Monday, May 14, 2012

Frequently Asked Questions (aka FAQ)

Whenever I meet my readers, whenever I sign books, a few of the same questions pop up over and over. So I thought I'd tackle them here...

1. How did you get started?  I can't remember a time when I didn't write. As  kid, I stapled together pieces of paper, scribbled on them and called them "my book." In school, I won awards for my writing--and also got in trouble for it when I dared to pen an "alternate" school newspaper, called "The Wooden Nickel." The journalism teacher told the principal that I didn't know what I was doing and that I'd surely bring down a lawsuit on the heads of the administration. In retrospect, a smart and dedicated teacher would have welcomed me into the world of journalism! But she didn't.

2. Do you write every day? Yes. In fact, I can't wait to get started writing each day. I love what I do.

3. What's your schedule like? I have a "doggy alarm clock," Miss Victoria. About six a.m., she barks in short "yap-yap-yap" bursts, to let me know it's time to haul my carcass out of bed. After I feed her and Rafferty, my first task is to answer emails, since that's the way I usually communicate with my editor, agent and publicists. Most mornings, I also get in a walk after breakfast. Then I sit down at the keyboard and don't get up until noon. Or until a dog demands to be let out. I eat a quick lunch, sit down and write until about three. I have a snack or a nap or a walk (about thirty minutes), and start back to writing. Around six, it's dinner. From six to eight, I often write or do a bit of research. Sometimes I write until ten.

4. Do you stay in your pajamas? I usually change into exercise clothes because that seems to encourage me to move around more.

5. What about your weekends and holidays? With the exception of taking care of guests, I write as usual.

6. Now that you are writing multiple series, how does that impact your work? I work on whichever book is closest to deadline first, then I often put in a couple of hours on the book that's due next. Or I'll research/plot/make notes about the second series. I try to segment the time so it's a block for one and a block for the other because each series requires a slightly different voice, and of course, one is set nearly two years ago!

7. Will you continue the Kiki Lowenstein short stories? I hope to. I sure hope to. In fact, I hope to have a new one out this month: "Kiki Lowenstein and the Lilac Festival."

8. Where do these fit within the structure of the traditional (paper) books? These are intermezzo productions, designed to keep readers involved between publication dates for traditional books. So between Make, Take, Murder and Ready, Scrap, Shoot, these short stories occur: "Ink, Red, Dead"; "Kiki Lowenstein and the Secret Santa"; "Kiki Lowenstein and the White Elephant"; "Kiki Lowenstein and the Empty Heart"; "Kiki Lowenstein and the Lucky Charm"; and "Kiki Lowenstein and the Purple Passion."

9. What's going to happen with Kiki and Detweiler? If I told you, I'd have to kill you, but personally, I think they belong together. However, when you have two people in their thirties, with histories, and families, clearing the path to true love can take a while, don't you think?

10. Is something wrong with Dodie? Definitely. First of all, she's suffering from chemo fog, a result of her treatment for throat cancer. It's causing her to not think clearly. Second, she's been so busy dealing with her own problems that she's not noticed how much Kiki has grown in her role as a co-owner of the store. Third, I suspect her health problems aren't entirely cleared up.

11. Tell us about your new series. Gladly. Set in 1820, this series features Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte's classic protagonist, as an amateur sleuth, which is why we call it "The Jane Eyre Chronicles." Jane is happily married to her beloved Edward Rochester, and they have a son. A letter arrives from Adele, who is off at a girls' school in London--and it's clear that the girl is in danger. Jane races to the city to see what's happening. Once there, she learns that one of the schoolgirls has died. Jane is mistakenly identified as the school's errant German teacher. Taking advantage of the mistake, Jane poses as the teacher and continues the ruse long enough to discover who the killer is.

12. When will that be available? The release date is August 7, 2012.


Mollie Bryan said...

I LOVE Kiki, but I can't wait for the new series. I'm so excited!

Linda O. Johnston said...

Those are exactly the questions I'd ask if I were interviewing you, Joanna--and love your responses!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Oh, gosh. I have the best blog sisters in the world.