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Interview – Janis McCurry 10

janisGuess who I got to interview this weekend? Janis McCurry!

Me: Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview. We’ve known each other for several years but don’t think that I’ll go easy on you with these questions. Hazard Play came out in July. It’s about a nurse turned poker player who teams up with a bounty hunter. You have all these really fun elements. Can you tell us about your first novel and where the idea came from?

Janis: One of my oldest friends is a woman who raised four children alone, put herself through school and became a nurse. She eventually went into home healthcare. What I have always admired about her is her willingness to take a risk. The original title of the book was RISKY BUSINESS. So, Tess Hazard is modeled after my friend’s ballsy spirit.

Me: I would like some of that ballsy spirit myself. Your friend must feel good about inspiring you. A recent reviewer said your second book, Revealing Rebecca, was “brilliant, clever…with twists until the end.” Rebecca is the good twin walking on the naughty side. Were you a good kid growing up? How much your own sisterhood have you brought into your writing?

Janis: I am the epitome of a rules follower, which I’ve found has NOT helped that much in my writing. I have three sisters and we’re very close, all living within twenty minutes of each other. Family is important and there is something about sharing sisterhood (whether they be of the blood or of the heart) that is irreplaceable. I always include a sister or family in my books because they shape my characters.

Me: Speaking of a sister of your heart, Lynn Mapp has co-written a book with you called the Matchmakers Chronicle: Summer. Why did you guys decide to write together? What kind of challenges did co-writing a book present?

Janis: I knew we both wrote similar types of romances with humor, heart, and “hotness” quotient. She had been through a difficult time and I felt that co-writing a romance might help. She had been thinking about a matchmaker series. We also (at the time) didn’t have any grandchildren so we decided to build that into our first book about best friends jumpstarting romances for their children who weren’t in any hurry for a happily ever after. Since the son and daughter were like siblings, that meant two separate romances to matchmaker.

We both brought different strengths to the process which was a good thing! The challenge was bringing together six POVs in seamless transitions, making them sound different, yet realistic. We didn’t want a book that felt like two separate stories mashed together.
We also had some differences in what a scene might be accomplishing or rather, what we wanted to be accomplished. But all in all, I felt we worked together well…at least on my end. You’ll have to ask Lynn about her opinion!

Me: Matchmakers is a great book so well worth the work. I have always been curious, do you remember your first rejection letter? How have you changed since then?

Janis: I don’t remember anything specific. Something generic like “not right for our whatever. Please remember that all opinions are subjective by nature and good luck in your writing.”
I’ve kept studying craft and learned to take my time. It’s not a race to finish. Wait until it’s your best. I understand story and character better than when I started writing.

Me: This has been fun! A different look at my friend who happens to be a writer. So tell us what’s next for you?

Janis: Thanks for having me! I’m starting a series called The Berenger Brothers about three brothers. The first book is NOTHING VENTURED. And Lynn Mapp and I are starting AUTUMN: BOOK TWO of THE MATCHMAKER CHRONICLES.

Janis has graciously offered two winners the book of their choice. TJust leave a comment here or on her Facebook page. Winners randomly selected and announced on Saturday. Thank you, Janis!

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Lovin’ the Hip 5

On Saturday August 20, 2016 time stood still across Canada as Canadians gathered in bars, parks, and city centers to watch their beloved band, The Tragically Hip, perform what was potentially the last concert of their tour and career. Months earlier, Gord Downie, the lead singer, announced he has inoperable brain cancer.

 

Tragically Hip in KingstonI was among the 27,000 people gathered in Market Square in Kingston, Ontario, the hometown of the Hip. CBC put Olympic coverage on hold to live stream the concert on massive screens all across Canada. The lights and sound made it feel like we were in the nearby arena with the band.

 

The Hip played 20 songs. Gord Downie, in his shiny suits and jaunty hat belted out song after song, starting and ending the concert by hugging and kissing his band mates.

 

When the first notes of the first song of the third (yes, third!) encore were played, the couple in front of me looked at each other with delighted disbelief. The husband jumped 3 feet in the air, a wide grin splitting his face. He bear-hugged his wife and smacked a kiss on her lips. Then he turned, jumped again, and fist pumped the air. Both of them belted out the lyrics, their feet never still.

The couple beside me stood, his arms wrapped around her, her head leaning back against his chest.

The young woman, standing to my right, stood beside her boyfriend, chatting to her mom. When her dad arrived a few minutes later, her face lit up and she raced to hug him. Shortly after, her dad told them he wasn’t feeling well. She looked at him wide-eyed. When he walked away, her face fell, she wiped a tear from her cheek and leaned into her boyfriend. He wrapped an arm around her shoulders and held her close.

Love and support poured in from around the country that night – and stirred the air in Market Square. I realized 2 things: I hope the doctors are wrong about it being the last Hip concert, and up on stage or down in the crowd, everybody needs a little romance. 

Have you shared a romantic moment at a live concert?

PerfectlyUnpredictflat3_200In Perfectly Unpredictable, Book 4 in the Perfectly Series, Mack Challen, lead guitarist in a rock and roll band, knows it takes a village to raise a child. He just doesn’t think there’s a village big enough to help “gay momma” and her screaming baby.

Kalia Beck always dreamed of starting a family, living in a house with a white picket fence, and finding her soul mate. Just not in that order. Kalia is coping with an unplanned pregnancy when she learns the father has passed away. She soon finds out that single parenthood isn’t easy, especially when the only thing that soothes the baby is the guitar-playing of a reluctant and reclusive next-door neighbor.

 

Kalia and Mack aren’t looking for love and aren’t ready for each other, but when the future unfolds, it’s … Perfectly Unpredictable.

 

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Looking For Mr Right…. 4

No idea what to write about today. Sitting here with my coffee and decided I should post since Sunday is an open day and I did not get a chance to post yesterday….

My oldest daughter and I went to a bridal shower for a friend of hers yesterday. They have been friends since grammar school but have not seen each other in about three years. Rachel joined the National Guard right out of high school and is in the military police division. She has been posted in a couple different locales and now I believe she resides in Sacramento and works on a base there.

She recently became engaged and I had to chuckle when I saw who she was marrying. Back in high school she dated this young man but as things often go at that age they broke up and both went off to find their places in the world separately. He joined the Coast Guard and fell in love with the sea and she stayed on land and they both dated other people.

At some point they reconnected and the bond they had as teenagers became strong once again and they realized that the person they had been seeking had been in front of them all this time. Older and more mature they are ready to embark on a life together and I could not be more happy for them.

Considering that it’s a popular theme in romance novels–young love thwarted only to be rekindled several years later after the heroine/hero returns home to lick their wounds etc–I’m wondering how many of us here have had a similar experience? Met someone at the wrong time only to hook back up with them later in life and discover they were the right one all along? Or how about meeting someone and being with them for a long time thinking they were the right one only to find out that we were wrong…. Now you have wasted so much time and is it really worth it to start looking for the Right One now after all those years? I always said that if my husband and I split up I would not look for another relationship , having invested so many years into this one. Yet here I am, crazy in love with a man who is everything I ever wanted and that I never thought I would find. Who would have thought he was still out there waiting for me?!

Love and relationships are tricky things. You never know when the Right One will show up. At 16 or 61 it’s never too late to find true love. I guess I would say that you should never give up hope.  They always say that there is someone for everyone…  And sometimes that Right One has been under your nose the entire time.  Realizing it is half the battle. Acting on it takes courage. Especially if you have spent your life with Mr Wrong and there are a lot of hurts to overcome.

My daughter’s friend found her Mr Right again and was smart enough to give him another chance. I was with Mr Wrong for 30 years and have now found Mr Right and I’m going to give him a chance.  My daughter is still looking for hers. She mentioned that she was the only single girl at the bridal shower and she is almost 25. But I have faith that her Mr Right is still out there looking for her.  Whether or not she gives him a chance when he finally shows up will be the question. I guess we will find out then. There is a young man who is very interested and is positive he is Mr Right but he lives across the country and has not been able to get here. He is convinced he will win her heart. I am convinced he has a good fight on his hands to do so. It will be fun watching him try. And I may take notes–sounds like a great romance novel in the making! Either way I just want her to be happy and find her HEA.

So have you found your Mr Right and your HEA? Or are you still looking? What qualities are you looking for? Or maybe what qualities are you NOT looking for? If you have found him, how did you know he was The One or did you just hope for the best? Share your experiences!!

 

 

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