Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Author Interview with Jayne Fordham and GIVEAWAY of A Season of Transformation!!!!

Day two of the A Season of Transformation feature...  Jayne has been kind enough to do a little interview with me.  Please curl up with your cup of tea, coffee, chocolate milk, kool-aid...whatever you prefer ;-)...and get to know this wonderful lady a little better!  Then, be sure to enter for your own free copy of A Season of Transformation!  Details below...

Author Interview with A Season of Transformation author, Jayne Fordham:

GL:  As always, I would like to start out by asking you to give us a little background information about yourself. 

Jayne: I am a psychologist, freelance writer and debut indie author from Sydney, Australia. I live with my wonderful boyfriend, Ryan and our cheeky cocker spaniel, Buddy.

GL:  As a fellow “psychologist” I was really interested that you also chose to write, one of my other passions.  Can you describe the type of work you do in the mental health field?

Jayne:  I know, it was so nice to hear that you have a psychology background too; I guess we bring a variety of knowledge and experience to our writing projects. In my current role I work in perinatal mental health so I am working with women during pregnancy and postnatally who may be experiencing mental health problems such as anxiety, depression etc. It’s a very enjoyable area to work in as the aim is to intervene early so that a woman is emotionally well enough to provide the best care for her infant.

GL:  As I told you before, I absolutely LOVE this!!  I wish this were more of a focus in the US.  It is really such an important time for mother and baby, and it is so very important that mommy is taken care of in every way, especially mentally. 

GL:  When and why did you first start writing?

Jayne:  I loved to write as a child and in my early teens because I have always loved to read. Perhaps it’s the idea of creating a story and characters in a world that is different to my own. I really only became serious about writing in the past few years when I started to write novels and short stories.

GL:  What inspired you to write A Season of Transformation?

I had drafted various ideas for novels and made a start on a couple but I just couldn’t get into it. My tendency was to write ‘chic lit’ and I found writing it a little boring because I just wanted to get to the part where the couple got together and lived happily ever after! It wasn’t until I started to read more widely in the fantasy genre that I decided this would give my love story plots a bit more substance and excitement. I had the two main characters Lucas and Makenna in my mind and how they would get their abilities and it just expanded from there.

GL:  What is the key message of the novel that you really hope the readers grasp?

Jayne:  Well for teens, I guess the message is not to judge a book by its cover. These five teens have to work together to complete their mission and it shows that when they put their differences aside and empathize with each other’s lives then they can really accomplish something.

GL:  Are your characters or situations based on anyone/anything in your real life? 

Jayne:  Not really, although Adam’s bouncy personality was inspired and exaggerated from someone I have known.

GL:  Is there a particular character that you relate to more than the others?

Jayne:  I suppose I do relate to Makenna in ways, trying to keep people happy and looking for the strengths in people. She is also curious about people and as a psychologist I can relate to that. I don’t think I am as stubborn and assertive as she is though. I am also quite shy when it comes to meeting new people, so I also relate to Bonnie a bit in that respect.

GL:  I am the same way about meeting new people.  Isn’t it funny how we chose a career where we have to talk and listen to people all the time? :-)

GL:  Who designed the beautiful cover?

Jayne:  The photo was purchased and the fallen leaves scattered on the ground just seemed to perfectly match the theme of autumn in the book.

GL:  If you could have one of the characters’ abilities, which one would you prefer and why?

Jayne:  There are benefits with having them all. I think an everyday skill that would come in handy is rapid knowledge acquisition so I could remember everything I learn very quickly! As for a super power ability, speed flexibility would definitely have its advantages!

GL:  Did you face any particular challenges while writing and publishing A Season of Transformation?

Jayne:  I suppose editing was a very long process. It took about two years to get the story to where it is today which is very different to my early drafts. As an untrained writer I had to teach myself. I sought the help of a manuscript assessor to get feedback on the structure of the story which was really quite invaluable. From there I had a lot of work to do and the time I put into this waxed and waned over that period.

GL:  Did you learn anything interesting while writing this novel?

Jayne:  I guess the biggest thing I learnt was that I could actually write and finish a novel! It’s only now I am realizing what a big accomplishment that is--whether people like my story or not.

GL:  What advice can you share with other aspiring writers?

Jayne:  Try to make writing part of your daily routine, get advice from those more experienced.  If self-publishing, be prepared to spend a lot of time promoting and marketing your book.

GL:  What books and/or authors have had the most influence over your life and work?

Jayne:  There isn’t anyone in particular but I suppose Jane Austen and various Australian novelists such as Monica McInerney and John Marsden.

GL:  What are you reading now?

Jayne:  Winter’s Shadow by M.J. Hearle.

GL:  What’s in the works now?

Jayne:  I have started to draft a sequel to A Season Of Transformation, but before I get to that I am working on a manuscript for an adult fantasy/scifi novel with the working title of Intuition. I’ve also had a travel memoir in the works but I don’t know if I will get around to publishing that or if I will just keep it for myself. :-)

Now for the fun stuff… :-)

GL:  Where is the most interesting place you have traveled?

Jayne:  Definitely Cambodia- such beautiful strong people despite a recent war history. It was such a great experience--I ate a tarantula, rode a moto and volunteered at an orphanage.

GL:  What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Jayne:  Nutella gelato YUM!

GL:  Do you prefer ebooks or physical books? Why?

Jayne:  Definitely paperbacks; it just adds to the whole reading experience. Although, I have just purchased a kindle as I have agreed to review many eBooks so maybe when it arrives I will change my mind!

GL:  What is your favorite season?  Why?

Jayne:  Although I love the sun and warmth of a Sydney summer, I also really enjoy the cool rainy days in autumn and winter. It’s currently winter in Sydney and it is just the perfect setting to curl up with a good book, a blanket and a cup of tea.

GL:  I’m jealous…

GL:  Favorite movie?  Music?

Jayne:  I generally listen to rock music and my favorite band is Powderfinger. I enjoy watching all kinds of movies--romantic comedies, action, drama… But my all-time favorites are Pride and Prejudice (Keira Knightley version), Little Women, The Notebook and A Walk to Remember (another Nicholas Spark’s novel take-off).

GL:  What is one random fact about yourself that (almost) no one knows?

Jayne:  I can’t sleep unless all the wardrobe doors in my bedroom are closed! Strange childhood habit that has stuck with me…perhaps from being scared of monsters.

Thanks so very much, Jayne for dropping by and hanging out with us this week!!  It has been a pleasure getting to know you and hosting you on your blog tour!!  

I encourage you all to grab yourself a copy of A Season of Transformation.  You can learn even more about the novel and Jayne as well as purchasing information at her website  and on Facebook:  A Season of Transformation

A Season of Transformation GIVEAWAY:
One lucky reader will win an ebook copy of the novel!!  

Contest is open internationally.
Deadline for entry is June 30, 2011 at 11:59PM CST.
Winners will be notified by email July 1, 2011.

You must be a subscriber/follower of Gathering Leaves to be eligible.
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After you have completed any of the entries you wish to do, please fill out the entry form below providing links for any sharing!  Thanks so much!!  Good Luck!!