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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Spotlight On Author: MaryJanice Davidson And Anthony Alongi

Happy Wednesday Everybody,

I'm excited to announce I have another email author interview for you all. (To be honest, I get excited about each one of these interveiws I do. There's some really great information in each interview, plus many of them have fabulous senses of humor, so it's just a joy to interview them). 

Today, we have authors, MaryJanice Davidson and her husband, Anthony Alongi. These two talented writers have made a hit with their YA series, Jennifer Scales Novels. Their new one, Rise Of The Poison Moon has been released.

MaryJanice Davidson is also well-know for her Undead series, as well as a one featuring the mermaid, Fred (3 book series) and ones centered on the idea of if Alaska never became part of the USA and stayed under a king's rule.

Special thanks goes to MaryJanice Davidson's assistant, Tracy Fritze, who has been incredibly kind and very helpful in getting this interview to happen.

The interview will center mostly on the Jennifer Scales Novels due to the newest release. 

So, without further ado, I give you MaryJanice Davidson and Anthony Alongi...

Me: In light up the upcoming release of Rise Of The Poison Moon (the next book in the Jennifer Scales series), what got you two to collaborate on a series, and do you all intend to do another series together?



AA: WE HAD TALKED ABOUT DOING THIS FOR YEARS - SINCE OUR HONEYMOON, IN FACT. WE DIDN'T GET THE SPECIFIC IDEA FOR JENNIFER SCALES UNTIL YEARS LATER. A YOUNG FEMALE PROTAGONIST WHO HAD TO DEAL WITH (INVOLUNTARY) CHANGES TO HER BODY FELT LIKE A NEAT TOPIC. IT CAUGHT FIRE FROM THERE.


MJD: Also, at about this time I was getting fan mail for the Betsy books from 11 year old girls. "Me and my BFF just loooove Betsy because like she's the coolest grrrll evah!" Um, can I talk to your mom, please? Not only was I interested in writing about a teenage protagonist, I was happy to be able to write back, "Thanks, but have you tried the Jennifer Scales books?"


AA: RIGHT NOW, WE DON'T HAVE ANOTHER SERIES TOGETHER IN MIND. THE JENNIFER SCALES UNIVERSE (WHICH MAY INCLUDE BOOKS WHERE JENNIFER HERSELF PLAYS A MINOR ROLE) HAS TONS TO OFFER.

MJD: Yup, and our agent is even more psyched than we are (which is a good trick). I frankly don't see an end point to the JS series right now.


Me: What's you all's favorite part of writing and publishing?


AA: FOR WRITING, IT'S GETTING CAUGHT UP IN AN INTENSE SCENE AND LOOKING UP MANY PAGES AND HOURS LATER. WRITING A GOOD BOOK FEELS LIKE READING A GOOD BOOK.

MJD: What he said. Times a zillion.


Me: What advice can you give to aspiring writers?


AA: EAT FROM ALL FOUR FOOD GROUPS. EXERCISE. FIND SOMEONE YOU LOVE. LIVE LIFE.


MJD: For writers, doofus, not aspiring Olympic athletes. Submit, submit, submit. When you get a rejection slip, get something else out into the mail that very day. I got rejection slips for over a decade before I sold my first story. If I'd given up in my twenties, I'd still be slogging through SDJs (Stupid Day Jobs).


Me: For fun: What's one of your favorite movies and why?


AA: I ENJOY MOVIES WITH STRONG SCRIPTS, FROM JUST ABOUT ANY GENRE. MOST RECENT FAVORITES: DISTRICT 9, THE HURT LOCKER, TOY STORY 3. LOOKING FORWARD TO INCEPTION THIS WEEKEND!

MJD: Inception! (My husband answered your questions before I did) I also love disaster movies like 2012, Armageddon, Deep Impact. And, of course, zombie movies: the Dawn of the Dead remake (fast zombies! arrggh!), 28 Days, etc.

Me: This question is probably one you get a lot, but since people are inspired by different things, what inspires you all to write?


AA: THE VOICES IN MY HEAD. THAT'S LESS DISTURBING THAN IT SOUNDS. CHARACTERS STICK AROUND AND PUSH FOR THEIR STORY TO BE TOLD. THE MORE YOU PUT ON THE PAGE, THE MORE THEY WANT TO COME OUT.


MJD: What he said. Sorry, there's just no way to make that not scary.


Me: Are you all members of any writers' groups, and if so, which ones? (I plug writers' groups a lot being a member of RWA and NWHRWA).


AA: I AM NOT.


MJD: Ditto. We're not against them, we've just never used them. Writing is solitary, so I can definitely see their appeal! My husband has been my writing group. ;-)


Me: MaryJanice has had great success with the Undead series, but she's also written about royalty, werewolves and mermaids. Any other paranormal creatures on the rise?


AA: WHAT, HERE IN THE HOUSE? WELL, OUR DOGS ARE A BIT WEIRD. THEY MAY BE MAGICAL.

MJD: I've got an anthology out next year where I'll introduce my super hero with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. And I'm hoping to write more Alaskan books, as well as a zombie novel.


Me: Who are you all's favorite character(s)?


AA: IT TOOK ME A LONG TIME TO REALIZE THIS, BUT BOROMIR IN LORD OF THE RINGS WAS A TERRIFIC CHARACTER, EVEN THOUGH MOST PEOPLE THINK OF HIM AS THE JERK WHO TRIED TO STEAL FRODO'S RING. GOLLUM WAS AN EARLIER LITERARY LOVE OF MINE, BECAUSE OF HIS MORE OBVIOUS "DUAL" NATURE. CHARACTERS THAT AREN'T COMPLETELY "GOOD" OR "BAD" ARE THE MOST INTERESTING.


MJD: For my part, I love the bad guy who is convinced he's a good guy. They're the most terrifiying villains because they truly think what they're doing is RIGHT. Think General McClintock from OUTBREAK, the smarmy gvt. employee from Mission Imposible 3 ("It's complicated."), the creepy scientist from PLANET TERROR.


Me: Where's your favorite place to write?


AA: AT LAKE HOUSE, ON LAPTOP.


MJD: In living room, on laptop.




Me:  Feel free to add anything else you'd like to say.


AA: I REALLY APPRECIATE THE TIME YOU'VE PUT INTO THIS INTERVIEW - THANKS FOR THE CHANCE TO CONNECT WITH FANS!


MJD: Yes yes! Betsy tends to get most of the attention, so we're always thrilled to talk about Jennifer and her gang.




Thank you so much, MaryJanice and Anthony for doing this interview! I really enjoyed reading the answers and having a "peek" into the creative process!

Visitors and followers to this blog, feel free to leave comments. :-)

Have A Witty Wednesday!

8 comments:

jbrayweber said...

Super interview! It was so much fun to read and get to know about MaryJanice and Anthony. Thanks!
Jenn!

Bethany said...

Jen,

Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting! I enjoyed reading the answers, myself. I was also happy that my computer was behaving itself this time. :-)

Deidad said...

This was awesome, thanks for getting this out to us!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful interview, Bethany, AA & MJD!

Tessy

Bethany said...

Deidad,

You're welcome. Thanks for dropping by :-)

Bethany said...

Tessy,

Thanks for dropping by...good to "see" you! And thank you for the comment :-)

paxskube said...

Bethany, I just heard of you via Mary Janice Davidson's ite and I am very happy to have found you!
I hope you (and everyone) get a chance to see MJ (and with luck, Anthony, too) in person. They are very warm and approachable ...and very funny.
I willbe checking out more of your interviews here.
Thanks for bringing the authors to us.
Tonette

Bethany said...

Tonette,

I have to confess I didn't see your post until several months after it was posted, and now I realize I hadn't answered it. I am sorry, Tonette!

It's been a great addition having you on my blog.

So thank you, Tonette for all your support and for being a loyal follower. I appreciate it :-)