“5 Minutes with…” is a section of the blog that is a a set of questions that are pretty much the same give or take a few. That are meant for us to get to know our favorite authors a little bit more. Some are funny, some have nothing to do with their books; while others hopefully get to the “nitty-gritty” of what the author is thinking. And as with all of our 5 minutes we have a contest to honor our writers. Stay tuned at the end to find out how to enter. Now let’s give a Naughty Chick welcome to Jennifer Rardin.
5 Minutes With Jennifer Rardin
Rayna: What project are you currently working on? (C’mon, give us a hint!)
Jennifer:Right now I’m just finishing a YA novel called “Shadowstruck.” I can’t really get into detail because my agent hasn’t even seen it yet, but generally speaking it’s a fantastic vision of what happens to kids when their parents don’t give a crap.
Rayna: Place you most want to visit.
Jennifer: I’m seriously considering the center of the Earth. I know Will Ferrell didn’t do so great during his little jaunt down the Big Falls (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0457400/) but I, for one, know when not to piss off a T-Rex.
Rayna: Will electronic readers ever take the place of the humble paperback?
Jennifer: When I see how cell phones have become so indispensable to people, it seems to me that electronic readers are the next logical step—that they would become a part of this single digital tool everyone will carry that’ll include a phone, computer, etc. But until that’s affordable (and at this rate I wonder if manufacturers want it to be) paperbacks are safe. Also, reading is a somewhat sensual experience. It’s about the smell and feel of the pages in addition to story. So I am I absolutely, unequivocally saying…maybe.
Rayna: If you could be one of your characters – Who would you be? And why?
Jennifer:I’d be Evie. I think her stable marriage and happy family life rock.
Rayna: Who or what influences you when you write?
Jennifer:It could be anything. A headline. A photograph. An experience at the grocery store. The other day we were at our first drag race, and some old bat yelled at the beer seller. You think I won’t remember that when it comes time to bring some bitchiness into a character? Mmmm-hmmm…
Rayna: When you have writer’s block how do you break free?
Jennifer:If I’m not sure where to go next, even though the outline has pointed the way, I’ll go back and edit what I wrote the day or two before. That usually gets me rolling. If I still haven’t made good progress after a day or two that’s a sign that the story is moving in the wrong direction and I need to rethink the plot.
Rayna: Who is your perfect hero? And why?
A person with lots of flaws who soldiers on anyway. Because I have great respect for characters (and people) who don’t let their imperfections stop them from doing the right thing.
Rayna: What do you do for inspiration?
Jennifer:Sometimes I’ll take a walk or work in the garden. But most of my best ideas occur to me in the shower. I’m beginning to think something about letting yourself totally relax frees the most creative part of your brain.
Rayna: Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven’t yet?
Jennifer:I’m pondering the idea of writing a romance, but it would have to be radically different from what’s already out there.
Rayna: What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?
Jennifer:I do a ton of reading about the location I’ve chosen for Jaz and Vayl’s assignment, both over the Internet and through travel books. A lot of times I’ll read travel blogs, which are really helpful because people’s personal experiences will include details travel writers leave out. I also have to research specific areas within those locations so, for instance, I wrote a scene in book seven, “Bitten in Two,” which took place in the Djemaa el Fna which is pretty much the town square and central marketplace of Marrakesh. So I had to look at hundreds of pictures and read tons of accounts of the area in order to get a good feel for it before I could describe my characters walking around as if they felt comfortable there.
I do enjoy the process because I love learning about new places and figuring out how the details of a culture can work themselves into my stories without slowing them down.
Rayna: What is your favorite movie of all time? The one where you can watch it and still get affected at the same spots each and every time?
Jennifer:Another day I might answer differently, but today I’d have to put “Willow” at the top of the pile. It’s got everything. The underdog you cheer for every step of the way. Amazing creatures that delight the senses. A dashing hero. Magic. Romance. Sigh. (Guess what I’ll be watching tonight!)
Rayna: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things would you have with you? *mind you, you do have a srong hunky man to help you with things* *grins*
Jennifer: (That’s good to know, because I wouldn’t strand myself anywhere without my strong, hunky hubby!)
1. A waterproof trunk full of writing supplies, since that’s the one thing I’d probably go crazy without.
2. Sunblock (I fry easily!)
3. Plenty of soap/shampoo and a razor (I can get through almost anything as long as I’m clean)
4. A trunk full of hubby’s favorite books (Why should I be the only one entertained?)
5. Fully stocked toolbox (hubby could probably build us a condo as long as he had a hammer and a saw!)
Rayna: What is your favorite way to relax after a hard day working and writing?
Jennifer:I love to watch movies. Old, new, so bad you want to throw stuff at the TV. Doesn’t really matter—I’m there.
Rayna: What is the one era you would love to go visit and why?
Jennifer:I think I’d like to visit 19th century America, because I’ve always wanted to meet Abraham Lincoln.
Rayna: Out of all your books, do you have a favorite one? If not, then which one is closest to your heart?
Jennifer:True-to-form, my favorite is the one I’m writing right now. I think it’s the best I’ve done so far, and it’s been the most fun to write. As I mentioned, it takes place in Morocco, so the research has been fascinating. I’ve created some great new characters for this novel, and I love the way each member of the crew grows throughout the story.
Rayna: What character out of all your books is the closest to your personality?
Jennifer:Evie is the most like I was when I was a young mother, and Grannie May is the most like I am now.
Rayna: Have you ever been nervous over reader reaction when a new book comes out?
Jennifer:I’m always nervous. In fact right now I’m nervous about Bite Marks, which comes out October 29. If I wasn’t, I don’t think I’d be a very good writer.
Rayna: How much does reader response mean to you over your books?
Jennifer:It means everything. Naturally I understand that I can’t please everyone. But I’m writing these books for readers. And if I blow it, I’ve failed them. That doesn’t mean I’m going to manipulate plot or character at their request. Only that I feel it’s my job to do my very best every time I sit down at the keyboard, because readers invest a lot of time and money into my books. So they deserve the best.
Rayna: What do you hope readers get from your books after they read them?
Jennifer:I hope they get a lift, a laugh, a nice break from a hard day. And if, somewhere along the way, something I wrote strikes a deeper chord, that would be great too.
Rayna: If you could make a movie of any one of your books which one would you choose and who would you cast at the h/h?
Jennifer:Are you kidding? We need to go the Bond route and make movies out of all of them! It’ll be a freaking Jaz empire! We’ll have Jaz lunchboxes and Jaz action figures and…um, am I getting carried away here? I just think the books would make such terrific movies if the right people got behind them and put some money into directing, acting, and CG.
As for who I would cast—I never seem to get this one right. Shall we open it up to our audience? Who would you guys like to see play Jaz and Vayl?
Rayna: What is the weirdest thing a reviewer has ever said about one of your books?What is the nicest thing a reviewer has ever said about one of your books?
Jennifer:I stopped reading reviews about three weeks after my first book came out. The first review made me furious because, although it was glowing, it gave away the surprise ending of Once Bitten, Twice Shy The other two were also great, but I somehow found ways to see them negatively. And then I didn’t write for days after. So I realized that I’m just one of those people who can’t deal with reviews of any kind. I appreciate their value. I love it that people are willing to review my books. I just can’t, personally, handle reading them. So my agent and publicist do that while I concentrate on writing. It’s weird. But it works.
Once Bitten, Twice Shy (Jaz Parks)
Another One Bites the Dust (Jaz Parks, Book 2)
Biting the Bullet (Jaz Parks, Book 3)
Bitten to Death (Jaz Parks, Book 4)
One More Bite (Jaz Parks, Book 5)
Bite Marks( Jaz Parks 6 )
What we are giving away, a copy of Biting the Bullet. Or a pre-ordered copy of Bite Marks. Winners Preference.
Now there are three ways to enter in to the contest and there is NO purchase necessary to enter the contest:
1. To buy one of Another One Bites the Bites the Dust at our Amazon bookstore. Good for 10 entries.
2. Comment. If you comment you get 2 entries. If you don’t then you get none.
3. Add us to your Facebook or Twitter and retweet and/or repost will be eligible for the drawing.
DONT FORGET TO LET US KNOW YOU DID. In twitter when you retweet keep our name in.
As with all our 5 Minute spots they run for a week this contest will end September 3, 2009 at 11:59 EST. A winner will be picked then and emailed accordingly. Good Luck!