar player. Sam also stutters and has what is probably a severe form of dyslexia.

When Sam unexpectedly disappears, Alex begins a somewhat bungling quest to find him, only to discover that Sam has a fearsome enemy: Alex's powerful and influential yet sociopathic uncle.

As Alex spirals downwards towards alcoholism, many questions need answering. Just why did Alex's evil uncle adopt him at age eleven yet deny him any affection? And what's the mystery behind Alex's father's death?

“Perfect Score” which is becoming an acclaimed novel can be found: http://www.awe-struck.net/books/perfect_score.html
http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Score-ebook/dp/B004XT6M9C
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Perfect-Score-ebook/dp/B004XT6M9C
http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/susan+roebuck/perfect+score/8608371/

Jana: What’s next for you? Tell me about your next or newest release.

Susan:  I have a couple in the pipeline. I’m ready to start submitting a 40k word novel (or novella since it’s on the cusp in terms of word-count). This one is so different to Perfect Score, as you’ll see:

Sorrows Pass.  When heroes die they go to Heaven. Right? Wrong.
Nowadays when the champions of Society are on the point of death they’re lured by their fantasies to an enigmatic place called Hewhay Hall where evil Slater’s ready to greet them. His way. Slater’s entered a portal to Earth thanks to the meddling efforts of a couple who knew nothing about black-magic. They were only chanting a fertility spell but they unwittingly brought forth the Prince of Envy.

Now he’s here, Slater’s delight is to torture stalwart heroes because they suffer more keenly, their fear and suffering is so much tastier.

Jana:  What are you working on now – your current WIP?

Susan:  Called When the Moon Fails. Set in Alaska, in Norfolk UK and in Portugal. There’ll be male and female main characters who have to deal with corruption and injustice (one of my recurring themes it seems). There’ll be a very bad female bullfighter who makes life hell for the local fishermen.

Jana:  A bad female bullfighter, eh? Sounds intriguing! How can readers connect with you online?

Susan:  I love hearing from readers and fellow-writers. You can find me on my blog:
http://lauracea.blogspot.com/

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/SuRoebuck

Twitter: @suemont

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/114349187831890732653/
I’m all over the place.


Sue’s biography: Sue Roebuck was born and educated in the UK but now lives in Portugal with her husband. She’s a teacher and her interest in dyslexia dates from way back. Nowadays she’s mostly involved with creating e-learning courses which, she says, is “teaching in your pajamas – as long as no cameras are present.”
Her novel, Perfect Score was published as an e-book by Awe-Struck publishing in September 2010 and reissued as a paperback in May 2011.
Sue’s determined that very soon, writing will be her full-time occupation.
You can find her blog here: http://lauracea.blogspot.com/

Thank you for joining me today Susan. It's been wonderful having you at Jana's Journey.

Next week my guest will be Christine London. For a complete schedule of all my guest bloggers and all my guest appearances on the Awe-Thors Blog Tour, please go to http://www.janarichards.net/

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Awe-Thors Blog Tour - Interview with Ann Tracy Marr

Today on our awesome Awe-Thors Blog Tour my guest is fellow Awe-Struck Publishing writer Ann Tracy Marr. I had a few questions for her...

Jana:  Where do you like to write? Describe your work space.

Ann: I write at my desk. It’s not really a desk, but two ancient Formica covered computer tables from the early 1980’s (they hold two printers, the monitor, mouse, keyboard, telephone, a handsome clock my husband received as a gift from his employer, pens, stapler, and a ton of paper), a table meant to reside behind a sofa (turned sideways, it is the home of a dying scanner, more paper, and a lamp), and a rickety book shelf (piled with books, paper, cd’s and lots of dust),all lined up in a row against the wall of the dining room.

I stare at a wall, since I had the sense to NOT line my desk up under the window. Half of the wall is blank and the other half has my grandmother’s tapestry hanging on it. I love that tapestry; it’s faded, but still clearly shows five French -- I assume they are French -- people around a card table. Two men and two women are seated; they wear powdered wigs and lots of lace. One of the men holds the eight of clubs. The fifth person is a woman with a gorgeous fan coyly directing attention to her low bodice. She is flirting with one of the men. Yes, this tapestry is big, maybe 4 by five feet. Kind of inspiring for writing romance.

The floor isn’t nearly as inspiring. I try not to look at it. 1920’s wood, covered by a cheap rust and off white rug to protect the wood from my rolling desk chair, tons of dust, trash can, shredder, a couple of boxes holding (what else?) paper, the computer tower, my purse, speakers… No, the floor doesn’t inspire anything other than a compulsion to clean, which I resist. I have better things to do than clean.
It doesn’t make for much of a dining room.

Jana:  What does your writing schedule/routine usually look like? Do you write a little every day or do you block out large chunks of time to devote solely to your writing?

Ann:  In the morning, I wake up slowly, then stumble to the computer and turn it on. While it works on bringing up Windows, I go to the kitchen, feed the cats, maybe make some hot chocolate. Depending, I either empty the dishwasher or fill it up. Then I wander back to the computer and try to make myself write.

Sometimes, it clicks and I will spend the morning pounding on the keyboard. Other times, I check my email, play games (bad girl), or even pay bills. On a very good day, I will pound my fingernails until two or three p.m., at which time my mind invariably shuts down for good.

Of course, this doesn’t happen every day. I am a computer consultant -- I might have an appointment to go to, or a computer to torture. And when family is around, it gets hard to concentrate. Ideally, the magic kicks in and I write.

I almost never write at night. That time is spent needlepointing, probably in front of the TV, or doing worthwhile things with the family.

Jana:  How do you deal with stress, especially the stress of meeting deadlines?

Ann:  I don’t feel much stress with deadlines. If I have rewrites, I knuckle under and do them – they never have given me grief. Other types of stress -- the stresses of life -- impact my writing schedule, impede the flow of words. Then I do whatever it takes, even vacuuming, to calm me down.

Jana:  What authors or friends have influenced you as a writer?

Ann:  I might as well be a hermit. None of my friends or family have done much to influence my writing. Unless you consider my aunt, who, after reading my first book, tartly told me, “Fine, now write a real book.” Grr. I ask around for opinions on plot points and get blank stares or wildly inappropriate suggestions.

So I turn to authors. I reread some of the romance greats -- Mary Jo Putney, Jude Devereaux, Amanda Quick, to name a few -- when I need a jolt. But I discovered that humor makes the plot fly, so I stocked up on Joan Smith, Marion Devon, Katie MacAlister, Julia Quinn, and a few others. 

Jana:  What do you do to market your books? What is your favorite method of promotion? Your least favorite?

Ann:  I make business cards and leave them in random places. Between the wall and the top of the toilet paper holder in MacDonalds restrooms -- on tables in restaurants -- anywhere in airports. I’ll go to a bookstore and stick them into books, although that makes me feel a teensy bit uneasy. I used to spend a lot of time in Yahoo chat rooms, but unfortunately, it translated into a LOT of time. I am on Facebook and Goodreads, but I don’t do much there. My favorite way to promote is to make YouTube videos, but getting people to look at them is a chore.

http://www.youtube.com/marr794

My least favorite form of promoting is doing book signings. My handwriting is terrible and my tableside manner gets weird.

Jana:  What are you working on now – your current WIP?

Ann:  My WIP is the opposite of the boy who cried “Wolf.” How would you like it if you overheard two men planning a very bad thing, ran around and tried to get someone to do something about it, and were ignored? Maybe the only people who listen are witless fools (A.K.A. the Banshee Brigade) and they make the situation dangerous. And maybe you would worry about the man who starts following you around town. Yes, he is appealing. Yes, you might find yourself falling in love with him. But no, you don’t trust him enough to tell him about the very bad thing. Somehow, you will manage to find someone to listen to you and do something to stop the very bad thing from happening. Somehow…

Jana:  What would you like readers to know about you and your books?

Ann:  The concept is not as weird as it sounds. So what is the concept?

King Arthur and Camelot are not a myth. Arthur lived in London, built castle Camelot there, argued with Merlin about magic, and invented the Round Table. Then Arthur died and Merlin disappeared, perhaps into a crystal cave, but Camelot and the Round Table endured. Wander through time till you get to the Regency period -- Camelot is still in London and the Round Table still rules Britain.

If you like Regencies, you will like my books. They are solid Regency, with a change in profanity -- instead of “Bloody Hell,” the man might say “Bloody crystal cave,” and there are lots more knights. After all, any man can perform a quest and become a knight. Then he might join the Round Table and help make the laws, just as Parliament does in real life.

Women still wear Norwich shawls, swoon, and claw their way to the tip of the Marriage Mart. Lady Jersey gossips too much and Prinny causes scandal after scandal. The concept is Regency romance with a splash of magic.

Jana:  How can readers connect with you online?

Ann:  My web page is the best way to find out about me and my books. http://www.anntracymarr.com/
I do a better job of keeping it up to date than Facebook. And anyone can email me at anntracymarr AT aol dot com.

BIO
Ann Tracy Marr gets so wrapped up in the Regency era that she forgets people want to know something about her. She admits to being fiftyish, which puts her firmly on the Dowager’s bench at Almack’s. There is a husband entailed to her estate and two unmarried daughters old enough to have made their curtseys to the queen but not so aged as to be considered on the shelf. To put syllabub on the table and keep her daughters in the highest kick of fashion Marr tinkers with the devil’s invention, computers. In plain English, Marr has a husband and two daughters on the sunnyside of adulthood. Her day job is computer consulting.

Next week my guest is Susan Roebuck. For a complete schedule of my guests on the Awe-Thors Blog Tour, please go to my website at http://www.janarichards.net/  You can find a list of my guest appearances on the tour there as well.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Awe-Thors Blog Tour - Interview with Jennifer Cloud

Welcome to our awesome Awe-Thors blog tour! For the next few weeks I'll be hosting fellow Awe-Struck Publishing authors and guesting on their blogs as well. On October 23, after the tour is over, I'll be giving away two CD copies of my Awe-Struck release "Till September" to two people who have commented on my guest blogs over the seven weeks. For a schedule of where I'll be check out my blog post of September 1 or go to my website at http://www.janarichards.net/ I hope to see you on the tour!

My first guest on the tour is Jennifer Cloud.  Jennifer  was born in Asheville, North Carolina. There she met her husband who encouraged her to write after finding a partial manuscript. She now resides in Missouri with her husband and two daughters.

She is the author of many novels in both print and electronic versions. She's also had two dozen short stories published and many novellas. She writes dark fiction, horror or paranormal, but usually there's a love story in it. For her first Awestruck Publishing novel, soon to be released, she teamed up with Regan Taylor to write Her Eyes. Here's a blurb:

When you look in her eyes, what do you see?

What happens when you are tired of the life you have been living and instead of just changing what isn't working for you, you try to commit suicide? What happens if you don't succeed, but instead there is another person who is ready to walk-in and finish out your life for you. Can you really give up the life you were living? Or will jealousy stop you from letting go? Can two souls, one good, one evil, share the same body?

Welcome to Frank White's world.


Jana:  What do you do to market your books?

Jennifer:  Internet.  99% of my marketing is done on the web. 

Jana:  What is your favorite method of promotion?  Your least favorite?

Jennifer:  I like blogs and forums.  They’re a great way to reach out to readers.  I love hearing their input on favorites and critiques.  My least favorite? Chat rooms.  It seems the same people are in there and it’s hard to keep track of twenty people having a conversation.  By the time I respond to one question, someone else has posted something entirely different.  It’s too chaotic for me.

Jana:  Where do you get ideas for your stories?

Jennifer:  Everywhere.  I enjoy watching people.  One person or situation will inspire a chapter and from there a book grows.  I’ve written entire novels from a single inspired paragraph.

Jana:  Where did the idea for your latest Awestruck release come from?

Jennifer:  It’s all Regan Taylor’s fault.  She’d read an article about transplants and thought it sounded like a Jennifer Cloud horror.  I thought it sounded like a Regan Taylor romance, one where souls could be reunited.  Emails and insanity later, a novel was born.

Jana:  How do you research? Internet, interviews, books, etc.? Do you like to research?

Jennifer:  I do a lot of research.  I’ve emailed people for their input, read, the internet is fabulous for research.  You name it I’ve tried it in order to make a more complete story. 
Most of the time I like doing research.  It helps me know that I’m moving in the right direction.  It can be something as minor as a bullet caliber to psychiatric disorders.  All of it adds to the realism of the story.  There are times when I get frustrated though.  The worst is when I get conflicting information.  It’s hard to judge what is right considering different experiences and local laws.

Jana:  What’s next for you? Tell me about your next or newest release?

Jennifer:  I have CALL OF CROWS coming out with Otherworld Publications and BLOOD BOND coming out with Charles River Press.

Jana:  Why do you write?

Jennifer:  I have to.  It sounds silly but I have sworn a hundred times to quit.  It doesn’t pay well, I don’t even want to think about what I make an hour writing.  I spend hours on work a fraction of the population will read.  It is a completely illogical hobby/profession.  I just can’t stop.  I love it too much.  There’s something magical about seeing my characters come to life on the screen. 

Jana:  How do you deal with rejection?

Jennifer:  Eat chocolate and drink wine.  Then I bang my head against the desk for doing something stupid in the query and or sample.  When I’m finished, I revise and start the entire process again.

Jana:  Tell me about first receiving “The Call” (or “The Email”).

Jennifer:  The first call I received was from an agent, Elizabeth Pomada. She’d had an exclusive and signed me. Things didn’t work out well but it was nice having an agent for a little while.  It was also a thrill to get that call everyone talks about. 

The first time I was published, the news came by letter.  Yes, boring old letter.  It was for a three book contract by a publisher that has now folded.
Most of my professional career has been spent getting good news by email.

Jana:  Any words of wisdom you’d like to pass along to fellow authors?

Jennifer:  Read.  I hate it when I hear an author that doesn’t read.  It’s like learning of a cook that has no sense of taste.  It makes no sense.  You can’t be a writer and not study your craft.

Jana:  How can readers connect with you online?

Jennifer:  I’m at http://www.jennifercloud.com/ and jlmccale.com .  I blog at http://www.myspace.com/cloudjennifer/blog and I can be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/cloudjennifer

Next week my guest is Ann Tracy Marr. For a schedule of upcoming guests, please go to my website at http://www.janarichards.net/ I also have a listing there of my stops on the Awe-Thors Blog Tour. Cheers!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Our Awe-Struck Tour begins September 4

I'm joining forces with 7 other Awe-Struck/Mundania Publishing authors on a virtual tour around the Internet. For 8 weeks we'll be visiting each other's blogs to talk about various aspects of the writing life. Here's where I'll be for the next 8 weeks:

September 4 - I'm at Regan Taylor's blog at http://regantaylorsworld.blogspot.com/ 

September 11 - I'm visiting Skyla Dawn Cameron at www.skyladawncameron.com/blog

September 18 - I'll be with Sharon Poppen at http://poppensthoughtsonwritingandstuff.blogspot.com/

September 25 - I'm talking with Christine London at http://christinelondon.blogspot.com/

October 2 - I'm at Susan Roebuck's blog at http://lauracea.blogspot.com/

October 9 - I'm visiting Ann Tracy Marr at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/group.php?gid=56438417580

October 16 - My last stop is with Jennifer Cloud at http://www.myspace.com/cloudjennifer/blog

Every week one of these amazing writers will visit me here at Journeys with Jana:

September 4 - Jennifer Cloud

September 11 - Ann Tracy Marr

September 18 - Susan Roebuck

September 25 - Christine London

October 2 - Sharon Poppen

October 9 - Skyla Dawn Cameron

October 16 - Regan Taylor

To celebrate the blog tour, I'm giving away two CD copies (text only) of my Awe-Struck release "Till September". The two winners will be choosen from all those who comment on my guest posts at the various blogs.

I look forward to introducing you to these wonderful and diverse writers.

Jana