Friday, November 22, 2013

Blog Ring of Power Presents: Jennie Bates Bozic

Welcome to another Friday of The Blog Ring of Power in the Realm. I hope you are all comfy, relaxed or gearing up because it's interview time. Let me introduce Jennie Bates Bozic. The beginning part of her interview can be found on the following epic sites:

Part 4 and Part 5 @ You are here. (makes me wish I had one of those moving pointers.) - Friday, November 22nd

Alright so let's get to the good stuff! 

Jennie1_00000 Author Bio:
I’m a visual effects artist for film and television by day, and at night I don my author cape and
pen stories for the YA crowd. I love a good fairy tale, especially if there’s a creepy twist, so that’s what I write.
I met my husband in the World of Warcraft and we live in Los Angeles with our cat. We spend our time playing video games, reading, hiking, sweeping up cat hair, and cursing the terrible traffic.

Section #4: About Your Current Work

BRoP:  Tell us about your new book and when it is out? Where can people purchase it?

JBB: I have two! DAMSELFLY is a futuristic retelling of Thumbelina. Sort of like Tinkerbell goes on the Bachelorette. It will be available on November 11th in print and ebook from all major online retailers.

SUGAR PLUM is a companion novelette (very short novel)  that will be permanently free as an ebook. It takes place at the same time as DAMSELFLY  featuring different characters that will play a big role in the sequel. It can be read before or after DAMSELFLY.

BRoP:   Is there anything new, unusual, or interesting about your book? How is it different from other books on the same subject?

JBB: There are some dystopian elements in my book, but it’s not a fight against a totalitarian government. Instead, at its heart, it’s about a girl who faces circumstances she cannot change in a significant way and has to decide who she will be. I thought a lot about how to work out Lina’s story and her involvement in deciding her own fate. A lot of YA heroines right now are very kickass (which is great!) but sometimes we can’t do much to actually change our environment. I felt it would be more realistic in her case to show how she grows in personal strength in that sort of situation and takes ownership of herself and her choices.

BRoP:   What was the hardest part of writing this book?

JBB: The romance! Writing romance makes me so nervous because I personally don’t enjoy reading it unless it’s done very well. It was really important to me that the relationships felt authentic, especially since the setting is so removed from real life.

BRoP:  What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

JBB: I loved writing the scene where Row and Lina team up to do some investigating. It’s creepy and a really fun reveal of a vital plot point (Well, fun from my point of view. Maybe not the reader’s!).

BRoP: Tell us about your book’s cover – where did the design come from and what was the design process like?

JBB: I’m a visual effects artist, so I decided to design my own cover. I wanted to portray Lina because--hello!-- awesome wings! But I didn't want to dictate how other people should see her in their minds, so I went with a silhouette. The web was a fun addition that I didn't originally plan.

Section #5: Words of Wisdom

BRoP:  Tell us about your route to success – how/when did you decide to self-publish? Did you query an agent first? How did you handle the editing, proofreading, cover design, etc.

JBB: I have an agent who submitted DAMSELFLY to a number of interested editors at major publishing houses. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a good fit for my book, so my agent suggested that I self-publish. I’d considered going indie for a while at that point because I know that book acquisitions are very subjective and it’s not necessarily a sign that your book is bad. When I wrote this book, fairytale retellings were just starting to take off, and I knew that if I waited and wrote another book in the hope that I could sell DAMSELFLY later, that I would probably not get that chance. So I decided to go ahead. If DAMSELFLY is really successful, my agent will try to sell the rights again just as he has for several other successful self-pubbed clients.

I contacted several different editors (some through recommendations, some through internet searches) and got sample edits. I ended up going with Rebecca Weston as a copy editor and she was great. I hired Polgarus Studio to do the formatting and they did a fantastic job. Finally, I designed the cover myself since I had a good idea of what I wanted and I have enough experience in design.

BRoP:   What are the most important elements of good writing? 

JBB: Beyond the obvious (solid grasp of mechanics), the most important thing is that you put your soul in it. The story has to matter to you personally, otherwise no one else will care. There should be parts that are hard for you to write because they reveal something personal about you. Other parts should be hard because they’re outside of your personal experience and force you to see things in a way you usually do not. If you have those things and the mechanics, I think you’ll end up with a great story.

BRoP:  What do you feel is the key to your success?

JBB: Reasonable expectations and a strong work ethic. I know that not everyone will like my book, and that is totally okay. It’s my job to work hard and put out a book that I’m proud of and then work some more to help it find its audience. I've learned to keep going even if I’m not enjoying myself at the moment. The love always comes back when I push through.

BRoP: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

JBB: Yes! I would like to say “Thank you!” It has been so much fun to get feedback from readers that I have never met. It reminds me of why I do this - to share these characters and worlds with others. It makes everything worth it.

BRoP:  What are your current / future project(s)?

JBB: I’m working on three novels right now. Cue the deep sigh! One is the sequel to DAMSELFLY, which I’m really excited about. Another is a book about a teenage girl who becomes homeless along with her family. Finally, I’m revising (yet again) the first book that I ever wrote. I just love the world and characters too much to give up on them!

Follow Jennie:

DamselflyIn 2065, the Lilliput Project created Lina - the first six-inch-tall winged girl - as the solution to a worldwide energy and food crisis. Isolated in a compound amidst the forests of Denmark, Lina has grown up aware of only one purpose: learn how to survive in a world filled with hawks, bumblebees, and loneliness. However, on the eve of her sixteenth birthday, she discovers that she’s not the only teenager her size. Six 'Toms' were created shortly after Lina, and now her creators need to prove to the world that tiny people are the next logical step in human evolution. In other words, they need to prove that reproduction is possible. Um. No thanks. Lina's already fallen in love with a boy she met online named Jack. Only he has no idea that thumbelina1847 could literally fit inside his heart. When her creators threaten to hurt Jack unless she chooses a husband from among the ‘Toms’, Lina agrees to star in a reality TV series. Once the episodes begin to air, the secret of her size is out. Cut off from any contact with the outside world, Lina assumes Jack is no longer interested. After all, what guy would want to date a girl he can’t even kiss? Slowly, very slowly, she befriends the six young men who see her as their only ticket to happiness. Perhaps she can make just one guy’s dream of love and companionship come true. But her creators have a few more twists in store for her that she never thought possible. She’s not the only one playing to the cameras

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