Monday, July 12, 2010
Right now I’m in a much-needed phase of “I’m getting out of your way, Lord. Do your thing.” I’m really guilty of giving God these multiple choice scenarios for my life and praying he’ll bless me with the one I want. I’m (re)learning that God’s plan for me is SO much bigger than anything I could come up with. So I’m excited to see what he has in store. And aside from that, I see more writing. Which means more sitting. Which means more M&Ms. Which means new pants are what’s on my expanding horizon.
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Oh, for sure. And my movie and TV show watching habits. The main thing I notice is that I can rarely turn off my internal editor. I think all writers experience that. I go to a movie and come home thinking, “But if they’d just have done this. Or taken out that.” And I tend to read more for the purpose of learning craft. I’m great at buying books on craft…and then not reading them. But give me a novel, and I learn so much. My favorite author is a whiz at third person, so when I tackled that POV for my next book, Save the Date, I reread all of her stuff for the millionth time.
What are you working on right now?
I’m finishing up some editing on Save the Date, my second romantic comedy for women from Thomas Nelson, which will hit the shelves this winter. It’s about a couple who fakes a very public engagement because they both have something to gain. Of course, they are total opposites and think they are safe from love’s big snare. But. . .it’s a romance, so, nothing turns out like they expect.
What outside interests do you have?
Outside interests? I’m supposed to be doing something besides writing? Like…have a life?
Just kidding. When I do get a few moments of free time, I love to read (shock). I love to travel. So far my favorite trip was a summer vacation to Ireland. I’m a fool for musical theater. (Wicked is my absolute favorite.) I go to the movies a lot (there’s just something about being in the theater, versus on your couch). And I think we’ve established that I like to eat.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Wow. I think my answer right now would be Alice Roosevelt. That girl was a firecracker, and I’d love to have dinner with her and hear all about her feisty spirit and antics as the daughter of a president. Alice apparently bored easily, and this often led to trouble. It would be fun to hear all about it.
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
That I will spend a ridiculous amount of time in a seat. And my butt will morph into a shape that can only be described as Early 21st Century Office Depot Chair.
What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
A. Buy ad time during the Super Bowl.
B. Be related to someone in the PR department at People magazine.
C. And write the book that feels natural to you. If your spirit is resistant to what you’re writing, then there’s a problem. If you’re writing against your gift, voice, or style, it’s going to show, and you’re going to be unhappy during the process. Sometimes it’s just one element that’s off. While writing Save the Date, I felt things were really off, but couldn’t figure out why. When I got my edits back, my editors pointed out that my protagonist’s job didn’t work, and I had clearly been disconnected to it. So I went back and gave her a new job as director of a girls’ home for young women who have aged out of foster care, something I had witnessed first hand in this past year. It was something I cared about, and it made all the difference. The rest of the book just shaped up around it. All because of one wrong piece.
Tell us about the featured book?
When the Fritz Family Carnival makes its annual appearance in Truman, Bella's keen reporter instincts tell her the bright lights hide more than they reveal. Her suspicions are confirmed when one of the stars is murdered, leaving Bella no choice but to go undercover. Though the police make an immediate arrest, Bella doubts this case is quite that simple. (Don’t let the five hundred dollar shoes fool you. Bella is one smart girl.) She needs her crime-solving boyfriend, Luke, more than ever. Problem is, his ex-girlfriend has moved back to town, giving Bella some murderous thoughts of her own. Then again, there's no time for a relationship crisis when Bella's doing her best to derail her father's wedding and stay one step ahead of a killer.
Clearly God is sending her a message in all of this madness. With a murderer on the loose and her boyfriend's ex on the prowl, this undercover clown has never had more to juggle--or more to risk.
Please give us the first page of So Over My Head.
Readers can see the entire first chapter at www.jennybjones.com/books/
How can readers find you on the Internet?
We have a great time on my website, where I post regularly on my blog at http://www.jennybjones.com/ . We talk about the important things—Fruity Pebbles, Lindsey Lohan, books, movies, and our mutual love for the irreverent.
Thanks for the fun interview, Jenny.
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