Joining me today is author, Joanne Efendi
Tell my readers a little about yourself.
I grew up in sunny Queensland in Australia and currently reside on the Sunshine Coast with my husband and two sons. I love to read and have always had a passion for writing. I am a former radio announcer and journalist, and currently work in my other passion of teaching children the vital life saving skill of learn to swim. In my spare time I like to drink coffee with my friends and train and compete in triathlons (very badly)
Q: Can you tell our readers a little about your writing? What genres do you enjoy writing?
I like to write in first person. I find this easier, as when I am writing, I am the character. It's how I get into the head of my main character. I particularly like to write Young Adult, in the sub genre Paranormal Romance. It's what I've always loved reading. However, I am currently trying my hand at a New Adult manuscript. In saying that, I can feel a slight bit of Paranormal beginning to creep in.
Q: Do you write on a schedule or when the Muse decides?
A little bit of both. I do try to write a little bit every night. If I don't feel an inspiration, I try to read back and edit some work from previous nights, that way the story is staying fresh in my mind, and the characters remain familiar to me. I write on my iPad, so I will always have it with me in case inspiration comes and I need to put it down.
Q: Can you tell us about your writing process, for example, do you write an outline first?
I basically come up with an idea and will write a short synopsis of how the story starts and ends, with a basic plot in between. But that is it. I like the story to develop as I write. Sometimes I might write a chapter or two that is close to the climax before I even have my two love interests meeting. For example a novella I've started writing I wrote the first chapter, and then proceeded to write the last chapter of the last page. Somehow it all just manages to fit together. Kind of like a jigsaw puzzle.
Q: What qualities do you instill in your heroes?
I love romance! I love the idea of the girl needing to be rescued by her handsome prince. She needs to be strong, but incomplete, and he will help her grow.
Q. Coffee or tea?
Coffee! Skinny latte please.
Q. Beach or countryside?
Beach. I've always lived near the beach, even if I don't always swim there, it's nice to go down early evening and have a coffee in summer.
Q. Do you write about the places you know or prefer to take your readers to exotic places?
A bit of both.
Q: Where do you get your inspiration?
Inspiration comes to me a variety of ways: Music; life experiences; dreams; my current emotions.
Q: Would you change anything in your life to make writing easier.
Delete Facebook! I am obsessed with it. Also, not to work. I would love to be able to write full time and make a living from it. One day. But hey, dreams do come true.
Q: We have all suffered submission rejections. How do you cope? Do you have any advice to other writers on coping with rejection?
I have faith in myself as an author and a storyteller. I just keep writing, and with each new paragraph and new page, I improve. I actually chose to self pub my first novel, before waiting for those inevitable rejections letters, but I will keep sending new submissions away to publishing houses. Perseverance and continuing to write and improve on my craft is one way I cope.
Q: What do you like to read and who are your favourite authors?
I will read anything that has a great storyline and great charatcters. I'm not particually fussy, but I do love JK Rowling. She is the ultimate storyteller.
Q: Do you write one novel at a time or do you move between works in progress?
With Illuminated Darkness, I only wrote it at the time, but now that I have published it, I am currently writing three manuscripts at the same time. I switch between the three depending on my mood, and where my head space is. All three are completely different from each other.
Q: Do you have times when the Muse is away on holiday?
Q. What motivates you to write?
I have a very active imagination. I've always loved to write, but it's only been in the past 6 years that I've actually started to write some of the stories and fantasy's going around inside my head.
Q. What advice would you give to unpublished authors approaching an e publisher?
Have a good synopsis and cover letter.
Q: Is there anything you would like to share with us about upcoming releases?
All of work is currently in progress. I'm hoping to finish my New Adult/Contempory manuscript by June. I'm undecided at this stage whether I will self pub again.
Q: Can you tell us a little about your current novel? What inspired you to write this story?
Illuminated Darkness is a YA Paranormal Romance that took me three years to write. As it was my first one, I wanted to make sure it was perfect. It actually started out a lot different to how it ended up. Originally it was meant to be a Paranormal Romance for adults, but as I progressed I found my female lead changing so I had to go and scrap it and restart. I was inspired to write it after I sick of reading books I wasn't happy with, so I wrote a book that I wanted to read.
Blurb: Almost 18 year old Ashlyn Pierce thought she had her life on track. She has an awesome after school job, a boyfriend she loves, the promise of a college scholarship and she has finally moved away from her abusive alcoholic mother. Life is great! That is until her boyfriend dumps her for her best friend and she meets Wren, a mysterious college guy that claims he knows her through her ex. His stories just don't add up, but she can't deny her obvious attraction to him, until he reveals her be a voodoo deity and he is her protector. Under the threat of voodoo priests wanting her dead, Ashlyn must learn to develop her new powers. Can she learn to control her powers without losing herself, but most importantly, without losing Wren? MORE: Ashlyn is a typical teenager struggling to find her place in life as she nears adulthood. She craves balance and stability in her life following a traumatic upbringing and aims to please everyone, always steering away from confrontation. Five days away from her 18th birthday she is awaiting the return of her college boyfriend from Europe when he suddenly texts her and breaks up with her. From that moment Ashlyn's life begins to change from the vision she had planned for her future. She meets Wren on a night out with her sister to take her mind off her break-up. As she gets to know him better, she finds herself falling in love with him and is stunned when he eventually reveals himself to be her vampire protector. He tells her she is a descendent from the loogaroo, a Haitian vampire that has Voodoo dark magic powers. She finds herself struggling to deal with her feelings for Wren whilst battling with the change in herself, all the while being hunted down by voodoo priests for her voodoo power. Illuminated Darkness is a Young Adult Paranormal Romance set in Miami, Florida and is a work of fiction that has its base in Haitian Voodoo mythology.
Excerpt: Opening my eyes, I found him looking directly at me and once again his stare and his mesmerizing eyes transfixed me. They were so black I couldn't make out the pupils from the iris, but despite their lack of color, they displayed unlimited depths of emotion. Moments before, they were alive with anger, but now I could see the concern he felt for me reflecting back from the black pools.
“I shall take you home myself. But, yes, first I will find your sister and inform her. Please wait here, I will return as soon as I speak with her.” He moved to get out of the booth. “Not that I think you can go anywhere without me anyway.” His mouth broke into a smile and lit up his whole face.
My breath caught in my throat and once again the butterflies in my stomach lurched into action. I watched him walk to the dance floor looking for Ally. The crowd of people parted as he walked through. For someone with such a tall athletic build, he moved with fluid grace. Every woman he passed on the dance floor looked him up and down, enthralled by him. Seems he had that effect on everyone, not just me. He seemed oblivious to the attention he drew, looking only for Ally. Once he found her, he leaned down to her ear to deliver his message. After he had finished talking to her, they looked over at me and Ally waved, blew me a kiss and gave me two thumbs up, signaling she was okay with me leaving with him.
The stranger made his way back to me, his gaze never wavering from my position, almost like he was watching over me, protecting me. He held out his hand to me when he reached the booth.
“Are you ready, Ashlyn? I shall make sure you get home safely.”
Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com.au/Illuminated-Darkness-Joanne-Efendi-ebook/dp/B00HPLRC80/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393139122&sr=8-1&keywords=joanne+efe
Author’s links: http://justanotherselfpublishedauthor.blogspot.com.au/
Facebook: Illuminated Darkness by Joanne Efendi