Help me welcome Jeanie Hall to Tuesday Author Chats. She and I are members of the Sisters of Suspense Blog. Let’s just jump right in to get to know her and her debut release. You’re going to love it!
Where are you from and did you always want to be a writer? Did you do something else before your writing career?
I’m originally from a tiny town in Arkansas, population 1248. I didn’t discover writing until I was in my early 30s. I was waiting for the next Harry Potter to come out – oh yeah, I’m a total Potter-phile – and decided to take a stab at writing it myself in the form of fan fiction. From that point onward, I was hooked. In my day job life I’ve been everything from an insurance agent to a teacher to a retail manager. I kept switching because none of them fulfilled me. What I really am is a writer.
Do you have any special time management tricks for working in writing time and living a “normal” life?
I’m afraid I’m still figuring that one out, Marsha. J I’m currently a retail manager and work a lot of hours away from home. My plan is to be able to walk away from that job so I can love what I do and do what I love – writing.
What is the best advice you’ve received about this journey?
The best advice is to just write. Many of the greatest writers have shared this philosophy. It’s the simplest and the most powerful truth in this business. Don’t ever stop writing. It’s how you learn, how you create, how you get better, and how you have content to publish in the first place.
What do you wish you’d known before you began?
I wish I’d believed in myself a little more. I wanted to finish my first book, but it took me years to complete it because I was scared. Scared of failure. You can’t be scared of failure. You have to take failure under your belt and treat it as the learning experience it is.
What process do you use? Are you more of a plotter or pantser?
Somewhere in between. I use Scrivener note cards to plot out my chapters – about a sentence for each one. Then I can change things, write out of order, and embellish as needed.
What sources do you use for inspiration? (Music, movies, people watching, etc.)
Mostly I use my own life experiences, though sometimes a scene from a movie or TV show will inspire me. The cult in my Cult Wife series is actually based very loosely on a church I once attended. It used to be a nursing home. I remember coming in to help clean the church and saw all these old patient rooms being used for storage. It was kind of creepy, so I utilized that setting for the cult’s compound in Oklahoma.
What’s next for you?
I’m now working on the second book in my Cult Wife series, Violation of the Mind. I’m writing the same kind of series Nora Roberts does in her J.D. Robb books where the story continues with the same couple throughout. My heroine Lynea and hero Brennan will be the stars of the series, however long it lasts.
Now for the fun stuff.
What do you do when you aren’t writing?
Reading, cuddling with my hubby and cats. Usually all at the same time. 🙂
If you could only eat three foods what would they be and why?
Chicken for its diverse uses and protein, carrots for its yum factor and health benefits, and chocolate because you know… Chocolate!
What would you like to do other than writing if talent/skill didn’t matter?
Garden. I love seeing beautiful things ripen and grow, but I tend to totally suck at it. If talent and skill weren’t a factor, I’d be golden! LOL
Where is your favorite vacation spot and why?
I have mix of locations for this one. My childhood favorite vacation was Disneyland, hands down. I’d love to go back since I haven’t been there since I was a kid. My hubby loves Branson, Missouri, and I do, too but now that we live in Virginia, that’s a long drive. Now we tend to do either winery trips or go visit the beautiful natural attractions Virginia has to offer. I love all of these.
Please share the blurb, an excerpt from your most recent release, book cover, and tell us where we can find you.
Here’s the blurb for my debut romantic suspense, Violation of Faith, which released March 2nd, 2016.
Lynea Kreig has spent the past three years being invisible. After running with her little sister halfway across the country–away from her abusive cult leader husband–she seeks nothing but safety and anonymity. When she’s offered a job which would keep her close to her sister, Lynea can’t refuse, even though she’ll have to work with a man who hates everything she used to be.
Ever since some wannabe Satanists murdered his sister, Professor Brennan Gage has been bent on eradicating cult activity. This obsession leaves little time for romance or anything else. Yet Lynea’s secretive nature both irritates and fascinates him, making her hard to ignore.
Over time, their close proximity morphs into mutual desire and a real chance at happiness. But happiness for Lynea will never be this simple, especially once her psychotic husband appears at the front door…
Wanna read more? Here’s an excerpt:
The scent he’d detected earlier breezed in from the hallway, and Brennan closed his eyes. What the hell kind of flower was that, anyway?
“Dr. Daniels?” A voice broke into his musings, feminine but deep.
Brennan snapped his eyes open to see the Renaissance woman standing in his doorway. Wishful thinking?
Guess not. Her appearance fascinated him… That alabaster face contrasting with all that luscious dark hair…
“Uh, no. I’m Brennan Gage. Scott – Dr. Daniels – is in the library right down the hall.”
The woman remained motionless except for a finger which stroked back and forth over the curved line of her thumbnail. When she neither left nor encroached past the edge of his threshold, he scrutinized her appearance. Her expression struck him as polite but blank. Closed off. Her clothing, while professional, seemed oversized and dated, contrasting with her youth. Though gorgeous, she held herself as straight as a ruler. Such a precise posture hinted at military uniformity rather than the typical student slouch. Wasn’t one of Scott’s new book vendor’s the daughter of a Marine? If this was her, she’d be gone by the end of the afternoon. A sense of disappointment filled him, and he wanted to kick himself.
“Is he expecting you?”
“Yes, sir. I have an appointment.”
“Don’t refer to me as sir. Please, call me Brennan.” Sir. Yep, must be a military brat. He waited a few beats, but she volunteered nothing, not even her name. “And you are…”
“Lynea Kreig.” She pronounced her first name as Lynn-nay-ah.
“Well, Lynea, why don’t I escort you to his office?”
Brennan stood but paid more attention to this strange Renaissance woman than where to place his feet. As a result, he bumped hard into the corner of his desk. His coffee cup sprang out of his grip, dislodging the lid. Boiling liquid splattered down his front. “Dammit! Shit!”
The plastic mug ping-ponged across the room, and embarrassed, Brennan leapt after it. He didn’t notice Lynea diving toward him until it was too late to halt their collision. The impact of their skulls stunned him, and he found himself in a heap on his parquet floor. He cursed his natural clumsiness. Lynea sat three feet away caressing her forehead.
“Hope I didn’t give you a concussion,” he joked, pushing himself into an upright position.
Lynea dropped her hand and stared at him, unspeaking. Did he hit her harder than he thought? Her features had a different cast now. They’d become more transparent. Less rigid. Her extraordinary toffee eyes sparkled despite their bemusement. The idea of getting to know her better ensnared him in its alluring grip. The barest hint of a smile played around her mouth, making him think reckless thoughts. What would she do if he kissed her right now? Belt him or lean in and enjoy it?
Scott’s impressive command of profanities preceded him into the room, breaking into Brennan’s reverie. “Goddamn inconsiderate! No one’s ever punctual anymore –” His friend cut his rant short when he caught sight of Lynea.
“Hey, Scott. This young lady has an appointment with you. She got lost, then I almost knocked her unconscious. It’s my fault she’s late.”
Scott peeked from Brennan to Lynea and back again. His bushy brows shot upward as he contemplated them, then lowered. Without warning he smirked and departed without another word.
Lynea’s eye line shifted to the spot Scott had vacated. Was she intimidated by his weird behavior?
“That’s Scott for you. He’s kind of… eccentric. If you still want me to take you to his office, I will. I won’t sling any hot beverages this time.”
Lynea moistened her lips with the tip of her tongue. Brennan received only a glimpse of pink, but the sight produced a need within him to taste that tongue. His groin gave a weighty twitch at the thought. Then she blinked and disappeared behind that impenetrable mask again.
Brennan blinked, too. “Are you sure you’re all right?”
As she spoke, some mysterious emotion flickered behind her eyes. Like a dim shadow in the light of a camera flash, the emotion vanished as soon as it registered. Still, whatever lived within that flicker had been dark. Troubled. And he didn’t think he could blame their recent head-bump, either. Before he could investigate further, Lynea glanced away, concealing her secrets from his view.
Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Marsha! I am truly grateful that you took time from you’re busy schedule to host me. J
Here’s social media and buy links:
The Wild Rose Press: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=195&products_id=6673