Thursday, September 22, 2011

Juniper Bell Interview!!

Please give us your website addy, a list of your books and a short bio.


Book List:

Training the Receptionist

Restraining the Receptionist

My Three Lords

Go Wild

Go Deep


The Extremist

Juniper Bell writes erotic romance for Samhain and Ellora’s Cave. She lives with her brand new husband in a cabin in Alaska with sporadic running water and a spectacular view of glaciers. She wound up in the frozen north after leaving her career as a stressed-out Los Angeles TV writer. Luckily, her love for writing survived the move, and she soon discovered a surefire way of heating up those long winter nights. When she’s not at her computer or shoveling snow, she’s dreaming of the day she can move to Hawaii. Visit her website at http://juniperbell.com/, her blog at http://authorjuniperbell.blogspot.com/, friend her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.


A standalone sequel to Go Wild.

Beth is the shy, dreamy type. No one guesses at the wild sexual thoughts she hides behind that quiet fa├žade. She doesn’t even share her secret longings with her husband.

Gavin loves his wife, but he’s tired of living in a marriage in which neither he nor Beth reveal their true desires. When Gavin sees Beth’s response to an erotic bondage photo in her framing shop, he jumps at the opportunity to break through her barriers.

He accepts an invitation to a showcase match for the amateur hockey team he coaches during Wild Nights, the infamous winter festival during which “anything goes, nothing counts.” But he’s opened a sensual Pandora’s box—Beth has some surprises of her own. When she meets Eagle, a free-spirited Wild resident, she knows he’s the perfect man to help enact her erotic fantasies. And once they go deep, there’s no going back.

Buy link: http://www.jasminejade.com/p-9555-go-deep.aspx

How do you usually come up with a story idea? Dreams? Writer’s journal? Eavesdropping on conversations? Newpaper?

I’m an idea ho. I’ll look anywhere for an idea, but usually they come at random moments when I wasn’t consciously trying. Often it’s an image or a situation that inspires me. I have yet to get an idea from a dream, but if it can happen to Stephanie Meyer, it can happen to me, right?

Who or what inspires you when your creative mojo is lagging?

I take a break. We live on the edge of wilderness, and a nice long walk among the spruce trees often gets the mojo flowing again. I eat chocolate or make another cup of tea. And often taking a reading break will kickstart my creativity. I used to be wary of reading other people’s books while I was writing – not wanting to be influenced – but I’ve gotten over that!

Who is your Yoda—your seasoned mentor?

I need a Yoda! Do you know any? Actually, I don’t have just one, but I’ve gotten great advice from Tielle St. Clare and members of the Nine Naughty Novelists, my blogging group. Kelly Jamieson and PG Forte have been great at sharing their experience with me, just to name a couple.

What importance do you place on writing workshops? What workshops would you recommend to us?

I enjoy writing workshops because they get you focused on writing. But you have to take what works for you and set aside what doesn’t. Everyone’s methods are different, so I try not to take everything TOO literally. One of the best workshops I took was Robert McKee’s Story Structure workshop. It’s geared toward screenwriters, but so much of it is helpful for what we do too.

What person would you like to thank for inspiring you in your writing aspirations? How did this person help you?

Even though she’s dead, I’d like to thank Jane Austen. Where would romance be without her? Among the living, I find Nora Roberts an endless source of inspiration. And I would be nowhere without my beloved Alaska romance writers group. So I guess that’s a lot of people!

Have you ever used songs for inspiration? Do you play music when you write? If so, what kind? Or, do you have to have silence or background noise to set your writing muse free?

I need silence, which my family finds irritating. When someone comes into the room where I’m writing, I wait until they leave to continue. I mean, how can I finish my hot threesome when my daughter’s rummaging around for her markers? I wish I could write with music because I love it. But I lose focus too easily.

Do you read in a different genre than you write? If yes, why? If you read in the same genre that you write, do you feel that it influences your writing in any way?

I read almost entirely romance, but in many different subgenres. And yes, it influences me. After all my romance reading, it’s hard for me to read a book without a happy ending. Or understand why the characters aren’t falling in love already.

What is your process from idea to first draft?

Once I have the idea, I start writing notes about the characters, what’s driving them, what they do in life, what their family background is. Thinking about the characters brings to mind plotting ideas. What would he do next? How would she react to that? That kind of thing. After I’ve written lots of notes, I write a rough outline. The shorter the book, the rougher the outline. And it’s not set in stone at all—often things change as I write the first draft. I break the outline into chapters and get to work! I stick to a daily word count goal and that gives me a first draft--which will undergo extensive revisions because I love rewriting. But getting that first draft down is the most important part. You can’t do anything without that.

Have you ever given assistance to a struggling new writer? Has another writer ever come to your aide? How?

I love the romance world for many reasons, but a big one is how much writers help each other out. I’ve given many pep talks to new writers, and if they want it, critiques and guidance in terms of publishers, etc. And I’ve gotten lots of wise advice. Many writers are incredibly generous with their assistance and I’m so grateful. I’ve gotten moral support, advice about dealing with editors, cheerleading when I needed it, beta reads, etc. etc. The romance community is amazing in that respect.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishments in your career so far?

Whenever someone buys one of my books, enjoys it, emails me about it, or reviews it, I’m happy. It was a huge thrill when my book Training the Receptionist shot to the top of the Samhain bestseller list its first day out. But honestly, I think my biggest accomplishment is a personal one – making the transition from writing for fun to writing as a career.

If you won the big lottery, what would you do with the money? Would give any of it to charity? If so, which one?

Geez, it would be hard to choose just one charity!! I’d probably give a lot of it to environmental causes. The state of the planet scares me. I want to make sure we still have one in a few years!

What is the best advice you want to give to a new writer?

Read a lot. Write a lot. That’s about it. I don’t think anyone has the magic formula for writing. Keep reading, keep writing, and don’t forget about the conflict.

If you could choose an animal for a mascot, what animal would it be? What do you admire about this animal? Do you feel you have qualities similar to this animal? If so, what are they?

I’d be a cross between a seal and a butterfly. I’m a Gemini, so I need two. ;-) I love butterflies because of their transformational qualities – beginning as an ugly larva and becoming something beautiful. I think we’re always doing that -- every moment becoming something new. Seals are playful and wise and I’ve always loved them. I don’t know if I have those qualities, but I’d like to be a seal when I grow up.

If money, education and fear factors were set aside, what three careers would you like to attempt other than writing?

Is talent a factor? I can’t dance at all, but if I had any ability I would love to be a dancer or maybe a yoga teacher. I would love to be a multilingual translator who could converse in a ten different languages. I could travel the world and help refugees or something along those lines. But truthfully I’ve always wanted to be a writer, ever since the age of eight or so.

If money, talent and fear were no object, what big adventure would you like to have?

Is seasickness a factor? LOL. I would love to sail around the world – Alaska to Hawaii, the Caribbean, the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Horn and so on. But I might spend a lot of that time heaving over the side of the sailboat.

What characteristics do you like to instill in your heroes? What characteristics do you feel are necessary for a good heroine?

I like an alpha hero with a thinking side. My heroes must be strong, but even more, they must be caring, even if it doesn’t show at first. A true heart is like gold, in my book. My heroines have to be sensual – hey, I write erotic romance, after all. They’re strong, intelligent, but often conflicted about their own sensuality. I like to show how they learn to embrace and explore their sexual side.

If you had the power to change two things in the world, what would those two things be?

Intolerance would go. Boom, gone. And I’d make sure everyone had enough to eat. Those two things would go a long way toward making the world better.

If could have a super power for a day, what would it be? Why?

I’d take flying. I love to travel, but Alaska is so far from everywhere. I’d fly around the world making quick visits to my family then seeing all the places I’m curious about. Australia, Africa, Iceland, Bali. So I guess I’d be flying at the speed of light, essentially. But it would be worth it!


Tina Donahue said...

Hey, Juniper - love your "Receptionist" series. :)

Juniper Bell said...

Thanks, Tina! And thanks for having on the blog.

Fiona McGier said...

I love the idea of living out in the wilderness...I don't think I'd even mind the cold! Surrounded by that much natural beauty, I'd be inspired all of the time, to write! Lucky you!