Author Spotlight

A very talented author generously agreed to take time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions with me.  Letís hear from

Jorrie Spencer/Joely Skye

It seems like you have been writing your whole life, when did you get published for the first time and how did you feel?
Many, many years ago, I had a short story published in a local newspaper, and I won fifty dollars worth of books at a local bookstore.  Mostly, I remember being excited about the free books!  But, if you mean my first novel published, that would be Haven, which is now at Samhain.  What I remember most about that sale is the speed of it.  Samhain Publishing had been open for a few months and I must have hit the editor at the right moment, because I got offered a contract the same day I sent in my full.  (She had already read my partial.)  I was so stunned that it took me the entire weekend to believe it.  I thought it had been a mistake.

Give us a little insight into the mind and life of Jorrie Spencer.
Uh, goodness, not sure what to say!  I live in Canada, with my husband and two kids.  I spend my life trying to find time to read and write, sometimes more successfully than others.  I love getting outside on my bike or just walking, or in the winter, skiing.  Iím addicted to the internet.  I like watching soccer, Lost and Bourne movies.

When you are writing do your stories come to you all at once, or slowly page by page?
When I start a story, I usually have an opening scene that hooks me into the characters and their story.  From there I want to know what will happen next.  I am very much a panster, not a plotter.  That said, I always have a pretty good idea of how the book will end and what the emotional arcs of the hero, heroine, and relationship will be.  Though these ideas can sometimes be wrong, I am writing  towards the ending.

You write in several genres. Do you have a favorite and if so, what is it and why is it your favorite?
To date, paranormal romance is my favorite genre to write in, particularly shapeshifters namely The Strength of the Pack and The Strength of the Wolf.  I have a cat shifter idea set in that same world, too.  That said,  I wrote a series of three novellas with a psychic hero which I loved writing.  (Beautiful Monster is written under my pen name, Joely Skye, and it is a m/m romance.  Also, incidentally, set in the same world.)  What I love about paranormal romance is that you can take a basically contemporary setting and play with it.  I, also, am fascinated by memory loss, which is prominent in both The Strength of the Wolf and Beautiful Monster.

Speaking of favorites, tell us a few of yoursÖfoods, authors, music, books, season, holidays, or any others.
Favorites.  Letís see.  When it comes to authors, that would be Laura Kinsale (I think she is a genius), Suzanne Brockman (I adore her voice), and Jennifer Crusie (really funny).  The series that has had the biggest impact on me would be Dorothy Dunnettís Lymond Chronicles which Iíve read twice.  Fantastic series, though not for the faint of heart.  Huge scope, fantastic historical detail, absolutely compelling story. 

Music-- I love U2, Capercaillie, Kate Bush (I know, Iím dating myself), George Winston, and Coldplay. 

I love ALL seasons, as I love the change of seasons.  Autumn may be my favorite with its crisp, fresh weather and its gorgeous colors.  But, I also love the heat of summer and white winter days.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Donít compare yourself to others, and, I know this is clichť, but just persevere.  Also, write for the writing itself.  That doesnít have to be the only reason you write, but if the writing isnít giving you joy , you need to step back and ask yourself why youíre doing this.

If you could bring one of your characters to lifeÖwho would it be and why?
I know my characters are in my head, but they feel to me like they have separate lives!  Lives that actually wouldnít intersect with my real life.  I canít actually imagine meeting them.

Do your friends and family read your books?  What do they think?  Are they your biggest supporters?
My husband is very supportive.  He reads many, but not all my books.  It depends a bit on what I let him read!

How would you spend a perfect day?
By myself, doing some writing and reading, while also getting outside to walk or run or bike or ski.  I love my family, but I adore getting alone time where I donít have to look after anyone.

Do you lock yourself away when writing or can you write anywhere?
I canít write just anywhere.  I need some personal space and some quiet.  I find it VERY distracting to have people around me when Iím writing.  It distracts me and I make very poor progress.  So, I do try to lock myself away.

How long does it generally take you to write a book from start to finish?
I am a slow writer, especially by todayís standards.  When writing the first draft, the story comes to me slowly and I have to write rolling first drafts.  That is, I get to say, Chapter three, and then revise before continuing on.  And when the books is complete I revise, revise, and revise again.  Iím a bit like the tortoise, Iím afraid.  A 60K book takes me ten months, allowing for some down time so I can come back to the manuscript with fresh eyes.  Iíd like to speed up a little, but when I push myself to write too fast, I not only lose the joy, I also lose the story as it gets derailed because, in my impatience, Iíve pushed the story in the wrong direction.

Do you enjoy hearing from your readers and how is the best way to contact you?
I LOVE hearing from readers!  Itís my biggest thrill.  I have a blog at http://jorriespencer.wordpress.com/ and my email is jorriespencer@gmail.com

Do you ever suffer from writerís block and how do you handle it?
I donít really suffer from writerís block, no.  Sometimes, I need to take a break from writing and fill the well with reading or even other activities.  But, Iím a plodding-type writer who, though not fast, writes pretty regularly.  I wouldnít say day-in day-out, but month-in-month-out certainly.

Have you lived in Canada your whole life and can you ever see yourself living anywhere else?
Canada is my home, but I have lived elsewhere, in England and the US.  Iím most at home in Canada, but who knows where we might land up in the future.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
As I mentioned above, I write under the name Joely Skye, too.  I chose to have two names because my first books seemed so entirely different: a dark paranormal m/m romance (Joely Skye) and a sweet contemporary m/f romance (Jorrie Spencer).  I didnít think thereíd be much crossover appeal and I thought branding would serve my readers best.  Now, however, Iím writing darkish werewolf romances under both names!

Thanks so much, Gracie.  Let me know if thereís anything else youíd like from me.

~~~Jorrie Spencer

Jorrie's Website/Blog

Joely's Website/Blog

Jorrie/Joely's Email

 

 

 

 

 

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