Tuesday, February 15, 2011

All Things Romantic Suspense: Jess Anastasi

Today I welcome fellow All Things Romantic Suspense Tour participant, Jess Anastasi.

1. What drew you to the subject of Dead Reality?

I actually got the idea for Dead Reality in a dream, which, as weird as that might sound, isn't that unusual for me. A lot of my ideas come to me that way. Anyway, once I had the idea of agents going undercover on a reality TV show, I couldn't stop thinking about it and turned it into this book.

2. What was the name of the first novel you wrote? Did you try to publish it?

Oh no, it's bad. Okay, I called it My Raven Storm, it was a historical romance and it was terrible! I wasn't ever dumb enough to think I could actually get it published. It was more of an experiment to see if I could actually write. Which, apparently I can.

3. What do you consider your strengths in terms of your writing?

I think my strength has always been in my dialogue, that's one thing I've never had a problem with. My crit partner constantly has to remind me to 'trust my dialogue', that my characters are conveying a lot with their words and I don't need to go over explaining. I always worry my readers aren't going to 'get' what I'm talking about.

4. What do you consider your weakness and what strategies do you use to overcome it?

No matter how much I try, I just can't weed passive voice out of my work. I write it even when I think I'm no writing it! Thank god for my crit partner and editor!

5. What is your favorite word?

'Apparently'. I say it all the time. Look, I already used it once in this interview. And it tends to slip into my books quite a bit. Its one of those words I have to go do a find and delete/replace for when I've finished a manuscript.

6. What would you like to learn to do that you haven’t?

I would love to learn how to play the piano. I took some basic lessons when I was a kid, but you know what kids are like, never stick to anything for longer than five minutes. I keep telling myself that when I grow up and have more time, I'll go buy a piano and get lessons!

7. What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I always felt like these two characters, Ella and Bryce, really had something. Every time they were in a scene together, you never quite knew what was going to happen. Their relationship really drove this book and I only hope that comes across when people read it.

8. Who is your favorite character in your book?

I love Bryce. He's one of my favorite characters out of all the books I've written. Though he was a bit of a player, and could be a total smart alec, once he realized he loved Ella, he manned up and made the HEA happen.

9. What was the hardest scene to write?

After Ella and Bryce have an intimate moment, Ella runs off because she realizes she loves Bryce and is scared about what that'll mean for her. But, Bryce hasn't come to the same realization yet. Except he's having all these feelings and doesn't really know what he's doing or why he's doing it. I found it hard to honestly portray his confusion, for him to be too stubborn to see the light, yet make it believable. I think it worked in the end, but when people read that scene, I'm sure they'll be yelling "because you're in love, you idiot!" like I was at the time. But, Bryce just wasn't able to see it yet at that point.

10. What was your favorite scene to write?

There were a few scenes I really enjoyed writing, small moments when you could see the relationship evolving. But I think I really liked writing the ending. Not because it was the end! Because Ella and Bryce had to get through some tough issues to get their HEA, not to mention someone trying to kill them! It was good to see it all come together in the end.

Author Bio:

Jess has been making up stories since she can remember. Though her messy handwriting made it hard for anyone else to read them, she wasn't deterred and now she gets to make up stories for a living. She loves loud music, dumb movies, and a good book on a rainy day. Jess lives in regional Victoria, Australia with her very supportive husband, two kids and one spoiled border collie. Learn more about Jess at www.jessanastasi.com

Book Blurb:

FBI Special Agent Ella Waverly is wrapping up one last assignment before heading off on her first holiday in five years. But flip-flops and cocktails are the last thing on her mind when she meets the new team leader, Special Agent Bryce Lain, and finds out her holiday is being scuttled for an undercover assignment.

Agent Lain is gorgeous, the kind of gorgeous that guarantees he’s an arrogant jerk. The news that he’ll be her partner in the dangerous mission is almost enough to make her head explode. Before the day is out, Ella finds herself at Little Palm Island Resort in Florida, masquerading as a contestant on the latest reality TV show – Lord Bachelor. The bachelor in question, a disgraced British peer, is suspected of raping and murdering several women back in London.

As humidity frizzes her hair beyond the help of any type of de-frizzing, smoothing, glossing product, Ella tries to wrangle working against nineteen husband-hungry bimbos, one suspected serial killer and one seriously hot agent who’s trying everything he can to get under her skin.

Buy links:

Noble Romance Publishing: http://www.nobleromance.com/BrowseListing.aspx?author=130



Thanks for stopping by Jess.


Jennifer August said...

Loved the interview, Jess! Ella and Bryce sound like a great couple to write and I am looking forward to reading the book!

Jess Anastasi said...

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment Jennifer. I hope you enjoy it too!
If you're interested, I'm giving away an e-book copy of one of my other books, Severance, on facebook this week.
Hope to see you there!

Cassie Exline said...

Great interview. Very interesting how you came about writing Dead Reality. Those sorts of tidbits are fascinating. It's like being backstage and discovering secrets.