Today's stop is part of a virtual book tour for novelist TJ Dell and her book Whispers in the Woods the Complete Collection.
TJ will be giving away 2 signed paperbacks of Whispers in the Woods, along with three $5 Amazon Gift Cards during her tour. Details are below the interview.
When TJ isn't reading or writing (which is almost never), she is enjoying a blissfully boring life with her family in Maryland. Her two greatest wishes are to serve on a Starfleet Starship or to be invited to join the Justice League. Sure her chances are slim, but she's a big believer in dreaming big.
A hopeless romantic to her very core, TJ's books explore every corner of the wobbly-kneed-world of romance novels. She has a particular penchant for Young Adult themes. Dell's debut novel Her Best Friend's Brother is enjoying its tenth month as an Amazon best seller, and her popular Elfkin Series is hot on its heels.
For more information, follow her on Facebook at facebook.com/dell.tj
Welcome, TJ. Please tell us about your current release.
Whispers in the Woods is the story of how is one lonely girl, and a lonely elf can find happiness and meaning in each other.
Evie has had a lot of tough breaks lately. Her parents were killed in a car accident that leaves her with nothing more than a single scar. Her new guardian is a grandmother that she's never met, and who doesn't really want her. And to top it all off she has to leave everything she's ever known in Chicago to move to the tiny little town of Benair Falls.
Lucas find Evie sitting alone on a fallen log on an old hiking trail. He can tell she's more than just sad. Only someone who has known true tragedy and sorrow can really recognize those things in another person. Lucas thinks that he can be of some help to Evie, but low and behold Evie helps him, too.
The trouble starts when Evie gets sick and Lucas has to tell his secrets. He's an elf. An elfin lord to be exact. And that just leaves us with a whole new world of trouble to deal with...
What inspired you to write this book?
Lucas Spencer sprang to life in my head one day and he just wouldn't leave me alone until his story was told! The very idea of an Elfin lord living in a self inflicted exile fascinated me. Of course once you threw in a few friends and some family members there was enough material for several stories. We will be seeing a lot more of Lucas and Evie.
“I didn’t go anywhere, Evie. Even if I had—you told me to go. Did you think I was kicking back and relaxing? I couldn’t breathe without you. Every day I had to talk myself out of going to your Gram’s house and dragging you home with me. Every day I waited for you to forgive me—and you never did.”
“I’m here, aren’t I?”
“You are and you aren’t, Evie. You aren’t really here with me. It’s like…” His sentence fell off and he flung his arms into the air, cursing a blue streak. “It’s like you are waiting until you are strong enough to go, and I am stuck waiting for a world of pain to come crashing down around me.”
“Are we still talking about Jason? I told you, nothing happened. I don’t want anyone else.”
“But you don’t want me?” Lucas pulled nervously on his hair pulled back at the nape of his neck. “I have apologized and I think you know I wouldn’t have hurt you on purpose. I never would have forced the bonding on you even if I’d known it was possible, but I am not really sorry that it’s there. You’re it for me, Evie. Even if I have to live with that world of pain I think I would prefer the pain to any situation where you weren’t a part of me. I know I said I wouldn’t push and I meant it, but I’m struggling here, Evie.”
“Did you really say you couldn’t breathe?” I took a few steps towards him. He made it sound so much simpler than the stupid voices in my head ever did.
“It was a metaphor, but yeah, that’s what I said. I used to sit around planning out long elaborate speeches that would convince you to forgive me. I was so afraid that you’d never speak to me again.”
“I should have told you.”
“What? You should have told me what?” He winced and flattened himself against the wall, gaining an extra inch and half between our bodies.
I could see the worry in his face. Guilt stampeded through me. I hated that he was standing there worrying, that he’d probably been doing a lot of worrying while I was stalling. He was right. I was with him without actually being with him. I should have told him.
“I forgave you.”
What exciting story are you working on next?
Well, I'm far from through with Benair Falls. Whispers in the Dark will be out at the end of this year.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think I first considered myself a writer when my first novel, Her Best Friend's Brother, went live on Amazon. Of course in hindsight I think that anyone with the determination to see a writing project through and the courage to show another person (any other person) the finished product can count themselves as a writer.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I stay home with my two awesome kids. So while I don't put in an eight-hour day, writing is my 'job'. My days are filled with toys and sandboxes and crayons and then a little bit of writing whenever the kids fall asleep! I'm also lucky that my husband will sometimes take the kids out of the house when he comes home from work to give me an hour or two of uninterrupted writing time.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don't know if it is a quirk, but when I begin to feel myself losing my mojo I take a short break. Usually that means a five minute facebook stalk. When I turn back to my work I can usually find that mojo again.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I think at one point I wanted to be a ballerina, but that would have been a disaster. I'm not the most graceful person. I've always loved books and reading, so I guess you could say that I am living the dream.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Well don't forget to stop by my Facebook page (facebook.com/dell.tj) and check out our character collaboration. My readers and I are experimenting with a series of polls and discussions creating a new character for Whispers in the Dark. It is very exciting!
Thanks, TJ. Enjoy the rest of your tour! Readers, TJ will be giving away 2 signed paperbacks of Whispers in the Woods, along with three $5 Amazon Gift Cards during her tour. Enter using the Rafflecopter code. And you can enter at other tour stops for extra chances to win.