Tuesday, June 2, 2009

GCC Author interview: Judi Fennell

Today we've got a member of the GCC here to chat. It's Judi Fennell, whose debut novel, IN OVER HER HEAD, comes out this week! Publisher's Weekly called this story of a woman and a sexy merman "[a] playful debut... sincere wit." AND it's got a nautical theme, so it's perfect for summer!

Let's, uh, dive in, shall we? (Pun intended.)

Tell us about your most recent novel in 25 words or less.

In Over Her Head is the adventure of a woman who's afraid of the ocean and a Merman.

When did you first begin writing?

I was always telling stories - even before I could write, my imaginary friend Casper the Friendly Ghost made me go in the street on my bicycle when I was 2 1/2. I worked that story to keep myself from getting in trouble. I have my writing from kindergarten and all through school, including Mr. Magickal, the protagonist, defeats the zebra-striped alligator.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

I love all things fairy tale, especially Disney. I was working on a twist to fairy tales and wanted to do one on The Little Mermaid. To make it my own, I made the guy the mer. Voila, Reel was born.

What are you working on right now?

I'm editing the next two books in the series, Wild Blue Under which comes out in November, and Catch of a Lifetime for February 2010, as well as working on a proposal for the next books in the series.

What are you reading right now?

Linda Wisdom's series about 13 witches. They're a hoot.

How do you fight writer’s block?

I can't afford to have writer's block, but if I do, I find picking up another book helps unlock the creativity. There's something freeing about seeing that another person has pushed through it and made it work.

If your book were to become a movie, who would you cast?

I'd love Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson or Sandra Bullock, but if not them, Zac Efron and Anne Hathaway could do a great job.

What is your favorite part of writing?

I love when the story flows out of my fingers and it just takes off without me having to work for it. Least favorite? When it's not working and you have to push through it to get it to work.

What tips would you offer to aspiring writers?

Keep writing and put your work out there for people to critique. Enter contests. Join a critique group. Get feedback and be open to criticism and look at your work from their point of view. Work on craft. Divorce yourself from the emotion attached to it once it's written and be willing to look at the feedback with an eye to make it better. And don't stop writing. Don't give up. The one way to ensure you won't get published is to give up.

How do you usually begin your stories—with a character or with a plot?

Usually I get a line, whether it's dialogue or the opening line, or a situation. Every story begins differently for me, and I write each one differently. One can be written linear, another with a bunch of scenes that I tie together, yet another with the beginning and the end then filling in the middle. Different characters = different story = different manner in writing it.

Do a quick character study on yourself:

A quick character study? Ha. Okay, here ya go: I'm half Irish and half Italian. I'll be your best friend, but don't tick me off. Favorite color is purple, favorite gem is a tie between amethyst and diamonds, love animals, hate spiders. Terrified of what's in the ocean (seeing JAWS at a young age was a mistake).

Thanks so much for stopping by, Judi! We just know your books will make a huge splash! (Sorry, I just can't stop with the puns.....)


Judi Fennell said...

I am loving the puns, Brenda! It was one of the best parts of being in the First Chapters Romance contest where readers could comment on my entry. I hadn't expected the puns and now I find I'm using them all the time anytime I speak about my stories!

Thanks for having me!

Allison said...

Please enter me for The Smart One giveaway! Thanks!