Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Author Interview: Jill Nojack...

Hey everyone. First of all, my DEEPEST, most SINCERE APOLOGIES!!!! I was supposed to have this interview up yesterday and completely dropped the ball.

Had it been posted yesterday, it would have been the day before the release of Jill's book on Kindle Scout, "The Familiar", which I gave a raving review for. I mean, I seriously laughed out loud at the descriptives of Cat. How can I not give that a five star rating?

Anyway, again. I'm sorry. But here is the interview. At the end, one lucky commenter will win a digital copy of her book. So please, don't forget to comment! At least say hello.

And now, here's Jill!

1. What was your favorite genre to read growing up? Is this the genre you currently write in?

Jill: When I was a kid, I had no idea there were "genres". I just thought there were "books", and I tended to read whatever anyone put down in my vicinity. I read Lit Fic, SciFi, Fantasy, Westerns, Horror, Historical Romance, Classics—If it got near me, it got read.

As I got into my teens, I tended toward things that made me think about the world. Some favorites from my early teens were Bless the Beasts and the Children, The Cowboys, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Those clearly aren't related to what I write. I wish I could write books like those, but my brain doesn't work that way. The older I get, the more it just wants to have fun. Nothing beats writing Fantasy/Paranormal for that.

2. What sort of atmosphere do you need to write?

Jill: I run a bubble bath, strap my Toughbook (a water-resistant laptop) to my book holder, and soak while I write. De-stressing in a hot bath with the wifi turned off is just about heaven for my creativity.
 When I'm being good about writing, I usually end up in the tub in the morning before work and again in the evening to relax after work. I can get in a couple of good hours of writing or editing that way.

Obviously, I don't only write in the bath. That would make me a freak. A really pruney freak.
But I do need absolute quiet and long periods of time with no interruptions to get into the flow.

3. What is your all time favorite book?

Jill: It depends on the day. I can stick to one option of you let me choose my favorite series. Because that would be Discworld.

4. Who is your all time favorite character that is not your own?

Jill: I have to pick one? Just one? That's not even possible.

I can, however, keep the list short. Brienne of Tarth and Tyrion Lannister are my most recent favorites; I think most people would recognize them. Granny Weatherwax (Discworld Series) is a long term contender, as are Charlie Nightlinger (The Cowboys) and Jellybean Bonanza (Even Cowgirls Get The Blues). I think the thread of consistency there is that each of these characters is heroic despite being an outsider. I think most of them would also be considered eccentric in some way. I love me some eccentric.

5. Who is your favorite character of your own creation?

Jill: My current favorite character is Natalie in the Bad Tom series. She can be a royal pain, and she really doesn't care. She's bawdy, confident, eccentric, and a powerful witch who both the good guys and the bad guys grudgingly admire. Plus, she has this really cool red vintage purse that I suspect may be bigger on the inside.

She's a small character in the first book in the Bad Tom series, but she becomes more important in the second book. In fact, I find myself having to pull her back because she has a tendency to want to take the stage away from the main characters.

6. When did you decide to become a writer?

Jill: In second grade. I wrote  a poem, and my teacher said it was "precocious". Not only did I learn a new, fancy, exciting word, but I got to have my piece of writing stuck to the wall in a place of honor during Open House with a big gold star on it. I remember looking at it and thinking that I must be good at this writing thing. I haven't stopped imposing that view on others since.

7. Why do you write?

Jill: I'm not really engaged in life unless I'm doing something creative. Of course, the problem with creating things is that it doesn't feel finished until you share it with someone. It doesn't matter if it's music or painting or writing, I'm just following that urge inside me that's been there as far back as I can remember to make things that didn't exist until I thought of them.
 
8. What’s the worst thing someone has ever said about your work?

Jill: There's a review of one of my books out there that basically says it's the most boring book the reviewer has ever read. And I am quite sure it is legitimate. I continue to improve as a writer with every book and every review because I learn from all of them.

9. What inspires you to write when you hit a block?

Jill: I don't have writer's blocks. I just have laziness. When I put my butt in my chair, I can write. Every time. However, I often avoid it because it's hard work.

I don't enjoy the initial writing process, but I love to edit it all into the finished product. Once I'm into the editing, I stop avoiding it and start enjoying it. That's when the magic happens.

10. What advice would you pass on to new authors/young authors?

Jill: Find people who are mean and nasty and way better at this than you are. Those people—not your friends and family—should be your beta readers. That is how your writing will improve. I am lucky in that I know people who absolutely delight in saying vicious things to me, but I am always on the lookout for more.

11. What is the best thing someone has said about your work?

Jill:  I was over the moon when one of my beta readers gave me a fantastic compliment after completing tearing apart the first draft of the Familiar. She said that she hates books written in First Person Present Point of View (POV), but that I did it so well she didn't notice the much-despised POV until she was already about a third of the way through it. I think that is the very definition of good writing—that you shouldn't notice the writing, only the story.
 
12. And last, but not least, something really random: Motorcycle or SUV?

Jill: Why am I always expected to choose?  I want it all!

I rode a motorcycle in my younger days as my primary transport for about a year, but they just aren't a good option in Ohio. Plus, a cross country trip might be a bit more than I'd want to do with the wind bashing at me for hours on end. The best of all possible worlds would be a motorcycle mounted on the back of an SUV. On a boat. A really big boat so I could take my motorcycle and SUV around the world.

Yep. Now I'm thinking about it. It's a goal. Please buy my book because I need a motorcycle on an SUV on a boat.

Jill, I have to say, I think we could be great friends! Discworld? Tyrion Lannister? Uh, heck yeah!

Okay everyone, here is the link to buy her book, an excerpt from her book and where to find Jill Nojack:



Book blurb:
Sometimes a cat has to man up.
Tom has been mostly cat for a long time, but when the witch who enslaved him dies, he has one last chance to become a man again and maybe to find love, too. He just needs to tell Cassie, a sensible girl who knows nothing about the witchy business all around her, that he's trapped in the body of the kitten she cuddles at night. But cats aren't known for their conversational skills, and a powerful warlock is determined to take Cassie for himself. To make things worse, Tom is rapidly running out of lives.

Book Excerpt:

BACK WHEN HER SKIN was smooth and her lips were juicy as ripe berries, Eunice did the nasty with the devil. And she loved it. If she hadn't, I wouldn't be lurking in the dark, twitching the tip of my tail, trying to keep an eye on what the old witch is up to. Everyone knows spells cast during the Black Moon aren't illuminated by the Goddess's light.

The candle flames bob toward the ritual grounds. I track their yellow-orange trails through Corey Woods into the clearing where the scuffling of witches' feet has worn a ring of bare earth in the new spring grass. Tonight, the coven within a coven that is loyal to Eunice gathers. Four witches. One perversely devoted warlock. And me; a small, black, feline familiar. I know better than to get too close. I know what will happen, what always happens, the same way it's happened across all the years. Why singe my whiskers?
The witches extinguish their candles when the circle is complete. Their black-robed figures are an inkier spot in the midnight. From where Eunice stands in her position of power, an even blacker tendril snakes toward the others, making the gloom appear gray in comparison. It weaves a net around the chanting witches, bending as it goes, to trace the outline of their bodies until the threads pull tight. I hear the dull thuds as all but the warlock lose consciousness and hit the ground. Protected by her favor, he moves closer to his priestess until they are cocooned together by the magic. The ebony tornado enfolds them as it swirls into the sky. The wind howls.

And then, exactly as it always happens, it happens. A bright purple orb of light streaks from the heavens and explodes inside the funnel, dispersing the darkness and tossing Eunice and the warlock backward as easily as a twister tosses a scarecrow. For a moment, they loll like turtles on their backs, their limbs waving in the air that still sizzles with violet static as the lightning dissipates.

When they recover their wits, the man flaps his palms at spots where the arcs of power ignited his robe. Eunice sits up, raises her head, and screams her rage at the retreating brightness. The year, the chant, the participants, each of them changes, but it doesn't matter. Someone powerful doesn't want her spell to be cast.

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Author bio:
Kindle Scout winning author Jill Nojack is a writer, musician and artist. She has rarely managed to make a living from the pursuit of her creative endeavors. Instead, she's a corporate drone who stays up late to indulge her passion for writing, making music, and drawing/painting.

Way back in the long ago, Jill romped through a degree in English. She followed it up with a Master's degree in Sociology. During her time at University, she served on the staff of the school's literary magazine. She eventually stepped in to the editor's role, where she made every effort to look like she knew what she was doing.

When she isn't exploring her creative side, Jill enjoys laughing too loud and long in public and talking about herself in third person. She resides in the great American Midwest with a long-suffering  cat.

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Readers can become my friend on my personal page on Facebook. I don't have a separate author page. For people who prefer I don't see their Facebook posts (because I might be a weird stalker—I mean, I'm not saying I am, but you never know), I allow followers on my personal page.

https://www.facebook.com/jillnojack

I almost never tweet because I just can't talk that short, but I can be found here:

https://twitter.com/indieheart - @indieheart

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Okay, don't forget to leave a comment for you chance to win a digital copy of Jill's book! Have a great week, everyone!

4 comments:

gene gentry said...

Wasva really good interview. I like how she says to find some on who will tear you apart so you'll improve your writing. I can see how that would and could work. Her book, The Familiar sounds really good!

Mel Chesley said...

Yes, that was awesome advice. :D

rolandclarke.com said...

My cat is my worst critic, as she stops me writing by blocking the keyboard. Now if only I could get her to write a bestseller...

Mel Chesley said...

THAT would be amazing, Roland. lol!