Category: Author Interview

Authors Are Rockstars Tour: Jodi Meadows

Posted August 9, 2013 by Jana in Author Interview, Book Spotlight / 2 Comments

 

I am so excited to have Jodi on the blog today, because she is one of my very favorite authors EVER. Basically, she’s a rock star. I’m sure you remember my raving reviews of Incarnate and Asunder. One of my favorite things about Jodie is that we’re on the same wavelength. Her writing style meshes so perfectly with my imagination, that I see everything in my mind a split second before I read it. This doesn’t mean that her stories are predictable. It means that her writing gives me everything I could want. And more. Her world building is immaculate, she writes a pretty swoony male lead, she is the master at writing romances and tension, and you can just tell from her lyrical writing that she loves music just as much as I do. Just READ some of these quotes, people. Honestly.

“Music overwhelmed me, soaked into my skin like water. I didn’t have words for the squiggles and dashes across the pages, or the way his fingers stretched across the keys to make my heart race. If I could hear only one thing for the rest of my life, this was what I wanted.”

“My heart wasn’t big enough to hold everything I felt, but I couldn’t bear the thought of asking him to wait while I caught up.”

“Breathing in the scent of his hair, I realized I’d needed him my whole life, before we even met. First, his music and the way he taught me through books and recordings. Then, he saved my life and refused to abandon me no matter how much I deserved it.”

I’m almost always speechless after closing a book of Jodie’s. She’s also pretty funny, especially when she talks about her beloved ferrets. I just know that we’d have so much fun chatting over books, chocolate, and love stories.

 

The Interview
Jana: Jodi, I am SO excited to host you on my blog today! I absolutely loved Incarnate and Asunder, and I am dying to find out more about Ana and Sam, and what’s in store for them in Infinite! Thanks for stopping by to answer a few questions. :) 

Incarnate introduces its readers to an amazingly unique take on reincarnation. I love that the characters remember their past lives, and have taken those memories and lessons learned with them into their current life. What was past-life Jodi like?

Jodi: Into stories, probably. Writing, reading, music. Past-life Jodi probably had better handwriting because the computer wasn’t around. Though maybe she would have lost all ability to write legibly thanks to the typewriter. I guess it depends when past-life Jodi lived.Past-life Jodi probably wished she could explore the galaxy like on STAR TREK, too.

Jana: I think we’d all love to explore the galaxy! Ana is a brand new soul with no past lives at all, and Sam is a guy who has been reincarnated many times. And they fall in love. The age difference is quite massive, yet their relationship is so normal and believable. What kind of planning did you have to go through in order to have their story come off as romantic rather than strange?

Jodi: I knew early on that Ana and Sam had to have some kind of connection besides the hots for each other’s bodies — something real and soul-deep. That connection was music. I think having their friendship be based on something like that helped a lot.

I was also careful to mention that their relationship might be strange. Some characters think it’s weird and wrong, while others believe they were meant to be together. Ana and Sam do have to deal with their massive age difference. But while they know their romance is unusual, that doesn’t make it any less real for them.

It helps, I think, that they’re both aware of the strangeness, and consider all the issues. They’re both mature enough to make decisions — together — from there.

Jana: Wow, I love that! And I love that the maturity surrounding their relationship is so believable. It made me love them so much more.

Ana’s appearance causes a major rift in the world. She’s ostracized, belittled, mocked, and feared. I think we’ve all had times like that in our lives, of constantly wanting to prove that we’re more important than we’re given credit for. Her feelings and struggles were portrayed in such a real way, that I can’t help wondering if a little bit of you was written in her. Is that true?

Jodi: Those are pretty universal feelings. We all know what it’s like to feel excluded and belittled. We’ve all been new to something — school or work or towns, or even situations we’ve never before encountered. So I think there’s a little bit of everyone in Ana. Including me.

Jana: That’s a beautiful concept. I love that Ana was written in a way that everyone could relate to her on some level.

Sam is still my absolute favorite male in young adult fiction, because I love his wisdom, his musicality, and his compassion and capacity for love. Is he inspired by anyone in particular?

Jodi: My characters appear in my head fully formed; they’re never based on anyone in my real life, though sometimes I notice similarities between people I know and the people living in my head. Sam, though . . . I knew he had to be kind and gentle and compassionate in order to reach Ana. Her past was such that no one but the most empathetic person would be able to help her overcome what she’s been through. Which isn’t to say that he doesn’t make mistakes! He makes plenty over the course of their relationship, but that kind and honorable part of him always shines through.

Jana: *swoons* I just love Sam! Music plays a huge role in the Newsoul trilogy, which I love. It is practically a character all on its own. What made you decide to make music such a strong part of Ana’s and Sam’s stories?

Jodi: As I mentioned earlier, I needed something strong to connect Ana and Sam. Music is a universal language. It affects everyone somehow. For Ana, music became her lifeline. It was the thing she had when she had nothing else. It was what kept her going through her entire childhood. And Sam connects with her using that.

Also, I love music. It’s always been a huge part of my life. I took dance all through my childhood and teenage years, so music is also a very physical thing for me. And I played the flute through middle and high school. (I still have my flute and bring it out occasionally, but not as often as I should.) I’ve always felt a strong connection with music; it seemed natural to give something like that to Ana and Sam.

Jana: See, I love that! I’ve always connected deeply to music, and I’ve never read a book that depended on music so much. It worked so amazingly well, even though a book is silent. With movies, you can have pretty scores accompany the story, but with a book you don’t have that luxury. On that same note, if Incarnate were a song instead of a book, what would it sound like?

Jodi: I actually do have a piece one of my readers showed me. 3055, by Olafur Arnalds.

I’d describe it for you, but you should probably just listen to it instead. Watch the video, too. It’s wonderful. 

Jana: Wow. That’s beautiful! I love it. And that video reminds me so much for Sam and Ana.

So… the masquerade ball in Incarnate had me swooning more than I care to admit. It was absolutely beautiful, and I loved the message it portrayed. (For those who don’t know, The ball is held for two souls who have pledged their undying love for one another across all their incarnations, even if sometimes one of them happens to be 80 and the other one 5. Or… if they both happen to come back as members of the same gender. It’s their souls that matter, not their bodies or age. So they celebrate all of this with a masquerade ball, where nobody knows who anyone is dressed as. The goal is for this couple to find each other anyway.) I love the underlying message of love being eternal, and having no bounds. Is there a love like this in your life?

Jodi: The masquerade is one of my favorite parts, too! Swoon all you like; there’s no shame in it. :) And yes, I do have a romance of my own. I met my husband online in a chat room (completely unrelated to romance). We started talking over instant message, then over the phone, and after about six months of that, he flew to Texas where I lived, we drove back to Virginia, and got married. A lot of people said it wouldn’t work, and looking back, I see how they thought it was dangerous. But I knew then that it was right, and here we are ten years later, still very much in love.

Jana: Wow… What a fun story, and so romantic! I love hearing how couples meet and fall in love.

As we move from Incarnate to Asunder, we start to see a stronger emphasis placed on emotions and feelings. We see Ana start to change and value her purpose in life more, and we see the more human side of Sam–flaws and all. What’s in store for us in Infinite?

Jodi: More of all of that! Plus, Ana has to make some huge decisions and discoveries. Stuff goes down. And . . . up. (You’ll see.)

Jana: Ah, I’m so excited! I heard we’re getting a prequel novella from Sam’s point of view, which I am SO excited about! Can you tell us a little about it?

Jodi: I’m excited, too! Phoenix Overture revolves around a major, major choice Sam had to make early in a past life. If you’ve read Asunder, you might even be able to guess what choice that was. Stef is there, as well as some other familiar names.

Jana: That sounds awesome! I just know when the Newsoul trilogy comes to a close, I’m going to die a little bit. You’ve got a new project in the works, though, from what I’ve heard! Are you sworn to secrecy, or can you give us some details?

Jodi: I’m mostly sworn to secrecy for now, but I can tell you a tiny bit. The Orphan Queen is about identity, parents’ legacies, and believing in oneself. There’s kissing, swords, and people wearing pretty, pretty outfits.

Jana: Oh, how exciting! The Orphan Queen sounds so wonderful. I have a couple questions left for you, just for fun! 

If you could be a character in someone else’s book, who would you choose and why?

Jodi: Oh gosh. What is the book with the least conflict that’s mostly about kissing and reading and drinking coffee? I want to be in that book.

Jana: Haha. I think we all would! Tell us about your favorite knitting project.

 

Jodi: I don’t have a favorite knitting project, but I recently finished this tank top and I’m pretty proud of it. I also have this lace shawl I’ll be working on for the rest of my life. (Since I do most of my knitting while watching TV or when I need to sit and think about writing, I don’t knit this one much. It takes a lot of concentration.)

 

Jana: That tank top is so pretty! The shawl also looks like it’s coming along nicely, although I’m not a knitter so I might not be seeing everything I should be seeing. I should learn to knit. That would be awesome. Tell us about these ferrets you speak of.

 

Jodi: I have two ferrets right now, Todd and Hiro, though I’ve had others in the past, up to seven at once. (It was just as crazy as you might imagine.) Mostly, the ferrets sleep, but sometimes they get up to bounce around and wrestle with each other, or stash their junk in boxes or their cage. Sounds like a pretty good life, right?

Jana: Oh, to be a ferret. They are so cute! I can’t imagine having seven, though. I bet that’s a ton of work! What kind of chocolate did you eat the most of last month? I’m partial to Dove milk chocolate.

Jodi: I also like milk chocolate best! I’m not sure what I ate most of last month, though. I mostly don’t remember last month, as I was too busy writing Sam’s novella to do much else. Did we really have a June? I had just a Sam.

Jana: Haha. You had a Sam. I can’t help but giggle at that! What’s the funniest or most memorable thing a devoted fan has asked/said to you?

Jodi: All of my readers are wonderful, and I love them, but one of the funniest things was when one brought me a wooden spoon to an event, because I’d mentioned on Twitter once that I didn’t have one. Now I have one. Crisis averted?

Jana: Oh, that is hilarious! What an attentive fan! Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Jodi: I’m currently drinking coffee out of a Hooray for Books! mug. I think that makes the coffee taste even better.

Jana: Hehe. Books make everything better, that’s for sure! Thanks so much for stopping by, Jodi! Best of luck with the upcoming release of Phoenix Overture, and the 2014 conclusion to the Newsoul trilogy, Infinite!

Jodi: Thank you!!

I just loved chatting with Jodi and getting to hear more about her books, both released and unreleased! If you have not yet picked up the Newsoul books, or if you’re not ready for the upcoming releases, I highly suggest running to your bookstore and picking them all up!

The Books

 

Incarnate

NEWSOUL
Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

NOSOUL
Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

HEART
Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Asunder, Phoenix Overture (coming September 4, 2013), Infinite (coming January 28, 2014)

 

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Author Interview with Anna Banks & an Of Poseidon Giveaway!

Posted June 2, 2012 by Jana in Author Interview, Blog Tour, Giveaway / 38 Comments

Hello! Welcome to the final stop on the official Of Poseidon blog tour! So nice of you to stop by. :) If you’re late joining in on the fun, here’s the tour itinerary. Definitely visit the other stops if you haven’t. There’s lots of great stuff at each one.

I’m so excited to have Anna Banks, author of Of Poseidon (a book I just so happened to LOVE) here on the blog to discuss her new book and to tell us a little bit about herself. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway (USA/Canada only… sorry!) for a chance to win a bound copy of Of Poseidon! You can find it at the bottom of the interview. :)

 

1. Tell us 5-10 quintessential Anna-isms. What should we know about you? 

– I believe in Sasquatch.
– I don’t get the hiccups. Just one big hiccup that hurts the deepest parts of me, then I’m done.
– I love love love to scare pedestrians. Beeping, screaming, swerving, etc.
– I can shoot a sling shot (which also applied to scaring pedestrians, in my teen years…)
– My body is comprised of approximately 13% fried chicken, 7.567% chocolate, and _________% wine (completely dependent on the strength of the wine at that moment)

2. If you’re not writing, where are you?
I’m watching The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones or I’m reading someone else’s brilliant book and getting jealous about it (Right now I’m giving John Green the stank eye). Or I could be pedestrian-hunting…

3. Did you always imagine being an author? What were your back-up plans? (And please include any extraordinary childhood dreams like a princess or professional cake sampler… or a mermaid.)Yes I did always want to be an author, ever since I read Anne of Green Gables, but I never thought I could do it. I really thought somehow that I would save the world in some epic way (from what, I’m not sure, but it felt like destiny when I was twelve). If the world didn’t need saving, then certainly Prince William and I would have a chance meeting and fall instantly in love and get married (though I do think Kate is handling that much better than I could have, so all is well). I also really really wanted to be an actress (and still secretly do).

4. I liked mermaid books before they were popular, so thanks for writing Of Poseidon for me! I really appreciate it. Other than wanting to please me… what made you choose mermaids and mythology? Okay, so I never actually read a mermaid book before I started to write one. I was looking for something to write besides vampires, weres, etc. Then I watched this documentary about how they’d found a giant squid—something scientists had long written off as myth, fishermen’s lore. Then I wondered what else could be out there that we don’t know about? Could mermaids exist? BTW, after doing so much research, I believe in my heart of hearts that mermaids *could* scientifically exist…

5. Tell us where “ohmysweetgoodness” comes from! I laughed every time I read that!
You know how you stub your toe and you almost cuss but then you save it like “Fuuuuuudge.”  Well, that’s what I did one day. Only, I was annoyed and it started out like, “Oh my _______” and it was going to end badly but I saved it before I shamed myself. Then I thought it was a cool word, so certainly if it was a cool word then Emma should say it…

6. Speaking of laughing, you are so funny! I giggled a lot throughout this book. Emma’s inner dialogue is hilarious. Is this a true testament to your personality? I just know we’d have fun sitting and talking.
Yes, I’m almost exactly like Emma in that regard. I apologize in advance for things that I may say or do on tour. I know at the different stops there will be readers that are more stoic, more serious, more respectable than I am and who like books that are serious stoic and serious and respectable.

They won’t “get” me and I just know there will be that awkward silence after my jokes, like when someone farts and everyone in the room absolutely knows who it was but no one will tell because you’re at a funeral, for crying out loud, and the dilemma isn’t only that it’s inappropriate to fart at a funeral but it may well be inappropriate to chastise someone who farts at a funeral because bigger things are going on at the moment and the person who farted might be having a hard time emotionally and it just kind of debuted physically. That kind of “OMG did that really just happen and how should I react?” awkward silence, you know?

7. Emma is incredibly quirky and a bit of an accident waiting to happen. And Galen is completely swoon-worthy. Oh, and Toraf. I LOVE him! Where do you find your inspiration for characters? They all seem so real.
I write characters that offset each other. You know, opposites attract and such. I really have always loved bickering couples, like Anne and Gilbert, Lizzy and Mr. Darcy, Scarlett and Rhett.

And I’m glad you love Toraf. He’s my favorite character, hands down. He’s incredibly fun to write because nothing is off limits with him. He’s simply capably of incomprehensible mischief.

8. If you were to write yourself into Of Poseidon, who would you be? An existing character, or would you write a new one for yourself?
I would write myself as that intelligent outsider who figures out that something is amiss and starts asking all the right questions and makes the other characters tell me what’s really going on—and I haven’t decided if they would trust me or if Rachel would have to off me…

9. Of Poseidon alternates back and forth between Emma and Galen’s perspectives. How was it taking on the story from Galen’s point of view? Did you find it challenging jumping into a guy’s head?
I don’t think it was challenging. I knew the story simply must be told this way. I even turned down an agent’s offer of rep because (not only because) he wanted me to remove Galen’s point of view and just go with Emma’s. Turns out I was right—Galen’s point of view seems to be the favorite one, out of the two.

10. You wrote some amazing underwater scenes. Your descriptions of the world down there are gorgeous. What kind of research did you do? Snorkeling? Scuba diving? Glass-bottom boats? Lots of The Little Mermaid? Haha. Or did you just pull this all out of your imagination?
There is really no way to explain myself other than this: I. Am. A. Nerd. I watch the heck out of some documentaries, and I must have recorded every episode of Blue Planet. I also did internet research, but a lot was imagined. Ooops?

11. What’s next? I hear there’s a sequel in the works! YAY! That cliffhanger nearly killed me. Can you tell us anything about it? What are your plans after that?
I can tell you that the Gift of Triton makes an appearance in the next one, in a big way.  After Of Triton is signed sealed delivered, I’m working on a top secret project I’m calling Nemesis at the moment and I lurve the idea but I’m not sure if I can pull it off just yet, so that’s all I really wanna say about it, in case I chicken out.

Thanks again for stopping by, Anna! I’m so excited for Of Triton, and am also quite curious about your top secret project after that! Everyone, go out and buy Of Poseidon right now! Or… try your luck at this awesome giveaway instead (offered by Anna and Macmillan Publishing). Either way, I hope you’ll love it as much as I did, and as much as I’m sure Anna loved writing it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Author Interview with Claire Gillian

Posted May 11, 2012 by Jana in Author Interview / 1 Comment

I’m so excited to have Claire stop by That Artsy Reader Girl today. :) I’ve had a lot of fun getting to know her, and learning more about her upcoming “romantic mystery” (term dubber by Claire, herself) novel, The P.U.R.E, which I was lucky enough to receive an e-ARC of a few months ago. I am planning to read and review very soon, so keep an eye out for it! Anyways, let me introduce you to Claire!

 

Claire Gillian is a number-crunching executive by profession, an after hours writer by passion, and a darkly romantic curmudgeon. Published in short stories and anthologies, The P.U.R.E marks Claire’s debut publication of her work in novel form.

While Claire’s writing spans all ages and subject matters, she’s happiest penning romance drenched in humor with a dash of intrigue and loads of spice. Claire lives in the boggy Pacific NW with her husband and two teen-aged sons.

1. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In some part of my mind, I’ve always thought of myself as a writer. A writer whose works people would pay to read was a completely different matter. I guess that phase came when I first posted some fan fiction on a LiveJournal blog for fans of a certain TV show I shall not name. People actually read and liked it. I tried again and wrote a novel, thinking I was hot stuff at the time. I started writing timed flash fiction and again the praise totally inflated my ego. It wasn’t until I started getting critiques that I really realized just how hard it really was going to be… but also how rewarding.

2. Summarize The P.U.R.E. in three sentences or less.
I’m terrible at these but here goes:  When Gayle, a new recruit, discovers her employer’s shady dealings that include a plot to frame her because of a few freshman blunders, she turns to the only one who believes her—her oh-so-tempting but off limits co-worker, Jon.  Jon is more than willing to help keep Gayle out of trouble, and not just because he’s a nice guy.

Jana’s comments: Haha. I’m bad at quick summaries also, but you did a great job! It sounds really good!

3. Tell us about your favorite character in The P.U.R.E. and why. 
I really love Gayle, the P.U.R.E. of the story, because she’s a lion-hearted underdog with this underlying layer of insecurity. She’s gotten a bad rep at her first career position, partly due to her own fault and partly due to others taking advantage of her perceived weaknesses. She’s thus far been watching almost helplessly as her career goes down the toilet. When she’s finally tossed into the deep end of the pool, she finds an inner strength that not only saves her hide but blindsides her enemies.

Jana’s comments: Yes, she sounds like a heroine I’m really going to enjoy reading about!

4. What inspired you to write this book? Where did the idea come from?
I wrote The P.U.R.E. based in part on my own and my co-workers’ first year experiences in the world of public accounting. The general public really has no idea what it’s like to sign on with one of these stodgy white collar firms that are nearly militaristic in how they systematically break down, then build a recruit back up in molds of their own designs. I had no idea either! When you’re a top accounting graduate, the highest paying, most prestigious jobs are with CPA firms, and that’s all you need to know. Figuring out if you actually like or can even do the job comes later. Many are called, few stick it out. PURE, or previously undetected recruiting error, was a term applied to those graduates who looked good on paper, interviewed well, but for whatever reason, did not work out. I always thought it was both a clever and horrifying term.

Jana’s comments: Oh! So P.U.R.E stands for Previously Undetected Recruiting Error! I was wondering what it meant, so thanks for explaining. And I agree that the term is both laughable and a bit sad all at once. Haha.

5. If you were to write yourself into this book, what kind of character would you be? 
I’d totally be Gayle. I still remember quite vividly a few of my own freshman mistakes and the sense of impotence at knowing, “I SHOULD be able to succeed at this” but,  “Why aren’t I?”

6. What part of this book was your favorite part to write? 
My favorite part of the book is in the early chapters where Gayle and Jon are still just friendly co-workers. Gayle realizes she’s attracted to Jon, but insists to herself that nothing can ever come of it because dating a co-worker would be a career-limiting move (another commonly used CPA term). Mentally she thinks she’s got it all figured out and can handle her attraction. We, as the readers, see how silly she is because she betrays her feelings for him over and over again, yet stubbornly clings to the idea that she can keep him at arms length. I just love that foolish denial, especially when later juxtaposed to Jon’s utter conviction that she’s the one for him… sigh.

Jana’s comments: Ooo… I can sense the tension! I love books like this, but at the same time I want to strangle the people involved for not giving in sooner!

7. Tell us about your writing environment. Messy or clean?
I have a desk and a dedicated computer now. That wasn’t always the case. I just got my own iMac a year ago. That no one in my family a) knows how to use a Mac and b) has the password to log on, not even my husband, keeps my workspace mine, mine and all mine. My desk, however, is located side by side with a computer my sons use for school work. On the other side is a television set. Quiet is never guaranteed, unfortunately, which is why my favorite writing time is in the early AM when all my guys are still sleeping. My desk is VERY messy, unfortunately, but I have no one but myself to blame.

8. What has been the most positive experience you’ve had as an author? The most negative?
I love the other authors I’ve met–people who have lent a crying shoulder and who have used a shoulder, those who have provided a laugh and who have given a laugh. What a wonderful, witty bunch of people! …they have such terrific ways of phrasing things, even the most mundane. Plus, for me, doing a left-brain dominant job of number-crunching and computer programming all day, I really love being able to move beyond boolean speak, probabilities, financial risk and reward, and instead talk about how words make me feel, whether logical or not. The most negative experiences have revolved around authors who have charged in, convinced they had nothing left to learn and that the world was on tenterhooks awaiting their next bon mots. ALL authors should still be learning and honing their craft. NO author is an objective judge of his or her own work.

9. If you were not allowed to be an author, which dream job would be your alternate choice?
My other dream job would be a character actor… assuming I could act, which I can’t. Not a leading lady because they have to watch every morsel they eat, the paparazzi hounds them, and the first grey hair can signal the end to their careers. I’d wanna be like Kathy Bates or Marcia Gay Harden—busy, busy but not a huge star.

Jana’s comments: Very fun! I think acting would be a fun profession, but I’d also not want to be a huge star, always in the limelight.

Claire’s old computer, pet gargoyle from Paris, ever-present Diet Coke,
and the Absolute Write website on her computer screen.

10. What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
I tell all aspiring authors to head over to Absolute Write forums, and read, and post, and learn. Put your work out there for critique. Grow thicker skin because no matter how thick you think it is, it needs to be thicker if you’re to get better. Be humble. Even your greatest nay-sayers are giving you valuable feedback. I’m forever indebted to a beta reader who did not mince a single word while trouncing my first novel into the proverbial dirt. She mentioned in her notes wanting to burn the manuscript and stomp on its ashes. As painful as that was to read, she told me what I needed to know, and I am forever grateful (and a lot thicker) for her words.

Jana’s comments: Wow, sounds like my profession as well. I’m a graphic designer, and while I was not the victim of a certain professor of mine, he did rip someone’s design project off the wall and stomp on it. When you’re in a creative network, a thick skin is the first thing you should get. I know I have toughened up a lot, and it has made me a better designer. 

11. When you’re not writing, what else do you do for fun?
I used to be a huge fitness enthusiast. Used to be. Alas, I tend to have a rather one track mind that chokes off nearly all other interests. Over the past year or so, I’ve cut back on working out, nearly stopped watching television completely. Ebay? What’s that? I used to be intimately familiar with it. No more. I rarely shop either. Gasp! I know! Most shocking. I do read a lot more though. That is a parallel track to writing and I do work to carve out reading time. It’s one of the few activities I will gladly set aside a WIP to concentrate on.

12. What are you currently reading?
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare is currently in process on my Kindle at a little over the 50% mark.  I also picked up a book called High Spirited Women of the Sierras by Anne Seagraves at the Sequoia National Forest information station. I nabbed a second by Anne called Women of the Sierra.

13. Who is your favorite romantic suspense author? 
My favorite romantic suspense author is… okay, you totally busted me here. Believe it or not, I don’t read that much romantic suspense. I do, however, read a lot of romance, mystery, and urban fantasy with Charlaine Harris being a favorite author who writes cozy mysteries (Lily Bard and Aurora Teagarden) and urban fantasies (Sookie Stackhouse and Harper Connelly series) with romantic elements. I see The P.U.R.E. as really more of a romantic mystery than romantic suspense, the difference being with suspense, you usually know who the bad guy is and it’s all about the main characters escaping his clutches. With mysteries, you aren’t really sure who the bad guy is and it’s all about figuring that part out. The latter is what I love. I also go weak-kneed at almost any sort of romance—contemporary, historical, paranormal, steampunk, science fiction, whatever.

Jana’s comments: I love mysteries! Suspense is good, but you’re right—everyone knows who the bad guy is. I love trying to figure out “who did it”. I love romance too. *sigh*

14. You’re an Air Force brat, and have moved a lot. I’m a Navy brat, so I totally know what that’s like. I loved moving, but it was hard at times. How has all the moving you’ve done influenced your life?

Moving around a lot I think gave me the ability to quickly figure out the lay of the land, find my place, then fit in. Learning to write is a lot like that, believe it or not. You approach the perimeter, learn the rules by reading and observing, then dive in. As far as the rest of my life goes, all that moving has helped me cope with being at my core a shy, solitary person. I can pull on my outgoing suit if and when I have to and no one is the wiser to my true nature. You’re right, moving is tough but it has given me a very valuable life skill.

Jana’s comments: I love this answer, and completely agree with you. I’m also a shy person, and moving so much forced me to make new friends quite often. I definitely learned a lot about people and the world.

 

15. Of all the places you’ve lived, which has been your favorite?
I really loved New Mexico. I lived in Albuquerque for seven years, met and married my husband there, and traveled throughout the state for business. I adore the food and the people are incredibly warm and friendly. The art is spectacular and the sunsets can’t be beaten. If I can ever get it polished up enough to shop it, I have an urban fantasy novel completely set in New Mexico. Darynda Jones has a great reaper series set there, but really I haven’t run across too many stories in that state and it’s a shame. I hope to do my part to give New Mexico the props it’s due.

Jana’s comments: I’ve visited Albuquerque, and I agree that it’s an awesome place to be! I was particularly amused by the pink sidewalks (or maybe those are strictly for Rio Rancho?). :) 

16. Favorite dessert? (Because these things are majorly important!)
I have a sweet tooth that rules me, and not the other way around, so it’s difficult to choose just one dessert. But, at this moment, my tooth is crying out for a huge, freshly baked oatmeal raisin or chocolate chip cookie. I once upon a time wanted to own a Mrs. Fields franchise, I’m such a cookie monster. Chocolate rules too though, she says bidding her beloved Cadbury candy-coated chocolate eggs adieu until next Easter.

Jana’s comments: Oh man… my sweet tooth was friends with your sweet tooth in another life. Cookies are a weakness, but I love any and all desserts, especially if there is chocolate in it (or I can add chocolate to it, if needs be). And I got absolutely no Cadbury mini eggs this year, for which I am still yearning for. Oh well! I do hope you get your cookie, and soon!

Thanks again to Claire for taking the time to introduce herself to us! I am even more excited to read The P.U.R.E now than I had been before. You can count on finding my review popping up on the blog very soon! Oh, and Claire? If you do open that Mrs. Fields franchise, let me know and I’ll stop by and visit! Friends get a discount, right?

But… until Claire’s glorious cookie shop takes flight, you’ll have to settle for finding her here:
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