Starring: Janni Nell
Janni has a gorgeous new book out now, The Bride, The Groom and Me.
Welcome, Janni, and thanks for treading the boards with us today!
It’s a pleasure to be here.
1. Are you inspired most by places, people or experiences and how do these work their way into your writing? All of the above. In The Bride, The Groom and Me, Sassy’s relationship with her best friend, Amber, is based on my relationship with my best friend. Although I was never in danger of ruining my best friend’s wedding. No, really, I wasn’t.
2. How do you come up with your characters’ names? In the Allegra Fairweather series, Allegra was simply a name I liked so that came easily. Finding a surname to go with Allegra was much more difficult. I tried countless surnames before I came up with Fairweather.
In the Sassy Chance series, the name Sassy suited the character so well, but once again I struggled to find a surname that matched the character’s personality and conveyed a sense of quirkiness. After much trial and error I came up with Chance. I’m happy to say that Sassy’s hero was much easier. Devlin Fox arrived fully formed along with his name. He simply wouldn’t answer to anything else. (Don’t you love co-operative characters! I wish they were all like Devlin!)
3. What is your favourite holiday? Anywhere warm with good restaurants and a day spa. (The RWA conference in Melbourne is very promising as a holiday-cum-conference package! I’m thinking I should offer a workshop on settings and use the day spa for stimulus! Reckon there’d be any takers?)
4. Do you read reviews of your books? What do you do when you read a not-so-nice one? Tough question. Obviously, it hurts, but once I get beyond that I see if I can learn something from the review. (And if you can’t, reread the good ones and feel good about your story!)
5. How many times were you turned down before you finally got published? 1,969,732 times. Okay, I’m kidding, it wasn’t that many, but it was a lot and I haven’t kept an exact count. I’ll always be grateful to editor, Liz Bass, for picking Allegra Fairweather: Paranormal Investigator out of the slush and recommending it for acquisition by Carina Press.
6. What reason(s) did the publishers give for their rejection of your manuscript? Mostly it was the standard “not right for us”. Occasionally I got personalised comments—and here’s the weird thing: when those comments were on the same manuscript they often contradicted one another. One agent’s meat, is another’s poison is just so true. (It’s about finding the right home for your work. Persevering until you find the perfect match is important so well done!)
7. What is your favourite book of all time that you can reread a hundred times, and it still feels like the first time? Well, nothing ever feels quite like the first time, but Susan Howatch’s Starbridge and St Benet’s series have a special place on my book shelf. I reread them often and I’m always in awe of the depth of her characterizations.
8. What do you need to set the mood for you to write? I used to write to music, but now I find that distracting…so these days it’s silence, a cup of good coffee and knowing I won’t be disturbed.
9. If there is one genre that you have not written in yet, but would love to try writing a book in that specific genre, what would it be? I want to do a gothic. I’ve tried but my humorous voice keeps intruding.
10. If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be? And why? Casper, the guardian angel in the Allegra Fairweather series. He’s gorgeous to look at and, honestly, who doesn’t need a guardian angel?
11. What are you working on now? The second novella in the Sassy Chance series, Devlin, A Date and Me.
12. Would you like to share an excerpt from your writing or a photo or music link that inspires you?
The following excerpt is from The Bride, The Groom and Me.
He was six feet tall with dark hair and a lean body. I couldn’t see much else because he moved so fast, launching himself at the bad guys in a blur of kicks and punches. Jackie Chan, eat your heart out. After about thirty seconds, two bad guys were sprawled on the ground. The third was nowhere in sight.
“Are those two dead?” I surveyed the unmoving bodies.
“No,” said Martial Arts Guy.
I leaped to my feet, still flooded with adrenaline. “There was a third guy. Lots of facial piercings. He stole my bag. My wallet, my phone, my keys, the ring. I have to find him.”
“Those things can be replaced.”
“Not the ring. It was one of a kind. I have to get it back.” I snatched up my empty bag and set off down the street hoping I was going in the same direction the pierced guy had taken.
Martial Arts Guy came after me and grabbed hold of my wrist. “Do you have a death wish?”
“The ring is a family heirloom.” My breathing was ragged as though I’d run a marathon. “My best friend’s getting married. I have to get it back for her wedding.”
“Your ring is gone.”
“It’s with the third guy. He went that way.”
“Following him won’t end happily. For you.”
I suddenly had a better idea. Pointing at the two on the ground, I said, “They’ll know where he is. We can ask them when they wake up.”
Martial Arts Guy’s voice was ice-cold. “Right now that third guy is on his way back here with reinforcements.”
But I was still focused on getting the ring back. “Call the cops. They can question these guys.”
He didn’t raise his voice. “We have to get out of here now.”
“I’m not going anywhere without that ring.”
“Listen.” For the first time his voice betrayed a hint of impatience. “You hear that?”
It sounded like voices. As if the third guy really was coming back with reinforcements.
“You have a choice,” said Martial Arts Guy. “You can run. Or I can carry you. Just a tip—we’ll move faster if you run.”
The Bride, The Groom and Me available from:
Sassy Chance, a twentysomething shoe sales clerk from San Francisco, is thrilled to be her best friend’s maid of honour. Too bad Sassy is in love with the groom. If that’s not bad enough Sassy is mugged and the heirloom, one-of-a-kind wedding ring is stolen.
Enter martial arts expert Devlin Fox. After saving Sassy from the muggers, Devlin feels compelled—for reasons even he doesn’t understand—to help her search for the ring.
With only days until the wedding, their chance of finding it in time is slim to nothing. Looks like Sassy is going to ruin her friend’s perfect day. Oh, and she’s still in love with the groom.
After growing up in a beachside suburb of Sydney, Australia, Janni Nell travelled the world before returning to Sydney, where she now lives.
Janni is the author of the five book, Allegra Fairweather humorous paranormal mystery series.
Janni is now working on a new series of romantic comedy novellas. The first instalment The Bride, The Groom and Me released August 2014.
When Janni isn’t writing, you can find her line dancing, walking the dog or working in her vegetable garden.