Saturday, June 8, 2013

LB finds inspiration in 18th century America

Hi LB. Welcome to Adventures in Authorland. Please get comfortable and tell us a little  about your writing adventure.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? Writing, or something else?

I’ve always wanted to write—make up stories. But I didn’t allow myself this until after my son was born. I’m still not too sure why. I had multiple teachers and professors try to persuade me to write and tell me how talented they thought I was as a writer, but it took the birth of my son for me to finally get the courage to write as a career. I wanted to show him how beautiful and fulfilling life can be. And what better way than to actually pursue my own dream of writing?

What inspired you to write your first book?

Well, I was six, and I can’t quite remember what that book was about, other than it had sparkles in it. I loved sparkles, still do. I wrote something in crayon with the few words I knew how to write and bound it in between construction paper with yarn.  Oh, I loved it! I felt so proud of myself for my first book, and I’ve been writing since then. But, like I mentioned above, it wasn’t until my thirties that I finally got serious about the craft of writing and getting myself published. My first published book is about Violet, my protagonist, who in 1775 transforms from a simple farmer to a sniper in the Massachusetts militia during the Battle of Concord-Lexington, the first battle that segued into the American Revolutionary War. The eighteenth century is extraordinarily inspiring. It was a time of revolution, change, and so much possibility—great conflict for writing too! 

What books have most influenced your life most?
To Kill a Mockingbird is probably the most influential book I’ve ever read. All that conflict with unforgettable characters and a theme of justice—for me I can’t think of anything to top that. The second most influential book in my life was actually a play, “Hamlet.” It was haunting, like most Shakespeare fans can attest to, and I couldn’t help but be sucked in by the emotionality of Ophelia. How I wished I could write her a happier ending! Most of these books I read as a child or teenager, and I can’t help but still draw from their power, as well as some of the beloved fairy tales I clawed my way through when I first learned how to read. My parents had an encyclopedic-sized book of many Western and Eastern European fairy tales that I just loved and that aren’t told very much any more. Traditional folk tales, like the ones I read, resonate within your bones with their timeless themes about young men and/or women finding their way through turmoil to find a better life for themselves.

If you could have any super hero power, what would it be?

I’ve often thought that I do have a super power! I’ve decimated computers with just one stare. Seriously, though, I have wondered why computers hate me so. But as to super hero powers I’d actually wish for . . . this probably sounds so cheesy, but I really wish I could comfort people on a global level. Wouldn’t that be something though?

What book are you reading now?

I think, like most writers, I read multiple books at a time. Right now I’m reading Thomas Paine’s The Rights of Men and just finished Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. I’m looking for a lighter book to read now. I go through phases where I read dark and deep then have to find happier and lighter books to balance out my state of mind, otherwise, I’d probably end up babbling to myself like Dostoevsky’s characters do. Have any suggestions for my next read?

Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know.

I sing in the shower. I know most people do, but in college I trained for operatic music, and sing in Italian in the shower.
While some men go surfing on the internet for—well, you know—sexy movies, I surf the net for Jimmy Choo. Oh, I love the shoes that company makes!
I’m a giant messy cook. I love cooking and baking, and even have a not-so-secret crush on chef Bobby Flay—love the red hair!—but I’m chaos in the kitchen. It’s terrible! Garlic skins on the tile floor, carrot peelings in my hair—which matches, since I’m a red head too, and I somehow always end up with flour on the tip of my nose. Sometimes I don’t even cook with flour, but still wind up with it on me. My food tastes great, but if you saw the kitchen it came in, you might worry that a tornado made the meal, not a person, messy me!

Blurb of The Immortal American

The first in the Immortal American series . . .

As black clouds gather for America in 1775 Violet Buccleuch transforms from simple colonial farmer to become the Immortal American.

While Boston roars with protests, Violet Buccleuch fights to survive. The lone provider for her mother and sister, Violet knows that soon enough she must surrender to the only option a woman of 1775 has: marriage.

For two years she's delayed a wedding to Mathew Adams, her fiancé. He's loved her since they were children, and Violet knows he will be a good husband. But he's gone and committed the most dangerous mistake a man can make: He's introduced her to his friend, Jacque Beaumont, a Frenchman and a spy--a dark, dangerous man Violet can't stop herself from wanting.

Then Violet's life is shattered--brutality, death, and the threat of debtor's prison surround her. Both Jacque and Mathew come to her aid--one man rescues her farm, the other rescues her heart. As the Battle of Concord rages at her door, Violet is entangled between her loyalty to Mathew, even as she's drawn further into Jacque's shadowy, mysterious world--perhaps a world from which there's no return.

Excerpt from The Immortal American:

The sun’s rays extended down on a large rock close to where Jacque and I were to meet, and I reclined on it, letting the warmth of the rock sink into my skin. I closed my eyes and enjoyed the peace in the yellow solitude.
While in the woods on this rock, mayhap I could indulge in a different kind of destiny— in my imagination I could have a life where I had freedom to love Jacque, to imagine Jacque surround me with his arms. My hands fluttered to my chest and I smiled. My chest rose and fell at a fast pace when I thought of Jacque’s eyes, his eyes scanning my neck then his lids would droop slightly as he would peek at my chest. My next inhale was shaky which made me giggle. Then, I allowed myself the thought of what his hands would feel like instead of his eyes on me.
I placed my fingertips along my neck simulating what his fingers might do if he gently touched and caressed me. I bit my lips for the much needed touch— a kiss. Turning to my side, I laid still, one hand on my neck the other on my lips. I kept my eyes closed as I pretended he lay next to me, looking at me while his hands feathered me.
I jumped, immediately landing on my feet but stumbling forward— forward momentum— toward Jacque. Newton’s second law of motion: force can be measured by mass and acceleration. What was the mass of my heart? How fast had my heart fallen for him? I staggered into his arms, Jacque’s capable arms.
My own chest was flat against his, my stomach and hips curled into his too. My heart slammed into his ribcage where I felt his do the same.
I looked up at him, my face under his chin. He looked down; his breath on me was warm and quick.
“You’re early too.” His lips moved close my own.
I nodded as I possessed no real words to communicate. Odd shreds of philosophy and science whirled in my brain. If men were born with rights and certain liberties, what was I? If I was born into submission why did my heart– nay, my soul— wish to be free? Why, oh, why did I want to kiss him.
My arms were pressed into his chest, and my hands rested on either side of his neck. One of his arms wrapped around the back of my waist, the other held me higher, pressing me even further into him.
“Why did you come early?” Jacque’s voice was low and tremulous. His eyes suddenly adjusted to the deeper, more lucid color I loved. And just as his eyes made the adjustment, he pushed me away.
He held me at his arm’s length. I noticed his chest heaving, his eyebrows cast down, and his nose flared.
I shook my head, wondering if he was angry with me. “I . . . I wanted to see you. I couldn’t just wait—”  
“Why did you want to see me?”
Find out what Violet does next this Saturday, June 9 and 10, on Amazon when The Immortal American is free!!!

You can also find me on my website or especially on my blog—a place where I discuss history, philosophy, and so much more

And I do Twitter @LBJoramo

Thank you for having me on Adventures in Authorland!

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