6 Questions with Jennifer Cloud

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’m getting ready to start a new job. I have my first book signing coming up August 11th. My youngest is starting school this year. My life is total chaos.

2. Recently, you made the decision to let the contracts on some of your older ebooks expire. I’m of the school of thought that says all books are broken in some unfixable way, so there is a point when more rewriting and revising is useless. But you intend to rewrite at least three of them?

Yes. I really tore apart The Wicked Witch to make it more suitable for the market. I shouldn’t have. I’ve also gotten better as a writer. I feel like I’m letting down my babies if I don’t give them another chance.

You are right about not being able to fix some books. I’ve deleted several books that I’ve written after realizing that some aspect of the novel didn’t work. They never saw publication. My husband is usually the judge if a work should live or die.

3. Restless Shadows, your first Drollerie Press release, is rewritten. To put a better spin on it, reimagined. In what sense is it different from the original version?

It’s cleaner and tighter than the original. There aren’t any major plot differences just more with the characters.

4. Does sexy really sell that much better? Or is it simply what sells better from e-presses, do you think?

Sex sells in most markets. I think the difference is more pronounced in ebooks.

Look at any commercial. Sex is used to sell everything from cheeseburgers to cars. It’s one of the primal motivations. For most ad campaigns they focus on one of three things that make consumers buy a product: greed (saving money, more for your money), status, or sex.

With ebooks, sex can be a major selling force. I think women have taken charge of their sexuality and have grown tired of purple prose in their romances.

Frequent any author chat. How hot the book is becomes a common selling point. Certain love scenes are often discussed between readers. There are many review sites that rate how hot the book is. All of it points to many readers wanting sexier books. The e-presses are quick to deliver.

5. What is the hardest thing that a newly published author has to deal with, in your opinion?

I think most new authors have trouble hearing anything negative about a story. It doesn’t matter if it’s an editor trying to help or a reviewer being blunt, few new authors can handle it without developing some resentment. It takes a couple of books to see that the story is a product. Writers see it as an extension of themselves instead of something meant to entertain others.

6. You’ve mentioned on your MySpace blog that you’re working on a collaboration. How is it different from working on your own?

It was a lot of fun. Regan Taylor does beta reads for me so I value her opinion. A writer’s challenge helped her get into writing so it was natural that we would eventually work together. Her work tends to be sweeter whereas I see things on the dark side. On our collaboration, she helped me see the story from different angles and I like to think our styles meshed well.

Jennifer Cloud blogs on MySpace. Her current release is Restless Shadows from Drollerie Press.

She’s sharing an excerpt of Restless Shadows with us, and guess what? Contest! One lucky winner gets a download!


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