Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Interview with author Jessica Titone + Book Blitz

Author Jessica Titone is joining us today!

1.  Tell us a little about yourself. I'm a artist with an accountant's mindset. I adore anything artistic (paintings, books, dance, music, crafts) but I'm also obsessed with productivity, efficiency, and organization. I'm a die-hard perfectionist, introvert, and over-thinker. I may also be the slowest writer that has ever lived. The jury's still out on that last one.
2.  How long have you been writing? Loosely speaking, probably for about 20+ years. The last ten were when I really tried to accomplish something beyond dabbling. But if we're talking about serious writing, then that has only occurred in the last year.
3.  Tell us about your books.  They're long. It's a habit I'm trying to break. But seriously, I write character-driven stories about flawed people, usually in first person present tense. My main characters are typically artists of some sort. I love a good love story, but I prefer to weave the romance into a bigger, broader storyline.
4.  Do you have a certain writing process or routine?   My writing process consists of sprints, usually in ten minute increments, or as long as I can get away with before a child either wakes up from a nap or decides that he/she needs something from me. For anyone who's ever had kids, you probably realize that this leaves me with very little time to write.
5.  Who has been your favorite character to write so far?  Least favorite?   Flynn from Watermarked has been my absolute favorite. He started off as a side character, but then he started overtaking every scene he was in, so he got promoted. He's been the easiest to write. True to her nature, Ray usually gives me a hard time.
6.  Did you always know that you wanted to be an author?  No. Growing up, I assumed I'd be a princess, an actress, a lawyer or something equally ridiculous. The writing, or need to write, evolved over time. When I was in 5th or 6th grade, I scribbled stories in leftover notebooks by flashlight after I'd been put to bed. I had aspirations of writing a Shakespearian-like play in high school, but I was too ambitious in my pursuit and the thing never got finished. In college, I started writing Newsies-fanfiction. I'm sure it's still floating around on the internet if you know where to look. It was then that writing really grabbed hold of me, and it hasn't let go since.
7.  Do you have another job or do you write full time?  I have two other jobs - one that I get paid for and one I do not. By day, I'm an elementary school teacher at a virtual public charter school. By night and on weekends, I'm mom to two tiny, yet demanding, humans. Writing full time is a dream of mine that I have not yet had the opportunity to make a reality.
8.  Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? I'm not sure I'll ever get to the point where I should be doling out advice to anyone. There's a lot of authors out there who have much more insight than I do. The truth is that there's silver bullet solution to have a successful writing career. Everyone finds their own way eventually, or they quit in the middle of trying. The qualities our parents tried to instill in us to shape us into good humans seem to be the same of good writers: perseverance, humbleness, ingenuity, integrity, and a healthy dose of optimism.
9.  What genre do you like to read?  Fiction, both contemporary and historical are major players on my bookshelf. I also love fantasy, especially when rooted in mythology or fairy tales. Overall, a good book is a good book. I'll read mostly anything as long as the story is compelling.
10.  What do you like to do in your spare time? I'm struggling with this concept of spare time. What is spare time? Does such a thing exist anymore? The most honest answer I can give as to what is occupying my spare time is laundry, but I doubt that could be considered appropriate. Therefore, I'm going focus on the crucial word "like" in this question. In my spare time, I like to write, of course. I also like to make oil paintings and watercolors. I have a degree in studio art, but to this day, it hasn't done me a speck of good besides ensuring all the walls in my house are properly adorned.

11.  Are you working on anything right now? Yes, I am always, always working on something. I've got two projects in progress. The first is a sequel to Watermarked. I've always envisioned the story as a trilogy. I'm about halfway through the first draft of the second book, which takes place ten years after the original. This may not sound like much, but given my affinity for writing ridiculously long books, the page count is pretty high. The second project is in its infancy. It's a ballet-centric fairy tale fantasy. I realize that this sounds absurd, but I really think I can make it work. I'm also determined that this book will be shorter in length, as I'm certain that an unusual premise mixed with my usual book length is a recipe for disaster.

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Author Bio:  
Jessica Titone is a second grade teacher, a reformed art major, and a fan of good stories.
At the insistence of her father, she took a typing class at age fifteen. An epic fight ensued, during which she swore typing was a waste of time that she'd "never use because it had nothing to do with art." She thanks her father each time she's able to write a chapter at 60 wpm instead of by hand.

Jessica lives in a small town in southern Louisiana with her husband, two tiny children, and cats. Her hobbies include painting and repainting walls, mastering Photoshop,and obsessively organizing everything in her life,.

Watermarked is her first novel.

website:  www.jessicatitone.com
twitter:  @jesstitone


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 Audrey Beck has put three thousand miles between herself and her past. In New York City, she’s safe from all the demons that haunted her. A photography fellowship to a prestigious university, the flat she shares with her new best friend Ray, and a promising relationship with Jack Keller- things are turning out better than she planned. Audrey’s happier than she’s ever been, but “happy” has never been one of her strong suits. 
Flynn Conlon enjoys his solitude. Secrets are easier to keep that way. In his loft overlooking the Hudson, he listens to his mom’s old records and makes beautiful paintings. His days are carefully constructed: gallery openings, hanging out with his childhood friend Jack, devouring books, and going through pretty girls like water. It’s the life he wants and works hard to maintain, if only another pretty girl named Ray Rossi would stop getting in the way. 

Set in New York City at the start of the twenty first century, Watermarked follows a year in the life of four twenty-somethings as they battle inner demons and forge bonds of love and friendship.


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