Thursday, June 21, 2007

Spotlight - Interview with Jennifer Talty

I had this whole week planned out, with an intro, a special contest, a review, and an interview, to SPOTLIGHT the new e-book RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU by my friend Jennifer Talty. I had all of these great intentions, and plans, and stuff I wanted to do. Then, two things happened. First, I had to work waaaay more than I was supposed to work, which meant I was not available to post as often as I had originally intended. Second, Jennifer had a minor setback in her publishing career.

If you've been following the recent news, you probably already know that Jen's publisher, Triskelion, is filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy within the next few weeks. As a writer that hopes to some day be published, this news has just rocked me, on many different levels. It is sad for me to see a business, any business, close its doors. It's especially sad when that business deals with books, because I happen to LOVE books, in a major way. Beyond that though, I think of all of the writers that have dreamed those dreams of having their work out there, in the world, and how those dreams are now going to be put on hold. Notice, please, that I did not say those dreams have died, nor have they been crushed, only put on hold. Jennifer Talty is one of the authors affected by the closing of Triskelion. However, as you will see from this interview (conducted last week, before the news hit the street), Jennifer has such an amazing spirit that this news will not keep her down for long.

Her book, RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU, climbed all the way to Number Two on the Triskelion site after its release. That, in and of itself, should garner her some attention when it comes time for her to find a new publisher. However, it's not just about writing. Jen is also a consummate professional. Her attitude during this entire ordeal has made many people proud, and even more people very certain that she is in this business to stay. Please continue reading the interview, and make sure to let Jen know of your support in the comments!

About your current books:
Describe your current release, RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU, in five sentences or less.
Jared Blake has less than two weeks to figure out who is stalking his life long friend, Ryan O'Connor. And in less than two weeks he will loose his heart forever to what was standing right in front of him all along.

Besides the current title, what other books have you written? Are any of them published? Released?
I have an anthology titled HAUNT ME BABY ONE MORE TIME*. DARK WATER comes out in October of 2007*. I have three other books under review at various print houses.
(*Due to recent events, release dates for these titles is unknown at this time.)

About your writing style:
What is your writing style? Are you a plotter? How many drafts does each book go through before you feel it is 'ready'? Who is allowed to read it before it is published?
I am a plotter, big time. I have to know most of my book before I can start writing it. I use a storyboard program that allows me to move things around as I go and I also do a fair amount of pre-writing about my story and characters. This way I have a really good feel for everything before I start.

I have no idea how many drafts I do. As many as it takes until I think it's done. But I also edit as I go.

I have three critique partners who read everything I write. They are fabulous. They really help me plot, develop and then make sure it's all down on paper. We help each other and I'd be lost with out them. I do have a few close friends who are not writers that I will have read the near final draft just to get a reaction.

What kind of support do you have for your writing? Is your family supportive? Are your friends? Do you belong to any groups?
My husband and kids are very supportive, even when I drive right past the exit for the hockey rink because I was too busy talking with my "characters". Most of my friends think what I have done is pretty darn cool and love to introduce me as "this is my friend, the author." I think that is cool.

I belong to Romance Writers of America and my local chapter - Central NY. I also belong to Mystery Writers of America.

About your life:
What did you do before you decided to write? Are you currently still doing another job? What in the world made you decide to become a writer?
Basically for the last 16 years I have been a stay at home mom. I have worked part-time jobs between merchandising and teaching dance. I gave up the merchandising job, but I still teach dance and of course, I'm still a crazy hockey mom.

What's the deal with your fingernails? I hear that they actually glow in the dark. Is that true? Do you do this to be able to work outside late at night?
The fingernails only glow in the dark during the month of October when I wear special glow in the dark nail polish, but it does aide in the "write in the dark" mode I like. And yes, I do like to work outside in the summer by the lake, in the dark. It's horrible for the eyes, but for some reason it helps with the darkness of my voice. Might have something to do with that horrible big fish I think is out to get me or something.

Most people that write suspense have some sort of fear or phobia. What is yours? How do you handle it?
I have lots of fears and phobias. I have this horrible fear of sharks. It's so bad I can't even swim at night in a lake or pool without hearing that music, or thinking Jaws is going to come and eat me. I'm afraid of flying. I'm afraid of heights. I'm afraid of my own shadow sometimes, but I just don't let it stop me. Seriously. I get on a plane 3 times a year even though I'm near panic right before. Flying with me is very amusing. Ask anyone.

So, how do I deal with them? Humor! Gotta laugh at yourself every once in awhile. I acknowledge they exist, then make fun of them. It works for me.

What is your very favorite fiction book ever? Why? Who is your favorite fictional character? Why? Which author would you most like to meet? Why?
Oh God. That is so not a fair series of questions to ask.

Lets see - favorite book? I'd have to say TELL NO ONE by Harlan Coben, at least today. Tomorrow that could change. Why? Because it's a really good book. I think Harlan does characterization like no other and I really fell in love with the hero in this book.

Favorite fictional character? - Right now I'd have to say Hannah from BODY GUARD OF LIES by Robert Doherty (aka Bob Mayer). Why? I really related to her in a weird way. Here was this woman whose live was wrapped around her husband and then all of a sudden, he wasn't what seemed, her life wasn't what she thought it was. I think that is a stay at home mom's worst fear - her life is a lie? And I related to Hannah in a big way. Of course, she's a kick as heroine in the end. I like that.

Which author would I most like to meet? Hmmmmm, I'm going to Thrillerfest this July so I'm going to get to meet so many, so I'll just pick one that isn't going to be there - Ridley Pearson. Why? I think he's just amazing. I love his books.

About the future:
I know you're currently hard at work on a new book. Can you tell a little about that one? How difficult was it to decide to switch genres? Do you feel that this genre is a better fit for you?

My current WIP is tentatively titled DEATH BY BODY PART and it's a thriller. Kind of a modernday Frankenstein, but not really.

The switch from Romance to Thrillers was a gradual one. All of my books deal with suspense. RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU has a stalker who happens to be a serial rapist. DARK WATER has an ex who is a murderer and will kill again if pushed. So, that side has always been present, it's just that before I focused on hero/heroine. But with this new idea, the romance aspect didn't really come to me. It wasn't what the book was about. I didn't accept that first and tried to make it a romance - didn't work. Then as I kept plugging away at it, I realized how much my voice fit this style book. How much I loved writing it and how many more ideas I had for books like it. It's where I as a writer belong. Scary to switch, but it's a better fit for me.

Where can we find you?
Do you have a website? Where can people find you online?
I'm everywhere! Googling my name is a scary thing. But you can find me at and my personal blog at where I post often.

Also, at the following sites:


Last words from Jen:
Is there anything else that you want to add? Any words of wisdom for aspiring writers? Anything for your fans? Anything?

Dreams do come true. I'm living proof and in more ways than one.

So, as you can see, Jennifer Talty is not only an amazing writer, she is also a wonderful person, with a determination to succeed that will see her through this current setback. She's got spirit and spunk and grit. She has an amazing storyteller's voice. I'm very lucky to know her as a writer, and even more lucky to call her a friend.

In light of the events of the past week's happenings with Triskelion, I am not adding links to her wonderful e-book, RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU, with this post. True to her own strict professional standards, Jennifer did NOT ask me to tell anyone not to buy the book. I will not do that either. What I will do is mention that it is unlikely that she will see any payments that are due to her for her electronically published book.

Jennifer has, however, bought a few copies of her own book to give away as gifts in our contest. So, if you'd like to read her book, I highly encourage you to enter the contest, with a slight change in the rules. If you'd like to enter, please feel free to put up the cover and the blurb of RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU on your site or blog, and link it back to here. However, if you'd rather, just blog about something that was right in front of you at one time or another in your life, and link to either this site or Jennifer's site.

Thanks so much for your continued support of our featured books and authors. It means the world to us, and I know it is very special to them as well!

Keep Turning Those Pages!


Sheryl said...

I'm confident Jen will come out on top. She's a great storyteller and ultimately that's what matters most.

danetteb said...

Hi Jen,
Great interview. I'll be watching your site for new updates on your books.*g*
Hugs, Danette

LK Hunsaker said...

I would hope she'll get her rights back from Triskelion, yes?

Best of luck to Jennifer! Nice interview. :-)

Jennifer Talty said...

Thanks for the support everone. As far as my rights - eventually I will get them back, but the whole thing has to go through the court system. It's very a difficult time for a lot of authors right now.

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