Monday, November 28, 2011

Jana Richards' Girl Most Likely is Here Today!


Jana Richards is right here! She's talking about her book, The Girl Most Likely! You should make sure to comment. Why? Jana is giving away one $20 GC to The Wild Rose Press to one randomly drawn commenter AND a $20 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour!

So let's get down to the nitty gritty!! What was your favorite scene to write in “The Girl Most Likely”?

It was probably the opening scene when Cara first meets Finn. Cara works at a TV station for a live local events show and Finn is one of the guests. As a physical trainer, he’s there to talk about fitness and health. Cara is recruited as a “volunteer” to demonstrate what clients to Finn’s gym might expect when they visit him. She’s asked embarrassing questions about her eating habits, has the fat around her waist measured, and nearly collapses as she tries to do jumping jacks. Cara is totally mortified. She’s one step away from the ultimate humiliation of being weighed on live TV when Finn rescues her. I made poor Cara suffer, but it was great fun to write!

What was the inspiration behind “The Girl Most Likely”?
The Girl Most Likely is part of the Class of ’85 series from The Wild Rose Press. All the stories in the series revolve around the graduates of Summerville High School as they prepare for their 25th year high school reunion. I wanted to write a story for the series that was just a little different by putting together a younger hero and an older heroine, while still tapping into the insecurities of attending a reunion. In my book, Cara feels overweight and unattractive and wants to lose weight before the reunion. When faced with such an occasion, I’m willing to bet that a lot of people, both male and female, try to lose a few pounds. Nobody wants to go to their reunion feeling unattractive.

What is the most interesting thing you’ve done in the name of research?
Unfortunately, I can’t claim to have scaled the Andes or participated in a police ride-along as part of my research. Mostly my research consists of looking up facts, usually on the Internet, or immersing myself in a time period by reading as many books as I can get my hands on, especially for my World War Two books. Those things, combined with interviewing people who may have knowledge I need for my stories, makes up most of my research. Research is fascinating, but also hard work.

What do you consider as the most frustrating side of becoming a published author and what has been the most rewarding?
The most frustrating side of being a published author is getting readers to know you exist! A friend of mine once said that promotion is like trying to convince someone in another universe to notice you. It’s very hard to do. I like to think that I have a very good product and that if I can just get someone to read one of my books once, they’ll come back for more.

The most rewarding part about being a published writer is when a reader, reviewer, or editor tells me they love my book. That makes all the work worthwhile.

What accent inspires you to do naughty things?
Hmmm, good question. I guess I’m a sucker for a really posh English accent. He could read the telephone book and still sound sexy!

Name something readers would be surprised to learn about you?
That I grew up on a farm on the Canadian prairies, and that although I live in a city now, I’m still a small town girl at heart.

If you could ask the readers one question what would it be?
What type of story is a must read for you?

What’s your writing process like?
Very messy! I usually write in big chunks of time. I’ll take a several days off from my day job and then write like crazy to get the first draft done. Then I’ll rip it all apart in the editing process, and put it back together. But it’s all good because it’s not till the editing process that I feel I really know my characters and their story.

What can readers expect next from you?
My novella “Home Fires” has just been contracted with The Wild Rose Press. British nurse Anne Wakefield travels to Canada in 1945 to marry her fiancé, a Canadian soldier she met during the war. But when she arrives, she finds that her fiancé has already married someone else. Devastated, Anne tries to pick up the pieces of her life. The kindness of her ex-fiancé’s brother Eric helps to heal her pain. She must decide whether to return to England, or to take a second chance on love – this time with Eric. But can he forget that Anne loved his brother first?

What is the best thing about being a writer? The worst?
The best thing about being a writer is living in my imagination and getting to create worlds and people out of thin air. The worst thing is finding time to write. Something is always competing for my time, whether it’s the day job, domestic duties or promotion. Sometimes I want to chuck it all and just write!

What is your method of breaking through writer’s block?
If one project is giving me trouble, I’ll leave it for a while and work on something else. Maybe I’ll write something short, like an article or a blog post. Or if I need to clear my head, maybe I’ll do something completely different like walk the dog, cook, or clean the house. I find that while I’m doing something else, my mind keeps working on my original problem and often finds a solution.

What fuels you as an author to continue to write?
Readers telling me they enjoyed my book. That, and wanting my next book to be better than the last. I want to continue to grow as a writer.

Can you tell us a bit about what book(s) you have coming out next and what you’re working on now?
The Girl Most Likely” is releasing November 30, 2011 from The Wild Rose Press. Cara McLeod, the girl most likely to have the perfect marriage, is now divorced and, in her own words, “fat, frumpy, and over forty.” The thought of facing former classmates—and the ex-husband who dumped her—at her high school reunion terrifies her. Cajoled into attending by her kids and her best friend, Cara enlists help at the gym to lose weight and look great for the reunion. Personal Trainer Finn Cooper is more than willing to help—but does he have to be so to-die-for gorgeous?

Finn thinks Cara is perfect just the way she is. She’s everything he wants in a woman, except for one thing—she can’t get past the fact that he's eight years younger. To Finn, age and weight are just numbers. But can he convince Cara the numbers she worries about add up to only one thing for him—love?

Like I said earlier, I’ve just been contracted with “Home Fires”, a World War Two era story about finding love after loss. I’m working on edits for that right now. In the wings, the series that I call “Left at the Altar” is patiently waiting to be completed. Each book in the series begins with someone getting left at the altar. The first book in the series is “Her Best Man” and is published with Uncial Press. Now I have to get busy and finish the other two stories, “There Goes the Groom” and “Always a Bridesmaid”.

When you get a chance to read, what books do you love to read?
I love romantic suspense and Suzanne Brockman is one of my favorites. For contemporaries I enjoy Nora Roberts, and a couple of my favorite historical authors are Mary Balogh and Jo Beverley. I also read a lot of authors from the same publishing houses as me, such as other authors in the Class of ’85 series. There’s a lot of fun reads there!

What bores you as a reader?
Sloppy or lazy writing and poor editing.

What is your favorite feature on a person?
Kindness and generosity of spirit.

What is your favorite time of day?
Early morning, when everyone else is still sleeping. I can make myself a cup of coffee and sit down uninterrupted at my computer to write.

What music gets you dancing?
Anything Latin, like salsa, rumba, or cha-cha. It’s not like I actually know how to do any of those dances but I can at least do some chair dancing!

Aliens have landed on the planet. What are the three things you would tell them that are great about this planet?
Seeing the northern lights dance across the night sky, watching a sunset on the prairies, and chocolate.

You have been locked in a mall and told you can get anything you want and when they open in the morning you won’t have to pay a single cent. What stores would you hit? Better question how would you haul away all your loot?
I’d likely hit a bookstore, an office supply store and an electronics store. The bookstore is an obvious choice; I’d grab as many romance novels as I could carry out of there. And I love office supply stores and all their pretty papers and pens and clips. I’m pretty nerdy! I’d go crazy in the electronics store. I’d get myself the newest ereader, a really nice camera so I could take good pictures for my blog, and an IPhone. I just think they’re so cool.

How am I going to haul this stuff away? I’m going to bring a golf cart with a little wagon hooked on the back. I’ll drive it through the mall and then all the way home!

If you could share one major writing tip, to help other writers in their quest for publication, what would it be?
Never stop learning your craft. Keep taking classes, going to conferences, and reading other writers you admire. Never settle for good enough. Always try to better yourself.

If you could write in any other genre what would it be, and why?
I’d like to write a Historical (set before 1900) or a Regency. They are both so much fun to read.

Where can we find out more about you and your work?
Please go to my website at http://www.janarichards.net You can also catch me at my blog at http://janarichards.blogspot.com

Here's the official bio for Jana Richards:
Jana Richards has tried her hand at many writing projects over the years, from magazine articles and short stories to full-length paranormal suspense and romantic comedy. She loves to create characters with a sense of humor, but also a serious side. She believes there’s nothing more interesting then peeling back the layers of a character to see what makes them tick.

When not writing up a storm, working at her day job as an Office Administrator, or dealing with ever present mountains of laundry, Jana can be found on the local golf course pursuing her newest hobby.
Jana lives in Western Canada with her husband Warren, along with two university aged daughters and a highly spoiled Pug/Terrier cross named Lou.

Website: http://www.janarichards.net
Blog: http://janarichards.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jana-Richards/157005711005866


Cara McLeod, the girl most likely to have the perfect marriage, is now divorced and, in her own words, “fat, frumpy, and over forty.” The thought of facing former classmates—and the ex-husband who dumped her—at her high school reunion terrifies her. Cajoled into attending by her kids and her best friend, Cara enlists help at the gym to lose weight and look great for the reunion. Personal Trainer Finn Cooper is more than willing to help—but does he have to be so to-die-for gorgeous?

Finn thinks Cara is perfect just the way she is. She’s everything he wants in a woman, except for one thing—she can’t get past the fact that he's eight years younger. To Finn, age and weight are just numbers. But can he convince Cara the numbers she worries about add up to only one thing for him—love?

Want a piping hot excerpt? Here you go!

He chuckled. “Jessica better watch her back. You could give her a run for her money.”

He heard Cara’s throaty laugh, and various parts of his anatomy tingled in response. “Yes, that’s my evil plan. Take over Rochester Noon, then the world.”

“If you set your mind to it, I’m sure you could do it.”

“Thanks Finn.”

“For what?”

“For believing in me.”

“Are you going to be okay now?”

“Yes, I’m fine. Thanks to you.”

He wanted so badly to tell her he loved her, adored her, thought she was the most amazing woman in the world. But fear stopped him. Was she truly over her ex-husband? Why else would losing weight for the reunion be so important to her if not to impress Peter?

“I’ve got to run. Thanks again. I’ll talk to you later at my condo, right?”

“Absolutely. I can hardly wait to hear about your big TV debut. Break a leg. Isn’t that what they say in show biz?”

She laughed. “Yeah, that’s what they say. Bye.”

Finn replaced the receiver and closed his eyes. He hoped everything went well with this interview. Cara deserved to realize how amazing she was.

If she did come to that realization, would there still be room in her life for him?

20 comments:

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Jana today.

Karen H in NC said...

Hi Jana,

It is nice to meet you. Your new book sounds very interesting and even though I am a die-hard historical (regency) fan, this new series of yours sounds like something I would enjoy reading.

Couple questions:
1) How many books do you plan for this series?
2) What constitutes a historical book? I noticed your historical is set in 1942..and since I was born in '43, I don't consider that time period to be historical. I'm just wondering in what time period a book needs to set to be considered historical.

connie said...

Jana,

Gotta clean behind the fridge today so I have only managed two blogs today.
Have you started an amaryllis this year?
Down to business: your books remain fascinating.
You pull out unusual and fabulous plots every time.
I truly admire your dedication to writing.
"A golf cart with a little wagon behind", is hilarious. Love your sense of humour every time.
Here's one for you: if life hands you melons, you may be dyslexic.
Looking forward to seeing you at a conference or retreat soon
connie

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Jana!
I love the premise for this book. Your favorite scene to write sounds like so much fun.

Finn is a great name for a hero, too.

Oh, and I'm with you - a British accent is always drool-worthy.

Karyn Good said...

Hi Jana,

Great interview and I love the title, The Girl Most Likely! Cara sounds like a heroine we can relate to. We all have times when our confidence isn't shooting through the roof.

Trapped in a mall? I'm heading to the most expensive shoe store there and stocking up. Then I'm grabbing handbags to match!

Jana Richards said...

Hi Karen H in NC,
Thanks for commenting! I hope you give "The Girl Most Likely" a try, even though it's a contemporary. I love Regencies and Historicals too. My friend Lesley-Anne McLeod is a terrific Regency writer. You'd love her!

Your questions:
1) Actually, the Class of '85 is a multi-author series put together by The Wild Rose Press. I think there are 17-19 different novellas in the series at the moment. They all center around the 1985 graduating class of Summerville High School and their 25th reunion. There are some recurring characters but all the stories are unique.

2)What constitutes a historical book? The use of the word Historical is mine, for lack of a better term. In the strictest sense of the word, to be called Historical, a novel has to take place before 1900. That leaves a big gap between Historical and contemporary novels. A whole century, actually, and a lot of history. I guess I could call my time period "Vintage". That's what my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, calls the line that my World War 2 story found a home in. The Vintage line at TWRP contains stories that are set anywhere from the twenties to the sixties and seventies. They have a whole other line for books set before 1900. I hope that more or less answers your question, Karen!

Jana

Jana Richards said...

Hi Connie,
Good to see you here! When you're done cleaning behind your fridge, do you want to come to my house and do the same here? And while you're at it, can you clean the inside of my fridge too?

As far as my dedication to writing, I think I'm just too stubborn to quit!

Thanks for the kind words and thanks for making me smile today. I can always count on you for that. Here's hoping we see each other soon.

Cheers,
Jana

Jana Richards said...

Hi Lynne,
The first scene was great fun to write. I made poor Cara suffer! Oh well, better her than me!
Actually, that scene came about because my writing group pushed me to write a more dynamic opening. They were so right!

Jana

Jana Richards said...

Hi Karyn,
You can tell how big a nerd I am by my fantasies. You dream of being trapped in a mall and scoring Jimmy Choos and Coach bags. I get trapped in a mall and dream of I Pads and Post-it notes!

Thanks for commenting!
Jana

Wendi Zwaduk said...

Hi Jana,

Thanks for stopping by! so glad I got to host your tour. I think i'd take an ipad and itunes cards. Not big on purses and such, but i'd surely take shoes! :-) Looks like a great book.

Wendi

Jana Richards said...

Wendi, you're a girl after my own heart! I'd so go for the Ipad and Iphone!

Thanks for letting me take over your blog today. Much appreciated!

Jana

marybelle said...

Loved the interview. I found myself smiling. I love office supplies too.

A must read: pretty much anything & everything Historical.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

P.L. Parker said...

Following you around today. Another great post.

Jana Richards said...

Hi Marybelle,
There's just something about those office supply stores...Sigh

I'm glad you could stop by and say hello and I'm pleased I made you smile.

All the best,
Jana

hotcha12 said...

GAH JANA! I WANT THIS AND HINTING FOR DAUGHTER TO GIVE ME A PREPAID CARD! LOL

LIND B

Jana Richards said...

Hi Linda,
Good luck with the contest! And if you don't win, I hope your hints to your daughter work!

Jana

hotcha12 said...

LOLLOLLOL JANA! YEAH SHE OWES ME, I FIGURE OUT HOW TO REMOVE HER LIFE HISTORY ON GOOGLE AND BOY DID THEY HAVE A LOT! HOPE HER STALKERS ARE NOT TOO BRIGHT AS IT LISTED HER ADDRESS! GOD WHAT ARE THEY THINKING AND SHE DOES NOT HAVE AN ACCOUNT WITH THEM!

latishajean said...

This sounds like a great book thanks for sharing love want I read can't wait to read more! Great post and look forw to the fun blog tour!
tishajean@ charter.net

Jana Richards said...

Thanks Latisha! I hope you enjoy the book.

Jana

hotcha12 said...

WELL CONGRATS TO THE WINNER! I HAVE 22 DAYS TO WAIT FOR SANTA! LOL