Today At the Water Cooler welcomes author Darlene Jones who is touring with Orangeberry Book Tours promoting her science fiction romance novel, Empowered. Darlene has graciously answered some interview questions for us. So sit back and relax as we learn a bit more about the author and her novel:
ATWC1.com: If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?
DJ: My Kindle, a power source and a wireless connection.
ATWC1.com: Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
DJ: Because my books are an imaginative and unique blend of adventure and love story with a sci fi twist and they’ll make you think.
ATWC1.com: Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
DJ: I’ve written three books and published the first two. Book four is a work in progress and will have the happy ever after ending unless the story gets away on me again.
ATWC1.com: What inspired you to want to become a writer?
DJ: I grew up on a farm in an isolated area. There were very few books available and the ones I did read were like a bit of magic taking me to all these wonderful places. When I was 10 we moved to the city and I discovered the bookmobile. That was heaven. That’s when I first wanted to make a bit of that magic myself.
ATWC1.com: Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
DJ: Reading reviews from strangers and knowing that they enjoyed what I wrote.
ATWC1.com: What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
DJ: Join a critiquing group and get a writing partner. My partner and I critique and copyedit for each other. I wouldn’t have gotten to the published stage without her.
ATWC1.com: If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
DJ: Right where I am now. Canada is a great country. I’m on Vancouver Island and have wonderful views of the ocean and mountains from my desk. It’s a wonder I get any writing done.
ATWC1.com: How did you know you should become an author?
DJ: I told myself stories in bed when I suffered from insomnia. They didn’t help me get to sleep, but eventually I found that I had to write the story down.
ATWC1.com: Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
DJ: Oh yes. I think that bits of ourselves would creep into our writing even if we tried consciously to stay out of the story.
ATWC1.com: Hidden talent?
DJ: Body boarding. I’m not at all athletic, but I love boarding.
ATWC1.com: Favorite Candy?
DJ: Chocolate – it should be a food group.
ATWC1.com: What was your favorite children’s book?
DJ: Little Black Sambo. I had no idea when I lived on the farm that it was racist. I just thought he was so clever to outwit the tiger the way he did.
ATWC1.com: How do you react to a bad review?
DJ: First reaction is to be hurt. Second reaction is to say, “Hum, I see what you mean.” Third reaction is to dismiss the bits I don’t think are valid. For example, one reviewer wrote, “I read your book during the Super Bowl and the woman, I forget her name …” Now how seriously should I take that? She wasn’t concentrating on my book by the sound of it if she couldn’t remember the heroine’s name.
ATWC1.com: If you were a super hero what would your kryptonite be?
ATWC1.com: You have won one million dollars what is the first thing that you would buy?
DJ: Hum, good question. Oh, I know! Publicity for my books
ATWC1.com: Which authors have influenced you most and how?
DJ: I had the great good fortune to spend a week in a writers’ workshop with Robert J. Sawyer. He’s an amazing man, a natural teacher and so generous sharing his knowledge and expertise.
ATWC1.com: What do you do in your free time?
DJ: Read! And play with my granddaughter.
ATWC1.com: Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again.
DJ: After my workout and breakfast I do emails, Twitter and Facebook. Each day I try to find at least 2 more bloggers who will host me and readers to whom I can send copies of my books for review. Then I critique my partner’s work and review the critiquing she did of my work. I also write blog bits and interviews like this one. Once that is done I feel that my mind is free to write. Four days a week I have my 3 year old granddaughter over so that keeps me busy too. After supper more writing and then reading. The best thing I bought in the last year? My Kindle.
ATWC1.com: Favorite places to travel?
DJ: I’ve done a lot of travelling and I lived in Mali. Every trip has left special memories, but the safari I went on in Kenya is by far the best trip ever. I would go back anytime. There is no describing the feeling of being miles from buildings, electrical wires, etc. – the perfect silence and a lion nursing her cubs just a few feet away from you.
ATWC1.com: In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with?
DJ: Hum, I hadn’t ever thought of this. On reflection, I don’t think I would want to co-author a book. I want my book to be mine.