Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Fangirl Friday: An Interview with Fellow PitchWars Mentor JC Nelson!

Today I'm thrilled to welcome fellow 2014 PitchWars mentor JC Nelson to the blog to talk about brand new Urban Fantasy book baby FREE AGENT! Here's a little about JC and FREE AGENT which comes out TODAY from Penguin-Ace!

Author Bio:

A Texas transplant to the Pacific Northwest, JC Nelson lives with a family and a flock of chickens near rainy Seattle.


Alright, JC, tell us a little about your writer's journey so far:
I think I’ve written since I learned to write, but it wasn’t until about ten years ago I began to actively work on my writing, trying to get better.  I wrote some truly awful books, then some merely bad books, a couple that had promise, and then, one evening, I sat down and opened a blank document.  “I’ve got it, Grimm.”  That was the first line.  I knew it belonged to a woman.  I knew she worked for the Fairy Godfather.  Everything else grew from there.

I want to know about this book already! So, let's hear your Twitter Pitch! (140 characters or less.)
In modern day New York, where wishes are bought and sold, a young woman enslaved to the Fairy Godather fights for her happily ever after.

What inspired you to write FREE AGENT? How is it a book only you could write?
I loved fairy tales as a child.  Had a book of Grimm’s Fairy tales, including all kinds of freaky ones that include violence and pain and sad endings.  I kept thinking “What would these stories be like now?  How would they change after 400 years of people getting smarter?”  And Marissa’s voice is so like my own. 

What's your favorite thing about writing?
When I reach that critical moment when a character puts it all on the line, gives up what they had, goes after what they want.  When a character reaches that golden epiphany about who and what they are.  Those are the moments that make me smile, cheer, or even bring a tear to my eye.  I love those in every story.

What's your least favorite thing?
When the story is so short it’s basically a wart made of words. When you can’t see the arc of what will be yet, and you pile on words a few hundred at a time, believing against all evidence that somewhere in there is a great story waiting to come out.

Ah, the pantser’s dilemma. Now it's time to brag a little--What do you love most about your book?
It’s funny. Not just sarcastic, though Marissa can be sarcastic.  It’s that it genuinely makes me smile and laugh out loud at times.  When I read something I wrote and I end it with a laugh and a grin, I know I’ve done well. 

Who was your favorite character to write? Why?

Marissa Locks, the main character.  Hands down.  She’s smart, she’s protective, she’s a woman with no powers or magic or heritage holding her own in a world of witches and fairies and wolves.  Her passion for doing the right thing, her desire to find someone to love, they are things that bring me back to writing her over and over.

Sounds like my kind of heroine! What has surprised you most about publishing post-agent?

In the beginning, I thought finishing the book was hard. When I finished the book, I thought revisions were harder.  I thought beta feedback was harder than that.  I thought Querying was the Worst Thing Ever ™.  (It probably is).  I thought deciding between agents was worse, and then going on sub.

I’ll be honest – I love editing.  Love the process of making a book shine, but I now know the hardest part is right here.  It’s when I take off my author hat and put on my promotion hat.  I always believed “If you write an incredible story, everything else takes care of itself.”  It doesn’t.  Network now.  Cheer on others now.  Participate in blog hops and cover reveals and always reach out and root for now.  Because your time will come, and then you want a rich bed of writers supporting you.

Great advice, J.C.! Self-promotion is definitely not an intrinsic skill for a lot of writers. Okay, now a little about you. (And yes, I stole these questions from In the Actor's Studio with James Lipton.)

What is your favorite word?
Scabrous.  I love the feel and the image.

Ooooh, good one. What is your least favorite word?
Moist.  If it’s not a cupcake, moist is pretty much never good. Even saying it makes me squeamish.  Moist Most Moist (shudder).

LOL moist is definitely the most popular least favorite word around here. What turns you on?
Worlds I can get lost in.

What turns you off?
When the hero or heroine is so insta-sexy everything in the book is forming an orderly queue for their bedroom.  Vampires, werewolves, sorcerers and farm machinery all competing for the same MC? Boring.

And dinosaurs. Don’t forget the dinosaurs. What sound or noise do you love?
To this day, the roar of a honeybee hive when they are bringing in nectar makes me grin ear to ear.

What sound or noise do you hate?
The sound of vomit hitting the hardwood floor, followed by a small voice saying “I’m sick,” followed by the same small voice saying “The dog’s taking care of it.”

*cringes* Seriously, what is it about dogs that tells them, “this seems like a good snack?” So gross. Okay, what profession, other than your own, would you most like to attempt?
I’d love to write for a living.  I’d keep bees for a living, but any man who can make ten thousand dollars keeping bees can make thirty thousand doing anything else.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear G-d say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
“Oh, it’s you. About time you got here.”

Finally, what's the one question you've always wanted to answer in an interview? (And of course, you have to answer it!) 

What book do you love most?

Such a tough choice, but for me, “The Lord of the Rings” has always defined epic fantasy.  I love that story, and it’s like an old friend.  I have a dogeared copy and at times will flip it open to a random page and fall back into it.  It’s an old friend who is always happy to see me.

Thanks so much, J.C.! I I don't know about you guys but I am soooo curious about this title! Here's a little more about it and pre-order links at the bottom! Add FREE AGENT to your TBR list today!

Blurb (from Amazon):
When it comes to crafting happily-ever-afters, the Agency is the best in the land of Kingdom. The Fairy Godfather Grimm can solve any problem—from eliminating imps to finding prince charming—as long as you can pay the price…
Click Cover to Add to Goodreads!

Working for Grimm isn’t Marissa Locks’s dream job. But when your parents trade you to a Fairy Godfather for a miracle, you don’t have many career options. To pay off her parents’ debt and earn her freedom, Marissa must do whatever Grimm asks, no matter what fairy-tale fiasco she’s called on to deal with.

Setting up a second-rate princess with a first-class prince is just another day at the office. But when the matchmaking goes wrong, Marissa and Grimm find themselves in a bigger magical muddle than ever before. Not only has the prince gone missing, but the Fae are gearing up to attack Kingdom, and a new Fairy Godmother is sniffing around Grimm’s turf, threatening Marissa with the one thing she can’t resist: her heart’s wishes.

Now Marissa will have to take on Fairies, Fae, dragons, and princesses to save the realm—or give up any hope of ever getting her happy ending…

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