Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Today I have romance author Jasmine Aherne here for an author interview. She got in touch with me through my association with the e-publisher Wild Horse Press. She contacted me in hopes of scheduling an author interview, author guest blog as well as a book review for her romance novel, Between the Lines. Remember to come back on Thursday, July 16 to find out more about how she came to write her novel, Between the Lines and keep a look out for my review of the novel as well. Now on to the interview between me and Jasmine.
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Phoebe Jordan: When did you know that writing romance was going to be the thing that you would do with your life? Which author inspired you to start writing romance? Jasmine AherneJasmine Aherne: Nora Roberts, without hesitation. The first book of hers I ever read was Born in Shame, and it took me through the whole gamut of emotions—joy, laughter, pain, heartache—and I thought, this is what I want to write, to make other people feel like this. Phoebe: Did you know what type of romance you wanted to write about or did you experiment with different genres before you chose the one that you felt was for you? Jasmine: I’ve always liked contemporary. I want to show that love can give you a totally different outlook on life, especially in a cynical, too-busy modern world. Phoebe: What was the first fiction you ever wrote? And do you still have it with you? Jasmine: Now you’re asking! One of the first stories I ever wrote was called by the name of Treasures Lost, Treasures Found. It was about an archeologist called Mark who falls in love with a Peruvian woman. I wrote it when I was 16 and if I read it now I’d probably be horrified. Phoebe: How much research do you have to do for your novels and does it take you a long time to gather that research? Jasmine: I use a lot of Google Street map. I try and talk to people, too. For example in my first novel, Stranded, the main character Rachel gets her passport stolen in New York. She’s British, so she had to go through a lengthy process at the British Embassy to get a new passport. Luckily one of my friends is married to a guy who used to issue new passports to unlucky travelers! Phoebe: How did you come up with the concept for your current novel, Between the Lines? Jasmine: My friend is a lawyer. She was always saying how she never had time for a relationship and how would she ever meet anyone. So I wrote it for her! Phoebe: How do you come up with each of your characters for your novels? How do you choose their names out of so many names out there? Jasmine: That’s a hard question. I normally choose a name at random, usually one I like or have heard bandied around, and then eventually the characters will name themselves if they don’t like it! Phoebe: Do you have a favorite character that you really enjoyed writing about in your novel, Between the Lines? Did you have a character that you felt you could really relate to in your novel, Between the Lines? Jasmine: My favorite character is Aaron, because a lot of my test readers (or friends, haha!) said that they thought he was adorable. There’s a lot of one of my male friends in him, too, but I shall say no more on that subject!! Phoebe: Do you have a process of how you start to write your novels? Jasmine: No, I don’t. I’ve tried to plan, but it never works for me. I normally just sit down with an idea and write a first draft straight off the cuff. Phoebe: Have you ever considered writing a series or are writing stand alone novels your preference? How would writing each be different for you? Jasmine: Hmmm. I wouldn’t like to commit to a series just yet—I don’t know if I have the stamina! What if I started a series and fell out of love with the characters? I tend to have too many ideas in my head at once to have the patience for a series, but never say never. Phoebe: What process did you have to go through to get your first book published and did it take you long? Jasmine: I shopped it around a lot and waited for each publisher to respond. Some don’t accept simultaneous submissions so it’s polite to wait. So it can be lengthy. It took me about three months to get my first novel, Stranded, accepted for publishing. I signed with the e-publisher Pink Petal Books and I’ve had a wonderful experience with them. Phoebe: Do you ever get writers block? What do you do to get rid of it so you can get back to writing your novels? Jasmine: Always! And always at very irritating times, too. I normally do something else. I’ll call a friend, read something someone else wrote, or just watch a film. I highly recommend the movie theatre. I always come out bursting with ideas. Phoebe: What is your biggest reader pet peeve, if you have any? (stock characters, unresolved endings, predictability, everything wrapped up hurriedly in the end, etc.) Jasmine: Loose ends. For example a character that appears to be brought in for no reason, or a huge revelation that is ignored. Unless it’s a series, and even then, it just seems rude and sloppy. Phoebe: Which aspects of writing do you enjoy the most and why? And what is your biggest writing pet peeve? (overuse of exclamation points, adverbs, bad guys named Wayne, etc.), if you have any? Between the Lines by Jasmine AherneJasmine: I am terrible at using too much passive voice—for example “she was hungry.” This is boring. It’s better to say “her stomach growled.” It’s more active. I enjoy dialogue. I like giving my characters real voices, giving them phrases they rely on, speech patterns, colloquialisms etc. Making the people in my head real! Phoebe: What is the one writing tool can you not live without? Jasmine: Can I say my laptop? It’s like a child!! I could not function without it. Phoebe: How do you handle your writing schedule and your personal life without going insane? Jasmine: I try to write for an hour a day, or write 1000 words a day. If I stick to it I feel like I’ve done something, but it doesn’t eat the rest of my life. Phoebe: What do you do to relax after having spent a long while writing? Do you have any hobbies? Jasmine: I’ll watch a film or go hang out with my boyfriend or my friends. My hobbies include baking, salsa dancing, writing poetry, archery, and making jewellery. Phoebe: Is there any advice that you would give to an aspiring romance writer that you wish someone had given you? Jasmine: Be patient, be patient, be patient. Publishers will not reply to you within one or two days, so quit checking your emails. Phoebe: Is there any writing tips, research tips, promotion and marketing tips that you would give to an aspiring romance writer that you wish someone had given you? Jasmine: You can never do too much research. As for promotion, you can never do too much of that either! But promoting an e-book is hard, as you don’t have a physical “book” to promote. Make the most of word of mouth and readers’ groups. Phoebe: Do you have a favorite genre you like to read? Who is your favorite author(s)? Jasmine: I like contemporary romantic comedy, sci-fi romance, and historical, pre-1800. Favorites: so many. Nora Roberts, Kathy Love, Shannon K Butcher, J D Robb, James Patterson, Robin T Popp… Phoebe: What are you reading now? And what do you plan to read after that?
Jasmine: Right now I’m reading Superstition by Karen Robards. I’m only 20 pages in but it’s already very suspenseful. After that I plan to read No Control by Shannon K Butcher.

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Phoebe Jordan
I'm a part-time aspiring romance novelist, book reviewer and blogger. I've always wanted to travel the world and learn everything I can about other countries. Learning the Italian language is one way of trying to make that dream come true. Traveling will help me with my writing because I'll be learning about the history of the U.S., Latin America, England, Italy, and Ireland, the countries I find so fascinating while reading the romance genre.
 
I read and review romance novels of almost every subgenre along with erotic romance, mystery, sci-fi/fantasy and young adult novels. You can find the reviews at my blogs, Talk About My Favorite Authors and Phoebe Jordan's Reviews. I’ve also started a live podcast show called TAMFA | Phoebe Jordan hosted on Blog Talk Radio. This show is dedicated to everything I love about romance and young adult novels. I love having romance and young adult authors live on my show to be interviewed and showcase their books.

I plan to write contemporary romance, romantic suspense, erotic romance, paranormal romance and young adult when I get my writing career started with help from Keta. I'm not sure what genre I'll write to begin with since I love to read so many different romance genres.
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