Friday, October 18, 2013

ONE PRINCE, TWO KINGDOMS - Jana Grissom - One Free Book

What has drawn you to writing for the Young Adult market?
I live with two amazing teens and work with hundreds more as a 7th grade science teacher! Nothing else makes sense but to write what I live and love, YA! I celebrate their victories and help them through their battles. If I can write YA in a way that helps a teen/young adult through a tough time, then my job is done.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
My quirkiness comes out when I am with my daughter, Kaylee. She can get me to do the silliest things and forget where I am or who is watching. Once I called her and she told me to hold on, completely ignoring me! So, naturally, I pretended to be her cell phone and talked to her pocket the entire time, “Let me out! Someone help me, I am trapped in her pocket! HEELLLLLOOOO, did you forget about me?” along with a lot of singing off tune. This lasted for at least five minutes. What I did not know, she was at work and her boss heard everything! Most awesome Mom ever!

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I have been writing since learning how to spell. I made up stories and sometimes believed them. My entire teenage experience is documented in a locked diary. Some of it is true, and some of it I made up because real life was boring. I have always loved telling and writing stories. They make the unimaginable become reality!

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love YA and adult books of all genres, especially if they are crammed full of emotion. Love, fear, mystery, murder, and most of all paranormal! To me, reading is like watching a movie but way better! You escape the world around you and enter a new world. You can be any character or just a bystander. Everything is in your control. It is the best medicine for any ailment!

What other books have you written?
Currently, I have two completed manuscripts waiting to be published. Drawn is a Paranormal Thriller with plenty of Romance. Alex is trying to find who she is but feels drawn to another life with another man. Come Back To Me is a YA Paranormal Thriller. Chloe finds happiness that pulls her away from her family but her father is not willing to let a painting take his baby girl.

I also post Top Ten lists, author interviews, and social media advice weekly on my blog, A Novel Reality. I love to help authors make their novels a reality by supporting their blog tours or sharing publishing/marketing advice. In contrast to the professional content, my Top Ten lists are according to my teenagers’ mood. Ha! If they are joking about the worst pick-up lines – I write a Top Ten. If they are complaining about friends – I write a Top Ten. Everyone needs a little comic relief! My teenagers love having a Mom who blogs.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
My family, prayer, reading, writing, and CHOCOLATE! Not always in that order but usually chocolate is somehow involved.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of, besides family?
Completing my bachelor’s degree and master’s degree! I was in college while working two full time jobs; one at home with two small children and the second as a teacher’s aid in the public schools. My husband and kids supported me by helping a lot around the house while I studied and wrote a million papers. Together, we did it! Now, I hold a MEd in Educational Administration and Policy Studies. I love to speak at secondary schools challenging students to S.T.O.P. Bullying and Suicide! Together we can stand up against bullying and create a safe school environment.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Lioness – She is strong but uses her power only when necessary, a loving mother but a vicious predator. Within her territory, you may not see her but you can be sure she is watching you.

What is your favorite food?
Italian anything; pasta, Parmesan Bistecca, Chicken Parmesan, or pizza. I should have been Italian! 

Is it hard to break into the YA market?
I believe teenagers are a great judge of character. If you really care about them, they will love you.

What advice would you give to an author wanting to do that?
It is like the first day of school. Remember what your mom said, “Just be yourself, and they will love YOU.” The same is true with YA. Don’t try to become something that you are not in order to fit in. Teens love adults who treat them with respect and are real. The rest will fall in place.

What would you like to tell us about the featured book.
This novel is designed to have two sequels where the reader chooses whether Johnny becomes the Prince of Light or the Prince of Darkness. If you have trouble choosing a kingdom, there is a quiz at the end of One Prince, Two Kingdoms or you can take the quiz now at http://anovelreality.blogspot.com

One Prince, Two Kingdoms came about in response to the disturbing nightmares my two foster children at the time were experiencing. After several nights of being awakened by their screams and running to comfort them, I had an idea – write a story and let their imaginations defeat their fears. The children were excited to hear stories of magical worlds and powerful celestials sent to guard them. Each night before bed, I would add new scenes and more adventures. After a few weeks, the nightmares were replaced with excitement to hear the next chapter read.

The children are now with their family, but their pictures remain on my walls. One Prince, Two Kingdoms is dedicated to them and all the foster children who have been in my care, as well as my past and present students; my family, my two amazing teens, Kaylee and Cody, and my husband and best friend, Roy. I hope One Prince, Two Kingdoms will encourage teens in a place of transition to have hope and never give up.
           
Book Blurb:
“Many graves were dug open with the aged caskets removed and overturned. Remains littered the graveyard. It looked like a backyard destroyed by a puppy that chewed up everything in sight. The gate suddenly slammed shut behind us and locked itself. We were committed now.”
Johnny Boggs is a teen with trouble to spare who has learned one thing in life—trust no one. Paranoia befriends him as he moves into his fifth foster home and discovers no one appears as they are. His dreams are not just dreams, and he is supposedly the Prince of Shamayim.
On Johnny’s sixteenth birthday, fate requires him to leave the protection of this world but allows for him to choose to reign over the light or turn to the darkness. A vicious competition begins as two kingdoms fight for his loyalty while two beautiful girls, Danielle and Shay, fight for his attention. Time is running out; a decision must be made. Johnny finds it impossible to resist the beauty of his dreams, nor can he turn away from the one who has his heart.

Please share the first page with us.
Another Home

Anger manifests inside of me; I don’t think I can control it this time. I hate it when the strong prey on the weak to feel powerful. My foster brother, JC, and the neighborhood punk, Miguel, picked the wrong time and the wrong place.

“Where do you think you’re going?” JC yelled out to our older but smaller foster brother, Jeremy.

Jeremy kept his head down and walked faster.

“Hey, punk, I don’t remember giving you permission to walk on MY sidewalk.”

I watched from the opposite side of the yard as JC grabbed Jeremy and shoved him against the apartment building. “You’re gonna pay for that mistake.” He continued the verbal assault on Jeremy as he turned and said to his friend, “Look at him, Miguel, he’s such a weak little freak!” They burst into laughter while Jeremy wriggled around, hoping to get free.

JC thought all six feet of him was God’s gift to the world. JC’s sidekick, Miguel, was the poster child for little man’s syndrome, including the big mouth and ‘roid-sized muscles. They had scrawny little Jeremy, who was barely five feet tall and weighed maybe seventy pounds, pinned against the side of the apartment as JC got in his face, “Where’s Mommy now, Germ-y? Oh that’s right, she left you inside of a car while she was living it up in the club.”

This was all of the motivation I needed to take action. I stood and made my way straight for them. Those two were so dumb, they never saw me coming, silent but deadly.

“We have got to toughen you up, Germ-y, or someone might hurt you. This is like basic training on how to stop being a weak little freak. Any last words?” JC tried to sound like a smart tough guy.

Jeremy shocked us all and screamed, “Stop! Let me go!” They pushed back harder and Jeremy returned to squirming and wishing for a miracle.

Miguel laughed and mockingly replied in a high-pitched, childish voice, “Let me go, JC, or I’m gonna tell Mommy.”

Jeremy whimpered in defeat. There was no way out of this, and he knew it. I was now in a full sprint.

“Go ahead and tell Mommy. She knows you are a pathological liar. Even the psycho doctor says you are!” JC insulted as he sneered in victory.

JC had finished playing with his food. I recognized the look on his face; he was going in for the kill. He glared straight at Jeremy, drew his arm back, and swung fast before I could get there. His fist made impact right below Jeremy’s left ribcage. Miguel repeatedly kicked Jeremy in his right knee as JC hit him over and over. Jeremy slumped down, but the boys held him up as they continued to beat him and laugh.

Time to take out the trash.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/janagrissom

Thank you, Jana, for sharing your book with us.

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10 comments:

Jana Grissom said...

Thank you for the interview, Lena! I am honored to be here. You are a wonderful and inspiring woman of faith!

I will check in later to see if anyone has a question for me! Thank you for being a part of One Prince, Two Kingdoms!

:) Jana

Amy C said...

HiJana! Great interview with a new author to me.
One Prince, Two Kingdoms sounds really fascinating.
Thanks
Amy C
VA

Grissom 7th Grade Science said...

Nice to meet someone from VA! I am sure the summers are not as hot as Texas. I'm a bit jealous.

Thanks for your encouragement Amy!

Melanie Backus said...

Lena, Thank you for another interesting interview. I think Jana is an extraordinary lady. I love how she wrote to ease the fears from her fosters.

Melanie Backus, TX

Mary Preston said...

What a very interesting book this promises to be.

Mary P

QLD AUSTRALIA

Bookishqueen said...

This sounds interesting. Would like to try it.

Rebekah TN

Jackie McNutt said...

Jana, As grandmother to seven ,Five who are teens I want to tell you thank you for writing for their age groups. Your books sound like a fun book that I could actually get them to read. Thank you from Ohio reader.

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond Bryant
Conway,SC.
sharonruth126@gmail.com

Abigail Richmond said...

Enter me! Thanks! :)

Blanch, N.C.

Kristie said...

Sounds like a great series. I don't usually do fantasy but I think I could get into this! Thanks for the new author to research. Kristie From Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.