Today I’m featuring an interview with my fellow indie writer/business partner/beta reader/editor/dear friend NL Gervasio, more commonly known to you—and me, truth be told—as Jinx or Jinxie G. I met Jinx in October 2006 on a writers site called WritersCafe, back when it was the best thing evah this side of a Paris café. We’ve been pretty inseparable ever since.
So much so that I feel absolutely no qualms about turning this interview over to Francesca Freeman, the intrepid, fantastically clumsy main character of my second novel, Office Politics (release date June 30, 2011). Frannie comes with her own warning label (“Internal Thoughts May Be Vocalized Without the Benefit of Filtering”), so you’ve been warned. ;-)
PS – It was Jinx’s birthday on Monday, so be sure to wish her a happy birthday on here, her blog, or Twitter! Oh, and did I mention there’s a GIVEAWAY? One lucky winner gets a free copy of Nemesis (click here to read a sample)! Just follow the instructions at the end of the interview.
FRANNIE: I thought it would be fun to change things up and post this interview in different colors for each of us. I mean, what’s the point of having three different degrees attesting to your proficiency with technology if you never use it, am I right? So. Green for me–oh, don’t bitch; I could have used the lime green, because…well, lime green is just awesome. But since I really want you to read this, I went with a darker green that doesn’t require sunglasses. Don’t thank me. It really wasn’t about you; I took one look at that sun-blasted green and got a pain like a stabbing ice-pick in my head. I’m sure I’ll be all right, though–nothing a margarita or six can’t cure.
So. We’re here with Jinxie G–mind if I call you Jinxie G? You have like a bajillion names around the internet. Well, it’s a little late now anyway; I already did it and the name’s stuck in my head. Jinxie G you are. Anyway, Jinxie G—aka NL Gervasio, aka Nichelle Gervasio, blah blah blah—has just released a book called Nemesis. We’re gonna talk about it.
But first–a drink! What can I get ya, Jinxie G? I’m sure it’s 5 o’clock somewhere…
JINXIE G: A White Russian.
FRANNIE: Is that a man or is that alcohol? I don’t know how to make that. If it can’t be thrown into a blender with tequila, I usually don’t bother. How about a margarita? Conveniently, I already have a pitcher or three made. *pours two very generous margaritas*
So. You have a book out (Nemesis, June 21st). A romance. I suppose it’s your usual story of girl meets boy, and he’s an asshole…can I say “asshole” on here? *looks at blog owner, who is hiding her face* Ah, too late for that, too. Anyway. The book.
JINXIE G: I call it a darker Cinderella story. It’s about a woman—Nemesis—who works as a bartender at a gentleman’s club in Phoenix. She’s been looking for her Prince Charming and basically doesn’t think the man exists at this point, as she’s been through two already. She’s also the only daughter of mafia don Michael Mussolini and tries with great difficulty to stay out of the family business, even though she’s shown one hell of an aptitude for it. Her boss, Clancy Dolan, is more than meets the eye. Aside from lusting after the man for the past year that she’s worked for him, Nemy (as her friends call her) discovers he’s not much different than her father, which makes her want to run like hell from him.
FRANNIE: Umm…okaaaay… let’s pretend I have a short attention span. 140 characters or less.
JINXIE G: What is this, Twitter? You would pick that question for this book when I already have the 140 thing for Dusk of Death. Crap. Okay, let’s see…*searches files* Where’d that damn thing go? I know I wrote it down somewhere. Apparently not. On the fly then:
Prince Charming was a putz. The second wasn’t much better. The third may possibly be on FBI’s Most Wanted. What’s a mafia don’s girl to do?
Booyah! 139! Yeah, I know, it sucks. Sue me.
FRANNIE: I’ve seen worse, and on professional book blurbs, too. Here, let me refill your glass; there’s more in the blender. I’m on my third blender this year, can you believe it? Well, of course you can. Who wouldn’t? So let me ask you a hypothetical question—at least, I hope it remains hypothetical: if aliens landed in front of you and, in exchange for anything you desire, offered you any position on their planet, what would you want? (And by position, I don’t mean doggy-style, if you catch my drift. *wink*)
JINXIE G: I have no idea. Wait! That wasn’t an answer! Can we clarify the position on their planet? I don’t want to end up as a slave or something. What do they get out of the deal? Ooh, wait a minute, does this mean I get to live somewhere without humans? Can I take Sean Patrick Flanery with me? I’m kidding. Sort of. How about Vin Diesel? Sorry, it’s 4am. I would want my health back. No pain, no diseases, and to be in good shape (no, not round). And can I shed about ten years too? That’d work. I was born ten years too early.
FRANNIE: You can have Vin Diesel. I may fight you for Sean Patrick Flannery, though. *fans face* And honey, we all shed ten years when we meet a new man, and put on twenty years–as well as pounds–once we get to know him. So question number 4 (the drink question didn’t count as a question), you must have–what?
JINXIE G: Why doesn’t the drink question count as a question?
FRANNIE: Now, why would the drink question count as a question? Yeah, it’s a question question, but not an interview question. No, the 140-character question wasn’t technically a question, but a question was implied, you hair-splitter. Can we get back to the interview now? Geez, writers and their semantics…
If you’re anything like my author—whose other characters and plots I had to keep elbowing out of my way while she was writing my story—you have a whole bag of plots to pick from. What made you write Nemesis ahead of all those others?
Before you answer, I have to interject here… Nemesis is a rockin’ nickname. Why can’t I have a nickname like that? Usually I’m just called Menace. Or sometimes Menace to Society and World Peace. But Nemesis…that has all kinds of ninja connotations…
ANYWAY, back to Nemesis…why was it ahead of all the other ideas?
JINXIE G: It was the next idea in line? I don’t know, other than writing it helped me get through a really tough time in my life. That’s essentially it. Still trying to figure out how I finished the damn thing AFTER the fact.
FRANNIE: I’m still trying to figure out how we went through that pitcher of ‘ritas so fast. Salt. It must be the salt on the rim of the glass. I adore salt. And squirrels. Are there any squirrels in Nemesis?
JINXIE G: Um, no.
FRANNIE: I thought as much. Nobody writes about squirrels. Squirrels are very underrated. Though I hear there’s some sort of Zombie Squirrel of Death or some crap like that on Twitter. That I’ll have to see.
All right, let’s get personal. You’re going out on the town, dinner & dancing ( or fast-food & clubbing, if you’re me). What will you wear? Me, I’d have on tight jeans and a silk blouse unbuttoned down to indecency, but no pantyhose. Nosiree…we all know what happens—what’s that? Oh, shutting up now. *blushes*
JINXIE G: What I normally wear: nice jeans, whatever shirt I can find to fit the occasion, and my 4-inch Demonia platform sandals. No pantyhose. *snort* I live in a desert and it’s just too damn hot for those here. I can’t believe you wore those with jeans. *shakes head*
FRANNIE: hahaha Me either. My thighs will never be the same. You had to be there, folks. *snicker* Demonia platform sandals…that is JUST BEGGING FOR a Frannie incident of epic proportions. I’ll stick with one-inch pumps, thanks. Even that’s living dangerously. Speaking of living dangerously… *pours two more margaritas*
So question number eleven…nine…whatever… You started a publishing company this year. Running Ink Press. Don’t think we all didn’t notice the acronym. Is the acronym significant?
JINXIE G: That acronym was a complete accident. LOL Sharon and I were in chat and throwing names out there. I typed in Running Ink Press. She liked it. Then I looked at the acronym and about fell over laughing and said to her, “OMG, look at the acronym! LMFAO!”
And we become RIP. Now that I think about it, it could stand for the end of traditional publishing. LOL
FRANNIE: What are your long-term plans for RIP? I mean, the acronym suggests anything from keeling over dead to rolling in enough dough to rest peacefully. Let’s hope for the latter, eh? *hoists mostly empty ‘rita glass*
GJINXIE : What the hell is up with all the color changes?
FRANNIE: I said I’d use purple…er…orange…er…blue…er… Well, there’s a whole damn rainbow, why not use it? You want an umbrella for your margarita? Personally it doesn’t do a thing for me. A sidecar of Grand Marnier, yeah. That flips my skirt. An umbrella, no. *stuffs paper umbrella into Jinxie G’s glass*
So what long-term plans do you have in mind for RIP?
JINGXIE: To become a household name, one of the top online publishers around the world, to go where no man has gone…*ahem* Sorry, that’s my real name coming out. To get to the point where Sharon and I aren’t doing all the damn work!
FRNNIE: Question 17–or something. What is your all-time favorite book? I’m talking if-you-were-stranded-on-a-deserted-island-you-just-gotta-have-this-book-or-die favorite book. (Jesus, let’s hope this question stays hypothetical, too!)
JINGSIE X: Oh boy, that’s a tough one. I’d probably have to say Patricia Briggs’ Moon Called. It’s the first in her Mercy Thompson series. LOVE that series!
FNRRIE: Now that Nemesis is written–and edited eight ways from Sunday, if I know your editor at all–what’s next on the burner?
JIN…G;/ My next book—after editing The Vampyre Prophecy (which I’m thinking on changing the title) and Gemini—will be Dusk of Death. It’s the first book in my Armageddon trilogy. I should probably work on Teagan’s book too. That’s the second in the Kick-Ass Girls Club series. And then there’s my novella Tir na nOg. Crap.
FRRRANNIE!: You used to be a bartender. How much does it freaking irritate you when Sharon tells you how to make a drink you’ve made a bajillion times? Like her telling you what a Headless Horseman is.
JJJIINNNKSIE!: Ooh, I should’ve put that one in the book! LOL Honestly, it doesn’t irritate me at all because I don’t remember half the drinks now, it was so long ago.
FF: You’re making the perfect margarita. What do you put in it?
JINKS: Amaretto. That makes it an Italian margarita. *grin*
FRANI: You have the colors green, blue, orange, and red before you. What does each mean to you?
JNIXG: WTF? Green = go. Blue = Norman Reedus (don’t ask). Orange = donuts (my grandparents owned a place called the Donut Hut when I was a kid and my brother’s favorite was the orange icing-covered donut). And red = at the moment, it’s Antique Scream because Saturday night’s concert was apparently red shirt night as all three band members wore red. LOL Why the hell did you ask me that?
Fran-Fran: Dunno. I saw it on an wacky interview question website and thought, what the hell? Next question…what are we on? Eight? Whatever. What would I find in your fridge right now?
Jinx-Jinx: Since I’ve been out of town lately, and am about to leave for another state (which is where I’ll be driving back from when this posts), not a whole helluva lot aside from some fruit, water, and a half gallon jug of milk. Don’t worry, it’s still good.
Oh, and let’s not forget the half bottle of Boru Vodka! It’s Irish.
FRAN!: I only asked cuz I’m really hungry!
[scuffle in the background, muffled giggles]
SHARON: Frannie’s has to go home…er…sick, so I’ll conclude this interview with a couple of *ahem* pertinent questions:
What is the most important aspect of writing, in your opinion? Building characters? Building worlds? Descriptive elements? Which do you excel at, and which do you think you need to work on the most?
NL GERVASIO: I think building characters should be the most important, and then you can build the world and add description, which I am severely lacking most of the time, especially with a first draft. I generally excel at dialog(ue) and really need to work on descriptive elements.
SHARON: And the ever-popular but no less important question: what’s the most important advice you can give to aspiring authors?
NL GERVASIO: Keep writing, because you’ll only improve with each word. Never give up and don’t listen to naysayers. Study the art of writing. There are some great books out there on grammar, writing (Stephen King’s On Writing is great), style (The Elements of Style by Strunk, White, Kalman), etc. Don’t take criticism or reviews of your work personally. And learn the art of constructive criticism when commenting on others’ work. I actually took a college course on criticism. Stay professional, even if you publish independently.
NL Gervasio can be found around the web at the following places:
- Blog: Jinxie’s World
- Twitter: Jinxie_G
- Facebook: Jinxi3G
- Zombie Survival Crew
- Email: jinxieg13 (at) gmail (dot) com
Nemesis can be purchased at Smashwords – special introductory price of 99¢!!
Sidenote from Sharon: Now you have a glimpse of what it was like having Frannie Freeman and her penchant for tequila living inside my head while I wrote her story. Well, actually, ever since she sprang into being and ran away with her story, that is.
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
- Leave a comment answering Jinx’s question: “What’s the first thing you order at the bar?” – 1 point
- Tweet a link to this interview (include @sharongerlach or leave the link to your tweet in your comment on this blog post so I can see it). – 2 points
- Be a follower of this blog. – 2 points
- Be a follower of Running Ink Press – 2 points
- Post a link to the interview on your blog (and leave the link here so I can see it). – 3 points
- Tally up your entries in your comment.
Contest ends Monday, June 25th at 7 p.m. PST. The winner will be chosen using a sequence generator from Random.org. Good luck!