Saturday, October 1, 2011

Janette Rallison Author Interview and Giveaway

Janette, being the wonderful person that she is, allowed to me to ask her some questions and graciously answered them! So here is the interview:

1- If you could spend one day with any one of your characters from any book, who would it be? What would you do?
I of all people should know better, but I’d spend the day with Chrissy, the incompetent fairy godmother. The opportunity to get some wishes granted would be irresistible. Of course, she’d undoubtedly get them wrong, so when I ask for a self-cleaning house she’ll transport my family to a tree or something, but I would want to at least try to ask for some fool-proof wishes. (If you ever see me living in a tree, you will know what happened . . .)

2- Do you base any of your characters off of real people in your life? If so, what are some? I take situations from real life all the time—my life and my friends’ lives—but I don’t use real people. They won’t do what I wanted them to do. When I wrote What the Doctor Ordered, (an LDS romance under the pen name Sierra St. James) I tried to use my husband as the hero, but I had to fire him from the novel after a couple of days. My husband is too laid back and he wouldn’t fight with the heroine.

Some of the situations that came from real life are: Getting into the wrong car (Fame, Glory, and Other Things on My To Do List) Falling down an escalator (Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Free Throws) Being stuck in a car with a psychotic cat (All’s Fair in Love, War, and High School) and putting on a disastrous but politically correct version of West Side Story (Fame, Glory, and Other Things on My To Do List) all happened to me or to people I know.

3- In My Fair Godmother and My Unfair Godmother, the heroines go into different fairytales. If you got to choose a fairytale to live in, which one would you choose?Probably Sleeping Beauty because she wasn’t stuck doing a lot of housework before she found her prince. All she had to do was prick her finger and sleep. I could handle that. I like to sleep.

4- What is your newly released book, Slayers, about?It’s about a group of teens who have superpowers that let them fight dragons. Which is especially nice because dragons are coming back to the world. Tori, the main character, doesn’t know about her powers, so it’s all a rather unfortunate surprise to her that she’ll be fighting dragons in the near future. To make matters worse, there is also a dragon lord who controls the dragons, and he wants to wipe out the Slayers.

5- You make it seem like keeping your writing clean is so easy. How do you keep your standards in your books?
It’s not always easy. Generally, my main characters have high standards, but even good people make mistakes. And then there’s the problem of people in the main character’s world who don’t have high standards. For example, sometimes certain characters would swear in a given situation and it can be hard to work around that. Other times characters would act in ways that aren’t moral and then I have to worry about how to handle that. It can be a fine line between accurate portrayals and offending readers. I’m sure I won’t always do it to everybody’s satisfaction.

For my work in progress, Hunters and Hunted, when my daughter read the manuscript, she didn’t like how a couple of the characters acted in one scene. “They aren’t following the standards in the Strength for Youth booklet,” she told me. It didn’t matter that I pointed out that one of those characters routinely killed people, so he wouldn’t be worrying all that much about the smaller stuff, my daughter wasn’t happy with the scene. I’ve considered cutting it, just because I don’t like offending her sensibilities, but so far the scene is still there. (Don’t panic, by the way, nothing too terrible happens in that scene. The book is still free from swearing, sex, drugs, and alcohol. Death, not so much.)

6-You get to rewrite one book, yours or another author's, what book is it? What are some things you would change?I’m always rewriting my books, so I’d choose somebody else’s. Mockingjay, for example. I loved Hunger Games and Catching Fire but I thought Mockingjay was really depressing. I’d **spoiler** make it so that Katniss and Peta were the same strong characters we saw in earlier books. Less people would die. Katniss and Peta would work together to make the mission successful instead of it turning into a bloody, pointless mess.

7- Which published book do you wish you would have written?
Harry Potter, because I mean—it’s Harry Potter. I loved those characters and that world.

8- Which author do you look up to and why?
This will sound strange, but I look up to all the struggling, midlist and small print authors I know. When you’re in that group, writing isn’t easy. You do it because you love writing, not because of money or fame. You keep working on your stories, plugging away, even though there’s very little reward in it for you. That’s true love and dedication.

9- Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?Read a lot. Also read books on the craft of writing. Each of those steps is essential if you want to succeed. Then get a degree in something else because it will take you awhile before you can make enough money to support yourself and you don’t want to starve in the meantime.

And a few random questions just for fun

10- White chocolate, milk chocolate, or dark chocolate?Milk chocolate. Mmmmm.

11- Reading or writing?
Both. But I spend more time writing than reading. I have more story ideas than I have time to write them.

12- Cake or cookies?Cookies.

13- Milk or juice?
14- Cats or dogs?
I have both, so it’s hard to choose. They’re both adorable in their own furry way.

15- What would you do for a Klondike bar?
Not much. If I’m indulging in a treat it’s probably going to be something more decadent, like a hot fudge sundae.

Okay! Now for some more exciting stuff. I am going to do a giveaway for a signed paperback copy of How to Take the Ex out of Ex-boyfriend!
Sixteen-year-old Giovanna Petrizzo finds it hard enough to fit in. Three years since her family moved to Texas, she's still the newcomer compared to everyone around her. It doesn't help matters when her twin brother, Dante, takes on the mayor's son by running for class president. The least she could expect, though, would be for her boyfriend, Jesse, to support their cause. But Jesse's apparent defection triggers Giovanna's rash emotional side, and before she knows it, she's turned Jesse from the boy of her dreams to the ex-boyfriend she dreams of winning back.
Summary from Goodreads


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    Find out more about Janette and her books at her blog

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