Janel will be awarding Winner's Choice of a $25 gift card to iTunes (music) or, Capezio (dance), or Utrecht (art supplies) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner above, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops)! The more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a really cool prize!
Janel was brave enough to share five things about herself we might not know. Let's get the ball rolling ...
1) When I was around twenty, I had my hair cut very short and dyed red.
Everyone knows me with long, dark hair. But when I was about nineteen or twenty years old, I had a Miley Cyrus moment and decided to have my hair chopped really short. And once I had it done, I decided that on top of that, I was going to dye it red, because I loved the color of Dr. Beverly Crusher’s hair on Star Trek: The Next Generation. (Only in Season One, though, when it was a serious red. It got lighter and blonder as time went on. That color would not look good on me! ) Since I have a lot of hair, dyeing it when it was long, I knew, would require a few boxes of color. So dyeing it while it was short seemed like great timing.
A co-worker of mine, however, started calling me “Molly Ringworm.” (Ha-ha, you’re so funny, Thomas! >:-( ) And eventually, when I was growing it out, it wasn't pretty. I was "Q-Tip Head” for a while.
Hmmm. You know, I really liked that hair color. It made me feel more fun and outgoing. I wonder . . . is it time to give that hair color (but not haircut) another try?
2) I’ve sung on the Carnegie Hall stage—live—in front of an audience— in Japanese.
I was in junior high. My school had an extensive arts program and I majored in both art and vocal music. So the truth is, while I did sing onstage, it was along with maybe a hundred singers from the school choir, and a live, professional orchestra. (They sounded great.) The event was all part of some New York project that I can’t recall now. I can still remember an eensy bit of the tune and some of the lyrics (which we sang phonetically). I found out later that we had sang some kind of bordello song. Awk-ward.
3) I once toyed with the idea of becoming a hand model.
I had pictures taken and cards made up and everything. And then I dropped it, even though I had been advised by a photographer to not be lazy and go after it. While I believe every job experience I’ve ever had I actually had to have, as each has helped shape me into the person and writer I am today, and led to my meeting people and forging wonderful relationships and all that, I sometimes think it would have been nice to have made some good money as a hand model. Oh, well.
4) I was once so super-shy that one time in the fifth grade when I was supposed to give a presentation in front of the class, I just left the room and hid in the bathroom until presentations were over.
Some people know I’m still technically an introvert. I am the kind of person whose energy drains when I'm around other people for too long, and I need to be by myself for awhile to recharge. But since many people have known me as a teacher, a receptionist, or some kind or public speaker, they don’t know that there was a time in my life that any kind of public speaking or standing up in front of a group—or even in front of just one other person—was kind of torturous for me. My teacher was sensitive enough not to say anything upon my return. Maybe she just “got” it.
5) I am hooked on watching reruns of The Suite Life on Deck.
Recently my family went through a difficult time involving health emergencies, hospital stays, surgeries, and permanent, life-altering situations. During this time, when I felt all wound up and needed to “de-frag” as my big sister would say, I found The Suite Life on Deck on the Disney Channel. Being a twin myself, I am naturally drawn to shows, movies, and books about twins. And Suite Life on Deck appeals to the same audience that I write my books for. So, having never watched it before, I didn't change the channel and gave it a chance. Now I’m hooked on its brand of fun silliness. I find it therapeutic, actually. Thanks Zack/Dylan and Cody/Cole for making my life just a little bit gentler and sweeter when I needed it to be!
Gina Santiago is a thirteen-year-old "Nuyorican" with rock star dreams, so when she's accepted into the prestigious New York Academy of Arts and Talents for art instead of music, she's crushed. To make matters worse, the student body at the Upper East Side school is divided into "schollies" (students on scholarship, like her) and "dollies" (rich kids with "dollars"). But Gina discovers that there is one thing that brings schollies and dollies-and dancers, singers, actors, artists, and musicians-together: music! Maybe she can make her dreams come true after all....
(FROM Chapter 6: Can't Run, Can't Hide 3:59):
That Friday morning, I met Michiko at the lockers. “Hi—” I began.
“Watch your back,” Michiko broke in, pulling me closer to the wall. “Today is Rookie Day.”
Michiko looked apologetic. “The day when all the new kids get a special ‘welcome’ by the upperclassmen.” “Dare I ask how?”
Michiko sighed. “...Usually it’s something like being sprayed with silly string or pelted by eggs. At least, that’s the tradition.”
“Tradition?” I echoed. “Even in a school like NYAAT? But wait a minute… I'm not a seventh-grader. I'm a transfer student. Does that still make me a rookie?"
“Well,” Michiko began, “you do look kind of mature for an eighth-grader …. Still, you’ll probably be safe. Unless there’s someone who knows you’re new and for some reason wants to get you.”
I groaned. Great.
Michiko led me away from the lockers. “And then there’s always the ‘Rookie Assassin’ to watch out for. If he ends up coming back again this year.”
Michiko’s tone was completely serious. “Last year someone dressed up like a ninja and attacked the new kids.”
My eyes widened. “Attacked? How?”
“He leaves marks on his victims. You know, tags them with paint and stuff. Last year he spray-painted a big silver ‘N’ --for ninja, I guess—on people. On their hair, their backpacks, their butts, even their faces.”
“He graffitied people? And no one caught him...?” Dread prickled down my back. “Well, he’d better not try to get me." I adjusted my knapsack straps on my shoulders. “Or he’ll be one sorry little ninja.”
Unlike Gina, she isn’t very good at guitar and doesn’t have a rock band to call her own.
Truth be told, she never dreamed of becoming a guitarist. Instead, from the time she was a tween she dreamed of becoming a published author of a book series. And since you're reading this, you can see that her dream has come true!
Her first hint of an idea for the Arts-Angels series began way back when she received a pendant of St. Michael the Archangel for her sixteenth birthday.
She lives with her twin sister, Jennifer (who got a pendant of St. Joan of Arc that same birthday but hasn’t written any books about it), in New York City.
E-mail: janelrodriguezferrer (at) theartsangels (dot) com.
LINKS TO PURCHASE THE BOOK:
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Arts-Angels-Track-Drawn-You/dp/1936214911
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-arts-angels-track-1-janel-rodriguez-ferrer/1113051508?ean=9781936214914