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Monthly Archives: November 2011

“…like a chubby kid sitting on a box of Cap’N Crunch.” Tag Line Tuesday with Jack Wallen

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages…Jay Dub time’s here. 😉

Ed: ‘ello, ‘ello. As I hear writers are creative people, please answer each of the following biographic questions twice. Once with the truth, and once with a lie. Name?

JW: Jack Wallen. But honestly, what you call me would certainly depend upon what I’m wearing at the time. I mean, seriously, on any given night you might find yourself inclined to call me Mary Jane or maybe the King of Blood and Glitter. Or, should the mood strike me, The King of Zombies. You choose – but choose wisely, I do have a direct line to Shero.

Ed: Oh, we’ll get to Shero.

Where you from?

JW: We come from the land of the ice and snow. Actually, that’s not true, we come from Transexual, Transylvania. No…wait…I got it, I come from Fabulous, Incredibletown. But somewhere wrapped up inside a bacony nightmare, I come from New Castle, Indiana.

Ed: (humming “Immigrant Song”) Sorry, Day job?

JW: I am a pimp. My pimp name is Big Time Jesus. I pretty much own the hos at this place called The Asylum. But in a nightmare version of myself, I am a technical writer for Techrepublic.com. I write really nerdy things that have absolutely NOTHING to do with my books.

Ed: Dream job?

JW: Pool boy for the Queen of Darkness. No, seriously. Okay…I give. My real dream job is…Hell, who are we kidding? NO JOB!

Ed: Aspiring to nothing is very Zen. When not contemplating the Eternal, Why do you write?

JW: Because my dearly departed Grammy’s dying wish was that I kill off my family members one at a time. I figured, since it wasn’t worth prison sex, my best bet was to do it in book form. Okay, fine…I write because I am an artist to my core and I must create or my soul shrivels up and dies.

Ed: You can go back to full honesty now, if you want.

JW: Honesty? That hurts. Must I? Lying is so much more fun.

Ed: Lightning Round! Zappo! Quick! Favorite:

Band: Rush, with a side of Red and In This Moment.

Food: Cheesecake and Pizza – but not Cheesecake Pizza. I like them separate.

Game: Can I say Mountain biking? No? Oh really? Well, tough, I’m saying it anyway.

(Ed: Sorry, can’t accept Mountain Biking, putting you down for “Mountain Chess.”)

Album: Good God…seriously? Do you know how much I love music? Okay, I’m going to answer this two ways. My all time favorite album is Moving Pictures by Rush (because it contains the single greatest rock and roll song ever written – yes, I’m talking about the Modern Day Warrior, Mean, Mean Pride!). My current favorite album is ‘Until We Have Faces’ by Red.

(Ed: “His mind is not for rent.  To any god or government.”)

Word: To your mother.

Color: Pink. Oh yeah…I’m man enough to admit it.

Animal: I am. Rowr.

Piece of clothing: Now that’s personal. But I’ll keep it clean. My plaid skirt, er, kilt. No wait, my new purple Doc Martens.

Movie: Hellrasier. It’s dark and is it sexy.

TV show: Big Bang Theory, The Walking Dead, and Once Upon a Time. Oh, you said just one. Well, you get three.

Drink: Diet Mountain Dew. It’s disgusting, but every writer has to have a vice, right?

Song: ‘Wind Beneath My Wings.’ Oh God, I just vomited a bit. I can’t pull off that lie. Okay, I’m setting ‘Tom Sawyer’ aside and will say ‘Watch You Crawl’ by Red.

Line from a song: “The snakes and arrows a child is heir to are enough to leave a thousand cuts” from “Armor And Sword” by…you guessed it…Rush.

Pizza topping: Tilamook thank you.

Crime: Only if it’s smooth…and worthy of a pimp like me.

Place: Your panty drawer. Or The Asylum.

Quote: “Think of me like Yoda, but instead of being little and green I wear suits and I’m awesome. I’m your bro—I’m Broda!” Barney Stinson.

Ed: Three random things about yourself, please.

JW: Any time a bag of chips is open near me, I must be the first to grab a sniff. If not, the chips don’t taste good.

I have a man-crush on Neil Patrick Harris.

My toe nails are generally black or purple. Not from swelling or disease…don’t take it there.

Ed: And now is the time on Sprockets when we dance.  That is, the dance of talking about books.  Sure.  Let’s start with tomes you didn’t pen.

What’s the biggest consideration when you are deciding what book to read?

JW: I want to read a book that will really mess with me. Play with my mind and my heart.

Ed: What genre do you enjoy most?

JW: Horror. Mean, ugly, painful horror.

Ed: What genre would you read only if you lost a bet?

JW: Business texts. Oh God, kill me now.

Ed: Do you have a favorite author, and do you think they influence your own writing?

JW: Clive Baker. He’s my idol. I hope to one day be compared to that man.

Ed: I can make that comparison right now. “Jack Wallen is shorter than Clive Barker.”  Here’s a tissue.

Do you have a favorite book, and how many times have you read it?

JW: Imajica, by Clive Barker. That’s the book responsible for my wanting to become a writer. It’s brilliant. I only had to read it once because there was perfection in that one reading.

Ed: What’s the first book you remember buying with your own money?

JW: Imajica…I was a late bloomer. So you could say Imajica was my training bra.

Ed: I *could* say that, but I’d feel creepy.  Not bad, but creepy.

Any books you have been told you should read, and know you probably never will?

JW: Yeah…I have this friend that is CONSTANTLY telling me about books I should read. I’ve never read a single book he’s suggested.

Ed: Ever lied about reading, or not reading, a book?

JW: Who me? Lie? What?  Yes. Anything by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. If you’re gonna lie, lie big.

Ed: You’d love “Notes from the Underground,” um, maybe I won’t recommend any more books to you. 😉

Ever read a book you were sure you were going to like, and not liked it?

JW: Yeah, that last stinker by Dan Brown. It was the first book I read on my Kindle. I was so angry I paid for that piece of crap.

Ed: Ever grudgingly read a book, and loved it?

JW: The first Harry Potter book. Didn’t want to read it, but I did. And I was hooked.

Ed: What’s your favorite line from a book? (not your own)

JW: “We’re too much ourselves. Afraid of letting go of what we are, in case we are nothing, and holding on so tight, we lose everything else.”  From Imajica.

Ed: Now on to the books that did spring from your fevered pate.

How, and when, do you tend to come up with titles?

JW: I always allow my titles to happen organically. I create a working title and then discover a title for the book as the writing unfolds.

Ed: How do your characters get their names?

JW: A combination of magic, chance, and dumb luck. Sometimes I ask people if I can use their names in books. Sometimes I mash up names of people I know. Sometimes I just start saying names until something sounds interesting.

Ed: If you could live in the world / with the people of one of your stories, which one would it be and why?

JW: Shero. I’d much rather live in that world (and be Shero’s sidekick) than live in an apocalyptic world.

Ed: Every fabulous transgendered superhero needs a sidekick. 😉 What do you think your books say about you?

JW: Hoo, boy. Too damn much. Actually, they say I am quite an accepting human being who believes diversity is really what the world needs…with a rather dark side. I am a twisted SOB.

Ed: Is there anything you have written which you would now like to change or revise, wish you had written differently, etc.?

JW: Nope. They were given birth and they now belong to my readers.

Ed: Tell me about your favorite character.

JW: Shero. Hands down. He stands for everything that is right and fabulous. He is a heroes hero.

Ed: Have your favorite character tell me about you.

Shero: I can’t do this without running my mascara, so let me get a tissue. Okay, Jack has a heart the size of my shoe closet. He is a sensitive man, and good *god,* does the boy look good in heels.

Ed: Thanks, Big S., back to Jack.

What’s your favorite line which you have written?

JW: That’s a tough one. But I have to go with this line from Shero: “The sound was like a chubby kid sitting on a box of Cap’N Crunch.”

Ed: That is going to look freaking awesome at the top of this interview.

Ed: Now, on to the nuts n’ bolts part of bolting your…there is no good way out of this metaphor.  Let’s just talk writing.

Plotter or Pantser?

JW: I used to be a plotter. But now, I’m a skirtster. Oh, wait…you said “pants.” So I’ll go with Pantser. I like not having that net below me. Why? My goal is to write books that can, at times, completely pull the rug out from under the readers. I want readers to never know what they can expect when they open up one of my books. I kill characters for a living.

Ed: Writers don’t kill characters, writers with characters kill characters.

Worst advice you ever got as a writer?

JW: Stick to one genre. Screw that! If I don’t branch out, my writing will get stale. I like me some diversity.

Ed: Anything else would be un-Eclective. Best/Worst thing about being a writer?

JW: Best thing, feeling like you’re going mad at all times. Worst thing, feeling like you’re going mad at all times. It’s true. All writers have a spot of madness inside of them. Some embrace it, some don’t. Me? I loves me some crazy.

Ed: Why Indie?

JW: Because my world is too dark and fabulous for the narrow-minded scope of traditional publishers.

Ed: Is being a writer what you expected?

JW: It’s better. I have fans that love my work who contact me asking questions and begging for me. It’s like Eddie Izzard actually walking up to me on the street and asking me, “Cake or death?” It’s wonderful. I love it. The very reason I write is those people. I want to give them new worlds, characters, and situations to devour like a zombie on Einstein’s brain.

Ed: Have you, or would you ever, collaborate on a story?

JW: Yes. In fact, I have already agreed to collaborate on a vampire story with the Queen of Fire and Darkness herself, Shea MacLeod, and a delightfully dark paranormal romance with the Queen of Ninja Cyber Witches, Heather Marie Adkins.

Ed: If you were starting to write for the first time, what would you do different?

JW: Write a YA Paranormal Romance book with sparkly vampires. Oh, I kid…gosh…another one I can’t pull off. What I would do differently is immediately work my ass off on finding an editorial system. Being dyslexic makes it very hard for me to do any editing of any kind. So the editorial process is crucial for my work. I have a good system now…but it’s taken me a long time to get there.

Ed: What is the most important thing you have learned about writing?

JW: Be true to yourself, be true to your work, and be true to your fans.  That is the single most important thing I have learned.

Ed: What’s the moral of the story?

JW: Always leave ‘em wanting more, and never be afraid to show a little thigh.

Ed: Now, hypothetically, I’ll ask some hypothetical questions.

Your computer is smoking, wheezing, and sparks are shooting out of the back.  You can save one thing off the hard drive.  What is it?

JW: I have many backups. Besides, I’m an uber nerd. I know I can unplug that baby and most likely recover the data anyway.

Ed: You are looking at the back of a book in a bookstore, reading on online blurb, or whatever.  What sort of thing makes you say “yes,” what sort of things makes you say “pass?”

JW: If an author takes him or herself too seriously, I’ll say pass. If an author is too busy pimping their credentials, I’ll take a pass. If an author is true to themselves and their art, I’ll give it a second look. If the story does something different, doesn’t follow a formula, isn’t afraid to flip the reader the bird, I’ll read it.

Ed: You have one perfect day of free time, no obligations, needs, or responsibilities.  What do you do?

JW: Me and my mountain bike head up to Brown County State Park and I ride every single inch of beautiful single track they have to offer. And then I eat Mexican foods.

Ed: Someone “in the business” suggests you change something you feel is a critical part of one of your books, and guarantees it will increase sales.  What do you do?

JW: It depends on who that “someone” is. If it’s someone I know and trust, I’ll seriously consider it. If it’s someone I don’t know and don’t trust, I’ll say “Thank you for playing, but you’re not fabulous enough to give me advice.”

Ed: You are offered just enough money to live comfortably for the rest of your life, if you will just stop writing.  What do you do?

JW: No way. I have an artistic soul that if not fed will shrivel up and die. I’ve been there before…it ain’t pretty. You hand me a bajillion dollars and I’m going to take that as a sign that I can do nothing BUT write.

Ed: What question do you wish I had asked?

JW: How is life in The Asylum?

—————————

To dip another toe in the warm waters of Jack’s mind, do check out his blog (Get Jack’d: http://www.monkeypantz.net), follow his Tweetage (@jlwallen), face his page, (http://www.facebook.com/jlwallen), or listen to the dulcet tones of Zombie Radio: http://www.zombieradio.orgblog.  Oh, or of course, check out the books.  Zombies, serial killers, superheroes…fun for the whole family.

I Zombie I: “A Man chronicles his zombification.”

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/I-Zombie-ebook/dp/B004LGTRX0

Barnes & Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/I-Zombie-I/Jack-Wallen/e/9781452404363

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/36790

Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/I-Zombie-Jack-Wallen/dp/1461134137

My Zombie My: “Woman saves mankind from zombies”

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/My-Zombie-ebook/dp/B005RNN6EW

Barnes & Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/My-Zombie-My/Jack-Wallen/e/2940013340701

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/64309

A Blade Away: “Transgender killer butchers innocent men”

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002NPBSME

Barnes & Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/A-Blade-Away/Jack-Wallen/e/2940012551863

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/34698

Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Blade-Away-Jack-Wallen/dp/1461082218

Gothica: “Ghost threatens Goths, oh God!”

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Gothica-Fringe-Killer-ebook/dp/B002OL1Y3A

Barnes & Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Gothica/Jack-Wallen/e/2940012527219

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/35382

Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Gothica-Jack-Wallen/dp/1461163633

Shero: “Men in skirts are sexy”

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Shero-ebook/dp/B001J000RI

Barnes & Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Shero/Jack-Wallen/e/2940011906169

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/33118

 
4 Comments

Posted by on November 29, 2011 in Writing

 

My Best Writing Advice: Write like you write.

Here’s the thing: No, we are not all perfect snowflakes. I believe that all people, not just writers, have a lot more in common than it may be comfortable to admit.  Let’s face it, we can all be A-holes, sometimes. It’s just a matter of degree if that does or does not make any one of us *an* A-hole, indisputably and always.

However, there is enough variation within the homo sapiens species that we do not all work the same way, not to best effect. Two people can get where they are going by two different routes. Maybe one gets there faster, and maybe the other has more fun ’cuz they lollygagged along a sun-dappled brook. And maybe the person getting there first would have enjoyed a stroll, while the other is sorry they’re late. You never really can tell how it’s going to work out. But they did both get there, eventually.

I said that so I could say this, mostly to my fellow scribblers and keyboard thumpers. One of the things that a lot of us writerly types seem to enjoy ad nauseam is talking to each other about how we write. That can mean the mechanics of how we do the do: “I take my laptop out on the porch, I have to wait until the coffee’s ready, I write by hand, I write naked in the shower under a plastic hood, I write when I wake up in the middle of the night, I write with a quill dipped in the tears of my vanquished enemies,” etc., etc.

There are just as many variations in how we go about telling a story. We can outline every plot point on color-coded index cards, or storyboard, or dress our house pets as our main characters and follow them around taking notes. We can open a blank file and stare at it until the muse starts whispering in our ear, or gives us a wedgie. We can go from point A to point E via points B, C, and D, or we can just wander around until we get sleepy.  One page a day, 10,000 words a day, or any spare sentence we can scribble down between other obligations.

The possibilities may not be endless, but there is an awful lot of them, and any one of us could do things differently the next time.  It’s just a matter of finding what works for each of us, and going with it. That’s really all any of us can do. But here’s the thing:

When we are all hanging out and talking about our own idiosyncrasies to each other, there is often a point when it is going to sound like we are telling each other what to do. This is for two reasons. 1.) Some people are A-holes with great frequency and gusto. And 2.) A lot of us earnestly want to help each other, so we’re going to suggest you try what works for us, in the hopes that it will work for you.

If you want, give something different a shot. Take somebody else’s crazy-go-nuttiness out for a spin, and see if it does anything for you. But if it doesn’t, don’t feel bad, and don’t worry. You’re not “writing” wrong, because there is no wrong or right to a process so fraught with brain chemistry and gastro-intestinal rumblings and sheer, inexplicable magic. There is only what works FOR YOU, at any given moment. Knock around ‘til you find it, and go with it for as long as it will let you.

Thanks for reading this, and thanks for writing like you do.

Ed

 
13 Comments

Posted by on November 25, 2011 in Writing

 

“How could I feel calm about taking a life?” Tag Line Tuesday with Julia Crane

This week Tag Line Tuesday is happy to welcome Julia Crane, author of “Coexist: Keegan’s Chronicles.” Julia combines a degree in criminal justice with a belief in magical creatures, one of which dates from the day her grandmother first told her an Irish tale. I’m guessing that’s the magical creatures thing.  She’s spent most of her life on the US East Coast, but Julia currently lives in Dubai with her husband and three children.  Seriously. Dubai.

She can be found at http://juliacraneauthor.com/

——-

Ed: Top of the morning, or whatever time it is where you are.  😉 Now, by way of introduction, please answer each of the standard biographic questions twice, once with the truth and once with a lie.  Name?

JC: Julia Crane, or Dymphna Estep.

Ed:  Hello, hello.  So where you from?

JC:  Dubai, or Virginia.

Ed:  I know one of those “is for lovers,” but I forget which one.  Day job?

JC: Author, Secret Agent

Ed: Dream job?

JC: PI, Author

Ed:  Ah, yet another secret agent who dreams of being a PI.  You may now return to full honesty, if you’d like, for THE LIGHTNING ROUND! Quick! favorite:

Band – U2

Food – American

Game – Scrabble

Album – I don’t know (Ed: I love that one.)

Word  – “ACK!”

Color – Green

Animal – English Bulldog

Piece of clothing – Sweater

Movie – Braveheart

TV show – Bones

Drink – Coffee

Song – A Great Day to Be Alive

Pizza topping – Pepperoni

Crime – Jaywalking

Place – Ireland

Quote – “I cannot live without books.” Thomas Jefferson

Ed: Three random things about yourself, please.

JC: Practice Krav Maga, handy with a 9mm, barely 5ft.

Ed: All three of those things scare me, at least a little.  So let’s talk about something non-threatening, how about, oh, I don’t know, writing?

Would you call yourself a “Plotter” or a “Pantser?”

JC: Panster

Ed: How about the Best/Worst advice you ever got as a writer?

JC: Best – Don’t worry about the first draft, just write.

Worst – You don’t need an editor.

Ed: And the Best/Worst thing about being a writer?

JC: Best – Good Reviews

Worst – Bad Reviews

Ed: Is being a writer what you expected? How so or how not?

JC: I didn’t have any expectations going into this. So far it has been a lot of fun and I’m greatly enjoying the experience.

Ed: Have you, or would you ever, collaborate on a story?

JC: Yes, I just wrapped up a story called “Mesmerized” with Talia Jager.

Ed: If you were starting to write for the first time, what would you do differently?

JC: Take writing classes in college.

Ed: What is the most important thing you have learned about writing?

JC: Show, don’t tell.

Ed: Of course I’m humming that Rush song now.  Finally, what’s the moral of the story?

JC: With magic anything can happen.

Ed:  And now I’m humming that whole album, “Presto!” 😉

—–

Ed: Now a bit about you, as a reader.  What’s your biggest consideration when you are deciding what book to read, or how do you like to find something to read?

JC: I like to ask strangers their favorite book. I’ve read lots of great books that way.

Ed:  That’s a really cool answer, I might have to try that. 😉

What genre do you enjoy most?

JC: I’m all over the place with genre. I guess if I had to pick one it would be thrillers.

Ed: What genre would you read only if you lost a bet?

JC: I know it sounds corny, but I think there is at least one line in every book you pick up that you were supposed to read. I wouldn’t cut out any genres.

Ed:  I like that thought, too, though I shudder to think what line I was supposed to read in William S. Burroughs “Naked Lunch.”

Do you have a favorite author, and do you think they influence your own writing?

JC: Many favorite authors. Ayn Rand always comes to mind first though. No, she does not influence my writing. At least not consciously.

Ed: Do you have a favorite book, and how many times have you read it?

JC: Either “Atlas Shrugged” or “The Fountainhead,” I’ve read them both three or four times.

Ed: What’s the first book you remember buying with your own money?

JC: I don’t recall. As a child my mother wouldn’t buy us toys, but we could buy any book in the store. She still buys my books when we go to the bookstore together. I really don’t want to know how much money I have spent on books over the years.

Ed: Any books you have been told you should read, and know you probably never will?

JC: No.

Ed: Ever lied about reading, or not reading, a book?

JC: Probably in high school. I tended to skim a lot of books for school. Of course now that I’m older I go back and search those books out.

Ed: Ever read a book you were sure you were going to like, and not liked it?

JC: Sadly, yes.

Ed: Ever grudgingly read a book, and loved it?

JC: Many. “Eaters of The Dead” by Michael Crichton.

Ed: Always thought that one was underrated among his, and the movie version didn’t help much.

What’s your favorite line from a book? (not your own)

Ellsworth Toohey: Mr. Roark, we’re alone here. Why don’t you tell me what you think of me in any words you wish.

Howard Roark: But I don’t think of you.

——

Ed: And now, onto a bit about the books you did just happen to write yourself. 😉 How, and when, do you tend to come up with titles?

JC: They usually come to me about halfway through the book. When I get an idea I think I like I’ll write down five or six other words that are similar in meaning and pick from that.

Ed: How do your characters get their names?

JC: My family has a lot of unusual names, so many are family names.

Ed: If you could live in the world or with the people of one of your stories, which one would it be and why?

JC: I’d live with the elves. You get to have a special power, and your perfect mate is predetermined.

Ed: As long as you don’t have to make cookies all day.  Yes, that was a cheap joke, and none of Julia’s elves look like that guy. <–

What do you think your books say about you?

JC: Hmm, I don’t know…that I don’t want to grow up?

Ed: Who does?

Is there anything you have written which you would now like to change or revise, wish you had written differently, etc.?

JC: Not really. I do wish I had been more particular when looking for editors in the beginning.

Ed: Tell me about your favorite character.

JC: I think Rourk is my favorite. He’s very loyal, the strong silent type, and won’t hesitate to kill for someone he cares about.

Ed: Have your favorite character tell me about you.

Rourk: “Julia, keeping me apart from Keegan is getting old.”

Ed: To JC again, What’s your favorite line which you have written?

JC: “Father, the only thing that bothers me is that I felt nothing. No remorse. I always thought it’d be hard to take a life, that it would haunt me. I snapped his neck and walked away as if nothing happened. I felt calm. How could I feel calm about taking a life?”

And now, the dreaded HYPOTHETICALS (cue sinister music)

Ed: Your computer is smoking, wheezing, and sparks are shooting out of the back.  You can save one thing off the hard drive.  What is it?

JC: Whatever story I am working on at the moment.

Ed: You are looking at the back of a book in a bookstore, reading on online blurb, or whatever.  What sort of thing makes you say “yes,” what sort of things makes you say “pass?”

JC: I like there to be action and a strong male character doesn’t hurt.

Ed: You have one perfect day of free time, no obligations, needs, or responsibilities.  What do you do?

JC: Hit the sauna, or grab my laptop and head to a coffee shop to write.

Ed: Just don’t get confused and take the laptop into the sauna. 😉

Someone “in the business” suggests you change something you feel is a critical part of one of your books, and guarantees it will increase sales.  What do you do?

JC: I had to deal with this with my first editor. She wanted me to remove scenes that I felt made the story. I went with my gut and didn’t listen. I have no problem taking advice, but sometimes you just can’t compromise.

Ed: You are offered just enough money to live comfortably for the rest of your life, if you will just stop writing.  What do you do?

JC: I don’t think you are comfortable if you are not allowed to do things you enjoy.

Ed: What question do you wish I had asked?

JC: Why is the sky blue?

Ed:  It’s magic. 😉

—————————

Please do take a look at Julia’s work, the best point of entre is the first volume of her YA Parnormal Romance Elf-tacular.  As I make everybody give a FIVE WORD SYNOPSIS of their book (just because I know authors hate doing it, and I’m kind of a jerk), Julia says of “Coexist” –

Elves, destiny, life and death.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Coexist-Keegans-Chronicles-1-ebook/dp/B0055HFZ3A

BN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/coexist-julia-crane/1103651817

 
8 Comments

Posted by on November 22, 2011 in Paranormal, Tag Line Tuesday, Writing

 

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“Love is a lot like that…zappo, you’re hooked.” Tag Line Tuesday with Alan Nayes

Today, Tag Line Tuesday sits down with Alan Nayes…which is kind of a shame.  No, not because he’s a good writer of Eclective range, running the gamut from Medical Thriller to Creature Adventure, and even delving into Romance.  That’s all fine.  Thing is, Alan is a Packer fan, without even the excuse of being from the state of ‘sconsin.  He’s a Texan living in So Cal and rooting for Green Bay?  To what is the world coming?  (note, it wouldn’t bother me at all if the Bears were up three games on the Pack, instead of the other way around.) 🙂

Anyhow:  Enter the Cheesehead.

———————————————

Ed:  Howdy.  As I hear writers are creative people, please answer each of the following biographic questions twice, once with the truth and once with a lie.  Name?

AN: Alan Nayes.  And….Aaron Rodgers—you see the theme here, right)

Ed:  Sigh.  So that’s how it’s going to be.  So where you from, #12?

AN: Born in Houston Texas and live in southern California.  Or, Live in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Ed:  Day job?

AN:  Throw touchdown passes on Sundays, work part-time in the healthcare field.

Ed:  Mm-hm.  How ‘bout a Dream Job?

AN:  Write four hours a day creating stories that sell millions.  Photographer assigned to the Playboy mansion—no, not interested in a photo shoot of Hugh Heffner—now the bunnies…actually, this one isn’t quite a lie.

Ed:  My theory is Hef has been dead for the last eight years, only kept upright by Viagra.  Anyway, why do you write?

AN:  I write because it is such a challenge for me to actually start and finish a project—and I like challenges. No greater feeling – well, there are some greater, but not as long lasting—than when I finally complete that first draft.

I write because if I don’t, the characters that I wish to create might ditch me and show up in someone else’s book.

Ed:  You can now return to full honesty now for…THE LIGHTNING ROUND!  Quick!  Favorite:

Band—many of these I don’t have favorites—I listen to a lot of music—in fact I have an Alan Jackson CD in now. I like CW music but also, Rock, old and new. Alan Jackson’s “Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning?” is playing—that’s a pretty cool song. Mumford and Sons “The Cave” is a song I can listen to over and over. The Naked and Famous’s “Young Blood” —that song rocks. (One day I’ll visit New Zealand)

Food–love sushi, big macs, and Little Debbie Snack cakes. Have been known to down a whole package of snack cakes  in one sitting. Same with Oreo cookies. Candy—love Skittles

Game—Football, also boxing( boxing’s definitely not a game, but a sport—great work-out too)

Album None—listen to individual songs

Word—Damn—not really, but I seem to be saying a lot of that lately, especially when I check my sales.

Color—Blue

Animal—Komodo dragon

Piece of clothing—thongs—not on me of course.

Movie—No way can I name one—I have a lot of movies that I will end up watching on late night cable if I happen to see them. Most recently, GHOST and A FEW GOOD MEN. I can name a worst movie—THE HUMAN
CENTIPEDE. Can’t even believe I watched it. (Yes, I’m ashamed.)

TV show—Don’t watch much TV.

Drink—I like a lot of drinks—depending on my mood or time of day. Love Bailey’s, Butterscotch schnapps, bloody marys, brandy and sours.

(Ed:  Are you positive you’re not a sorority girl at Sarah Lawrence? That weak-ass shit won’t play tailgating at Lambeau, none of it is even from Milwaukee) 😉

Song—Too many to list

Line from a song—Are you kidding—I’m not a quote man. Wait, one of my favorite songs is the old CCR number WHO’LL STOP THE RAIN. “Clouds of mystery pouring, confusion on the ground…”

Pizza topping—Canadian bacon and mushrooms

Crime—Favorite crime?? What, you trying to get me arrested?

Place—To just relax, I stay at a small cottage on Lake Winnebago—though I love to travel all over.

Quote—I have a favorite movie quote—“Mr. Townes, you behave as if stupidity were a virtue.” Can you guess the movie. Clue—Jimmy Stewart was in it. And yes, I’ve been accused of behaving just this way at times.

Ed: Sure, the original, not the remake. 😉 Finally, three random things about yourself, please.

AN: Eat sushi at least twice a month. Once did 101 pushups in 60 seconds. Climbed Yosemite’s Half Dome.

Ed:  And now, the book-chat portion of the discussion. Let’s start with books you didn’t write.  What’s the biggest consideration when you are deciding what book to
read?

AN: Probably word of mouth or word of internet.  I don’t really have a favorite genre—but like to read what is selling and try to figure out that “secret formula.” Still haven’t figured it out yet. Also, I enjoy reading books by fellow authors that I’ve gotten to know.

Ed:  So no favorite genre, but how about a least favorite?  What genre would you read only if you lost a bet?

AN: Gay male erotica.

Ed:  Very specific.  Do you have a favorite author, and do you think they influence your own writing?

AN:  No favorite author or book. I must admit, in small ways, I’m probably influenced a little with every book I read—how an author set up a scene, dialogue, character development, all those aspects that go into completing a novel.  No, I don’t have a favorite book. In fact, I couldn’t name a book I’ve read twice. Now movies, that’s entirely different.

Ed:  What’s the first book you remember buying with your own money?

AN: This is another “Are you kidding me?” Can’t recall, it was so long ago. Probably some dinosaur book when I was young—used to love reading about those “terrible lizards.”

Ed: Triceratops are *awesome.*   Any books you have been told you should read, and know you probably never will?

AN:  Oh yes, the classics.  If I ever had to expostulate on my reading list, I would surely be branded an ignorant dumbass—but hey, I did get through MOBY DICK.

Ed:  Second time Moby Dick has come up in these interviews, both times with derision.  I love that book, though the short story “Bartleby the Scrivner” is much better.  So, ever lied about reading, or not reading, a book?

AN: I think I once told a teacher I read “Catcher In The Rye,” but really only read the cliff notes. I have since absolved myself of that literary crime.

Ed: Ever read a book you were sure you were going to like, and not liked it?

AN: I thought for sure I was going to like that second to last installment of CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR series—didn’t read the last—and I was not too impressed.

Ed: Ever grudgingly read a book, and loved it?

AN: Not grudgingly, but more out of curiosity I read THE TWILIGHT series, and really enjoyed them.

Ed: What’s your favorite line from a book?

AN: I can only quote one off hand—Call me Ismael. (yeah, those classics kill me—Here’s another—“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

Ed:  Now onto talking, or rather writing, about writing.  Huh.  Anyway: Plotter or Pantser?

AN: Mostly a panster, though I do have some plot points that I want to reach at certain points in the book. How I arrive at these points changes often, though. Which can be really frustrating.

Ed:  Best/Worst advice you ever got as a writer?

AN: Best—Why don’t you try to write love story. This was from a former agent. Never would have written BARBARY POINT if he had not suggested. And I like BP so I’m glad I followed his suggestion.

Worst—Someone suggested I write some screenplays. Was that a
waste of time and effort.

Ed: Best/Worst thing about being a writer?

AN: Best—being independent. Worst—being independently poor—at least from my writing.

Ed:  There’s a great traition of starving artists.  Sometimes to death.  On that happy note, Why Indie?

AN: I was bounced from traditional publishing so thought I would give it try. Haven’t regretted it yet.

Ed: Is being a writer what you expected? How so or how not?

AN: Yes, I expected it would be really tough to make a living at it, and it is. But I’ll keep trying.

Ed: I’d quote Yoda here, but it’s too easy.  Ahem.  Next question.  Have you, or would you ever, collaborated on a story?

AN:  No, I think this would be difficult—unless Stephen King gave me a call. Then…

Ed:  That’s the first time anybody said “No,” which sort of surprised me.  I thought all us writers were control freaks.

If you were starting to write for the first time, what would you do different?

AN: Trying to think here—can’t really say, except prepare myself mentally better for all the rejections. When I first started I figured how hard can it be to pen a bestseller? Well, it’s damn hard, for me anyway.  Still waiting to strike that literary gold.

Ed: What is the most important thing you have learned about writing?

AN: One word—persistence.

Ed: What’s the moral of the story?

AN: If you believe in your project, you have no excuse to stop trying.

Ed:  Now, a little more about your own books.  How, and when, do you tend to come up with titles?

AN: It happens different ways. Sometimes I have a title I want to use and sometimes the title doesn’t come to me until I’m well into the story. THE UNNATURAL was like that—originally it was titled Angel Face.  SMILODON, however was the title from the first word.

Ed: How do your characters get their names?

AN: Random acts of choosing. No particular methodology here, though the protagonist in GARGOYLES, Amoreena got her name from a little known Elton John song.

Ed:  So little-known I’ve never heard of it.  “Oh, Nikita” gives me the dry heaves, but of course there’s a story behind that.  I’m digressing again.

If you could live in the world / with the people of one of your stories, which one would it be and why?

AN: Tough one, since most of my stories are what I label simple commercial fiction. Not fantasy or paranormal. Maybe SMILODON  since I like the outdoors and fresh air—though I wouldn’t want that freak giant cat chasing my ass.

Ed: What do you think your books say about you?

AN:  That I try hard.  Lol.

Ed:  Is there anything you have written which you would now like to change or revise, wish you had written differently, etc.?

AN:  Always. I think I could pick up any one of my books and always find a sentence or paragraph I could write better. Would I do that—nope.

Ed: Tell me about your favorite character.

AN: Have to say Amoreena Daniels. Brilliant, beautiful , and brave—the three b’s of a great heroine. ( and not the fourth b—b**ch)

Ed: Have your favorite character tell me about you.

Amoreena:  “Ed, this guy Alan, he put me in a couple of tough spots and if I ever meet him, I’m going to kick his ass.”

AN:  And she probably could. (though I’d love to wrestle her)

Ed:  Alan again, What’s your favorite line which you have written?

AN:  Love is a lot like that. You see someone you want, the chemistry is there, and zappo, you’re
hooked. (Sorry, two lines. From BARBARY POINT)

Ed:  And now, the dreaded HYPOTHETICALS (cue sinister music)

Your computer is smoking, wheezing, and sparks are shooting out of the back.  You can save one thing off the hard drive.  What is it?

AN:  My documents.  Fortunately I back everything up.

Ed:  Yeah, everybody says they back-up everything.  They “say” that, but one wonders.  Wonders.

You are looking at the back of a book in a bookstore, reading an online blurb, or whatever.  What sort of thing makes you say “yes,” what sort of things makes you say “pass?”

AN:  I rarely read the blurbs. I have a pretty good idea on what I want to buy before I even go into the bookstore or online. Pass—anything to do with child molestation or gay male erotic material.

Ed:  You have one perfect day of free time, no obligations, needs, or responsibilities.  What do you do?

AN: Write and read—I love to read.  A hike in the mountains wouldn’t be bad either. Then a nice massage(did I say sensual? No).  Then a great dinner, then…Hey, I could go on forever with this.

Ed: Someone “in the business” suggests you change something you feel is a critical part of one of your books, and guarantees it will increase sales.  What do you do?

AN: It would depend greatly on who this someone was, but I would listen for sure. I don’t discount anything. And maybe I would change but it is hard to say based on a hypothetical.

Ed: You are offered just enough money to live comfortably for the rest of your life, if you will just stop writing.  What do you do?

AN: I would accept the money, then become a “closet writer.”

Ed:  Sneaky.  What question do you wish I had asked?

AN: Here’s a question I wish would have been appropriate to ask—Alan, how does it feel to be a bestselling author? Hey, maybe one day I’ll get to field that one. Seriously, thanks for the opportunity—some of these
questions really made me think.  Maybe I should start reading some classics…

Ed:  I ❤ Edith Wharton

—————————

And now, Alan’s books, for each of which he good enough to provide the dreaded FIVE WORD SYNOPSIS, which I always ask for, as I know how truly-madly-deeply all authors loathe doing them.  🙂  Please consider checking him out, as he’s an all right guy.  For a Cheesehead.  Go, Bears.

BARBARY POINT—A woman falls in love.

Amazon http://amzn.to/jwaVbN

Barnesandnoble.com http://bit.ly/j4mUlk

Smashwords http://bit.ly/kZwoq7

GARGOYLES—A student becomes a surrogate.

Amazon http://amzn.to/nUMXs4

Barnesandnoble http://bit.ly/nBThYm

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/77758

THE UNNATURAL–A cryonics experiment fails horribly.

Amazon http://amzn.to/oXRiNV

Barnesandnoble http://bit.ly/oxjm4S

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/80711

SMILODON—A prehistoric giant cat attacks.

Amazon  http://amzn.to/nabkJD

Amazon.uk http://amzn.to/t1JAPj

Barnesandnoble http://bit.ly/oucAdo

Smashwords
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/100497

 
10 Comments

Posted by on November 15, 2011 in Tag Line Tuesday

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Every Romance needs a Villain…” Tag Line Tuesday with PJ Jones

This week TLT says hello to PJ Jones, who insists on using that nom de guerre lest: “crazed Twi-hards trash my yard.”  PS: I know “Nom de guerre” and “Nom de plume” aren’t the same thing, that was a joke.  Sort of.

You see, PJ is best known for writing devastating parodies of numerous “Sacred Cows” to the culture, ranging from Vampire Romances to, ahem, the Porn Industry. For her latest work however, Driving Me Nuts!, PJ has left her satirical sword in its scabbard, and written something…(gasp)…heartfelt and serious.  Yet it still manages to be really funny at times, as that’s just how PJ rolls.  You’ll probably get a sense of that as the interview progresses. 😉

Ed:  So, PJ, where are you from?

PJ: You see, Ed, when a man and a woman love each other very much they show their affection for one another in a very beautiful way…

Ed: Right, then the stork comes, my folks explained that to me years ago.  How about a day job?

PJ: Graphic designer

Ed: Dream job?

PJ: I am almost living my dream job, designing cool artwork and writing funny books. All I need is to get paid more for it and it’s officially my dream job.

Ed: Now the easy one, why do you write?

PJ: I write because I have vivid dreams that must be told, and writing is fun. I’ve also made some awesome writer friends in this business.

Ed:  Lightning Round!  Quick! Your favorite:

Band – Alive: Rascal Flats, Miranda Lambert, Darius Rucker.  Dead: Jimmy Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn

Food – Anything with chocolate as the main ingredient

Game (any kind) – The kind that employ handcuffs, swings and D batteries

Album- Uhhh, they make these things called iPods now, Ed.

(Ed:  Sorry, I didn’t catch that, my Victrola skipped)

Word- Funny

Color- Blue

Animal- Dog

Piece of clothing- soft jeans

Movie- Lesbian Vampire Killers, Dirty Love, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Amazon Women on the Moon, Deuce Bigalow, Pineapple Express, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Lord of the Rings

TV show – Family Guy, American Dad, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Drink – Water

Song – “I Won’t Let Go” by Rascal Flats and “Baggage Claim” by Miranda Lambert

Line from a song – From “I Won’t Let Go” by Rascal Flats:  “It’s like a storm / That cuts a path. It breaks your will / It feels like that.”

Pizza topping- mushrooms

Crime – Speeding

Place – the beach

Quote – Life is too short to walk around with a stick up your ass.

Ed: Three random things about yourself, please.

PJ:  1. I am recouping from a painful illness. 2. The sound of my child’s laughter is the best sound on earth. Number 3. My butt hurts from sitting at the computer.

Ed: Look, I told you it was a long interview. 😉

Now, let us talk the talk of the writerly types, beginning with books in the “That you didn’t write” catagory. What’s the biggest consideration for you when you are deciding what book to read?

PJ: It really depends on my mood. I have eclectic tastes in books.

Ed: Say you are looking at the back of a book in a bookstore (you don’t have to say it out loud), and reading the blurb. What sort of thing makes you say “yes,” what sort of thing makes you say “pass?”

PJ: If the heroine in the novel is weak and waiting for a man to save her, I’ll probably pass.

Ed: What genre do you enjoy most?

PJ: Paranormal or historical romance or both combined.

Ed: What genre would you read only if you lost a bet?

PJ: Sci fi (Ed NOTE:  Only the “cheesy” variety of Sci Fi earns PJ’s disdain.)

Ed: You do know Paranormal was Sci Fi before they started calling it Paranormal, right?  😉  But I digress.  Do you have a favorite author, and do you think they influence your own writing?

PJ: I have many favorites. It really depends on the genre. As far as pure comedic brilliance, it’s Mykle Hansen.

Ed: Do you have a favorite book, and how many times have you read it?

PJ: Help! A Bear is Eating Me! by Mykle Hansen. I’ve read it three times. I must read it every year, and I will never tire of the humor.

Ed: Ever lied about reading, or not reading, a book? You can tell me, nobody’s listening.

PJ: I’ve made promises to friends that I’d read their books and then always find myself short of time. I feel really bad. Either I’m terrible at time management or just a very slow reader.

Ed: Ever read a book you were sure you were going to like, and not liked it?

PJ: YES! Some really awful historical romance called Lord of Scoundrels where the heroine actually shot the hero and the hero called her names throughout the book, even after he ‘redeemed’ himself. Gah! I wanted to slap both of them throughout the whole book and my sick, twisted mind refused to stop reading it. It was like literary torture.

Ed: Ever grudgingly read a book, and loved it?

PJ: Yes. That’s how I got hooked on reading romances. I used to make fun of my mom’s trashy covers when I was getting my English degree, but when I ran out of Jane Austens, I began sneaking my mom’s romances.

Ed: What’s your favorite line from a book? (not your own)

PJ: “I wasn’t always being eaten by a bear…” from Help! A Bear is Eating Me! by Mykle Hansen

Ed:  and now on to the books which you did write. How, and when, do you tend to come up with titles?

PJ: The titles just smack me upside the head. I believe they are called epiphanies.

Ed: I thought epiphanies were people from Ephesus.  Speaking of people, how do your characters get their names?

PJ: Names, like titles, just come to me. They must be funny, unique and fit my characters’ personalities.

Ed: If you could live in the world / with the people of one of your stories, which one would it be and why?

PJ: I already live in a world similar to Driving Me Nuts! I certainly wouldn’t want to live in the world of my paranormal parodies, with were-gerbils and non-sparkly vampires.

Ed: What do you think your books say about you?

PJ: That I like to laugh and that no matter how much ‘life shits on you,’ you can always get by with a little bit of humor.

Ed: Tell me about your favorite character.

PJ: Fred (from Driving Me Nuts!) is my favorite character. He sees the world through the eyes of a child, even though he’s 37. He’s adorable, sweet and loyal to his friends.

————————————-

Ed: What’s your favorite line which you have written?

Ed: From Romance Novel: “Every romance needs a villain, so the hero can save the girl and get laid.”

————————————–

Ed: And now, about that old whacky process of the writing itself.  Are you a “Plotter” or a “Pantser?”

PJ: I try to be a plotter and then the little evil demon punster muse rears its head and usually takes over half-way through the novel and completely changes the plot.

Ed: Oh yeah, I know that punster.  What’s the Best/Worst advice you ever got as a writer?

PJ: The best advice I got was to be prolific. Keep writing, writing, writing more books. The worst advice I got was not to write book two until you’ve contracted book one. Nope. If you believe strongly in the book, then keep writing the series.

Ed: Best/Worst thing about being a writer?

PJ: The best thing is that I’m doing what I love. The worst thing is that I sometimes become obsessed and ignore my family.

Ed: Why Indie?

PJ: I’ve gone the traditional route under another name. It was an interesting experience, and I worked with two different wonderful editors, but I’m an impatient gal. Waiting for over a year for your book to be released is no fun. What’s also no fun is being forced to change your ending, etc…when you think it goes against your character’s nature.

Ed: Is being a writer what you expected?

PJ: I NEVER expected so much promotion. I was naïve at first, and thought the readers would flock to the books. Nope.

Ed: Have you, or would you ever, collaborate on a story?

PJ: Yes, I sure would and I think it would be a blast, especially since I’ve got a few fantasies and historicals that I’d love to pen, and I’d love some more creative input.

Ed: If you were starting to write for the first time, what would you do different?

PJ: I would have taken the craft courses before writing rather than write a few heaping piles of trash and then taken the craft courses.

Ed: What is the most important thing you have learned about writing?

PJ: Keep writing.

————————————-

Excellent thought to end on. 🙂  And if you would, please do give PJ’s books a look, particularly if you could use a good laugh, and promise not to trash her yard.

Driving Me Nuts! Three mental patients, two loaded guns, one
stolen car and a whole lot of trouble…

http://www.amazon.com/Driving-Me-Nuts-ebook/dp/B005WOQJ9K

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/driving-me-nuts-pj-jones/1106752031

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/97395

Romance Novel: Will Smella and Deadward find true love or will Smella’s fish tacos ruin the moment?

http://www.amazon.com/Romance-Novel-ebook/dp/B004UMOWWQ

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/romance-novel-pj-jones/1102475300

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/73160

The Vampire Handbook: Useful rules and regulations for adapting to the bloodsucking lifestyle.
http://www.amazon.com/The-Vampire-Handbook ebook/dp/B005D14XPO

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-vampire-handbook-pj-jones/1104395592

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/75534

 
6 Comments

Posted by on November 8, 2011 in Paranormal, Writing

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

“Who p!$$ed in your Cheerios?” Tag Line Tuesday with Talia Jager

Welcome to this week’s Tag Line Tuesday, featuring Indie Eclective member Talia Jager, whose work runs the gamut from heartfelt drama to Paranormal YA. What is a “gamut,” anyway? That may be a later post, for now, say Hi to Talia.

Ed: As writers are creative people (one would hope), please answer each of the following biographic questions twice, once with the truth and once with a lie. I mean, “creatively.” 😉 Name?

TJ: Talia Jager or Kora Harvey

Ed: Where you from, Harvey? TJ: Oceanside, California. Or, born and raised in upstate NY, now living in TX

Ed: You have one of those dreaded “Day jobs?”

TJ: Domestic engineer, or surf teacher

Ed: Fits in with Oceanside. How about your “Dream job?”

TJ: Surgeon or Author.

Ed: Why do you write?

TJ: Only way to stay sane. To quiet the voices in my head.

Ed: Yes, those voices do tend to go on and on. Okay, you can go back to full honesty now, if you want, and let’s talk some writing, as writers are wont to talk about. Or at least write about. Where do you fall on the “Plotter” or “Pantser” scale?

TJ: Both. I plan a little bit, and then I sit down and write and just see where it leads me.

Ed: How about the Best/Worst advice you ever got as a writer?

TJ: Best – Write every day even if it has nothing to do with your current story. Worst – Don’t branch out.

Ed: What do you consider the Best/Worst thing about being a writer?

TJ: Best – The writing. Coming up with a story, characters, plots – it’s fun! Worst – The suspense. Not knowing whether people will like it or not, wondering if they’ll buy it. Waiting for your first bad review.

Ed: Why Indie?

TJ: Why not? I did send some queries out in the beginning and got a lot of answers like “You material is not a good fit…” Sometimes, what I write about, people don’t want to hear about. My husband convinced me to try the indie way. The hardest part has been balancing writing with promoting and family. I love not having a lot of deadlines. I love being able to do my own thing.

Ed: Is being a writer what you expected?

TJ: Not really. I grew up when everything was done traditionally, so being an indie writer has been different.

Ed: Have you, or would you ever, collaborate on a story? TJ:

Yes, I’m working on one right now with Julia Crane.

Ed: If you were starting to write for the first time, what would you do different?

TJ: I stopped after I got married and started having children – I shouldn’t have. I should have kept going. A lot of what I wrote in high school was not found in bookstores. Now, all the hard topics have been covered. If I had stuck with it, maybe I would have been published and been the first to write about some of the hard stuff.

Ed: Oh yeah, I took one of those “little breaks” from writing, too. For about ten years. 😉 So apart from keeping at it, what is the most important thing you have learned about writing?

TJ: The whole process that comes after you write a book. The editing, formatting, copyrighting, promoting – those are all things I had to learn about. Writing a book isn’t just about what’s on the pages inside the cover, it’s about all the things that go into it, including the cover!

Ed: What’s the moral of the story?

TJ: Write for yourself and never give up.

Ed: Lightning round! Quick! Favorite:

Band – Sugarland

Food – Chocolate

Game – Uno

Album – I hardly listen to just one album anymore. Probably any of Rascal Flatts’ albums.

Word – Whatever

Color – Purple

Animal – Panda bear

Piece of clothing – PJs

Movie – Titanic

TV show – Lost

Drink – Water

Song – “My Immortal” by Evanesence

Line from a song – “Jesus, take the wheel…”

Pizza topping – Just cheese please.

Crime – rendering people helpless with my superpowers

Place – Sedona, Arizona

Quote – “Blank stares aren’t signs of dullness & stupidity; they’re signs of deep thoughts and dreams.”

Ed: Now let’s get into your books a bit. How, and when, do you tend to come up with titles?

TJ: Sometimes I know before I write the book and sometimes it comes to me while I’m writing, and other times I post it on my Facebook fan page and a fan will recommend something.

Ed: How do your characters get their names?

TJ: Five of my six books are named after one of my children. At least part of their name. A few are first names and a couple are middle names. For other characters, I use names I like. For people not real relevant to the story, I just go to a baby name website and pick something.

Ed: That is both a lot of books, and a lot of kids. 🙂 If you could live in the world of one of your stories, which one would it be and why?

TJ: Hmmm… most of my books are real life/real drama type of books and if I had to choose one of them, I’d say If I Die Young. Colorado is a beautiful place. Out of my paranormal books, I’d go with The Ultimate Sacrifice. It would be neat to live in a world where people had gifts like they do.

Ed: What do you think your books say about you?

TJ: That I don’t shy away from hard topics.

Ed: Is there anything you have written which you would now like to change or revise, wish you had written differently, etc.?

TJ: There are always things I think I could improve on, but nothing I’d change completely.

Ed: Tell me about your favorite character.

TJ: Oh gosh, I love all my main characters. Picking one would be like picking one of my children. Natalie from Damaged will always have a soft spot in my heart. When writing her story, I wanted to grab her and shake her at the same time I wanted to hold her and protect her.

Ed: Have your favorite character tell me about you.

(Natalie): “She’s obsessed with drama!”

Ed: Back to Talia, what’s your favorite line which you have written?

TJ: “Who pissed in your Cheerios?” or maybe something more dramatic like: “Death was definitely hovering now. It had moved in slow, but strong, waiting for the right time to strike.”

Ed: I’m totally going with the Cheerios line for the tag line on this interview. 😉 Now, please state three random things about yourself.

TJ: I used to dye my hair purple. I am an only child. I love when it snows.

Ed: I say you bring back the purple. Us writers can use a certain amount of oddity. 😀 Now while we are talking about books, let’s move to the kind of stuff you like to read. When you are picking something for your reading pleasure, what is your biggest consideration?

TJ: Genre. Unless I’m looking for something specific, I go directly to the YA section and go from there depending on mood.

Ed: What genre would you read only if you lost a bet?

TJ: Horror. I don’t like being scared.

Ed: When looking at a blurb for a book, what sort of thing makes you say “yes,” what sort of things makes you say “pass?”

TJ: Is it short and to the point? I like a blurb that will catch my attention in a line or two. I don’t want to read four paragraphs to figure out if I want to read the book.

Ed: Do you have a favorite author, and do you think they influence your own writing?

TJ: I have several favorites that have influenced my writing, including VC Andrews, Christopher Pike, Stephenie Meyer, Cassandra Clare, and Lurlene McDaniel.

Ed: Do you have a favorite book, and how many times have you read it?

TJ: I have many favorites! Walk Through Cold Fire by Cin Forshay-Lunsford was my favorite in high school. I can’t count the number of times I read it. Heaven by VC Andrews. The Starlight Crystal by Christopher Pike. More recently, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare and Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.

Ed: What’s the first book you remember buying with your own money?

TJ: I’m not really sure, but I’d guess one of The Babysitter’s Club or Sweet Valley Twins.

Ed: Any books you have been told you should read, and know you probably never will?

TJ: Any of the classics.

Ed: Ever lied about reading, or not reading, a book?

TJ: Hmm… not that I can recall. Ed: Ever read a book you were sure you were going to like, and not liked it?

TJ: Yes. The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith. I love the show, thought the books would be better. I read the first two and just didn’t like them. I do like her other books though.

Ed: Ever grudgingly read a book, and loved it?

TJ: It took me quite a while to read Twilight, but when I did, I was obsessed.

Ed: What’s your favorite line from a book? (not your own)

TJ: “Don’t ever discount the wonder of your tears. They can be healing waters and a stream of joy. Sometimes they are the best words the heart can speak.” ― William P. Young, The Shack.

Ed: And now for something completely hypothetical…hypothetical questions. Your computer is smoking, wheezing, and sparks are shooting out of the back. You can save one thing off the hard drive. What is it?

TJ: Just like one thing or like one file? First, this is why I have a Time Machine. One of the wireless ones, backs up every hour. However, if this happened, I’d get my pictures file. Those are memories you can’t replace.

Ed: You have one perfect day of free time, no obligations, needs, or responsibilities. What do you do?

TJ: Go to the beach with my Kindle.

Ed: Someone “in the business” suggests you change something you feel is a critical part of one of your books, and guarantees it will increase sales. What do you do?

TJ: Roll my eyes, rant a little, probably walk away for an hour…then maybe go back and take a second look, see if that person just might be right. If I absolutely LOVED that part of my story, I wouldn’t cut it out, no matter what.

Ed: You are offered just enough money to live comfortably for the rest of your life, if you will just stop writing. What do you do?

TJ: Do I suck that bad? LOL! Can I write without publishing? If I could write secretly, it wouldn’t matter. I really only write because I like to. Sharing my stories with other people is an added bonus. But, if I couldn’t write at all, I wouldn’t take the money.

Ed: What question do you wish I had asked?

TJ: Gosh, Ed, I think you covered it all. How about…who is your favorite antagonist in one of your books?

Ed: Yeah, everybody always loves Villains. 🙂

—————————

And now, Talia’s books. For each I asked Talia to write a five, and only five, word synopsis, solely because I know writers hate doing that. 😉

Damaged: Natalie’s Story – “A girl in dangerous love.”

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Damaged-Natalies-Story-ebook/dp/B003X4M6R0

Apple iBooks: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/damaged-natalies-story/id443059680?mt=11

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/damaged-talia-jager/1100093431?ean=2940012106575&itm=2&usri=talia%2bjager

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/48545

Teagan’s Story: Her Battle With Epilepsy – “Girl overcoming a complicated disease.”

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Teagans-Story-Battle-Epilepsy-ebook/dp/B004OA6K4M

Apple iBooks: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/teagans-story-her-battle-with/id438356333?mt=11

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/teagans-story-talia-jager/1101556225?ean=2940012282149&itm=1&usri=talia%2bjager

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/59754

If I Die Young – “Loses and Finds a Heart.”

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/If-I-Die-Young-ebook/dp/B004ZLD0P2

Apple iBooks: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/if-i-die-young/id438319911?mt=11

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/if-i-die-young-talia-jager/1100125987?ean=2940012521651&itm=4&usri=talia%2bjager

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/57886

The Ultimate Sacrifice (Book One in the Gifted Teens Series) – “A girl with mind-blowing powers.”

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Ultimate-Sacrifice-ebook/dp/B0051PKVS0

Apple iBooks: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-ultimate-sacrifice/id439609977?mt=11

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ultimate-sacrifice-talia-jager/1102150795?ean=2940012446725&itm=1&usri=the%2bultimate%2bsacrifice

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/60763

Trailer: http://youtu.be/-TnrIGpEUdI

Secret Bloodline – “A vampire with a vendetta.”

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Bloodline-ebook/dp/B005MJI1HI

Apple: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/secret-bloodline/id467970124?mt=11

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/secret-bloodline-talia-jager/1105608209?ean=2940013368705&itm=1&usri=secret%2bbloodline

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/88374

Lost and Found – “Tragedy at a young age.”

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lost-and-Found-ebook/dp/B005WJW6LA

Apple: Coming soon.

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lost-and-found-talia-jager/1106724684?ean=2940013314764&itm=6&usri=talia%2bjager

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/97183

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2011 in Tag Line Tuesday, Writing