Dear reader: If you are interested in receiving emails each time an author posts, fill in your email address on the right side of this blog where it says "follow by email". You'll be notified each time a new author posts! JillSophia Douglas can’t shake the fear that she’s in over her head. A spontaneous elopement and a layoff from her high-paying job are stressful enough, but a plus sign on her pregnancy test sends her into a panic. Fearing her husband, Terrence, might leave like her father did, Sophia confides her insecurities to Tara, her friend and mom of three.
Though Tara Fisher encourages Sophia to trust Terrence, she’s hiding her own secret: a handsome attorney is pursuing her, and she’s questioning her commitment to Josh, her husband of ten years. After a devastating career-ending accident, Josh has changed and so have Tara’s feelings for him.
When a crisis arises that threatens to destroy Sophia and Terrence’s young marriage, Sophia must either overcome her fear of abandonment or lose everything she never knew she wanted. Meanwhile, as Tara is torn between responsibility and passion, her imperfectly put together life starts to unravel, and ghosts from her past resurface to haunt her.
As these two couples grapple with secrets, temptation, and illness, only time will tell if their vows are strong enough to hold them together.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you started writing. I graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in Comparative Religious Studies. I spent most of my time reading sacred religious texts and non-fiction, but I had always wanted to write a book. After volunteering for an online magazine from 2007-2010, I took an introduction to fiction writing class and fell in love with the creativity and endless possibilities that writing fiction provides.
What are some things you enjoy when not writing? I’m a mother of four, so I enjoy spending time with my husband and kids. They keep me pretty busy with their school and extracurricular activities.
Where do you get your ideas? I usually start thinking about a character in a scenario that fascinates me. I think “what if…” and then my mind continues to expand the situation until it’s time to write. Once I sit down to write, I have a very sparse outline, if one at all, and more ideas come as I go.
Is there a particular author or book that influenced or inspired your writing or decision to write? My late maternal grandfather, Dennis Brutus, was a poet, activist, and professor born in Rhodesia and grew up in South Africa. He was a tremendous influence in my life, and I believe that since he had written books, it made me know that I could write one too as well.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published? I queried agents for a year and half in all manners possible – email queries, pitch sessions at conferences, online contests - before deciding to shelve Blaming the Wind. I wrote another manuscript and began to query that instead. But then I decided to give it one last shot and researched small presses. Red Adept Publishing was the first small press I submitted to, and three months later Blaming the Wind was accepted.
If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you’d change? I would have hired a professional editor before querying, and I would have started querying much later, when my novel was 110% ready.
How do you market your work? My novel’s only been out for a few weeks, but there will be a blog tour and it is listed on Netgalley. I’m also giving away a novella, Valley of Deceit, for people that sign up for my mailing list on my website, in the hopes that they will enjoy my writing and go on to buy my novel.
What are you working on now? My second novel is under contract with Red Adept Publishing, so I am working on some notes the publisher gave me before the novel begins content edits.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? It’s cliché, but I would definitely say never give up. Rejection is tough, but if you believe in your story, it’s worth it to persevere.
What are the downfalls of your writing career? The best parts? The downfall is that I always have a story in my mind, nagging me for attention. But the best part is when I actually sit down and spend time writing. A new best part is reading good reviews. There’s nothing like having people read your work and say they enjoyed it.
Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans? I’d like to that everyone who takes the time to buy and purchase Blaming the Wind. Small presses need support, and word of mouth really helps to get novels to sell. I’d also like to thank you, Jill, for having me on Sharing Your Book and helping to get the word out.
Thank YOU, Alessandra, for taking the time to share some of your writing life with us!