Before we get to my interview with Reena Jacobs and the giveaway associated with her new release I Loved You First, I want to thank her for letting me be a part of the tour and for the opportunity to read such a highly emotional book. And now, on to the interview and giveaway......
TSP: Did you always picture yourself being a writer and how did you get where you are today?
RJ: Not at all. The writing venture is rather new to me. It started off as a way to pass the time while in between jobs. I guess I'm still rather in between jobs. Hmm... how little has changed. I'm still a rather obscure author, but I am finding the more works available the more noticeable all my works seem to become.
TSP: Your first two books were geared towards a mature audience, why go YA with this newest release? Are there other genres you'd like to try your hand at?
RJ: I keep telling myself, I need to settle down. But really, I don't write for a particular genre. I just put to paper what's waiting to come out. When all is said and done, I step back, look at my finished product and think, oh crap! I have no idea what genre this is. I'm having that problem with the sequels to the Striped Ones series. Whereas Shadow Cat spoke erotica to me, I don't feel it in the next two books. So I wonder, will readers be disappointed? In all honesty, I've been stepping further and further away from erotica. I find it's a chore if I'm not in the right mood. I don't want writing to become a job a drag myself to, and I think that's what it'd become if I forced myself to stick with erotica.
TSP: What can you tell us about I Loved You First? Is it a stand-alone title or do you plan on revisiting this group of friends at a later date?
RJ: I Loved You First is a standalone. However, I do have a three-book series planned for Trinity. In fact, I developed Trinity's character and started her story long before I wrote I Loved You First. As an afterthought, I decided to write her into I Loved You First in order to connect some of my works. Trinity also has a role in the third book of the Striped Ones series. Other than that, I flirt with writing a continuation from Seth's point of view, but nothing serious.
TSP: Do you read YA books yourself? Are there any titles that have stood out to you or ones you wish you'd written?
RJ: I started reading YA last year. Who knew kiddie books would be so thrilling? :) A few of my top reads include The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins; Hush Money, by Susan Bischoff; Unearthly by Cynthia Hand; and Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson.
TSP: How do you see the digital revolution affecting your career and how you market yourself?
RJ: Positively. If not for the digital revolution, none of my works would be published today. Shopping for an agent or publisher could have taken months and still offer no guarantee of publication. Had I searched and found an agent to represent me right away, the process of shopping would have started over again with my agent searching for a publisher. And if, IF, my agent managed to sell my work to a publishing company, I Loved You First might not have hit the shelves for a good one-two years. As it was, I didn't shop for an agent or publisher for I Loved You First. From the time I finished the polished draft (prior to sending to an editor) to the shelf took about two months. So what do I think of the digital revolution? I think it's freakin' awesome!
TSP: When you finish writing a book do you do anything special to celebrate?
RJ: Nope. But I can easily lose a month or two being unproductive after finishing a stage. My brain sighs and turns into a puddle of mush in my head.
TSP: What's coming up for you next with your writings?
RJ: Most recently, I've been working on a flash fiction collection. Once the first draft of those are finished, I planned to scrounge up some motivation to polish book two of the Striped Ones series, Chasing Shadows. :) I've been trying to find some motivation for months now, so we'll see how that goes. It's odd. My works don't always get released in the order they were written. I wrote The Striped Ones book Three, then book Two, and finally I Loved You First. Yet I Loved You First saw a release date first. Go figure.
TSP: My blog is all about favorite things. What are some of your favorite things, the things you can't live without?
RJ: God and family are so high on the list, it's almost unfair to name them in comparison to anything else. Beyond that, when my laptop goes down, so does my world. My husband will put off fixing lots of broken things... but when it comes to my laptop, everything stops until the situation is remedied.
Thanks so much for being here Reena and taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with me! I too am a BIG Hunger Games fan and have seen myself get shaky when my internet connection goes down. Perhaps we'll have to start a support group. LOL.
Reena Jacobs is just your typical writer who loves to see her words in print. As an avid reader, she’s known to hoard books and begs her husband regularly for “just one more purchase.” Her home life is filled with days chasing her preschooler and nights harassing her husband. Between it all, she squeezes in time for writing and growling at the dog. You can find Reena on Ramblings of an Amateur Writer, Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.
Alexandria (Alex) Carmichael guards two secrets close to her heart. One—she’s in love with her best friend, Seth. Two—he’s gay.
As a freshman in college, Alex looks forward to fun times with her best friend. When Seth decides cycling through girlfriends is the way to fit in with the straight crowd, Alex must make a choice: watch Seth give his affections to another while her heart breaks or come clean with her feelings and risk losing his friendship forever.
I Loved You First is a new adult love story told through the eyes of an African-American/Caucasian student who takes a journey of self-discovery while watching her best friend come to terms with his sexuality. Turn the pages and find a message of hope, new beginnings, and positive change.
Buy Links: Barnes & Nobles, Amazon US, Amazon UK, Smashwords
-There are actually two giveaways to win a signed copy of I Loved You First....
#1 This is an INTERNATIONAL giveaway. Grab this code (<div align=”center”><a href=”http://reenajacobs.com/blog/for-readers/i-loved-you-first-blog-tour-august-15-september-15-2011/” title=”ILYF Blog Tour: August 15 – September 15″ target=”_blank”><img src=”http://reenajacobs.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/I-Loved-You-First-Blog-Hop.png” alt=”ILYF Blog Tour: August 15 – September 15″ style=”border:none;” /></a></div>) and post it onto your sidebar, then enter here. This part of the giveaway ends 9/26.
#2 This is also an INTERNATIONAL giveaway. Leave a comment on my post and on any of the Posted Stops listed here, then enter here. The more you comment, the greater your odds of winning. This part of the giveaway ends 10/7.