Thursday, September 5, 2013

What do you love about being a writer, and what do you like the least?
Favorite part: prior to publication, I loved that writing was my secret world. I enjoyed it even more than reading a great book or watching an inspiring movie. I read something to the effect that when Stephanie Meyers wrote Twilight, she considered it to be one of the best summers of her life. Something about the interview gave me the opinion it was because it was just her and the story. 

Least: It takes a lot of dedication to produce a novel, and that often requires missing fun times in order to get my work in on time.

Do you write full time, or do you work it in alongside a full-time job?
Not quite either.  

When I got an offer for my series, I was between jobs. I'm the sole provider of my family, but I also require a lot of time to write.  Silver Seas PR had just invited me to work beneath their banner and to help launch a company takes time too. Time is so finite.  

I did a lot of soul searching, then downgraded my lifestyle—a lot! Right now, I work evenings, caring for the elderly, where I'm allowed to bring my daughter to work. I spend my mornings and afternoons writing and working on PR. Some days I work around the clock twenty-fours hours.

What do your kids think about your being a writer?
It's not easy having a parent who is spinning another world in their head, but it's becoming more fun for my daughter. When she was in in kindergarten she once came to me and demanded, "Who is Julia? I keep hearing about Julia all the time, and I keep waiting to meet her, but she never visits!"

Julia, of course, is my protagonist.

She's getting a first hand glimpse of how much work goes a published book. But as we've neared the launch date, she's really started to show interest, to realize the value of pressing onward.

How do you get your best ideas?
Research. I write seat of the pants, and often times I have to stop and research historically what would happen next. Usually I was planning on taking the story a different direction, but find myself having to untangle complexities and legalities that existed within the Victorian era.

What do you do to get past writer’s block?
I usually keep writing and writing a scene until it passes and I come up with something that finally feels right. I also take a hard look at what is happening in my life. Our writing is so connected to what is happening in our souls. Sometimes when we're blocked, it's beneficial to examine matters see if something else is hindering you, such as not getting enough sleep.

Do you write every day? What does your typical writing day look like?
I used to write everyday without fail, but now I have to make myself sit down.

My best writing time is in the morning. When I've not worked the night before, I try to rise early. I grab coffee and go before I wake up too much. It also helps me to critique or edit someone else's work before jumping into mine.  

Do you like to listen to music when you write?
I love how music can help you tap into that right emotion. It can get distracting though, if you spend too much time searching for the right piece of music.

Do you have any rituals you like to go through before you start writing, such as make yourself a cup of coffee or tea? Do calisthenics to get the blood flowing? Lock yourself in a room and warn your family not to disturb you upon pain of death? Read something inspiring? Pray?
The earlier I start writing, the more material I usually get. I generally will get coffee, sit down at my desk, and say a prayer. I re-read what I've written the previous writing session. Often I'll critique someone else's work. It reminds me that it's okay just put something on paper, it always can be fixed.

Writing is a sedentary occupation. What do you do for exercise?
I'm a member of the YMCA and when I don't have usually long work hours, I take Zumba, Body Pump and Pilates there. The classes usually fall in the middle of my writing time, so I also use the elliptical machines. I'm also lucky enough to live at the top of a three story building with no elevator. You'd think I'd be more fit than I am.

Do you have any pets? Do you own them, or they you?
My two pets are definitely members of my family. I had a dachshund named Ellie and a cat named Miss Marple. They bring a lot of joy to our household. If you haven't ever owned a dachshund, you ought to try it at least once. There's nothing like them.

What fun fact would you like your readers to know about you?
Oh, I just thought of one of these the other day! But I can't remember it now. Serves me right for not writing it down! So you'll have to go with this one: my daughter and I have a ambition to move onto a hobby farm where I can grow herbs and raise chickens. She wants a flock of peacocks, and you know what, despite their cry, I'm all for it.

Born in the wrong century–except for the fact that she really likes epidurals and washing machines–Jessica Dotta writes British Historicals with the humor of an Austen, yet the drama of a Bronte. 
She resides in the greater Nashville area—where she imagines her small Southern town into the foggy streets of 19th century London. She oversees her daughter to school, which they pretend is an English boarding school, and then she goes home to write and work on PR. Jessica has tried to cast her dachshund as their butler–but the dog insists it’s a Time Lord and their home a Tardis. Miss Marple, her cat, says its no mystery to her as to why the dog won’t cooperate. When asked about it, Jessica sighs and says that you can’t win them all, and at least her dog has picked something British to emulate.

Come back tomorrow, when you can win a free copy of Jessica's debut novel, Born of Persuasion!

The year is 1838, and seventeen-year-old Julia Elliston’s position has never been more fragile. Orphaned and unmarried in a time when women are legal property of their fathers, husbands, and guardians, she finds herself at the mercy of an anonymous guardian who plans to establish her as a servant in far-off Scotland.

With two months to devise a better plan, Julia’s first choice to marry her childhood sweetheart is denied. But when a titled dowager offers to introduce Julia into society, a realm of possibilities opens. However, treachery and deception are as much a part of Victorian society as titles and decorum, and Julia quickly discovers her present is deeply entangled with her mother’s mysterious past. Before she knows what’s happening, Julia finds herself a pawn in a deadly game between two of the country’s most powerful men. With no laws to protect her, she must unravel the secrets on her own. But sometimes truth is elusive and knowledge is deadly


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