Oct 28

Tenner…Thursday!

Hi everyone! It’s not Tuesday, so I don’t get to use my cool “T” alliteration. I thought about changing the title for the this week and next, but Thenner Thursday just isn’t right and Tenner Tursday sounds a little strange, though I know my kids would vote for that one because if you took off the day and added d right after r and kept the s, well you’d get Turds and that’s always funny to my kids. (completely a fatherly trait)

But anyway, let’s get off of the word turds and onto what it really important today. Fellow debut author Denise Jaden and her Young Adult novel LOSING FAITH!

A little bit-o-bout Denise: She is, or has been, everything a professional Polynesian dancer and fitness competitor to a mushroom farmer and church secretary. Most of her time now is spent homeschooling or playing with our seven year old son or in front of her computer writing. She’s been writing for about seven years and her pet peeves include clutter, wet socks, and being cold
(which is a common occurrence in B.C.!)

Here’s a quick synopsis of this amazing book, which you should all go and buy right now! A terrible secret. A terrible fate. When Brie’s sister, Faith, dies suddenly, Brie’s world falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood and barely even liked, everything in her life seems to spiral farther and farther off course. Her parents are a mess, her friends don’t know how to treat her, and her perfect boyfriend suddenly seems anything but. As Brie settles into her new normal, she encounters more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don’t line up. Brie soon uncovers a dark and twisted secret about Faith’s final night…a secret that puts her own life in danger.

Now onto my interview with Denise!

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I only recently (and accidentally) realized I wanted to be a writer. About six years ago I started to journal for the first time, and my journal meandered and turned into a story that was totally NOT about me. It became so much fun I couldn’t stop.

How long does it generally take you to write a book from those first words to the very last?

I wrote the first draft of LOSING FAITH in 21 days during NaNoWriMo 2007. That’s not to say, of course, that it was any good! It took me most of a year to revise the book and get an agent for it, then almost another year to revise with my editor. I continue to write my first drafts during “NaNo” each year.

What was the inspiration—that first spark of a story—behind your amazing book?

I wanted to write a story about sisters. I knew there was a secret, and soon discovered the secret would only be revealed after the older sister had died. When I was sixteen, I lost my best friend to a car accident, and while I didn’t find anything as shocking about my friend after her death, it’s still amazing how much you can learn about a person too late.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Schedule? Ha! I *try* to keep a regularity about sending my son for a quiet time each afternoon so I can write. I’ve always been really diligent about writing every day, but I admit, with the added load of wanting to promote a book, plus all the regular daily tasks, the schedule for writing often goes out the window.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk…come on…I know you have one!

I like to chew on something crunchy (like carrot sticks or snap peas) when I’m really trying to concentrate. Also, if I’m having a particularly difficult time with a passage, you would probably find me pacing from the living room to the kitchen and back.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I’m a Polynesian dancer and love getting together with my dance group to practice and perform. I also really love to read and spend time with my family.

What do you think makes a good story?

I think pretty much everything makes a good story, if it’s told well. I really love character-driven novels, so if I’m loving the characters, their “story” will appeal to me no matter how exciting or un-exciting.

Without giving us any spoilers, how did you choose the title for your book?

My title is supposed to be a bit of a play on words, but I don’t think I can go into it much detail without giving spoilers. In my first draft, I had tried to hide that the sister’s name was Faith until about chapter three, but that has changed since.

Are there any tools that are absolute must-haves for writers?

I think this is so individual. I’ve heard of writers who write their entire drafts out in spiral notebooks. I’ve also heard of successful writers who have never read a book on the craft of writing. Personally, I love Donald Maass’s book, WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL, and I don’t like writing without access to my online thesaurus.

What kind of research went into writing your book if any?

I spent several months learning about cults and some of the people who have gotten mixed up in them. I also visited my old high school to find out the whole rundown on modern daily school life.

Have you ever had someone try to matchmake for you and if so, how did it go?

No, thank goodness! I can’t imagine how uncomfortable that would be, and I’m very picky, so I can’t imagine it would have ended well!

Because I think you should always save room for dessert, as a child, what was your favorite dessert? And what is your favorite dessert now?

Hmm. As a child, I really LOVED those funnel cakes that you get at the fair. Deep fried white flour topped with sugar – what could be better! As for now, it’s way too hard to choose just one. Crème Brule, chocolate mousse, cream puffs, pecan mudslides, Philadelphia cheesecake…should I go on?

What do you hope to leave your readers with once they’ve finished your book?

I’d love for my readers to feel a sense of hope by the end of LOSING FAITH, and also a sense of empowerment to think things through for themselves and make their own decisions.

What question would you like to ask me?

How did you get to be so cute?!

Okay, I was just being silly! What I always like to know is what’s the last book you read that you really loved? I’m always looking to update my TBR list.

Thanks so much for joining me, Denise!

You can visit Denise on her website at www.denisejaden.com! And to order LOSING FAITH, which you absolutely must, click HERE!

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