An interview with ‘One More Day’ author Jenny Keller Ford

Today, I am talking with Jenny Keller Ford. For anyone who has been following this blog for any length of time, her name will sound familiar, I’m sure. Last year, she launched a story in J. Taylor Publishing‘s anthology, Make Believe. At that time, she took over my blog and, for those who haven’t read it or have forgotten what she talked about, you can go back here and read (or re-read) it. She was also one of the first people I interviewed when I started blogging at the beginning of last year. You can find her interview here. Anyway, interviewing her this time was like chatting with a long-time friend. 🙂

J. Keller Ford

Hi, Jenny! I am so glad you’ve dropped by, again.
May I offer you a cup of coffee or tea? Black, cream, sugar?

Oooo, thank you.  I’d love some coffee please, with a little cream and sugar. 

How about a little banana bread or a homemade chocolate chip cookie?

Oh, chocolate chip cookies please.  From the glorious smell in the house, you must have just brought them out of the oven, didn’t you?  Mmmmm, nothing better than a warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie.

Would you prefer to do the interview at the dining table or in the living room where the couch & chairs are a little softer?

If you don’t mind, I’d rather sit in the living room.  It’s much more informal and cozy don’t you think?


Definitely! 🙂
Now, let’s get down to business. A little bird told me you’ve written another story for J. Taylor Publishing for their anthology One More Day. Please tell us a little about your main character.

{Novel News} It’s time for One More Day by L.S. Murphy

Amanda Jenkins is a 17-year-old book nerd extraordinaire.  She’s also an acrophobic, meaning she’s absolutely terrified of heights.

I think I’m getting a sense of what the story might be about but have to ask, what is her predicament?

Amanda likes this guy, Dean McCall.  I would, too, if he really existed and I was her age.  So hot.  Anyway, she’s had a crush on him for years and she never thought he’d ever ask her out.  But on Grad Night at Granbury Park (the local theme park), Dean corners her by the popcorn stand and asks her to ride the tallest roller coaster in the park, Dragon Flight, with him.  Her insides tell her no, but it’s Dean McCall, right?  What else can she say but yes.  It doesn’t take her long to question that decision when her biggest fear happens.  Time halts, I mean, it literally freezes, with Dragon Flight stranded at the top of the first hill, 300 feet in the air and her in the front row.  As she is the only one who is not frozen in time, she has to figure out a way to get down from the beast and restart time.

As much as I love the thrill of a coaster ride, I, myself, am afraid of heights, so I would find that terrifying, too!
Did Amanda whisper in your ear about her problem or did the story line come to you first because of the publisher’s prompt?

I have to admit, I never really thought about this until I read the prompt. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t going to submit anything, but then this story came to me in a dream and I had one of those ‘ah ha!’ moments and had to go with it.  I tossed it off my teen son one morning before school and he gave me one of those ‘Yeah, okay, Mom’ looks, but I had to go for it.  At that point, I HAD to write the story as it wouldn’t leave me alone.

Ah, the muse that cannot be silenced. 🙂
Why did you decide on this particular setting for the story?

I love theme parks and I love roller coasters.  My biggest fear is getting stranded on one.  As I could relate to Amber Jenkins (because she is a lot like me), I thought the theme park idea would be perfect.  Also, what teen doesn’t like theme parks, especially on Grad Night?

I know you have a penchant for dragons, will we be seeing any in this story?

Only in name.  When I thought about what kind of coaster would freak me out, it would be one like Dragon Flight.  One that flies high and then dives low and twists and turns and corkscrews.  When the story came to me, I was a bit baffled that it didn’t have a dragon in it because almost all of my stories do, but then I realized the coaster WAS my dragon.  It was a feared beast that needed to be conquered, and Amanda Jenkins was just the perfect knight to save the day.

Back in 2000, our family visited Florida. One of the kids’ favourite ride was one called Dueling Dragons at Universal Studios. Is the coaster in your story based on one that really exists or is it your fantasy coaster?

Ohh, Dueling Dragons, now Dragon Challenge in the Wonderful World of Harry Potter, was one of my favorite coasters, but not the basis for my coaster.  Dragon Flight would be more like Millennium Force at Cedar Point, fused with Kumba and Cheetah Hunt at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida:  tall, fast, twisting, with lots of corkscrews. 

Sounds like one I’d like to ride! 🙂
Okay, final question: What is the title of your story?

Dragon Flight

Of course! lol Well, I guess that’s it, for now. Good luck with your story. ‘Talk’ to you soon!

Thank you so much for inviting me in your home, Susan.  The coffee was perfect and the company even better.  Oh, and you should market those cookies.  Fantastic!

Thanks! 🙂
For those of you who want to learn a little more about this exciting new anthology from  J. Taylor Publishing, here’s the blurb about the premise for One More Day:

What if today never ends? 



What if everything about life—everything anyone hoped to be, to do, to experience—never happens? 



Whether sitting in a chair, driving down the road, in surgery, jumping off a cliff or flying … that’s where you’d be … forever. 



Unless …

How do we restart time? 



How do we make everything go back to normal? 



The answers, in whatever the world—human, alien, medieval, fantasy or fairytale—could, maybe, happen today. 



Right now. 



What would you do if this happened … to you?

About Jenny:

J. Keller Ford is a quirky mother of four, grand-mother and scribbler of young adult fantasy tales. She has an insatiable appetite for magic, dragons, knights and faeries, and weaves at least one into every story she conceives. Her muse is a cranky old meadow gnome that follows her everywhere she goes and talks incessantly, feeding her ideas for stories 24/7.

When she’s not writing or blogging, the former Corporate Paralegal enjoys listening to smooth jazz, collecting seashells, swimming, bowling, riding roller coasters and reading. Jenny lives minutes from the beaches of the west coast of Florida with her husband of twenty years, her two sons and a pair of wacky cats and three silly dogs. The pets have trained her well.

If you hurry up and head over to Jenny’s website, you might still be able to take part in the J. Taylor Publishing Christmas Cracker Scavenger Hunt, which ends at midnight today. Good luck! 🙂

Sunday Interview – Elizabeth Arroyo

TheSecondSign_350 Cover

Welcome back to another Sunday Interview! I know it’s been a couple of weeks since I posted one but, today, I am very excited to introduce Elizabeth Arroyo who has just had her first book published! (Hooray! Whoot! Whoot!) You may recall,  I included an excerpt from her book in one of my Scary October posts, so I agreed to be a part of her blog tour. Please take a moment to learn more about her and her teen novel, ‘The Second Sign’.

Hi, Elizabeth! Welcome to my blog! 

Thanks for hosting me!

Would you please tell my readers a bit about yourself?

I love watching action flicks, dancing with my daughter, and reading.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing since I was fourteen. But started seriously writing for publication in 2008.

It must be very exciting to have your first book published! Would you please describe how that process was for you?

‘The Second Sign’ is my fourth full manuscript, the third I pitched for publication. One stayed under my bed. I first tested the waters for The Second Sign with agent judged contests and got pretty good results. Because the book included angels and demons—elements already saturating the market—I was advised to pitch it to a smaller press publisher. Sapphire Star Publishing was actually the first and only small press publisher I queried. Yay!

That’s Fantastic!

Back in October, I posted a synopsis and an excerpt of your YA novel, ‘The Second Sign’, which seems to be a classic tale of good versus evil. Why did you choose the theme of demons and angels as opposed to any other adversaries, such as vampires and humans?

I wanted to delve into the darker side of the balance between good and evil. Not everything is set in stone and in ‘The Second Sign’ that balance is somewhat tipped. Free-will is an important factor. I chose demons because they scare me and I wanted to write something scary.

From the synopsis, it sounds like there might be a bit of a romance in your story, as well as the heart-stopping adventure. How do you deal with the subject of romance in a YA novel?

I’m a romantic nut. I love reading romance, especially when it’s surrounded by high tension and conflict. In YA, romance is all about drama, it’s all about the moment. And lots of flirting. The romance in ‘The Second Sign’ is focused on the visceral attraction of both main characters and questions the purpose of love.

Getting back to the process of writing The Second Sign, how did you approach the writing of your novel? Was it a result of something like the current NaNoWriMo craze? Do you plot out your stories or write bit-by-bit as the muse whispers in your ear?

 I wrote the first draft of ‘The Second Sign’ in one month, though I’ve never delved into NaNo. I don’t think I’d do well under that kind of pressure. I usually write the inciting incident as the muse injects it into my brain. Then I pause and begin to write a loose outline of the major character arcs and relevant acts of the story and move forward from there.

The subject of your story seems rather dark. Do you inject any humorous scenes or conversations to break things up a bit?

It is dark. Hope becomes the balance of the story. As our main characters begin to unravel the mystery of the plot (external conflict) and their subsequent reactions (internal conflict) the reader gets a glimpse of hope that love is truly stronger than hate. Then, of course, everything gets pulled out from under your nose at the end. But I won’t go there.

The cover for ‘The Second Sign’ is truly beautiful. Who is responsible for the creation of your cover and what kind of input did you have in the process?

Sapphire Star Publishing involved me in every step of the design. They gave me options for the scenery, model, even the font and allowed me to pick and choose what I felt best represented the book. Then they put it all together. It is an awesome cover. I love it.

Are there any social media sites you’d like to share with us?

I can be found at:

Website: http://www.elizabetharroyo.com.

Blog: http://chandarawrites.blogspot.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/elizabetharroyo.author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EArroyo5

 

Watch the trailer at http://youtu.be/omcmt6q8PIw

That is a cool trailer!

Thanks for joining us, today, Elizabeth and good luck with your blog tour. 🙂

The Second Sign Blog Tour Banner 600x188

Here’s the blurb for the book:

THE SECOND SIGN

Dark YA Paranormal Romance

Sapphire Star Publishing


Bred to believe in the war between angels and demons, Gabby has come to the conclusion that love is responsible for war, jealousy, and all the other deadly sins she can think of. So when she’s exiled to the middle of nowhere for getting kicked out of her fifth school for fighting, she doesn’t expect to meet Jake. Much less fall in love. But Jake is quickly drawn to the eerie beauty of her violet eyes while Gabby is unsettled by their undeniable connection.

When a demon guardian comes to collect her soul, she refuses to give it up. She’s not a demon. She can’t be. Her father and twin brother are angels. The demon gives Gabby twenty-four hours to decide her allegiance, and then starts killing her short list of friends, leaving a message behind: She is the Second Sign.

As Gabby and Jake begin to unravel the mystery behind the Second Sign, she learns Jake may be the key to saving her soul. But it means a sacrifice has to be made that will change their lives forever.

Here’s where you can find a copy of ‘The Second Sign’:

Amazon http://amzn.com/1938404300

B&N http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-second-sign-elizabeth-arroyo/1114135496?ean=9781938404306

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16089573-the-second-sign

Elizabeth also is holding a raffle, so if you’d like to win a copy of her book, here’s where you should go:

Rafflecopter link:

Please drop in to her blog or her website to follow her blog tour and learn more about her and her book. 🙂

Birthright – a Make Believe story by Lynda R. Young

Happy Saturday, Everyone!

Make Believe

It certainly has been a busy week. With working every day, from now until the school break, as well as having some event or other happening each evening, I’m still trying to catch up with all the stuff that’s happened with the Make Believe Blog Tour over the past few days. If you have time, please pop over to each of the author’s blogs to find out more about the stories and the writers. There’s also chances to win prizes and copies of the anthology.

J. A. Belfield, author of Escort To Insanity

J. Keller Ford, author of The Amulet of Ormiston

Jennifer M. Eaton, author of Last Winter Red

Terri Rochenski, author of Sacrificial Oath

Kelly Said, author of Petrified

Lynda R. Young, author of Birthright

Since I will be interviewing Lynda on Monday (well, I’ll actually be interviewing her character), I thought I would post a review of her story, Birthright. The blurb from J. Taylor Publishing states:

Christa can mask the pain and hide the scars, but running from a birthright is impossible. She’s tried to escape her grief by fleeing to a small town in Florida. Much to her frustration, the locals think they recognize her even though she’s never been there before. To make things worse, a man named Jack spouts outrageous theories about her. 

Both spur Christa to bolt, to start fresh yet again, but there’s something about Jack that intrigues her enough to stay. The only problem? Someone else wants her to leave, and they won’t stop until she’s dead. 

I greatly empathized with Christa. Having lost all her known family, she leaves the place that contains their memories. Trying to start anew, she escapes to the small town of Grifton in Florida, where she encounters some strange characters. Some are likable, some are a little scary. The reader doesn’t know who Christa should trust and the suspense builds. I really enjoyed the way Lynda built up the story, layer by layer, until her very life is in danger. The reasons for this are right up my alley. Of course, I can’t tell you what they are, or I would spoil it for you! I encourage you to find out for yourself. 🙂

If you would like to learn a little more about Christa, tune in on Monday for her interview. Enjoy the rest of your weekend! 🙂

Make Believe – Official Kick-Off

Make Believe

Over at Jenny Keller Ford‘s blog, she posted a link for a Make Believe anthology give-away, hosted by Jennifer Bielman. If you pop over there now, you might have a chance of winning an e-book version of the anthology produced by J. Taylor Publishing. You can also read the blurb for her story, The Amulet of Ormisez as well as for the other stories and reviews.

Over at Julie Reece‘s blog, Julie is interviewing Jennifer M. Eaton about her Dystopian Romance, Last Winter Red, found in the Make Believe anthology. If you’re interested in learning more about the story, be sure to pop in on Julie to read her interview.

J. A. Belfield’s story in the anthology is called Escort To Insanity. You can find her blog tour schedule by clicking on the Make Believe button on the sidebar.

At Terri Rochenski‘s blog, you will find some reviews of her short story, Sacrificial Oath and she is offering the chance to win signed bookmarks and a signed cover, so pop over there to see what’s happening and how you can register to win. She even has a widget that will help you order an authorgraphed version if you’d rather not wait for the contests to end and want your own copy of Make Believe, available at these on-line stores: Amazon Barnes & Noble Amazon UK / All Romance  /  Diesel eBooks /  Books on Board 

Lynda R. Young‘s blog, Scribbler’s Sojourn, tells how excited she is about the launch of the anthology, which includes her story, Birthright. There is a brief blurb about it and links to her blog tour schedule, as well.

Kelly Said, whose story is Petrified, has a list of places where she will be hosted during the tour on her blog site here.

I think that’s all that’s going on with the tour, today.

Make Believe Blog Tour – And so it begins…

Hi, Everyone! December will not be your usual fare her at My Withershins. I’m helping a group of fellow writers promote the upcoming release of their anthology, Make Believe by J. Taylor publishing.

Make Believe

The tour officially starts December 3rd, but some have already begun spreading the news. There will be all kinds of giveaways, interviews, and story reviews, about which I will try to keep you informed.

The anthology is a fantastic collection of stories, ranging from contemporary to paranormal romance to fantasy. One of the bloggers I follow, Julie Catherine, has graciously hosted two of the authors, Jenny Keller Ford and Jennifer Eaton. You can find their interviews on Julie’s site (click on her name to follow the link). I interviewed Jenny Keller Ford way back in June, which you can find here.

Julie has included a bio of each writer and asked them a few questions about their writing, the inspiration for the short stories they submitted to J. Taylor Publishing, and all sorts of other fun and interesting things, so please drop by Julie’s blog and learn more about these amazing writers.

If you want to follow their individual blog tours, you can read Jenny’s blog here. There’s also details on the contests. I won’t go into all that here, so you will need to pop over there to learn how you could win some beautiful prizes. 🙂

Jennifer gives you a snippet of the story she wrote for Make Believe, which she’s posted here.

The Make Believe link on my sidebar, gives you the tour schedule for another of the writer’s J. A. Belfield. I’ll be posting my interview with her next week, so check back here, then. 🙂