Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Thursday, July 7, 2016

An interview with C.J. Warrant




1    C.J. Warrant is the debut author of the romantic suspense novel Forgetting Jane. (Review to come shortly, but trust me, you want to get it!) She stopped by to talk about her book and her writing and her life. 


 You’re an Army brat?  Me too! How do you think that shaped you as a person? Growing up, it was hard to make friends. I had to learn to put myself out there if I wanted them, which helps me now with networking. Also, since we got to travel from Korea, to Japan and then to the states, I met so many interesting people along the way.

2.       If someone gave you an all expenses vacation to anywhere you wanted, where would you go? Bora Bora! Every picture I have seen about that place reminds me of paradise, and I want to retreat to it.

3.       Why is Forgetting Jane set in Wisconsin? I lived in Wisconsin for about a year when I was ten, which drew me to have this story in that state. And all the elements in this story melds together making it a perfect fit.  I knew from the start of Forgetting Jane, it had to be Wisconsin.

4.      You’re a wife and a mother and also have another career outside of writing. How do you balance writing and life? Do you have a daily schedule for writing or do you just fit it into the corners of your time? Actually, I quit the beauty industry and turn my focus onto my family, my writing and myself. It was very stressful and it was affecting my health and connection with my family. I’m a lucky one who has tremendous support from my husband and kids. They encourages me to write and have me time.

Do you listen to music as you work and if so, what was in your playlist for this book? I don’t listen to music when I write. For me, it’s too distracting. But when I’m character building, I do. Depending on the character, I listen to anything from AC/DC to country. I also a big fan of club music, and get a little exercise in when I’m standing by my tall kitchen table typing away my characters…with the blinds wide open!

How long did it take you to finish the first draft of Forgetting Jane? Six months, but the edits were brutal.

Why did you decide to go the indie publishing route rather than traditional? Actually, it was a fluke. I had Jane dusting under the bed for about a year, while I was writing my next book when my critique partner encouraged me to get Jane out there. During the time, I had gotten a friend request from this person, I checked her out and she happened to be part of Solstice Publishing. Never heard of them, so I checked them out, along with a few other houses. Solstice was looking for submissions, so I sent them Jane. In three days I got a contract with them. 

Are there any blogs/sites you regularly follow? I do follow a few blogs, but I’m neck deep into editing right now that I haven’t had the time read thoroughly.

Do you enjoy using social media? I do like using social media. But sometimes it can be a distraction from my blasted edits. 

You belong to two chapters of RWA. Have you ever been to one of their conventions? Most definitely! I belong to Chicago-North RWA and Windy City RWA. Chicago-North has a conference called Spring Fling conference, which is held every other year. They just had one this past May. Next conference is 2018 and it was wonderful. I started to going in 2010 when I joined the chapter. I was a part of the 2012 conference committee, which I ran the silent auction for that year. Windy City has retreats that focus on an author’s career-the craft, business, workshops, ect. The retreats are for members and do extends the invite to Chicago-North chapter. 


1         Are there any writers you can point to as an influence/inspiration? I think I get the biggest influence and inspiration is from a group of writers, who I call friends and confidants. We formed a group about six years ago, which we call ourselves The Aphrodite Writers. We come from all genres of writing, but the support, respect and the wealth of information these ladies has, is priceless.
    
Dog or cat? Coffee or tea? Wine or Beer or Spirits? Dog. COFFEE. Wine, but I don’t mind all three. Yet, sadly to say, I’m now allergic to alcohol.

S          Some readers have a passionate relationship with the POV of the novels they devour and some have made it clear in reviews that they would have given book X more stars if it had been in first or third person instead. Do you write third person or first person exclusively, or do you change it up? I let what the story or even the main characters dictates to me. Forgetting Jane is third person POV, but my current works, it’s first person.

1     Do you write in present tense? For third person, I’m more comfortable writing in past but if the story dictates differently then I have to go with the flow. But I do have to say it’s usually in either third person past or first person present.

1            Optimist or pessimist? I’m more an optimist but depending on the situation.

1             What was the first piece of writing you ever sold? Forgetting Jane.

1              What’s the last good book you read? I love to read paranormal but a friend of mine suggested a contemporary book in this series. I grabbed it and tore through it in two days. I loved the author’s voice so much that I downloaded the rest of the series. It’s the Wicked Horse Series by Sawyer Bennett. I couldn’t put it down.

1      What’s your favorite movie? I’m a huge Cinderella fan and a big Drew Barrymore fan. So of course my favorite movie Ever After. And I do love the Kill Bill movies!

1      You’re married. How did you and your husband meet? My husband moved in next door to us, and my sister set us up. Thanks Theresa!

What’s next for you? Currently, I’m editing my dark romantic thriller, which is a single title and book 1 of a romantic thriller series based out of Chicago. I’m also setting up to write another set of characters back story for a new series from a different state. 

Follow C.J. on Twitter.
Like her on Facebook
Check out her blog.
Explore her site.
Read Forgetting Jane

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