Wednesday, September 11, 2013

BORN OF PERSUASION - Jessica Dotta - One Free Book

Readers, here's new author to this blog.  Welcome, Jessica. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Well, like all writers, threads of my personal history and scraps of my personality are intentionally woven into the characters and plot. Yet at the same time, much like I believe Jane Austen did, I also throw personalities that I've encountered onto the page.

In The Price of Privilege trilogy the three characters most like me are Julia, Edward, and Isaac. Through Julia, my protagonist, I've explored the deep sense of loss I've experienced, through Edward my unrelenting sense of conviction, and lastly through Isaac (who is prominent in book two and three) my deep longing for family and the strong desire to see the past amended.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I've done a lot of quirky things! The one most people talk about was the time I wrapped my apartment, the ceiling and walls, in tinfoil in order to turn it into a spaceship for a themed dinner with friends.

That sounds like fun. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
In third grade, after a writing assignment, my teacher announced to the class that there were two outstanding stories. To my shock, mine was one of them. I remember being so stunned that she had singled me out.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love historical fiction and am always on the lookout for a thick, long book that I can curl up with. My second favorite genre is YA and Sci-Fi. I love the deep imaginative flights they'll take.

I especially love British authors. Tolkien and Lewis, and their predecessors George MacDonald and Chesterfield have inspired more people than they probably ever guessed they would.

Liz Curtis Higgs, Gina Holmes, and Francine Rivers are also among my top favorite writers.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
It's not easy is it? I dream of owning a hobby farm where I rise at dawn, gather eggs, and take cuttings from my herbs garden before settling into writing.

In the meantime, I try to savor the hours I spend with my daughter. I always take time for tea, coffee, and reading. Lately, I've been reminding myself of Jesus's instructions that apart from Him I can do nothing. I'm trying to give myself permission to worry less and trust more.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Most of my characters have rather old-fashioned names that suit the era, like: Jane, Elizabeth, Charles, and Henry.  

I spend a lot of time on the surnames, as those are the ones I feel like I have to live with. The era was so formal that I see those names more than I see the first names.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I've written a series of essays that I've called The Jessica Years on Inspire-a-Fire. The idea was to chronicle the three years after my recent divorce—both the healing and raw pain. My goal was to become fully authentic. It's easy to feel pressured to project an image, and so hard to admit that we're in desperate need of grace and mercy.

The essays are so honest that there are days I consider removing them from the web, and yet I never do because they keep me from being able to hide.

At the same time, I have stopped making The Jessica Years public.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I've tried really hard to come up with an animal, but nothing seems quite right. Can I pick a plant? I would be most like rosemary—distinctive yet hardy.

That’s fine with me. What is your favorite food?
Oh, how can anyone choose between their survival tools of coffee and chocolate?

May I pick both?

Yes. I seldom get an author who only mentions one food. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Originally, it was very difficult for me to share my work, which is vital if you're going to grow as a writer. I spent months lurking in a critique group not feeling knowledgeable enough to participate.

Eventually I finally shared my work and tried my hand at critiquing someone. If you know anything about the first time a writer receives a critique, you can imagine how mortified I felt. I shed private tears, then sent thank you notes.

Once I broke the ice it grew easier to participate.  I can't express how much I grew in my writing from it.

Tell us about the featured book.
Set in 1838, Born of Persuasion follows the story of a seventeen-year-old who distrusts her anonymous guardian after the death of both parents. She's determined to free herself from her circumstances, yet she continues to find mysterious clues about her family that leave her uncertain whom to trust.

I'm really excited to be able to share my writing.  A lot of people have told me it either reminds them of an Austen or a Bronte novel.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Later, when I allowed myself to confront the memories, to dwell on the particulars, I realized my arrival at Am Meer marked the beginning.

Not the mysterious letters that drained the life from Mama.

Not her suicide.

And not the two men arriving at dusk, stomping mud from their boots in the foyer, bearing ill tidings.

Nay—not even the disconcerting news that I had a guardian, one who intended to keep me sequestered.

For those happenings were not my story. I was sinless there. They were the end results of events set in motion long before I arrived at the cottage. I could no more have stopped their unfolding than I could have prevented my own birth.

Those of you who were alive that year might well remember the early frost of 1838. My arrival coincided with the hardship faced by the farmers that August. Thought harvest hadn’t quite begun, an overcast sky stretched over the rolling farmlands bringing a reminder of winter’s cruel bite.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

I so hope you visit Please do stop by! I'm also working to put together a free quarterly magazine that will appeal to those who love the Regency, Victorian,and Edwardian era. While you're there, sign up for its first issue. 

Thank you, Jessica, for sharing with us today.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Born of Persuasion -
Born of Persuasion (Price of Privilege) -
Born of Persuasion: 1 (Price of Privilege) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Google +, Feedblitz, Facebook, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Tonja Saylor said...

I would love to win a copy of Jessica's book. Historical fiction is my favorite genre.
Tonja VA

Deb said...

I would love to win a copy.

Deborah D, FL

Patty said...

Sounds like another great historical!
Thanks again for you blog and giveaways...

Patty in SC

Cathy said...

Would love to win this book. sounds really good!

Cathy B.C. Canada

Heidi said...

I've read good reviews about this one so I'm looking forward to reading it! Thanks!

Heidi, CA

Melody said...

The covers of books (I would think) have a large impact with selling the book. I'm guilty of checking out the cover before I ever read the back, and often make a decision based on that. This cover tells me YES, and the review did too!

Donna, TX

Amy C said...

I am looking forward to reading this series.
Amy C

Britney Adams said...

I look forward to reading this story of a young girl trying to free herself from her unfortunate circumstances. Thank you for sharing this interview and giveaway!

Britney Adams, TX

Brittany said...

Please enter me for this book. Thanks for the chance to win.
Brittany McEuen (TX)

Tonja Saylor said...

I'm guilty of the same thing, Donna!

Melanie Backus said...

Oh my, what a book! Thank you for your interview and giveaway!

Melanie Backus, TX

Marissa said...

I am so excited to read this book! The cover is gorgeous!

Marissa from MN

Martha Sturm said...

I share a favorite author with Jessica. George MacDonald.
While I do take a second look when I see a book cover I like, I most rely on word of mouth and reviews on-line.

Anonymous said...

would love to win.

would love to win. :D Angela in Ky

Mary Preston said...

That would have been a LOT of tinfoil. I enjoyed the first page thank you.

Mary P


Kandra said...

I have been reading all about this new book from several reviewers and book blogs! I love the cover, and i already love your writing, Jessica! Great interview.

Kandra in OK

Library Lady said...

I love the cover of this book and would love to win it too.
Thanks for the giveaway.
Janet E.

Jean said...

This sounds like a book I would really enjoy. Thank you for the opportunity!

Jean K
West Palm Beach, FL

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

Enter me!

Anne Payne said...

Fascinating interview! I would love to read Born of Persuasion.

Anne, rural NC

Nancy said...

I would love to win one of Jessica's books. I know how very hard she's worked on this trilogy.

sam said...

I like this book cover very much and like the idea of being raised with someone you don't know- what kind of guardian will they be? Love to win. sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Julianna Rowe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julianna Rowe said...

I would LOVE to win Born of Persuasion! I have wanted to read it since I first heard about it. Mom and I are huge George MacDonald fans. What are your favorites? I guess it is the cover of the book that draws me, but not always. Sometimes it is the review, back-cover, or the first few pages that hook me. Thank you for the giveaway!
Julianna Rowe, PA

Bookishqueen said...

I would love to win this!

Rebekah TN

Stephanie said...

This book captured my attention a wee bit back, however, after that little tease you threw in, now I really can't wait! :)

Thank you,
Stephanie in IA

Merry said...

Thanks for the peek at Born of Persuasion, please add me to the drawing.
Merry in Mn

Bluerose said...

I've been hearing nothing but great things about this book! I'd love to be entered! :)

-Tammy (AL)

Lourdes said...

Would love to win.

Lourdes Long Island, NY

Abigail Richmond said...

Looks Great!!! Please enter me! Thanks!

Blanch, N.C.

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond Bryant

Veronica Sternberg said...

I love this time period and the story sounds great! I'm in MN.

bonton said...

Hi, Jessica!

I enjoyed your interview & learning more about you. I read some of your posts in The Jessica Years - I admire your honesty & openness. I have been in your shoes, & can identify totally!

My faith is God, & my belief that he has everything under control, & that his plan for my life - is the only way to lasting happiness - are what pulled me through. Praying for you!



rubynreba said...

I enjoy historical fiction. I want to find out what clues she finds out about her family!
Beth from Iowa

Kristie said...

I'm impressed that you wrote "The Jessica Years" and published in online. Talk about brave! Wow! I have a interest in first names and last names. I love to look at meaning and combine different one. That might take me a really long time if I was writing. Kristie from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.