I’m a somewhat antisocial cat herder who is so not a morning person. Give me the night, please. My nine to five job disapproves of me showing up at eleven, so I have to suck it up and be responsible, with lots of coffee so I can pretend to be nice to clients until the afternoon comes around and I’m feeling more sociable. I love music, my writing fantasy world, working out, God and gardening. I have a husband who treats me like I’m some kind of goddess (I’m not complaining) and a super-smart daughter too witty for her own good. Life is freakin’ grand. Except for the mornings.
Q ~ What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?
I can’t choose a single favorite, but this one is definitely up there: “We are all broken. That’s how the light gets in.” – Ernest Hemingway. I love it because it’s absolute truth. People who portray themselves as having it all together are merely acting. It’s a good thing to remember about each other.
Q ~ What is your favourite genre to read? To write?
Fantasy is my favorite, especially if there’s some romance, and it’s also my favorite to write, even though I haven’t written in that genre for quite some time. I need to get back to it!
Q ~ How did you begin writing? Was there a single catalyst or a series of events?
Boredom spurred me to write. I grew up miles from a city (yeah, before the internet existed) and our cable was sketchy. We had to entertain ourselves (a shocking concept, right?), and summers could be very long with only my sisters to torment. I eventually read all my books and decided to write my own. That’s how it started, anyway. I didn’t seriously pursue writing until much, much later.
Q ~ Do you have any writing rituals that you follow? What is your go-to snack while writing?
No rituals for me! I have to grab writing moments when I can since I work full-time too, so I have to be prepped to go all the time. But when I have a free weekend without plans, devoted to writing, I like burning candles while I tap-tap at the keyboard. If I get munchy, I grab a box of cereal and eat it dry. Munchings and crunchings.
Q ~ Do you prefer to write in a small town or big city setting? Why?
I don’t have a preference, but I suppose I prefer a smaller town because that’s what I’m more familiar with. I’m not a fan of crowds, so that probably plays a part too.
Q ~ Can you tell us a little bit about your Dreamcaster series and what inspired you to write it?
The Dreamcaster Series is urban fantasy with a paranormal romance edge, focusing on brooding, damaged antiheroes and the women they can’t live without. There are the V’alkara, men who invade dreams and can transform into nightmare creatures. Their counterparts are the dreamcasters, women who have the ability to channel nightmares. The V’alkara hunt dreamcasters, so falling in love isn’t a smooth ride. At all. Which makes it all the more fun, right? Funnily enough, a single scene in my imagination kicked the series off. I started out my writing life as a pantser and have since changed my ways, but Wonderfully Wicked took root from a café scene. The protagonist was waiting in line for a coffee and the scary-sexy guy behind her was definitely stalking her. My weird mind took it from there.
Q ~ How much research goes into your books?
Not a whole lot. I’ve always been fascinated with dreams, so I already had a ton of info in that area. I do, however spend lots of research time on visuals, to help me add realistic setting details. I love Pinterest! I usually just have to research little things I’m unsure about.
Q ~ How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
I like to have names that have meaning, but they don’t always do. Sometimes it’s just the way they sound or they might be a name I’ve always liked. Since I only have one kid, there are a lot of favorite names I still need to use.
Q ~ What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.
This question was tough. I’ve been surprised by a few creative questions, which required some deep thought (blurgh…my brain…it hurt), but I don’t have a particular question I’ve been dying for someone to ask me.
So, just a random question: how close does a V’alkara need to be to a normal person (aka, not a dreamcaster) to feed off a dream?
My answer: the more powerful the V’alkara, the more of a radius he has. A weak V’alkara may need to be within feet of his target. A stronger V’alkara could steal your dream from half a mile away.
Q ~ Of the works you’ve written, which is your favourite? Is there also a character that holds a special place in your heart?
While the contemporary romance I’m writing right now might just become my favorite (which is shocking since I love my paranormal and magical stuff), I also love a fantasy/realm travel romance I have on submission entitled Lured by Darkness. It also has my very favorite character, Taey. He’s damaged, scary, reticent, believes he’s unworthy of love, and has an antiquated speech pattern going on. I love archaic words, so writing him was a hoot. He’s especially fun while bantering with the protagonist, who is from the present world and time. She befuddles him all the time with her choice in words, and it’s so fun to watch him fumble in their relationship and communication.
Q ~ What are you working on next?
I’m finishing up the rough draft of a contemporary romance. It’s about a woman who lost her brother, along with her zest for life, and the musician who invades her world and refuses to let her fizzle out. I love broken characters, and this story has struck me hard, I think because it’s so real. I love it and am excited to share it with the world…which won’t be for some time yet.
Q ~ If you could give aspiring authors one piece of advice, what would it be?
Write for yourself, not what’s popular or the current trend or whatever. If you love your stories, readers will recognize it in your writing, and loving your story is a shield when a reviewer doesn’t feel the same.
And now, be sure to enter this Pure Jonel exclusive giveaway for:
(1) a $10 Amazon Gift Card
(2) an ecopy of Wonderfully Wicked & Beautifully Burned by CJ Burright
Contest is open internationally, where applicable by law.
Entries close at 11:59pm Septebmer 14/16.
Winners will be drawn September 15/16.
Winners will be notified via email to the email provided to the giveaway and will have 72h to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn.