Hello, and welcome to Storm Goddess Book Reviews & More! Also, welcome to October. It's a new month, and let me just say, there are some great things in store this month. So, to kick things off, I have author Jennifer James on the blog today for an interview. I hope you enjoy learning about this author, and we'd love to hear from you!
Hi Jennifer, and welcome to my blog. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
First off, tell me about yourself, and your writing.
I like peanut butter and chocolate, reading in my big comfy blue chair, cold draft beer at a baseball game, and stories that grab me by the gut and don’t let go. I’ve got two kids, a great hubby, a dog, and a cat (who thinks he is a dog.) I’m almost done with my bachelor’s degree.
When I write, I love the fact that I can open up the document and still be as immersed in the story and characters on day 35 as I was on day one. I like strong characters that have enough snap in their dialogue to make me laugh and sizzling sexual tension.
How long have you been writing? How many published books do you have, and what genres?
I’ve written my whole life in one form or another. I’m new to publishing, with two contemporary romance novellas published, an erotic short story to be included in an anthology this Halloween season, and a paranormal romance novel coming out this November.
Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?
Right now all my stuff falls into romance in one sub -genre or another. But I’m a huge horror, post-apocalyptic and speculative fiction fan, and I have ideas for those genres. I also enjoy YA. (Although if I wrote a YA I’d have to come up with a pseudonym, because I’d be horrified if a kid under 18 got a hold of one of my erotic romance titles.)
So I think you’ll definitely see something from me in the future in one of those genres. I hate to think I’m confined to only write romance. If I have an idea, I follow it.
Are you a plotter or do you write from the seat of your pants?
Both. I call it “plantsing.” *grin* I usually start off pantsing, find my myself stuck at some point, and sit down with a pen and paper, and then work out some plotting.
The paranormal romance series I’m writing has required way more plotting than I’m used to. I wrote the entire first book by the seat of my pants, but the next three books are loosely plotted already—my editor made me. *grin* But, it was the smart thing to do for a world as big as the one I’m creating.
What is a typical writing day like for you?
Ahh, well, I usually have to check my email and Face Book to clear all that clutter out of my head right off. Then I plug in my cheapie noise cancelling headphones, crank up a playlist or jump on Pandora, and write like a mad woman.
Until a child starts screaming, or the cat jumps in my lap, or the dryer buzzer goes off, or the dog wants to pee, or someone wants a sandwich….
Basically I try to get as much done as possible in between lots and lots of interruptions.
Who do you love to read? Favorite authors, favorite books?
Ooohhh…I’m a huge urban fantasy fan. I love paranormal romance too, and really love books that mix those two genres. Nalini Singh, Jeaniene Frost, Patricia Briggs, and Keri Arthur do a great job of that. I recently discovered Seanan McGuire, and I think she’s amazing. Right now I’m in the middle of Stacia Kane’s UNHOLY GHOSTS…so good! I have a love/hate relationship with the heroine (I don’t want to give away spoilers, but she (the heroine) has an addiction problem that raises my hackles) but I just can’t put the book down! It’s fantastic.
Kelley Armstrong, Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris, Laurell K. Hamilton, Karen Marie Moning, Kresley Cole, Cat Adams, Laura Resnick…they’re all fighting for space on the shelves.
What is something you'd like to accomplish in your writing career next year?
Whew, there’s so many! I want to get books 2 and 3 of my Hunger series published. I also have a western I’ve been dabbling with, and a fun piece I wrote as a short story that I decided wants to be a novel, so I want to finish that too. It’d be super cool to see my books break the sales ranks on Amazon higher than they’ve ever been. (The competition is stiff!) So if they got up above five thousand, that’d be super neat.
If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?
Purifying water. (That’s one of the things unicorns are supposed to be able to do.) There are lots of people in the world dying and suffering everyday y because of the lack of clean water. I wouldn’t be able to leap tall buildings or stop bullets, but I think that’d be a really useful ability.
If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?
Hmmm…so many of them have abilities that are deadly. And most of them have some form of sentience. I don’t think I’d want to keep one as a pet. But if it wanted to hang out with me and be friends that’d be cool though. Maybe a dragon? But only if I got to go for rides. They’re so darned big, where would we live? And man, the food bill…a Pegasus would be cool. Beautiful, wild, and capable of flight. Hanging out with mermaids would be cool too. Especially if they could give me the ability to breathe under water so I could swim with them. It’d be neat to walk with the Fair Folk Underhill, unless time moved slower down there than it did in my world and I came out twenty years in the future or something.
Tell us a little about your latest release.
LOVE KINECTION is a fun, light hearted contemporary romance about Abby, who got ditched on Valentine’s Day and needs to learn to trust men again. Lucky for her, Tom the office IT hottie is smart, charming, funny, and persistent when it comes to getting what he wants. Nerd humor and jokes abound, mixed in with sexual tension thick enough to spoon up like your favorite flavor of Ben & Jerry’s.
What is something that you absolutely can't live without? (Other than family members)
My treadmill. Walking clears my head, slims my butt, and helps me feel like I accomplished something on the days when the writing isn’t going well.
Could you ever co author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?
I think so. I have to pick only one? That’s not fair. My critter pals each have different strengths that I’d love to see in a manuscript that we did together. From hilariously funny situation humor, mental illness angles, scorching sex scenes, exceptional world building, to plots that are tangled into drama knots…I can’t wait to get into a project with each one of them. They’re incredible.
If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you do? What would you ask them?
I can’t pick just one. I recently read Octavia E. Butler’s KINDRED for school and it blew me away. I’d have loved to talk to her about her writing and her life experiences and the things she hoped people would take away from her books and work.
Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books are still somewhere in my house, the backs of the paperbacks broken from being read so many times. Early pioneer life fascinates me, although I think I would have died young. Their lives were so hard! Those women were made of tough stuff.
My great grandmother, Laura Ann Tenney. She died when my grandfather was only two weeks old. So little is known about her, all we have is one old faded photograph. Laura was Irish and Blackfeet Indian, living in West Virginia. I’m so curious about her life experience, and also the way that her absence from my grandfather’s had such a profound impact on him and his older sister.
Hillary Clinton would be a fascinating interview. I’m so curious about her experiences in government office (both as First Lady and Secretary of State) and I’d love to hear her take on why more women aren’t in high positions of public office.
Condoleezza Rice is also on my list. She’s incredibly smart, funny, and accomplished and I’d like to get her take on world issues as well. I like to hear debate and commentary from both “sides of the aisles.”
I guess this just all shows that I’m really interested in other women who have had different life experiences than I have. I think there’s a lot to learn from people from all walks of life and I’m intensely curious.
What are some of your other hobbies outside of writing?
Sewing, bike riding, reading…reading a lot!...I love sports and doing things outdoors. I like riding motorcycles with my husband, baking when I get the itch, coloring with my girls, doing home improvement projects.
If you were on the staff to have a book adapted to movie, what would you pick?
Ergh. That’s tough because I often like to leave books alone. I like my own visualizations better. But I really enjoyed Nicholas Petarkos’ THE WOLFMAN. I think a director and script writers could have great fun with point of view in a movie of that book that would leave viewers guessing right up to the end.
What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?
Drawing. I really want to write graphic novels, and I would love to be able to do the art as well.
Periwinkle. It’s not blue, it’s not purple. It’s both. I like that.
Weather: Hot or cold?
Depends on where I am. In summer in Northeast Ohio, the humidity will make you want to scream and lock yourself in a walk in freezer. But out west where it’s dry and desert, I love the heat.
I also like snow, and the chill of autumn.
Favorite place to read?
Somewhere comfortable enough that I can curl up and lose myself in the book without interruption.
Cheeseburgers, french fries, and an ice cold beer. Maybe ice cream for dessert if I have Lactaid with me.
Favorite non-alcoholic drink.
It’s a toss up between coffee, tea, and water. I drink all in mass quantities.
If you could travel anywhere and do anything, no limits or money holding you back, where would you go?
Outer space. I want to see the Earth from orbit.