This week I am hosting Jadie Jones on her Women on Writing Blog Tour.
Ava: Is there one person/group/thing that inspires and/or encourages you more than anything else?
Jadie: The question “what if” is scary-inspirational for me. I see two people interacting and I take their encounter to the best or worst possible scenario. I’m on the farm alone and an unfamiliar truck pulls up the driveway, and my brain immediately goes to “what if?” I’m at a gas station and there’s a creep guy next to me, so I imagine going inside to the gas station and telling the attendant, who secures me in the stock room, only to lock the door and turn off the open sign. “What if” inspires me every day. Of course, it also freaks me out.
Ava: Describe your writing zone. Have you built a place in your home that is your “Author Cave?” Or do you write anywhere and everywhere?
Jadie: I have an office in our basement that I would love to write in more than I do. The walls are charcoal gray. The doors are grass green. There’s a gothic fairy picture on one wall and canvas prints of my book covers on the other. Crystals hang from various places, and I have a big, old planter in front of the window with African violets planted inside. The floor is unfinished cement. My desk is a dark turquoise running table, and in the far corner there’s a bright blue and green striped ottoman that double as a place to sit. I edit almost exclusively in my office, because editing takes more focus for me than drafting. Between two jobs and two small kids, I draft anywhere I can.
Ava: Do your characters ever “take the wheel” and lead you in an unplanned direction?
Jadie: They absolutely take the wheel! The Moonlit Trilogy didn’t end at all like I’d planned. The more the characters developed, the more complex their motives became, which effected many outcomes. Tanzy changes the most throughout the series, and I had to learn to change with her. She enters several conflicts, where old Tanzy would’ve acted one way, but current Tanzy would take it in a completely different direction. I had to learn to keep up with her.
Ava: What is one thing you must have at hand when you write? (a particular food/drink/book/pet/lucky socks)
Jadie: I like to have hot tea with me, and my office floor is chilly, so I like to have slippers on my feet.
Ava: What is your favorite part of being a writer?
Jadie: For me, there’s a moment in every draft where I recognize the heart of the story. I think some writers must see this moment coming from the outset, but for me I am usually at least half way in before I realize WHY I had to write this story, and suddenly all the little plot pieces in my head thread together and purpose becomes clear. That moment is always such a rush.
Ava: What is your least favorite part of being a writer?
Jadie: The promotional aspect. I don’t like to “sell” my books. I thoroughly enjoy interviews, and allowing readers to get to know me/my work without the “buy it now” pressure. But I’m uncomfortable with pitching myself and my books.
Ava: Do you prefer to work under a deadline?
Jadie: Yes, I definitely work better under pressure, and if I have a deadline, I don’t feel guilty devoting more time to writing, where the guilt can be a bit of a following shadow otherwise.
Ava: What is your favorite quote? Who said it? What do you like most about it?
Jadie: “Don’t let better be the enemy of the good.” I don’t know who originally said it. My husband is a surgeon, and it was the motto in his surgical residency. I can become laser-focused on fixing a single sentence and lose sight of plot and momentum. This is also applicable in so many other areas of my life.
Ava: Describe your next writing project.
Jadie: A week before her wedding, a reluctant bride-to-be has a chance encounter with a former flame on an island infamous for its supernatural activity. I love to explore an “untraveled road” for a character, and this story will thoroughly explore what could’ve been, and how it would impact all their lives moving forward.
About your book—
Ava: Is there a story behind how you came up with the idea for your book/series? If so, can you share it?
Jadie: Moonlit started out as a supernatural Thelma and Louise type story, but the more I learned about my two leading ladies, the more I realized they were more complex than I first realized. When someone is capable of purposefully killing someone else, for any reason, there’s a darkness in them that has to be thoroughly explored. As I steeped myself in these dark places, I began using more supernatural/paranormal settings, characters, and environments to make myself more comfortable with and in control of what these two ex-damsels become.
Ava: What is one thing about your latest Main Character that you hope your readers connect with?
Jadie: Tanzy Hightower is a flawed heroine. She makes mistakes, she shuts the wrong people out, and lets the wrong people in, and I think we’ve all been there. She’s learning how to trust herself, and how to navigate an environment without trusting it, which are both lessons I wish I’d learned earlier in life.
A little extra—
I wrote my first book in seventh grade, filling one hundred and four pages of a black and white Mead notebook. Back then I lived for two things: horses and R.L. Stine books. Fast forward nearly twenty years, and I still work with horses, and hoard books like most women my age collect shoes. It’s amazing how much changes… and how much stays the same.
The dream of publishing a novel has hitch-hiked with me down every other path I’ve taken (and there have been many.) Waitress, farm manager, road manager, bank teller, speech writer, retail, and more. But that need to bring pen to paper refused to quiet. Finally, in 2009, I sat down, pulled out a brand new notebook, and once again let the pictures in my head become words on paper.
As a child, my grandfather would sit me in his lap and weave tales about the Cherokee nation, and a girl who belonged with horses. His words painted a whole new world, and my mind would take flight. My hope – my dream – is that Tanzy’s journey does the same for you.
I highly recommend reading the series in order, as the books are not standalone. There are a ton of tiny pieces along the way in books one and two that are very important in book three, and the history behind these pieces will take a reader even deeper into what’s happening.
Find out more about the author by visiting her online:
Moonlit is the story of eighteen-year-old Tanzy Hightower. She knows horses, has grown up with them on Wildwood Farm. She also knows not to venture beyond the trees that line the pasture. Things happen out there that can’t be explained. Or undone. Worse, no one but she and the horses can see what lurks in the shadows of the woods. When a moonlit ride turns into a terrifying chase, Tanzy is left to question everything, from the freak accident that killed her father to the very blood in her veins. Broken and confused, she turns to Lucas, a scarred, beautiful stranger, and to Vanessa, a charming new friend who has everything Tanzy doesn’t. But why do they seem to know more about her than she knows herself?
Book Two in the series is Windswept and Book Three is Wildwood. Be sure to reach each to follow the story of Tanzy and her friends.
Thank you, Jadie, for stopping on The Road to a Dream during your Blog Tour. May your writing continue to excite and feed the imagination of readers for decades to come.
Until next we meet on this Road to a Dream…be kind to each other…and to yourself!
REACH FOR THE STARS, BLAZE A NEW TRAIL, REALIZE YOUR DREAMS