Interview With Susan Leigh Noble, Author of BLOOD BOND

Hi Pat. I have a new book,  Blood Bond, coming out on Feb. 6, 2018. I don’t have purchase links yet, but look for the book on Amazon in February.

Congratulations, Susan. Please tell us what your book is about.

Blood Bond is a reluctant hero story set in a fantasy world. The dragons and man had a falling out fifty years ago, but an invading army threatens them both. Soren, our reluctant hero, gets swept up in the cause when his blood and that of a dragon combine forming an unbreakable blood bond.

Tell us a little about your main characters.

The main character is Soren Blackfist. He is a bit of drifter – drifting from job to job, bar to bar and woman to woman. He thinks of himself as failure. The other main character is Dex, a red dragon. He has been tasked with finding someone to approach the King and reunite man and dragon. He finds Soren, who would rather not help.

I think of the two Soren is my favorite. You see the most changes and growth in his character.

How much of a story do you have in mind before you start writing it?

I had the idea to write a story about a young man who meets a dragon. I had several scenes in mind when I began, but the story changed a lot so only one or two made it into the book. That is often how I begin – with just a few scenes in mind.

How long did it take you to write your book?

It took me nearly three years from start to finish to plan, write and edit this book. It would have taken me less time if I wasn’t so involved in my children’s schools. I am planning to get my next book out in a much short time frame.

Did you do any research for the book? If so, how did you do it? (searching Internet, magazines, other books, etc.)

I always am doing some sort of research for my novels, whether it is how to work with leather, concocting a poison or the layout of a castle. You can find tons of information on the Internet, but I do have a book on poisons and weapons that I also use quite often.

Where do you get the names for your characters?

Baby books. I have two and go through them all the time looking for unusual names. I mean these are fantasy novels, and I cannot use names like John or Michelle. I need something fits better so you get Soren, Bevin, Quinn and Emery, which are more unique but still easy to remember.

Have you ever had difficulty “killing off” a character in your story because she or he was so intriguing and full of possibility for you, his or her creator?

Oh, killing off characters is hard. You created them. You know them. And even if it is necessary, you never want to kill them off. My husband, on the other hand, is always encouraging me to kill off someone, especially if there is battle involved.

What’s your writing schedule like?Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?

I wish I had a consistent schedule but other things such as volunteering for the Parent-Teacher Association at my kids’ schools or working for my husband’s law firm as the bookkeeper do take up some of my time. I try to write every day – usually in the mornings, but I don’t strive for a certain word count as it makes me depressed when I don’t make it. Instead, I try to set aside a certain amount of time rather than a word count.

Do you prefer to write at a particular time of day?

I wouldn’t say it is my preferred time, but I find a lot of my uninterrupted time to be in the mornings before anyone has gotten up. I do like writing in the mornings while my mind is fresh and the rest of the day’s activities haven’t tried to steal away my attention.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Yes, I have always loved reading and writing. I majored in journalism in college, and while I enjoy that type of writing too, I prefer fiction.

Have you written any other books?

Blood Bond is my fifth full-length novel. I also have my fantasy trilogy The Elemental which consists of Summoned, Quietus and Destiny. I wrote a short story prequel to it called The Search. I also have another stand-alone fantasy novel, The Heir to Alexandria.

Where can people learn more about your books?

They can check out my blog – http://susanleighnoble.wordpress.com or check out my Amazon Author page – https://www.amazon.com/Susan-Leigh-Noble/e/B005HDMM4W

Thanks for chatting with us today, Susan. Best of luck with your new book!

Interview with Cindy Lynch, author of “Bye For Now”

bye-for-nowWhat is your book about?

My first novel entitled Bye For Now is the first installment in a young adult series. The story begins with Callie, the book’s main character, a woman, presently in her midyears. She is our narrator. During a quiet moment of mundane daily activity, as Callie is partially attuned to TV, a real life American tragedy begins to play out on the screen. It’s a traumatic—a horrific—event with unspeakable impacts on the human psyche. To escape the horror on the TV, Callie’s subconscious triggers the narrative and the book’s story commences to unfold, in detail.

Callie’s escape into her subconscious takes her back to her high school years. She’s on summer vacation at her grandparent’s lakeside cottage in northern Vermont, within spitting distance of the Canadian frontier. Life is slow. Life is rich. Pastoral Vermont scenes are carefully crafted with vivid imagery straight out of Callie’s memories of her youth. There’s the first hot flush of young love. There are soul nourishing family scenes of meals and recreational events. Each character is carefully painted in true-to-life brush strokes.

The character descriptions validate the youth Callie has experienced. There is special emphasis on the power of family connection to influence our future life in positive, uplifting ways. Later on, as Callie matures and the tale flows into her college years, troubling events are resolved in ways that hark back to the power and influence of her early family life. As the story proceeds, the pace picks up and the emotions conveyed take a tighter grip on the reader’s attention. Intensity grows as awkward social situations are recalled and irreconcilable adult enigmas are replayed.

How much of you is hidden in the characters in this book?

Much of this book is loosely based on my life growing up and visiting my grandparents in Vermont each summer. The lines blurred with fiction to grow this tail of love and loss.

What inspired you to write this particular story?

I have always wanted to write a book about youth and young love. My friend and fellow author, Sharisse Coulter, helped push me in the right direction to get this book started. When the Newtown Massacre took place on that fateful day December 14, 2012 I knew I had to incorparate that into my story. This town was my hometown and it struck a chord deep inside me releasing this tragic tale.

Who is the most unusual character or likeable character?

Aunt Marilyn is the quirkiest in this story. She tends to talk to inanimate objects throughout the tale giving the reader the willies while Maddie gives the reader the laughs. Maddie with her colorful language and Italian phrases will have you laughing out loud.

What challenges did you face writing this book?

I have three very active boys at home ages 17, 14, and 11. Between getting them to their practices, games and music lessons at home it was difficult at time to carve out writing time.

Why would people relate to your characters?

I believe everyone has a story to tell of love and loss. The world was impacted by Sandy Hooks tragic event and I feel everyone can connect on a certain level with these characters that are involved.

What are you working on right now?

Currently I am finishing up some interior design of my second book, Even Willows Weep, the second book in this trilogy. It should be published by the end of May, 2016

How long did it take you to write your book?

This is an unusual answer to this question. Two weeks. Yes, you read that right. My friend, Sharisse, challenged me with writing a book in 14 days. This required writing 5,000 words a day to have a finished product in two weeks with 75,000 words. I had no idea what that entailed until I agreed to do it. What an undertaking, however the words just flowed. I enjoyed every second of it because I was prepared having had this story in my head since I was 14.

What advice do you have for other authors?

I would say just sit down and get started. Just write and let the words flow not worrying about sentence structure or grammar. Then when you edit make sure you find an editor that gets you. I mean really gets you. My editor, Keltin Barney, has been a god-send. He truly understands what I’m saying and where I’m going with my characters and plot.

Who did your designed cover?

I found Ivan Terzic from Czechoslovakia, on a website called 99designs. He was a great find and has produced the cover of my second book as well. I plan to continue working with him on future covers as I have one last book to write in the trilogy. I also have a non fiction book in the works.

Interview with the Characters In FROM THE SKY by J.E. Nicassio

From the SkyLucien, Did you get along with your parents?

I never met my parents. Had they lived things would have been a lot different. I would have hoped we would have gotten along.

Lucien, Do you have any hobbies?

I taught myself to play the guitar. And I enjoy calculating the distance between nebula’s within this galaxy and others. A hobby of mine that I find humorous is going down the cereal aisle at Walmart and with my mind I throw the boxes off the shelve at shoppers… something my uncle frowns upon.

Lucien, Was there a major turning point in your life?

When my uncle told my siblings and myself we were not human.

Lucien, What is your most prized possession? Why?

My prized possession is my crystal I wear around my neck. It belonged to my parents.

Samantha, How do you envision your future?

How do I envision my future? I’m not sure what the futures hold but I hope somewhere in it is Lucien.

Samantha, Will you tell us five items in your purse?

Oh geez…What’s in my purse? It would have to be a pop tart, a rubber band, lip gloss, a half-eaten protein bar, and a pack of gum.

Samantha, What in your past would you like to forget?

The accident…I wish I would have never answered Emma’s text. Things would have been a lot different. But then again I might have never met Lucien. I don’t know.

Cassiel, Did anything newsworthy happen on the day you were born?

I wouldn’t actually call it born. “News Worthy?” Conspiracy theorists would agree it was the Roswell Crash…Ha ha.

Eden, What is your most prized possession? Why?

Ask any girl at school and she would agree it’s my hair. It’s perfect!

Michael, What are you afraid of?

Don’t tell this to my brother Lucien or Samantha, but I am afraid that someday soon our secret will be discovered and there’ll be nothing Lucien, I or my uncle or Division Six will be able to do…It will be out of our hands. I’m afraid Samantha could be in danger or worse killed.

Gabriel, Do you have any skills?

Hell yeah! I’m a shape Shifter and I’m not talking werewolf! I soar like an eagle.

Daniel, Have you ever failed at anything?

When Lucien was taken by the government. I should have seen it coming. That’s my biggest failure. I let him down.

Where can people learn more about you?

Readers can learn more about us from Second Wind Publishing and http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/#!product/prd15/3378588341/from-the-sky by visiting J.E. Nicassio’s websites and blog. http://www.authorjenicassio.com http://jen3963.wix.com/author-jenicassio https://authorjenicassio.wordpress.com/ https://fromjenniewithlove.wordpress.com/

Interview with J.E.Nicassio, Author of FROM THE SKY

From the SkyWhat is your book about?

From The Sky is about the relationship between Lucien Foster a being from another world and a young woman named Samantha Hunter who is dealing with a tragedy that changed her life forever. Lucien and Samantha come together by accident. From The Sky is a story about redemption, forgiveness and a friendship that grows into a love.

How long had the idea of your book been developing before you began to write the story?

I wanted to write this story for years. I day dreamed and brainstormed on how I would start the story of Lucien and Sam. I always felt there was something more than the stars in the sky.

What inspired you to write this particular story?

My sons inspired me to write From The Sky I always believed in life on other planets. It wasn’t until one day while having a bon-fire with my sons that I came up with the idea. My son had an unusual experience when he was child that woke him from a deep sleep that forever changed him. He saw a light in his room that came in from the window. What-ever it was it was not normal. That is where I got the idea of Lucien his name which mean ‘From The light’.

How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?

A lot of myself is hidden in the characters in the book. I would have to say there is a little of me in Sam and Lucien. I suffered a lot of personal tragedy in my life. I struggled with depression just like Sam. However, I overcame it, but I had no Lucien to help me through it. Some of my goofy habits found their way into Sam’s life like her hair twirling. I am a bit of Tom Boy like Sam. I would have to say Lucien is my idea of the perfect boyfriend. I wish I would have had a boyfriend like him as a young woman. I had a lot of sibling rivalry growing up even full fledge fights a lot like Lucien and Cassiel.

Tell us a little about your main characters. Who was your favorite? Why?

The Protagonist is a rebellious 17-year-old teenager that likes to have a good time without thinking of the consequences of her actions until it’s too late. She goes through a lot of changes, which made her so appealing to readers. She does not trust easy, especially when Lucien is involved. She is very cautious but once you win her trust she will do anything for her loved ones. Lucien is every super hero woven into one. He is strong, smart, and will grow on you. At first, he is odd looking not appealing at all and the more Sam begins to like him the more inviting he becomes.

Did you do any research for the book? If so, how did you do it? (searching Internet, magazines, other books, etc.)

I did a lot of research on UFO’S and Mufon. I even took my Field Investigator exam, so I could be better prepared to begin the writing process. I watch hours of Ancient Aliens, The History Channel and UFO’s Hunter. I spoke with the park ranger from Cibola National Park in New Mexico in length about the terrain of the Sandia Mountains. John Ventre Pennsylvania State Director of MUFON gave me valuable resources about major sightings in Pennsylvania and Colorado he even help me with a major plot dilemma my characters were involved without giving any spoilers it had to do with radar and Groom Lake within Area 51. I spend hours reading on the different types of ET’s and UFO phenomena before I began to write From The Sky.

Do you think writing this book changed your life? How so?

Writing From The Sky has definitely changed my life. I became a MUFON Field Investigator. I am activity involved in managing the local Allegheny and Westmoreland County MUFON Facebook page. I have a more open mind when it comes to things in life we don’t necessarily understand or see.

What was the first story you remember writing?

It was a short story I had to write in nine grade English class. I wrote a horror story. I enjoyed writing it so much. It was my first A! I actually thanked my teacher Mrs. Vanyo in a newspaper interview.

Why will readers relate to your characters?

I hope my readers will relate to my characters, especially Samantha. We all lose people we love at certain times in our life and sometimes more than we think we can handle. The week before I started writing From The Sky, I lost my sister. Four years prior my brother and two years ago my little sister and then my father died last May. We all have tragedy in our life, and often we use substances, some legal and some not to cope. And I hope my readers have someone in their lives they can count on to help him. If not I hope, my story will help.

What has been your greatest internal struggle to overcome in relation to your writing career?

My biggest struggle to overcome in my writing career is the diagnosis of an autoimmune disease called Sjogren’s Syndrome. It attacked me when my writing was just beginning. Luckily, I finished my first novel before it did most of its damage. The disease causes severe dry eyes that impair vision, and cause severe fatigue and joint pain that limit my writing. I write when my eyes will let me do so. I am going to try Dragon software text to type program hopefully it will help if not I will write when I can. I started a blog called Sjogren’s and Me http://mysjogrens.blogspot.com/ to bring awareness and educate people on this faceless disease.

Where do you get the names for your characters?

Originally, Samantha was Sara in the first draft which I got from the Bible, but I liked the idea of calling Samantha Sam for short. Lucien means light, and his siblings are angel names. I named Lucien’s sister after the Garden of Eden because of her beauty. I always wondered if angels were beings from other worlds instead of celestial beings from heaven.

J. E. NicassioWhere can people learn more about your books?

Readers can learn more about my books from Second Wind Publishing and http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/#!product/prd15/3378588341/from-the-sky by visiting my websites and blog. http://www.authorjenicassio.com http://jen3963.wix.com/author-jenicassio https://authorjenicassio.wordpress.com/ https://fromjenniewithlove.wordpress.com/

Interview With Katie Burgess McClaren, Hero of “Ghosts and Physics” by April Arnold

Ghosts and PhysicsWhat is your story?

Oh geez, my story…teachers back in high school always gave us writing assignments like this, and I didn’t know what to say even then. A person’s story is just too intricate…and generally boring to 99% of the world’s non-family population. But since you asked so politely, I’ll give it a shot. My name is Katie Burgess McClaren, and I’m a confirmed English fanatic. I’m also passionately in love with all things sci-fi with an adoration of the fantastical too. I don’t really know what I want to be when I grow up, even though Mick–he’s my boyfriend-turned-husband…you’ll have to read the book–is always reminding me that I’m already supposed to have achieved adulthood. I don’t like that notion because it means there’s a sizeable amount of catching up to do. Anyway, I also have a penchant for ghost-hunting shows, unorthodox clothing choices, and wine of all shapes and sizes. I’m a really nice person in possession of what I think is an awesome sense of humor. I also second-guess myself a lot…most of the time, in fact. And I randomly change the subject. But all in all, most days I manage to hold myself and life together in a successful manner. It’s just a good thing that life is supposed to be about the journey and not the destination because I’ve been reaching some pretty freakish destinations lately!

Do you have a problem that wasn’t mentioned in the story?

Yes, I have a problem not mentioned in the story: roosters! No wait, that was mentioned in the story. The PRIMARY problem at present has been getting stubborn Mick to help me prove my theory on ghosts vs. time-warping people. Well, that was part 1 of the problem anyway. He finally did invent this totally groovy machine which proved my theory irrefutably…but it also got us stranded in 1922. The nice couple we met there were subsequently transported to the present, and we spent the rest of the book’s chapters trying to figure out how to swap ourselves back. Well, and some government agency was trying to steal Mick’s machine. That didn’t exactly help with the problem either.

How do you see yourself?

I’m always honorable but only sometimes healthy. Honor comes easily for me because anytime I’ve attempted dishonorableness, it’s royally backfired! Like if I tell a lie? You can absolutely bet that a) my face will immediately give me away and/or b) I’ll be lying to somebody smarter than I am who already knows the answer to the question they’re asking and are only asking said question to test my honorableness. Being healthy…well, I drink lots of diet soda and sometimes exercise during a sudden onset of Physical Fitness commitment. Okay, so I’m not at ALL honorable when it comes my commitment to Physical Fitness. I cheat on Physical Fitness all the time.

What makes you angry?

Willing, habitual, on-purpose ignorance makes me angry. And orange sports cars. I mean, what the hell??

Do you like remembering your childhood?

I had a pretty great childhood, actually, except for all the forced child labor my parents inflicted. Okay, so that’s a bit dramatic, but working in the cotton fields in the middle of a Texas summer-furnace is not a happy memory. That sweaty experience aside, my parents were rather awesome in that they took excellent and loving care of my brother and me (the cotton fields aside). We lived in a small community outside of Austin where my Dad farmed and did the cow-raising thing. There was a gorgeous creek a mile or so behind our house where I often wasted a lot of time that could’ve been spent studying or cleaning the toilet or getting a real job…stuff like that.

Anyway, when I got old enough, I escaped the country life and moved to Austin proper where I made just enough money to pay rent and support the wine and Papa John’s industries. My brother and I weren’t pushed to “be” anything as kids. That can be a really great thing since I feel like too much pressure is put on children today to know exactly what they want to do/be as adults and know it by age 5 so an educational plan/plot may be established on the first day of kindergarten. Human beings have a bad habit of categorizing their offspring to the point that said offspring feel trapped in one skill, one path, one destiny. Destiny is undefinable and ever-changing. But that’s too much philosophy! What I’m trying to say is that I kind of wish my parents HAD pushed us to be more ambitious. I feel like I’d have accomplished much more far sooner than I have.

What is your most prized possession?

My most prized possession is that killer all-leather outfit that Mick has confiscated and will never let me wear.

Have you ever had an adventure?

Have I ever had an adventure? My entire effing life has officially become an adventure! I wish the adventure would stop! I’m OD-ing on adventure! What I wouldn’t give to be bored and just STATIONARY for five minutes…

What about your past would you like to forget?

What about my past would I like to forget…hmm…well, since my past has become my future and vice versa, it’s kind of difficult to answer such things. I guess anything related to chicken coops or gopher death would be pleasant to forget, and if we suddenly get sucked into the past again, there will probably be something new that’s worth forgetting except that “something” is still in my future in the past…good gravy, where did I put that bottle of Tylenol…

If you were at a store now, what ten items would be in your shopping cart?

Ooo, I like that easy and philosophy-less question…imaginary shopping! What ten items would be in my shopping cart, let’s see…Diet Dr. Pepper, a bottle of Thai lemongrass dressing, a bottle of wine, make-up/foundation, mascara, cleaner for my contacts, sushi, chicken tenderloin, salsa, and cilantro.

How do you envision your future?

How do I envision my future…wow, which one? It could literally shift with a single push of the button on Mick’s electromagnetic field-increasing, time-shifting machine. Our future will forever be decided by circumstances that we and this mechanical marvel have created. Uncontrollable events have been set in motion. Unavoidable outcomes have been initiated. I envision my future as one not of my own choosing. I didn’t mean to get all depressing on you, but yeah…that answer is a truthful one…because I’m honorable.

***

About April Arnold:

http://secondwindpublishing.com is your initial go-to source for my books. They will also be available on Amazon.com in both print and electronic formats. Updates and information on the State of my Writing Union will be posted on my WordPress blog entitled Diabloggical Me. I’ll also be posting information on my Ghosts and Physics Facebook page which is coming soon!

Click here for an Interview with April Arnold, Author of “Ghosts and Physics”

Interview with April Arnold, Author of “Ghosts and Physics”

Ghosts and PhysicsWhat is your book about?

Ghosts and Physics is about a girl with a vision. Albeit, it’s a comparatively unorthodox and “out there” vision, but it’s visionary, nonetheless. She theorizes that what we see and/or perceive as “ghosts” may not actually be ghosts at all but, rather, people and things existing in other overlapping times. This story is about how she and her physics-genius boyfriend go about not only proving her theory, but wreaking hilarious havoc with the time/space continuum as well. Of course, sometimes what seems to be a ghost is, actually, just a ghost; so there are a few true hauntings as well!

How long had the idea of your book been developing before you began to write the story?

This plot actually came to me in a gradual kind of way. I love watching all the ghost-hunting “reality” shows, but I’m also into the “what if?” side of solid, provable science…a strange mental balancing act, at times. I had just read an article about a girl who witnessed a person dressed in 1800s garb suddenly materializing in front of her along a roadway. As the materialization occurred, the environment around her also began to shift until the girl herself was very clearly IN the 1800s. This experience lasted several seconds, and then her world shifted back to normal. It was in that moment that Ghosts and Physics began materializing in my mind.

How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?

All my life I’ve been told that good writers write what they know. Therefore, the main character, Katie, and many of her experiences are almost entirely me and mine. The other characters are loosely based on people I know or have known.

How long did it take you to write your book?

This book began as two short stories which I began writing in 2009. Once those were completed, I thought, who in the world is going to have any interest in marketing two short stories? Either you write enough shorts to fill an entire book, or you combine and “thicken” these two plots into a full-length novel. Obviously I opted for the latter. I was, of course, also employed full-time at a “real job,” so I worked on the book until completion in 2013.

How (or when) do you decide that you are finished writing a story?

Stories never seem to be truly “finished.” I could still be organizing, writing, tweaking, rewriting, and editing this book ad nauseum but finally had to simply MAKE myself reach an end point. I knew I wanted to write at least two more books in this series, so I forced my ideas to stop flowing and wait for the next manuscript. Patience isn’t one of my stronger personality traits!

What is the most difficult part of the whole writing process?

Thus far, the most difficult part of the writing process has been the editing. A confirmed grammar and spelling nerd, I always assumed that fixing punctuation and spelling mistakes would be a breeze (I will NOT use Spellcheck as it is a machination of the devil). And maintaining plot continuity? No problem! Yeah, that didn’t work out so well. It’s amazing how many quotation marks get missed when you’re proofing a story you’ve not only written but have already read through twenty times or more. Then there’s the contradictions in character descriptions or actions from chapter to chapter. For example, it can be a real challenge to remember that the red sweater in one chapter still needs to be the color red several chapters later instead of suddenly morphing into chartreuse.

What are you working on right now?

As of this moment, I’m already 80 pages into a second book in the Ghosts and Physics series and have a basic plot outline for book #3. I also have two other books being mentally-written as I create these. Those two lean more toward a “historical horror” genre, if you will, and by “horror,” I mean the intelligent and suspenseful kind…not the “grab a chainsaw and massacre the entire cast” kind.

What writer influenced you the most?

As a teenager, I was heavily influenced by the creative, imaginative writing and storytelling style of Frank Peretti. In more recent years, Joss Whedon and Janet Evanovich have become my greatest influences. In a perfect world, should Ghosts and Physics ever make it to “movie” status, I would love to see Mr. Whedon write the screenplay and direct! I’ve also mentally cast the four main characters (mostly). Katie MUST be played by Emma Stone. I’d dearly love to see James Franco play Katie’s boyfriend Mick. No one but Sandra Bullock should ever attempt the part of Eva, and her husband Timothy would be excellently portrayed by John Cusack.

Describe your writing in three words.

My writing in three words: smart, imaginative, comedic.

Where can we learn more about your books.

http://secondwindpublishing.com is your initial go-to source for my books. They will also be available on Amazon.com in both print and electronic formats. Updates and information on the State of my Writing Union will be posted on my WordPress blog entitled Diabloggical Me. I’ll also be posting information on my Ghosts and Physics Facebook page which is coming soon!

Interview with Christian Jennette, Author of “Ties That Bind”

ties that bindWhat is your book about?

Ties That Bind is a novel that follows its main character, Kristen Bradley, as she navigates her way through a very difficult situation. Kristen’s passion is acting, but she has been so busy with nursing school and a troubled relationship, there hasn’t had time to step foot on stage. So when the opportunity to join a local theater company arises, she jumps at the chance, and it isn’t long before she’s drawn in deeply to the tight- knit group. The company, Riverbend Community Theater, is like a family, only it’s ties are stronger than blood – so strong, it’s almost cult-like. All its actors bow down to one very powerful director. Just when she thinks she’s found her place in the word, Kristen learns that something dark exists behind the surface of Riverbend’s perfect facade, and that the charismatic director she’s learned to trust and confide in not only controls his actors onstage, but off as well.

Ties That Bind is the story of a vulnerable young woman who quickly learns that things aren’t always what they seem, and that the line between maintaining her coveted place with the company and having to walk away forever, is as thin as a tightrope. The question you’ll be asking yourself throughout the book is, “Will she fall?”

How long did it take you to write your book?

From start to finish, this book took me a year to write. I did most of the work during my kids nap and bedtimes, because otherwise they’d be dragging me away from the computer! There were days I could sit and write twenty or thirty page without stopping, and other days I’d drum my fingers on the keyboard, completely at a loss. During the year, I had a four month period where I didn’t write one word because I was stuck and unsure where the story was going. I thought maybe I’d never finish. Then one day it just came to me, and I did.

How much of you is hidden within the characters in the book?

There’s quite a bit of me in Kristen, the main character. They say “write what you know,” and Kirsten is a character who goes through a lot of intense emotions. It’s hard to write about feelings you’ve never experienced, and I needed my readers to sympathize with, and understand why Kristen does the things she does, whether they make sense or not. I’d have had a hard time portraying her accurately if the emotions she went through in the book were completely foreign to me. Kristen’s story is not mine, but her emotions are. I’ve been in her shoes many times.

Who is your most likeable character?

My favorite character is Owen. Ah, Owen. Would it be wrong to say I developed a little crush on him while writing this book? (Sorry, Honey). Owen is the world’s most awesome guy. He’s a fellow theater member, and though he hasn’t a clue what Kristen is going through for much of the book, he ends up being her biggest source of support without even realizing it. He’s also funny and sexy. He brings a bit of romance to the book, and who doesn’t want a little of that?

Do you think writing this book has changed your life? How so?

Absolutely. This book started out as an interesting story swirling around in the back of my mind. I joked from time to time about putting it to paper, but never thought I’d be able to accomplish such a feat. Then one day I sat down and wrote the first sentence, which led to the second, the third, and so on. Before I knew it I was halfway through this story, which was rapidly becoming a full-length novel. Then I toyed around with the idea of self-publishing, but thought I’d see if anyone would be willing to pick it up first. A few months later I had a publisher interested, and the rest is history. I guess what I’m getting at is this: My book went from an impossible feat to a palpable reality. I now know that I can accomplish anything – even things I never set out to do! I learned that there’s creativity within me I didn’t even know existed and would encourage anyone out there with a story to tell, to do it. Just write that first sentence. That’s all it takes.

Does writing come easy to you?

Not really. Like I mentioned, while writing Ties That Bind, I’d have nights where the words would just flow out of me effortlessly. I could write page after page without even looking up from the computer screen. Then I’d hit a slump – writer’s block I guess – where I had nothing to offer. I’d sit and try to write, but no words would come. Through this process I realized I’m not in control. When the creativity flowed, it flowed, and when it stopped, all I could do was be patient and wait for it to come back.

If your book was made into a TV series or a movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?

Oh, that’s a fun one. I think every author dreams of their book becoming a movie, and enjoys the task of casting – even if only in their minds! For Ties That Bind, I can’t imagine a more perfect cast than one including Hugh Jackman, Alexis Bledel, and a young Simon Baker as Owen.

What writer influenced you the most?

Hands down, my favorite author is Elizabeth Berg. I love her writing style, and her stories fall right into the genre I prefer to read and write. They’re very true-to-life. Her characters are always multi-faceted, so you can relate to all of them in one way or another, which helps you fall right into the story. Once I start reading one of her novels, I can’t put it down. I always close the book at the end and think, “Wow, that was awesome.”

What are you working on right now?

My current work-in-progress is a novel entitled The Depths of the Sea. It’s about a mother suffering from post partum depression who drowns her beloved son in an episode of sleep walking. She doesn’t remember a thing. I have one more novel on the horizon that is much more light-hearted, a comedy even.

Where can people learn more about your books?

Through my publisher’s website – SecondWindPublishing.com, on Amazon.com, and on my Twitter (@CHJennette) and Facebook page (Christian Jennette – Author).