Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Interview of Author JC Szot
Latest Book: Painted Posts
JC Szot was born in Morristown, New Jersey and grew up in the quiet town of Long Valley, New Jersey. She now lives in Upper Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania with her husband Mike, who understands when he's brushed aside for her fictitious world.
Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: I called my mother. She'd been listening to my tales of woe for years regarding rejections and the ups and downs of writing. I also need to give much credit to G.A. Hauser, fellow author and dear friend. She helped me tremendously in the beginning and I still lean on her occasionally.
Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: I have no problem with the first 5 to 10 chapters of a new project. It's the excitement and the rush that I think every writer gets when they're starting a new manuscript. Laying the foundational part of the book has never been a problem for me. By the time I sit down I have it all in my head and just need to get it down in a file.
Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
A: I have the hardest part with the middle. This doesn't happen with every project but with most. Usually I need to put much focus on stretching the tension in order to hold the reader's interest before proceeding onto the resolution too quickly. Every project is different. With most I exert most of my energy on the middle-ground tension.
Q: Do all your heroes and all heroines look the same in your mind as you “head write”?
A: Never. When I make my storyboards the characters are formed in my mind first. I use a very primitive method. I look through magazines and cut out pictures of men and women. I have a rule, no celebrities, actors or famous musicians. I find great visual aids in Men's Health and a magazine called Details. I find my women in most clothing circulars and other random magazines, which I collect weekly from the Sunday paper.
Q: What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
A: I love to read, of course. I enjoy baking and nature walks.
Q: What’s your strongest point as a writer?
A: I think my strongest point is descriptive detail, though that skill can lead to info dumping for which I need to keep in check. Many of my readers have told me that I have excellent description. I've also gotten a lot of compliments on my dialogue.
Q: What genre would you like to try writing in but haven’t yet done so? Why?
A: I would like to try my hand at Young Adult fiction.
I guess I haven't made the attempt because I know before even trying that it's a huge content adjustment. I really need to be ready. If I was ready I would have started a project by now. When the time is right it will come.
Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all! Friend me on Facebook-Justine Cerrigone Szot to read my "Snippet of the Day" daily
EXCERPT: Warning: Adult Language
“I wanted to introduce myself. I’m Jayden Preston. I live over there,” he pointed. “My roommate, Brian owns the place.” Jayden extended his hand.
“I’m Ella Rowen. It’s nice to meet you.”
Their fingers threaded together, her skin like a brush of silk. Jayden didn’t want her wrestling with the thought of whether to invite him in or not.
“Wanna take a walk? The sunset’s amazing.” Jayden checked her expression. Her lips eased into a welcome smile.
“Sure, let me get my sandals," Ella said.
“You don’t need them. See?” Jayden pointed to his feet. “Sand’s nice and cool now.”
“Okay.” She turned and slid the door closed. Jayden waved her on, following her down the stairs and onto the beach.
A cool breeze blew off the water, lifting her hair. Jayden snuck in as many sideward glances as he could, hoping he was getting away with it. Her skin was gorgeous, so milky it glowed, and those eyes. They were a pale blue. When he looked into them, he felt an intense pull. As they trudged through the sand Jayden eyed the curved flexing of muscle on what he noticed was a fine pair of legs. His insides quivered with excitement.
Damp, salty air coated his hair, weighing it down over his brows. He searched his thoughts, needing to engage in some get-to-know-you conversation. Her beauty was hindering his skills. All the rehearsing he’d done had been blown to pieces two seconds after she’d opened the door.
“So you just moved in…where’re you from?” He slowed his strides, wanting her body aligned with his.
"I’m from Bangor, Pennsylvania. I’m just about settled in,” she told him. “It was sort of a spur-of-the-moment thing.” Her eyes danced around him, lowering back down to the sand.
“How do you like it so far?” Jayden dipped his toes into the water. Ella did the same, meeting his eyes.
“It’s beautiful here.”
“It is.” The lapping water filled the pause for a moment. Her next question caught him off guard, teasing an eagerness he felt he should restrain. He’d been noticed.
“I saw you the other day. You train dogs,” Ella smiled. Her lower lip was full, tempting enough to bite.
“Yeah, I work for The Seeing Eye. You must’ve seen me downtown?” Jayden felt his mouth curve into a smile. His eyes sank into hers, taking a casual cruise down her sensual neck. Jayden fed his urge as nonchalantly as possible. He drank in the flesh of her chest and the slight pillows of her breasts. I’m gonna have to tie my hands together.
“Yeah, I was on my way to apply for a job,” Ella said. Her voice had a raspy tone to it, very sexy.
“You landed a job already?” Jayden faced her, the wet sand grainy between his toes.
“I was surprised too. I got a job answering phones and making appointments at Brahman Restoration.” A wide smile spread across her lovely mouth.
“How do you like it?” he asked.
Ella lifted a shoulder. “It’s okay, but I’d rather be taking pictures,” she confessed.
“You’re a photographer then?” Jayden moved away from the water line and sat down, gesturing to a spot on the sand. Ella sat next to him. Her hair blew back off her face, giving him a clear view of her angled cheekbones and arched brows.
“It’s a hobby, but…”
“Hey, a lot of people who claim a talent’s just a hobby wind up being quite good at their craft.”
Ella reclined back in the sand, crossing her shapely legs. Darkness bled across the water, turning the bay into a shimmering pool of ink.
“What’s your specialty?” Jayden asked, his inquiry hesitant. He didn’t want to push but his mind was running. All of a sudden he wanted to know everything about this girl. She looked to be his age, mid-twenties. She shifted in the sand and faced him.
“I snap everything,” she grinned. “Tell me about the dogs. That’s so cool.”
Jayden explained what it was that he did with the dogs—how he trained them, and how people in the community fostered the puppies until they were a certain age, preparing them to become a Seeing Eye dog.
"The dogs have to be a certain age before you can begin training them. They also need to have the right temperament. That’s huge.” Ella’s eyes narrowed at the gust of wind that rushed off the bay. Her light laughter tickled his insides. Her next statement had his dick jumping with glee.
“I have to confess that I did see you my first night here,” she admitted, chewing her lower lip, her expression worried. “You were playing Frisbee with your dog. The lighting was too perfect, I just had to…”
Jayden laughed. “You photographed me?” He felt his jaw fall.
Ella nodded. “I did. I’m sorry. If you want the pictures, I’ll give them to you,” she said, her voice wavering.
Jayden couldn’t help but laugh as Ella vacillated after conceding to her indiscretions.
“I’d like to see them, but you can keep them,” he insisted.
“It’s not polite to photograph subjects without their consent. I do have ethics,” Ella told him, her tone now serious.
“Hey,” Jayden lifted a hand. “No problem. I’ll pose for you anytime.” His mouth went dry, her presence intoxicating.
“Really?” Her face lifted, her eyes widening. “I got some great shots that day,” Ella said, tracing her finger through the sand.
“Which dog did I have?” Jayden soaked up her animation.
“It was a black Lab. I’m guessing that you can’t keep the dogs at your house?”
“No. If you want to join the puppy-raising program to prepare them for training you can. You get to keep them for up to eighteen months,” Jayden explained.
“Giving them back must be hard,” Ella sighed.
“It can be, but you know that going in. Just think of the disabled person you’ll be helping that helps. The older ones stay at training headquarters. Those are the ones I’m allowed to play with. They need to get out and run. I can’t have any animals at the house because my roommate, Brian is allergic to pet dander,” Jayden laughed. “It’s sort of ironic. I find the prefect roommate, but can’t bring in a dog.”
“That’s too bad. At least you get to work and play with them. To give someone that gift must be an awesome feeling.”
“It is. We’ve helped a lot of veterans as well. That was Jordan you photographed, the black Lab. We just placed her. That was our swan-song romp. She’s a great dog.” Jayden glanced away, feeling the emotion grip him for a moment. Ella’s soft voice washed it all away, healing him like a homeopathic tonic. Her beauty and grace was all natural. He was smitten already, and all it took was one fucking walk through the sand.
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I'd like to thank Romance Books 4Us for having me today. I love to hear from readers. Feel free to check in and see what I'm up to. Justine@jc-hotreads.com
Posted by Marianne Stephens at 12:01 AM