Monday, December 15, 2014

Author Interview: Jasmine Denton

When did you first know you wanted to write? 
I was just a kid when I started dreaming of becoming a writer. I'd always loved to read and would spend hours lost in a book. I wanted to do that for other people; create great stories that they could dive into and lose themselves.
What works of Literature/Art/Music have influenced your writing?
Some of my biggest influences are Sarah Dessen and L.J. Smith. Also, Joss Whedon.  

How did you come up with the idea for your book? 
It was influenced mainly by the book The Outsiders, which was my favorite book as a child. I liked the way the siblings struggle without their parents, so I created a family that was separated by the death of their parents. The youngest child, a girl, was sent to live with relatives while the brothers stayed behind. Years later, the sister returns home with a lot of problems and mistakes in her past. I asked questions like What was it like for them knowing their sister was in so much pain? If they could go back, would they do things differently? How protective would they be over her? After that, the story kind of wrote itself.

Could you talk a bit about what the publication process was like for you? 
The process was grueling. For the past ten years, I've tried to sell various drafts of the story to publishers and literary agents all over the business under a bunch of working titles. Nobody was interested, but family who had read the story couldn't stop talking about it, even years after they had read it. Then something amazing happened. The nature of the publishing business changed and KDP was born and growing in popularity. What was self-published was suddenly called Indie. Also, my coming of age story that didn't fit into YA or Women's Fiction suddenly had a perfect place in the New Adult genre. I decided to take advantage of these opportunities and publish Another Life myself.   

Are you currently working on any new projects? 
Yes, actually. In addition to the Another Life series, I'm working on series of companion short stories. These will follow the story of the oldest brother's girlfriend before she moved to town. Bela is the daughter of a mob boss, and in love with someone from a rival mob family. She has a ruthless power-hungry brother who would do anything for the sake of their family name. The story is told from his POV, too. Things get interesting when Bela's boyfriend wants to work for her brother, but he isn't honest about the reasons why and it could cost her everything. Cosa Nostra: Men of Honor will be out by January. 

If you could be any person for a day alive, dead, or fictional, who would it be, and what would you do? 
I would be Joss Whedon. And while I was him, I would approach the major networks and sell the TV Pilots that are sitting on my shelf. Lol. 

In three sentences or less, why should people read your book? 
If you like stories about family drama, and characters who aren't perfect but very human, then Another Life is for you. It has suspense, romance, healing. It's a story about moving on from past pain and claiming the future ahead.

About Jasmine's Book:
Cameron Baker has always felt like the punch line to a bad joke. She’s an orphan, borderline alcoholic party-girl and chronic screw-up, but the summer she turns eighteen, her life hits a new low. She wakes up after a drunken night to find out she’s married to her very manipulative frenemy, Julian. 

In a panicked frenzy, she packs her belongings and flees. On the run from the police as well, she seeks refuge with her two older brothers, whom she hasn’t seen in years. 
Returning to her childhood home in a small town in Georgia, Cameron makes up an excuse about bonding with her brothers for the summer, and secretly tries to figure out how to get herself out of this mess. Though Cameron is seemingly safe, she can’t shake the urges to drink her pain away, and her brothers notice this quickly. As awkward and protective instincts fly in the wounded family, Cameron feels like the black sheep among them. She harbors more resentment about their estranged years than she initially thought. Shane, a reformed bad-boy and long time friend of the family quickly takes her under his wing. His belief in hope and second chances is just the ticket she needs to straighten out her life, and a reluctant romance blooms between them. Just as she’s about to settle in and allow herself some happiness, Julian tracks her down. His threat: leave with him, or he’ll tell everyone all of her dirty little secrets—and she has much more to hide than her marriage. 

As the family struggles to accept each other, flaws and all, the past just won’t stay buried. With so many secrets to hide, it’s only a matter of time before it all blows up in her face. Her only way out is to admit the terrible truths she’s been running from, and finally face her demons, but will she be strong enough?

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