JS: I wanted to create a world where magic existed, but was based on science, not mysticism. I started writing Voodoo Moon in 2011 and the big thing was “the end of the Mayan Calender”. I thought this would be a great way to create a different world. I’d had an idea for magic using heroine for a long time, but my husband helped me come up with the bad guy. The only thing left was where to set it. I am a huge paranormal and urban fantasy fan but get kind of tired of reading books set in Atlanta or New Orleans. There are more southern cities. So, since I live just two hours from there, Nashville became the natural choice. Thus, Voodoo Moon was born… well… after hundreds of hours of work…
GG: At Gliterary Girl, we write a lot about keeping ones creative juices flowing freely and finding inspiration to keep going even when we encounter blocks. What elements did you find the most difficult?
GG: Do you have any advice for new authors looking to publish? Any complications or warning blocks you could issue as well as inspirational anecdotes?
JS: Surround yourself with people who are not afraid to be honest with you. The last thing any author needs is a group of yes-men. You need at least two people you trust implicitly who will call you on your bad writing and are smart enough to know when it is good and bad. Beyond that, listen to your gut and don’t take no for an answer. If you can’t get published the way you “want” find another way. Or if you “can” get published, but doing so would make you compromise yourself or your story (I had such a situation), then find another way. But, when doing so, that is when having smart people who will both cheer you on and tell you the truth is ESSENTIAL.
GG: I know asking for a favorite author is too broad a question and I would never expect anyone to choose just one, but is there any writer or writers that you admire and considered inspiring while writing.
JS: You know, I recently read where an author (whose writing is beyond reproach and is actually one of my favorites) said that there were no authors that influenced their writing style. I don’t believe that. I think that all authors are influenced by everything we read, it’s how we find our own unique voices. That being said, I could give you a whole list of authors that I know have influenced my style, especially with Voodoo Moon. Narrowing it down to one is impossible, but since I have to I guess I would say Ilona Andrews.
JS: I live in Tennessee with the love of my life who I married in the high school classroom we met in (18 years later). I have a wonderful step-son and my days are filled with running after my three super mischievous fur-babies, Stormageddon, Andromeda, and Captain Mal. Yes, they all have geeky names, did I not mention I’m a total geek? Stormageddon gets her name from a Doctor Who episode (and the name suits her perfectly), Andromeda is named for the awesomely bad (and yet still awesome) sci-fi show staring Kevin Sorbo (though she lays around all regally as if her name actually came from the ancient Greek Princess), and my beautiful Chocolate Lab puppy’s full name is Captain Malcolm Reynolds…why? Because he’s a Browncoat of course!
EXCERPT FROM VOODOO MOON:
Fiona laughed derisively. “And I’m betting the second she saw it was likely related to the strange
dead body case, she handed it over gladly. The thing about career making cases. They can break them
too. No one wants to be stuck with a case so bizarre they have no hopes of solving it. So goody for us,
we get to take charge of the weird, unsolvable case.”
“I’ve never seen an unsolvable crime, just those that took more effort and time to solve than
others.” Ian said, his tone and manner much more haughty and self-assured than he felt. He was just as
unenthusiastic about being on this case as Fiona. Despite the fact that he was looking forward to the
time heading up a case together would force them to spend together, there was something strange
about this case that gave him a bad feeling. Of course, though he had a contract with the Blades as a
consultant, he was under no obligation to take this or any case. He could walk away and not look back.
But Fiona couldn’t. She was a Blade and took the cases assigned to her. Ian’s gut feeling was that
something very dangerous was lurking in the shadows of this case. Something more dangerous than
even tough as nails Fiona could handle alone. So, really, he had no choice but take this case.
“Never seen an unsolvable crime?” Fiona’s tone was mocking. “Since when are you a Blade or
Guard? You are a glorified teacher who consults on the odd case every once in a while. Suddenly you
think you are an expert on crime solving?”
Ian drew himself up straighter in his chair and turned towards her. This time as he spoke he
didn’t have to pretend confidence. How dare she mock him? Her attitude was just beyond bearing
sometimes. “I will have you know, I have been consulting with the Blades and the Guards since I was
sixteen and started in the Academy. Which would have made you, what, about eight years old?”
“Oh were you a late bloomer? I started the Academy at fourteen.” She said sweetly.
Ian was about to respond when the sound of something heavy hitting the desk interrupted
“Children!” Sam thundered, his voice booming through the office. Ian pulled his gaze away from
Fiona to see Sam standing, bent over his desk with his hands bracing him as if he was ready to vault over
it. “That is enough. While I normally find your constant bickering amusing and the entire agency has bets
on how long it will take you two to climb into the sack, today my patience are wearing too thin to deal
with your pent up sexual tension. I have lost track of how many hours it has been since I last slept and I
have spent the morning getting scrys from every Senator in the City-State getting raked over the coals
about not solving Farah Purcell’s disappearance fast enough and allowing a serial kidnapper to run loose
in the streets. It doesn’t seem to matter that the Purcell case just fell on my desk a few hours ago and it
is the City Guards’ job, not the Blades’, to protect the citizens from dangers in the streets. In addition,
hours that could have been better spent trying to find all of the missing people, I have instead spent
trying to convince the Senators not to go public with this and create a panic in the streets and alert the
kidnappers we are on to them. So, as you can see, I’m in a really bad mood and I need you two to be
able to work together with some sort of professionalism. I don’t care if that means you have to beat
each other bloody in a back alley or find a room and fuck like bunnies. Whatever it is, work it out on
your own time. I need you both focused!”
PRINT ISBN13: 9780615598628 EBOOK ISBN13: 9781301780792 KINDLE ASIN: B00DII5RSG
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