Today, I'd like to welcome author, Jena Galifany, to my blog. Welcome Jena. Please make yourself comfortable. First, I'd like to thank you for agreeing to be interviewed. This is an informal interview, so please just let your hair down.
CAROL ANN: Jena, I see on your website that you wrote about the love of your life in 1982, seven years before you actually met. I'm so curious. Can you elaborate on this for the readers?
JENA: Sure! I was in an unhappy marriage with a man who had a fidelity problem. My siblings and I had discovered D&D (Dungeons and Dragons) and when I created my characters, I created a human man to be my character's mate. He was 6'4", dark brown eyes, dark hair, could fix anything, was creative and a complete gentleman in every sense of the word.
After things escalated and we separated, I lived alone for two years when into my life walked the man I had created so many years before. Only different was he was 6'3". The rest, as they say, is history. On December 29th, we will celebrate our 16th anniversary.
CAROL ANN: Wow! That's a great story. So many times we fantasize about the man we'll marry, but usually it's just that--fantasy. Your fantasy came true! So, besides Ty Synclair, whom we know is based on your true love, have you ever fallen in love with any of your other characters?
JENA: I have a certain amount of love for each of my heros. I go through the same feelings they experience and that makes me close to the character. I've laughed and cried with them all.
CAROL ANN: I can relate to that. Being a romance writer, tell me what romance means to you.
JENA: Romance is setting self aside to be pleasing to the person you love.
CAROL ANN: I love asking that question, because I always get a new perspective on romance. **smile** As well, as sweet romance, you also write dark romance. Tell me about dark romance and how you came to write the genre.
JENA: I don't think that just because it doesn't end with happily ever after that a relationship wasn't a romance. Romeo and Juliet is considered one of the greatest romances ever and look how it ended. Romance is a time, the moment between two people, one that will never be forgotten even if the relationship ends. I wrote Her Perfect Man drawing on my moments of romance with a someone who ended up being a best friend.
CAROL ANN: I never really thought about it that way. Hmmm, Love Story also had a sad ending, but it was also considered a classic romance. Thanks for sharing that. So, I see you are wearing blue jeans today. Are you a bluejeans or a skirt kind of woman.
JENA: Funny you should ask that. I'm a blue jeans woman that is trying hard to get back to being a skirt kind of woman. That's my new year's resolution.
CAROL ANN: **laugh** I think you'd look lovely in a skirt, too. So, tell me what would be your dream vacation?
JENA: My dream vacation would be to be alone with Steve for an extended time. It wouldn't matter where we were.
CAROL ANN: How wonderful to talk to someone who is truly married to their soul mate. You glow whenever you talk about him. He's a lucky guy, and you're a lucky woman. So many of us never meet that special person. You seem to be doing well as an author. How many books did you write before receiving your first contract?
JENA: I wrote four, but only submitted one before it was accepted. Whiskey Creek Press accepted my first book and the second two in the series within four months. I'm truly blessed.
CAROL ANN: Your success is well deserved. Besides books, do you collect anything?
JENA: **smiles** Yes. I collect teapots, but my daughter collects Zebras and those things are making their way into my life. I have several Zebs on my desk at home and at work.
CAROL ANN: Zebras? How fun! The last author I interviewed collects pigs. Seems we authors are animal lovers. You know, Jena, sometimes readers think authors have a wonderful life. But we have the same ups and downs as everyone else, maybe even more so. After all we deal with rejections as a part of life. So, when you get down, who can make you laugh?
JENA: Steve! Hands down. He knows how to make me smile and knows just what I need no matter what is going on.
CAROL ANN: Somehow I thought that's what you'd say! Okay, here's a question you might not have expected to answer. Broccoli and cheese, or cheeseburger? Which would you pick?
JENA: I'll take the veggies but I don't care for the cheese. I don't eat beef at all. I live on chicken.
CAROL ANN: My husband once posted a cartoon on my refrigerator of a man at the doctor's office. He had little wings on his back. The caption was: Chicken for dinner every night. What did you expect? **laugh** All right. Back to writing questions. Of your published works, which is your favorite and why?
JENA: My favorite so far would be ShadowsForge3: Retaking America. It won't be released until April, but it involves just about everyone in the band and several women. It is the most intricate book I've written and I think it shows the real personalities of the characters.
CAROL ANN: Can you offer any advice to those readers who have a dream of writing but are afraid they aren't good enough?
JENA: Trust me. I'm not good enough! I've thought that since 8th grade. What I would tell someone, Don't be afraid to try. So you get a rejection. So what? Move on to the next. Study the craft. You never know it all. Writing is a constant learning experience. Keep at it and as I say in my tag line, "Believe in Dreams!"
CAROL ANN: Wonderful advice! Tell me about the ShadowsForge series which is published by Whiskey Creek Press.
JENA: ShadowsForge didn't start out to be a series. I wrote one story, showed it to some friends who loved it and wanted more. It snowballed from there.
I love 80's bands and when I was a teenager I would have loved to spend my life hanging out with them. I watched how their relationships didn't survive too well most of the time and that inspired me to write about Ty Sinclair trying to find the One.
A thumbnail sketch of the ShadowsForge series:
ShadowsForge 1: Three Times a Hero follows Ty Synclair, bass player from the British rock band as he seeks to find "the One." He knows there is one woman in the world for each man and he is determined to change his lifestyle. He may have found her with the aid of an untimely blizzard. Released June 1, 2006 from Whiskey Creek Press.
ShadowsForge 2: Trials on Tour follows the band on a two-week tour throughout Great Britain as they attempt to stay ahead of a fan's jealous boyfriend who wants them all dead. Released October 23, 2006 from Whiskey Creek Press.
ShadowsForge 3: Retaking America finds the band back in America for another two months or so. They have some difficulty sorting out their women but it all works out in the end, mostly. Scheduled for release April 1, 2007 from Whiskey Creek Press.
ShadowsForge 4: The Long Way Home focuses on Brian Cummings, percussionist, his past and how it affects his current relationship with Diane Starling, seamstress to the band. Scheduled for release November 2007 from Whiskey Creek Press.
ShadowsForge 5: Jon's Way is still running around in my head going in several different directions. Somewhere in SF5, lead guitarist Jordan will meet his future wife, Sharon.
ShadowsForge 6: Sharon's Song follows the misunderstandings between lead guitarist Jordan Cantrell and his wife Sharon. This one is complete but short. I will be fleshing it out and adding to it.
CAROL ANN: This sounds like a fabulous series, Jena. I'm in awe. So, if you had the opportunity to address the world via satellite, what would you say about yourself?
JENA: I'd probably hide! **laugh** I know it's not what is good for selling books, but I don't like to draw attention to myself. But for the sake of success, I have to tell the world "believe in dreams." I didn't believe I'd ever be published. I didn't believe that I was good enough. After being pushed to submit my work by my friends, Joyce and Brandi, I sent in ShadowsForge 1: Three Times a Hero. Debi Womack was very pleased with it and gave me something priceless. Not only did she send me a contract, she gave me self confidence. What the world needs to know is that people around you are important, not just to use to get what you want, but to help you when you need help. I'd thank Joyce, Brandi and Debi.
CAROL ANN: Okay, one more question. Do you believe the pen is mightier than the sword? Why or why not?
JENA: The things achieved with the pen will last longer. A world can be changed by what is written and shared. Fighting in any form may make changes but it will not satisfy both sides of the battle. The written word can bring about changes that will please both the writer and the reader, everyone wins.
CAROL ANN: Jena, thank you so much for taking the time to join me on my blog today. Readers, please check out Jena's website where you can view her covers and find out more about her books and where to purchase them. http://jenagalifany.bravehost.com/