Today on Author on the Couch,
I’m conducting a session with
Jane Lynne Daniels
Jane is giving away a copy of her book STARTS WITH A KISS to one lucky commenter and a $10 Amazon Gift Card to another lucky commenter! Two winners this week!
Me: Tell me about an experience that had a profound impact on your life.
Jane: My parents’ divorce when I was young (11-12). I found solace in books – reading anything and everything the local library had to offer. I also made up stories of my own, elaborate family sagas filled with drama, angst and comedy. With my own stories, I could control the outcomes. Well…most of the time, anyway. Even then, my characters sometimes took the reins and went tripping happily down their own paths while I scrambled to keep up.
I’m pretty sure my mother’s relieved I turned out to be a writer. She must have worried about a kid who spent more time with fictional people than real ones, but thankfully, she didn’t say anything. And during my Bronte phase, she didn’t question my conviction that there had been a terrible mistake – I was supposed to have been born on the English Moors with a horse as my only means of transportation. She just encouraged me to accept my life in Portland, Oregon. And do the dishes.
Me: So many writers attribute turning to reading during painful life events as the root of their writing. Isn’t it amazing what’s grown out of those painful roots? Beautiful words and successful careers! That’s more than turning lemons into lemonade. That’s turning lemons into a delicious lemon meringue pie!
What personality trait of yours helps you most as an author?
Jane: Tenacity. Wait – is that just another word for stubbornness? I don’t give up. Ever. But tenacity sounds nicer.
Me: To be successful in this industry you’ve got to have tenacity–aka stubbornness. If you didn’t you would’ve quit after that first rejection.
What personality trait of yours hinders you most as an author?
Jane: I have an analytic side that questions my creative side. And then my creative side gets hurt feelings and fires back at my analytic side. Very annoying. I have to give each its turn.
Me: What was your high point as a writer?
Jane: It happened just recently – when I received a call from an RWA board member, telling me that BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU KISS FOR is a 2015 RITA Award finalist. I couldn’t talk, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t believe it. Then I screamed. Thankfully, this was not the board member’s first RITA finalist call. She wisely had me on speaker or I would have taken out her hearing.
Me: Congratulations on your Rita Final! That’s something many a romance writer dreams about. And I just need to say–I love your cover for BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU KISS FOR!
What was your low point as a writer?
Jane: The many rejections before I sold. There were a lot of them, so that was an extended period of time! I got over it by telling myself I would get better, and learn more, with each book I wrote. And that eventually, good things would happen. They did.
Me: Speaking of that dirty R-word–rejection–how do you deal with rejection?
Jane: It’s so tough not to take it personally, but that’s my advice. Don’t. Not everyone will love your book, but you don’t need everyone to – you just need to find those who will. And they are out there.
Me: How many books have you written?
Jane: I’ve written five full-length novels that have been published (two under another pen name, Dawn Calvert), but before I sold, I wrote four novels that will never again see the light of day. I needed to write those, though, to learn.
I work well under a deadline, so can write a book in a few months. Without a deadline, it can take me up to a year. The most painful part is the first draft. I love to edit and layer, but the first part, getting the words on the screen, is the toughest for me.
Me: Me too!
If you could have dinner with any famous author who would it be? Why?
Jane: Jane Austen. But I would be so in awe, I would be tongue-tied, unable to say a word. Which might make for an uncomfortable dinner.
Me: Tell me about your book STARTS WITH A KISS.
Everything will finally be better. In college Anya Ramsay made the worst mistake of her life, but a gypsy spell now offers the chance to have done everything different. To have done everything right. The college car accident that disfigured her face and paralyzed basketball star Ryder Brandt, the man she’s always loved? It’ll have never happened. But nothing is ever so easy, just as some things—like Ryder’s kiss—can never be forgotten. To rectify all, Anya has to come to terms with who she is and what she’s done. Rewriting this mistake will be a ride wilder than the original, but at the end of the trip is a happy ending—and a life with the perfect man for her past, present and future.
Me: Share with us a favorite paragraph or two from STARTS WITH A KISS.
Jane: In the following excerpt, the hero and heroine meet each other again after several years and an accident that changed their lives and tore them apart. It’s special to me because, at this point, there is more unsaid than said.
His gaze met hers again. “I’d better go.” He jabbed his thumb back over his shoulder, in the direction of the locker room. Tell me not to. Or say you’ll wait until I come back.
Instead, she picked up her bag and said, “Me, too. Anyway, congratulations again. It always feels good to beat a rival team.”
Right. Good thing she hadn’t said what he’d thought he wanted to hear. They were both better off that way, since his heart was now doing this weird thumping thing and his brain was skittering around his memory to pull up all sorts of images of him and Anya. Before.
“Thanks,” he said, hands on the wheels. “Good seeing you.” He didn’t wait for her to answer before rolling away, and he didn’t have to look back to know she was watching him. His fist clenched to pound the door leading to the locker room open, as though the resulting pain in his hand could somehow overtake and relieve the one in his heart.
Didn’t work. Of course it fucking didn’t.
Me: To be eligible to win one of Jane’s prizes leave a comment for Jane. How do you deal with rejection? What’s your writing process look like? Which of your personality traits helps/hinders you the most?
Buy links to STARTS WITH A KISS
Social Media Links for Jane Lynne Daniels
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