1. On a scale of one to ten, rank your current level of insanity–where ten is belongs-in-lunatic-asylum insane–and tell us why.
I’d say about five. I’m not on any deadlines right now, but I am waiting to hear what my publishers think of my next proposals. I’m not very good at waiting–which for a writer is not a good thing, as we spend most of our time waiting for one thing or another.
2. How many points do you think does your decision to come back to my blog again add to your insanity quotient?
Not a one! You ask a pleasantly manageable number of questions, which avoids triggering the panic response that some interviews give me. I was recently asked to do fifteen interview questions with two days’ notice–now that added major points to my insanity level! (I ended up not doing it–it was just too much work for two days’ notice.)
3. You’re planning to become a full-time writer in 2008. We’ve all heard the usual tips, such as quit while you’re under contract or have this much in your bank account. What have you done in preparation for the change?
Well, some of this decision was made for me, as there have been major changes at my day job. I could have worked something out with them if I’d be willing to a) move to Omaha (yeah, right!) or b) take a different position within the company, which I didn’t want to do. I figured the universe was trying to give me a hint.
As sad as this reality is, part of what makes me able to make this leap is that I lost both my parents three years ago, and I inherited their nest eggs. That gives me a safety net. If it hadn’t been for that, I think I probably would have wanted to hold onto the day job for another year or two, just to be safe. (Although if I continued to write for two publishers and do a full-time day job, the workload probably would have put my insanity level at a permanent ten!)
4. A number of well-known romance novelists have also sold urban fantasy novels recently, but they will be published under pseudonyms. You’re not one of them. Thoughts? And did you think about using one for the Morgan Kingsley books?
My gut feeling when I wrote The Devil Inside was that it would appeal to the fans of my paranormal romances. Both my agent and my editor agreed, so we decided there was no need for me to use a pseudonym. I’m very happy with that decision, because if I’d had another name, I’d have had to do a second website, add yet another email address, do another newsletter, etc.–all the promotional activities that are associated with this crazy business. I spend enough time on promo with just one pen name!
If I’d been writing romantic comedies or historical romance–something with a very different audience from urban fantasy–then I probably would have been forced to use a different pen name. I’m very thankful I was writing paranormal romances!
5. The move from paranormal romance to urban fantasy: natural progression?
Absolutely! (Though I haven’t actually moved, so much as added. Assuming I can work out a new deal with Tor, the publisher of my paranormal romances, I plan on writing both.) My paranormal romances have a hint of an urban fantasy voice to them anyway. I seem not to be able to write without some amount of acerbic wit, which is one of the hallmarks of urban fantasy–I think I’d be in real trouble if I had to write “sweet” romance. My urban fantasies definitely have a strong romantic element in them, although Morgan’s life is such a mess, it would take some pretty fancy footwork to fix her relationships.
6. You call your blog “Jenna Black’s Blog Experiment.” How’s the experiment going?
To be honest with you, not all that well. I don’t blog frequently enough to build up the kind of traffic I would need to feel like the experiment was working perfectly. Sometimes, I can’t think of anything to blog about, and sometimes I just plain don’t feel like it. (I must admit, I greatly prefer writing fiction!!) However, I have just enough readers to keep me motivated to write the occasional post and try to keep the blog alive. I’m also posting identical blog entries on MySpace ( http://www.MySpace.com/JennaBlackBooks ) and have signed up for Amazon Connect so that my blog can be seen on my book detail pages on Amazon.com. I’m hoping that will increase my readership without adding too much to my work load. I’m a very stubborn person, and I don’t give up easily. (So stubborn I worked toward publication for 16 years, writing a total of 18 novels before I finally sold one.) I’m going to keep trying!
Thanks for inviting me to join the insanity once again! It’s been fun!