Jolene: Hi, Tina. Thanks for the invite.
Save your thanks for later, Jolene. This is serious business and we’re going to get right to the nitty-gritty of writing success today. What’s your favorite snack when you’re writing?Jolene: Me, snack? Never!
Come on, I know you’re a snacker, I can see it in your eyes. Spill the beans.
Jolene: Well, I do drink Pellegrino.
That hotsy-totsy carbonated water from Italy?
Jolene: (smiles slyly) The very one.
That’s hardly worth mentioning. Come on, give me more.
Jolene: Okay, okay! You’re relentless. While I’m drinking my Pellegrino, I like to nibble on dark chocolate almonds.
That’s better, but you’re still holding out on me Jolene.
Jolene: (gives exasperated sigh) Potato chips. They’re my weakness. I live and breathe for those crispy slices of potato salted to delightful perfection.
(Nods head in approval) Now we’re getting somewhere. Now that we’re speaking the same language, I can ask a more writerly question like; do you have any writing advice?
Jolene: Don't forget that writing should be FUN :D
Fun? I heard that writing was like opening a vein—how can that be fun? (shuffles papers) Let’s go on to something easier. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Jolene: That's hard—not easy—and completely depends on the weather and my mood. I love to go hiking, love to sew, love to play the guitar, love to take my kids to the museum . . .
(Whispers over shoulder to no one in particular) If that was hard, I don’t know how we’ll finish our interview, but the writing public has a right to know, so I shall persevere.
WARNING: For those of my readers with tender feelings, I advise you to cover your ears.
I’ve got to ask about the four-letter word for every writer. Writer’s block. (Not technically four letters, twelve actually, but two little words that instill terror in every writer nonetheless. Jolene, do you have something that helps?
Jolene: When I'm stumped, I don't write, I run. Works every time.
A running writer? Hmmm.(thrumming fingers on cheek) That almost sounds like science fiction. Or fantasy. What genre do you write?
Jolene: Almost exclusively YA. Within that genre - contemporary, or maybe ever-so-slightly paranormal. I'd LOVE to do a historical, but I'll need to be at a point where I'm ready to really do the research.
Do you have a favorite writer’s memory?
Jolene: My favorite memory is when I hit page 100 on my first novel, and I knew there was a lot of story left to tell, and might actually be able to write a whole book.
And you did write a whole book. Good for you. (claps politely) Who is your publisher?
Jolene: Cedar Fort. And I have an agent now too.
You can’t mention that you have an agent unless you’re willing to tell who he/she is. Are you going to?
Jolene: No. (zipping her lips)
It’s as I thought. What’s the name of your book?
Jolene: The Next Door Boys. It hit bookshelves last month.
I’m assuming that you mean figurative, and not literally. Tell us a little bit about it. Your book, I mean. Tell us a little about your book.
Jolene: The Next Door Boys is about a girl who goes to college after a year home with cancer. She's determined to be independent and to not fall in love. She's half successful.
(Whispers to my computer: Meaning of course that she never learned to become independent.) Poor girl. Some days I don’t feel like being independent either, but that’s a different kind of story altogether. What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Jolene: I’m not much of an ice cream lover.
Sacrilege!!!! Who doesn’t love ice cream?
Jolene: I do love Moose Tracks.
Is that even a flavor of ice cream? It sounds like something you’d find along the trail in the Alaskan wilderness.
Jolene: (Jumps up and runs out the door) THANK YOU TINA!!! She shouts as she disappears down the hallway.
Jolene? Jolene! (Standing up) I still have a few questions.
You can visit Jolene Perry on her blog: www.jolenesbeenwriting.blogspot.com