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Okay J. B., time to grill you!
My first questions has to be: A talking lizard? Why? And what made you add this to your story (which doesn't sound like it's at all paranormal).
Maggie Lee has suffered a head injury when she first meets Godzilla, the talking lizard. She worries that she’s fallen victim to the insanity of her institutionalized mother. Godzilla being able to speak to her is indicative of how crazy her life is becoming as she contemplates becoming a hitwoman.
Godzilla is the character who questions her choices, nudges her along when she needs it, and is her closest confidant…despite the fact he can be a royal pain in the butt.
I decided to make the character a lizard because A: he’s domesticated…I really couldn’t see Maggie striking up a conversation with a groundhog…and B: he’s small enough for Maggie to take with her on her adventures. It could be challenging to sneak a cat or dog into certain places, but a lizard is pocket-sized.
Plotter or pantser?
I’m a plantser. I never start a book without knowing how it’s going to end and I always plot out the biggest and most important scenes ahead of time. However, I don’t outline every single scene in a twelve page single-spaced document the way some writers do. I like to enjoy a sense of discovery and spontaneity as I write. My process is very much like a road trip. I’ve got a map and know where I’m heading. I’ve got certain stops I MUST make (like stopping to see the world’s largest ball of string) but I’m open to exploring things that catch my eye (like a fun restaurant or snapping a photo of a brilliant sunset).
Some athletes have superstitions they follow -- like not shaving during the playoffs, or lucky socks. Do you have any interesting writing quirks?
I’m not terribly superstitious, but I’ve definitely got my quirks. I doubt they’re interesting, lol. I’ve got certain coffee mugs I prefer over others. If I’m writing on paper (yes, I still do that!) I prefer to use purple ink. I listen to the same song on an endless loop all day long and I pace incessantly when I’m stuck.
What's a typical day for you?
After the dogs have been taken care of and the first cup of coffee has been imbibed, I jump online to check out my blogs http://killerchicks.org and http://jblynn.wordpress.com . Then I check and answer email, visit Twitter, Facebook, etc., and read some of my favorite blogs.
After that I drink more coffee and start to worry. I’m a big worrier. I worry that what I wrote the day before is garbage. I worry that I won’t be able to write that day. And I worry I won’t be able to finish my book.
Then I write…and delete much of what I’ve written…then I write again….and delete….you get the idea. Most days I don’t end up with anything worth keeping until late afternoon or early evening. It’s not an efficient process, but it’s mine.
Do you tend to read in the same genre in which you write? Why or why not?
I’m one of those people who’s been a compulsive reader for most of her life, so I’ve got a pretty wide-ranging reading palate. I read in the genre I write because I’m a huge fan of it. (Why else would I write it???) None of my critique partners write in the same genre, which is great because they constantly surprise me. I also read quite a bit in other genres because I’m constantly in search of the “next great read”. So if anyone has any recommendations...
Maggie Lee is not your average hitwoman. For one thing, she’s never killed anyone. For another, after hitting her head in the car accident that killed her sister, her best friend is now a talking lizard--a picky eater obsessed with Wheel of Fortune.
Maggie, who can barely take care of herself, is desperate to help her injured and orphaned niece get the best medical care possible, so she accepts a mobster’s big cash offer to kill his son-in-law.
Paired with Patrick Mulligan, a charming murder mentor (who happens to moonlight as a police detective), Maggie stumbles down her new career path, contending with self-doubt, three meddling aunts, a semi-psychic friend predicting her doom, and a day job she hates. Oh, and let’s not forget about Paul Kowalski, the sexy beat cop who could throw her ass in jail if he finds out what she’s up to.
Most little girls dream of puppies, ponies and Prince Charming, but I grew up to write about murder, mayhem, and the killer next door.
I love stories. I love reading them and I love writing them.
Ever since I picked up my first crayon, I've been spinning tales in one form or another. I've published articles in magazines and on websites, short stories in print and online, and even optioned a screenplay.
Although fascinated by the dark and twisted, I'm also a sucker for tales of love conquering all. These dual interests show up in my stories as creepy, dangerous villains, and the heroines and heroes who must defeat them.
I write with a parrot peering over my shoulder and a dog curled up at my feet. When not writing, I spend the bulk of my time reading, cooking, training for half marathons (I walk more than I run, so don't go being all impressed) and playing Scrabble with my husband. (He tends to win more often than I do...I think he cheats!)
An admitted coffeeholic, I don't really care if the cup is half empty or half full...I just want to know whether it's regular or decaf!