Tell us about yourself, Jorja? What do you like to do when you’re not a writer? I am never not a writer! I do lots of other things, like photography and gardening, but in my head I’m always writing. I have a full time job, because writing doesn’t pay the mortgage, and a husband, who loves me in spite of all the craziness I bring into his life. I’m pretty much a free spirit with a variety of interests, and do whatever catches my attention at the moment. A lot of this ends up in my books. My heroine in The Rental, for example, is a photographer, and my first book, To Tame a Rogue Heart, is set in the 17th century, one of my favorite times in history to read about.
What inspires you to write? I really have no idea if I’m “inspired” to write. Mostly, it’s the age old question “What if…?” I remember how my current work in progress began. I was looking out the window at my garden and thinking it was nearly time to start spring plowing. My garden is the site where an old barn used to be, and it just popped into my head: what if the plowing turned up a human skull? I know, that’s really weird, but it turned into the current book, so it can’t be too bad, right? Music does inspire me. I can’t remember how many times I’ve had to pull over and make a note of an idea because a song on the radio triggered it.
I love to hear what inspires other authors. Tell me about your journey as a writer. When did you start and how do you keep the creative juices flowing? I started writing in seventh grade. I don’t even remember what the class was now, but we had to write a short play. After that, I was hooked. I spent a good bit of class time writing stories instead of studying. Until recently, I just wrote when the muse took me, but lately I’ve been setting daily goals and tracking my word count and progress. That seems to be helping me stay focused.
Can you give us the elevator pitch for your book? In the mid-sixteen hundred’s, women were expected to behave a certain way, but Morgan O’Neill never did what was expected of her. She ran away from an arranged marriage, fell in love with a buccaneer captain, and, when fate forced her hand, took to the high seas on a mission of vengeance. In a world where strength is everything, Morgan has the strength to take what is hers, regardless of what stands in her way.
Do you have a favourite character in your story? Who is most like you? I don’t really have a favorite character, although Morgan has been with me the longest. It took years to get her story out. I believe any author can see themselves in all their characters, to some degree. Morgan is who I would like to be, if I could get away with it! Well, certain aspects of her anyway.
Who would you like to see play your characters in a movie? I am not really a fan of film adaptations of books, so I’ve never really thought much about it. If a film was made of my books, I think I’d rather see a new actor play my characters, not someone I already associate with something else.
Do you have a favourite time of day and place to write? Do you have a routine? As I said, I have a full time job, so mostly I write in the mornings before work. My day starts at four-thirty a.m. Yes, I know, that’s barbaric, but I have to be at work by seven! The routine is get coffee, play solitaire through the first cup (I can’t write a coherent sentence without coffee), then write for about an hour. I usually write some when I get home, too, but my brain seems to work better early in the morning.
What do you do to market your book? I have major problems with the marketing part of being an author. I am on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, I have a blog, I hand out business cards to anyone who will take them. I do have some marketing plans for the new book, which I hope to release in February or March, but they’re incomplete right now.
Who are your three top author crushes? Who would you most like to meet? I wouldn’t call them crushes, but I’m a huge fan of Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and Diana Gabaldon.
What are your future plans for writing? The new book, The Sound of Winter, will be out within the next few months. It is the first in a four-part series called Seasons. I also have a sequel of sorts for To Tame a Rogue Heart on the back burner. It’s a “we’ll see” sort of thing, but I’m hopeful.
What words of wisdom would you share with aspiring authors? Grow thick skin. Read, read, read, and write, write, write!
Thanks so much, for chatting with me, today, Jorja! Dear Readers please check out Jorja Grael’s links.
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