**Find out how to win a $5 Amazon gift card at the bottom of this post!**
I’m so excited to kick off a new weekly series highlighting authors on my blog! And I’m even more excited to have one of my dear friends, Eisley Jacobs, as the very first author!
Whoever says social media is impersonal must be doing it wrong! Eisley and I met in December of 2009. On Twitter. Neither of us remembers our first introduction, but before we knew it we were critiquing each other’s work. Oh, my word! How we’ve grown as writers since then! Can you believe it, Eisley?
Ahem, actually I can remember the first time. I wanted a mocha, but I was writing. So one very smart woman suggested I make it myself. She tweeted the recipe to me and I promptly jumped to my feet and made it! Instant friends!
Oh, crappy doodles. That’s right. (Sorry, I’m writing Rose right now and those just slip out.) I have no idea how I could forget that since I’d sell my first born child for a non-fat, no whip mocha. But, shhh! Don’t tell him.
Not only were we critique partners, but we became good friends. VERY good friends. I talk to Eisley almost every day and we’ve seen each other in person four times.
Yes. Denise is my sister writer. We met that day and the rest seemed to just fall into place. When she first came out to meet me, she brought her lovely children and it was an amazing weekend! We had so much fun. Actually, we always have fun. In person or over social media.
Eisley is one of the sweetest, most giving people I’ve met. And she’s talented to! My website is HER creation. And that’s not all. She’s an author. She’s published two middle grade books in the Dragons Forever series—Born to be a Dragon and Blink of a Dragon. AND she recently released an adult speculative Christian novel, Runaway Choices. Being Eisley’s critique partner means I get to read her books before they are published. Lucky me!
AND lucky me! I get to read Denise’s too. I know I’m not alone when I say she DOES NOT write fast enough. I need some more Rose Gardner. *wink*
I’m trying to get Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons finished but I’m talking to you right now.
Now Eisley, I’m sure you’ve heard this question before, but what exactly is speculative Christian novel?
Speculative fiction is simply a fancy term for a “Heinz 57” novel — a little of this, a little of that, some romance and BAM, you have a speculative fiction. Because the Christian genres aren’t as vast as the mainstream market, Runaway Choices had to snuggle into this one because it has a whole bunch of different elements. Had it been mainstream, it would have probably been urban fantasy.
What made you decide to tackle this genre?
I don’t think I ever consciously made a decision to write a Christian Spec Fiction novel. Most of my novels start out very organically with an idea then grow from there. Beck’s story started with a small hematite rock that followed me around the house. Two houses actually. It would show up from time to time, yet no one knew who the rock belonged to. I would move it and tuck it away in a drawer and eventually it would find its way back onto my counter or in another drawer. After the second house, I realized I needed to write a story about this rock and a girl who would receive this strange rock. The rest flowed with very little prompting from me. The Christian aspect of it was pretty organic as well. A lot of Beck’s story I experienced myself (aside for the paranormal elements, of course). I was a very bitter young woman and because of my own choices I wound up traveling some pretty destructive paths. So, while I was writing a totally fictional character in Beck, I could relate to her bitterness, anger, hurt, and fear or letting people into my life for fear they’d just hurt me. Without giving too much away, much like Beck, I had a moment of total surrender and gave all my hurts away. I just hope I captured the truth behind that scene.
That scene brought tears to my eyes. What I love about Runaway Choices, is that while it’s Christian at heart, it’s not preachy.
It was important to me that it wasn’t preachy. So I’m very glad to hear that I didn’t beat anyone over the head with my message.
You definitely pulled it off. So, let’s talk about your middle grade series, Dragons Forever. I remember when you came up with the idea. You were on your way to Target and if I remember correctly, the idea just popped into your head. You texted me all excited that you’d thought of a great book about dragons and you even had the dragon’s name– Deglan.
OMGoodness you have a great memory. I believe you are absolutely right. My boys had just seen the How to Train your Dragon movie and had been playing dragons for two weeks straight and then BAM the idea came to me when my daughter jumped in and said, “Okay I want to play. But I’m just a girl and you guys are my dragons.” Ahhh the brilliance of children. And there, Born to be a Dragon was birthed. I think I text you about all my ideas… because at least then I have record I had an idea. #EisleyEpic
For the record, Eisley suffered a concussion when she was 16 and lost a week of memories. Is that right, Eisley? A week?
I don’t truly know how much time I lost. I just know I lost at least a week. I still struggle with recalling short term memories. It’s unnerving to pop over to a blog and head to comment only to realize I already have. Makes a person feel a bit insane! If it happened only once or twice a year, I might be able to write it off as scatter-brained, but it happens more often than I can justify. I have to keep a detailed account of my schedule otherwise, I might not attend my own meetings! This has happens… a lot. I think it’s why I like email. Then I have record of my replies. Makes me feel sane. HA!
Being the awesome friend that I am, a few of us on Twitter came up with a hashtag to celebrate her forgetfulness. In fact, we came up with our own story to fill in her week long memory loss.#EisleyEpic I believe a motorcycle gang was involved. Now, we just use it to signify that she’s forgotten something.
Haha, once and a while someone will give me a new memory. Some of them are hilarious and if I could remember them, I’d share them with you. You will just have to settle with a motorcycle gang and let your imagination go wild. *wink*
So tell us what you’re working on now.
Right now, this morning even, I’m working on my YA Urban Fantasy called PIECES OF ME. And it’s ironic my memory has come into play in this interview because PIECES OF ME is about a girl suffering with memory loss. Only her story is far more complicated than mine. Here is the elevator pitch: Forget everything you know about anything. Forget your name. Forget the face you see in the mirror. Forget you have a family. Then, and only then, are you welcome in Braidan’s world. It should be finished this week and out for beta reads. Then hopefully when I’m in Ethiopia it will be at the Editors so that when I return I can determine where it goes next.
Where can readers find you?
You can find me most often at my computer desk trying to remember what I was doing (I have ADD too… This makes an amazing combination). But if you want to find me on the internet’s, you can catch me on Twitter , Facebook or on my website at http://EisleyJacobs.com. You can also find me at monthly ACFW Chapter meetings, two separate critique group meetings, and any coffee shop within three miles of the south Denver area. You can also find my books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, at your library or a local retailer (just ask!).
Thanks for chatting with me, Eisley. Well, you chat with me everyday, so thank you for chatting with me on the record.
You mean people are going to read this? *gasp* (uses white out)
Now, YOU can win a $5 Amazon gift card and use it to be one of Eisley’s books! Eisley is going to ask you a question, and you’re going to answer it to win! We’ll keep the answers open until Friday at noon, then I’ll draw a winner via Random.org.
Eisley, what do YOU want to know from my blog readers?
What kind of characters keep you thinking about the book even after its over?
I’m late picking the winner but using Random.org the winner is #9 Anne! Congrats, Anne! I’ll get your $5 Amazon gift sent to you ASAP!
Wow, so glad you guys are great friends! The comments on FB make more sense now, lol.
Love the rapport between you two and CAN’T wait to read the Dragon series. I have little boys and a girl. They love that stuff!
I met you both on Twitter right around the same time and here I thought you’d known each other forever before then. Eisley was one of my very first Twitter friends, if not THE first, and Denise, you were right after. And OMG, I forgot about the motorcycle story until now. Ha! Poor Eisley. *luff you!*
So happy to see this post and I’m looking forward to your Writer Wednesdays. Mine today is about my BAFF (Best Author Friend Forever), too. 🙂
I Love Characters that know what they want out of live, and head out to get it… Who have loved and lost and LOVED again. I know I am a sap I love the happily ever after books.
A Character that will do whatever it takes to get what they need. Even if it is in a bad way!
Thanks Denise for having me!
Kristie, isn’t it great, this social media thing? Just brings people people together in huge bunches. It’s lovely!
Bonnie, Denise and I really are like long lost sisters 😉 And sometimes that is a good thing, too. lol I hope you enjoy the series! 🙂
In answer to Eisley’s question, I love characters that learn something about themselves and grow throughout the book. I like going back to the first few pages and realizing the person he or she is at the end barely resembles the one at the beginning.
In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve been promised a beta read of “Pieces,” so GET BACK TO WORK!
Ali, sounds wicked… I like it! 😉
Avery, I’m going sheesh 😉
Wow. I’d just like to say first off that this was an extremely interesting interview. (If you don’t remember what you said, Eisley, just read above JK. Couldn’t resist). I’m fascinated not only with the many aspects of your personality, for want of a better word, but at the mixture of genres you write. I also thing its’s very cool the way you and Denise became friends. I’m amazed at the close friends that I’ve made online. This writing world is a vast and wonderfully supportive community. Pieces sounds like an intriguing story. Can’t wait until it’s available. I also plan to check out your other books. I love hearing how people get ideas for stories.
Sorry to gab so much. :- ) In answer to your question, the characters who stay with me are a) the ones who have a highly emotional journey or ‘moment’ b) the really vicious, scary bad guys, because I like creepy and I write suspense and paranormal. I’ve been told my villains are more developed than my main characters, which is not a good thing. I need to work on that. 🙂
WooHOOO!! So excited about this Writer Wednesday series – because it’s Wednesday and it’s about writers and – well, I needed something to distract me from the #wretcheddayjob.
*Ahem* Anyway, the Characters I find myself thinking about long after I’ve turned the last page are the ones who have a deep inner strength – those characters that can walk through the fires of hell and push their way through to the other side with nothing more than pure grit, determination and their own wits. Their stories don’t often have the ‘fairy tale’ endings but that’s okay because they’re strong enough to take whatever comes next.
What a fun interview! I learned new things!
The characters I think about are usually the dark ones, or people who de-evolve over the course of a story. I just read one where the girl was very sweet, but was wrongly sent to an asylum for a murder she did not commit.
No one would believe her and after 17 years there she grew up into a very scary person. The loss of innocence and her spirit haunts me.
I actually read it late at night while camped out on some ladies floor in Colorado. *shifty eyes* Wonder who it was. Umm….
You both are awesome! =)
For me, the character that I think about after I finish reading is a three parter:
1. A character that I completely relate to.
2. A character that is unique
3. A character that fits within the world they are in.
There are a lot of books and characters that completely suck me in but the slightest thing will be off with the character interacting in the world and that is enough to prevent me from continuing to think about the character.
A YA? Write faster Eisley! 😉
Almost always the underdog sticks with me after finishing a book (like Tod from Rachel Vincent’s Soul Screamers series), though I am in no way opposed to the villian (for instance Warner from Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me)…
Great interview! Eisley I love your name!! I have never heard of a speculative Christian novel before. Very unique. I will definitely have to check your books out.
Loved the interview, ladies. Eisley, I’ve very interested in your Christian novel. I’ve not seen Christian fiction done well, yet. All too trite and preachy for my tastes. I look forward to reading it.
As far as characters go, I love complex ones. Lisbeth Salander is probably the most fascinating literary character I’ve run across in years. Resourceful, unpredictable, wounded and strong. Those are some of the important elements for me. Thanks again, ladies.
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