How well do we really know the people we blog with?
When I met RJ for the first time at last year’s GRL event in San Diego (to my delight), I thought I had her pegged as a funny, talented author, and potential well of untapped entertainment possibilites (i.e. drinking buddy).
Just to be sure I thought I’d interview her to get the insider’s perspective of RJ…and how can it possibly get any more inside than from the author herself? Of course she could have mad lying skills…. but that’s a risk we take in this occasionally polite society of ours.
You be the judge. – LE Franks
RJ Jones – The Interview:
1) What is the strangest thing you’ve put in your own (or someone else’s nose)?
What kind of first question is that?!? When I first read it I laughed so hard I snorted my coffee and I wondered if you were secretly Australian and grew up next door. And just so you know, I’m hating you a little right now. This brings up one of the most weird and embarrassing memories from my childhood and I can’t believe I’m going to tell you and everyone else.
*Deep breath. When I was little, like really little, maybe five or six, I remember playing outside a lot. We had a lot of snails in our garden. We had the big slimy brown ones but we also had little white cylindrical ones as well. Turns out, these little buggers were the perfect size to stuff up my nose. I didn’t just do it once or twice, I did it all the time with multiple snails. Until Mum had to take me to the doctors to have them pulled out with some tweezers. I stopped pretty quickly after that. My sister used to eat the big brown ones though. I think that’s worse than shoving them up your nose.
2) If I read all your books, one after the other, over a long caffeine soaked weekend, what catch phrase, or theme would I notice in your writing? (I’ve done this btw).
You’ve done this? With my books or someone elses? That’s pretty impressive regardless of the author. This is probably the hardest question anyone’s asked me and I’m not sure I can answer it. However, going by what readers have told me, I’ll make you cry, I’ll make you laugh, I’ll make you rage, and I’ll get you hot under the collar for other reasons. *wink. What I hope you get out of my writing is feelz. ALL the feelz.
(I have mad reading skills and an infinite lack of discipline. Truth -LE)
3) Most writers I know have always written, in one form or another, from the time they were children; however, there’s always that triggering moment when they decide they can write a book for publication. What was yours?
My trigger moment came when I wrote the first scene from Out of the Blue (which was cut in editing) and a couple of author friends I sent it to told me to finish the damn story. Then when I finished it I had great feedback from my betas who encouraged me to submit. After all that, it was rejected so I published it myself. Now it’s the story people know me for best.
4) As an Australian, with a whole continent of deadly creatures to yourself, what would be your favorite way to die at the hands of the natural world? Your least favorite?
I don’t think there’s anything one good way to go within the natural world. I’d hope for something quick and painless, but this is Australia, so that’s probably not going to happen.
Okay, my least favourite would be by a Blue Ringed Octopus. They’re little, colourful, pretty, and cute. BUT… they’re deadly and will kill you in minutes. Their toxin causes paralysis in increments. First you’ll loose the ability to move until you can’t even blink. You’ll be lying there, totally motionless, unable to move a single thing, staring at the sky. You’ll know everything happening around you, hear everything everyone is saying but have no capacity to respond. That is until the paralysis stops your lungs and heart from working. Nice huh?
5) I’m resisting the urge to fangirl you right now—(I’ve readily admitted that I have a weakness for your storytelling)—but I’m genuinely curious about your writing process: What are the first steps you take, in either plotting or planning, before you write your first word of a new book?
I’m a total pantser. I’m trying to plan more but my characters usually stick their middle finger up at me and do what they like regardless. For me the first steps come in many forms. Sometimes I’ll know what the title is or the character’s motivations. I have a character that I know everything about, his childhood, current issues, parents and siblings, all of it. The only thing I don’t know about him is his name or who his love interest is. Sometimes the first hint of a new story comes in the form of a song, or most recently a slogan I saw on a guy’s t-shirt when I was buying groceries. I usually have the first scene or two mapped out and the basic plot arc. Anything in between usually comes as I write.
6) What’s your favorite Monty Python skit? Can you recite it from memory?
My favourite, or the one I remember the most is the Every Sperm is Sacred song. (Uh, what does that say about me?) It’s where they blame the Catholic church for their 217 children because they’re not allowed to use frangers. (Do you like that word? Very Aussie) I think it’s then followed up by the Protestant across the road talking to his wife about “bloody Catholics.” Very funny. (Frangers – makes a note…. -LE)
7) Many of us have pen names that we use and there are an infinite number of ways and reasons behind them, but I doubt many of them reflect the names we wish we’d been born with. If you could micro-manage the ultimate do-over, what birth name do you want? What nickname?
When I was younger (like 10yrs) I wanted to change my name. Robyn is old and boring and I hated it. I wanted to be something common and familiar, like Michelle or Sue. (My Barbie’s name was Sue for this reason) If I had to change my name, I’d make it something people could actually pronounce and spell. The weird spellings people give their kids nowadays annoys me to no end. (I worked with a lady who had three kids named Khody, Khandy and Kharly. *shudders)
8) We’ve wiped Starbucks off the face of the earth, (those cosmically selective meteors can be such a bummer), taking the rest of the coffee crop with it. What will you do and can you even bring yourself to write?
Isn’t there a doomsday vault in the arctic that has nearly every seed on the planet stored deep in a mountain somewhere? They better have coffee or someone’s gonna die. Do I need to stock up? (I would. If only to keep the rest of us from drinking it all. -LE)
You’re welcome, RJ. The pleasure really was all mine 😀 Good Luck With Your New Book and come back again anytime! LE
Keep reading for a taste of RJ’s latest:
True Blue – Out of the Blue #3
When being true to yourself means denial is no longer an option.
On the heels of a tragedy, Brandon White shaved his hair, adorned his body with tattoos, and concentrated on his attraction to the opposite sex. Fifteen years later, Brandon is a protective son and a loyal and respected member of the San Francisco Fire Department, bedding anything in a skirt that promises not to stick around afterward.
When his past and present collide in his dreams—including his best friend and fellow fireman, Mason—Brandon knows things are never going to be the same again. He starts to recall that fateful day years before, and the long-forgotten feelings that preceded it. The most important thing he remembers—he’s not as straight as he’d thought.
With help, Brandon learns to accept who he was always meant to be. But when tragedy strikes again, Brandon must reconcile his past and present and deal with his grief if he is to ever be true, not only to himself, but to Mason as well.
**This can be read as a standalone, however it is best enjoyed after reading the first two stories as side characters play a major role.**
Buy the Book:
More about RJ Jones:
RJ started as a reader and eventually made the progression to reviewing. It wasn’t until two men popped into her thoughts, insisting on telling her their story that she started to write. It started with one scene. A hot and dirty one in the shower.
RJ’s initial thought was if she could write their scene then they’d shut up and allow her to concentrate on other aspects of the day. That shower scene was 3000 words long and three hours of work. But they didn’t shut up. They told her their entire story and she didn’t sleep for days. Sometimes she couldn’t keep up with what they were telling her and she had to keep a notebook by the bed.
Whilst RJ was writing their story a side character decided he needed his story told too. Then other characters followed suit.
You see the problem? If RJ ever wants to sleep again then she needs to write.
RJ is a wife and a mother to two boys. Even her dog is a boy.
She is surrounded by males.
RJ writes emotionally charged, character driven romances. Her guys will always get their HEA, but it will never be easy.
Where to find RJ
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/robyn.j.jones.1711
Twitter – https://twitter.com/rjjonesauthor
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/rjjonesauthor/
Website – http://rjjonesauthor.com
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org