October's Featured Debut Author~Denise Jaden
This month Denise Jaden, author of the young adult novel Losing Faith takes a bit of time to drop in and answer a few questions about her novel. First a bit about Losing Faith.
A terrible secret. A terrible fate.
When Brie's sister, Faith, dies suddenly, Brie's world falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood and barely even liked, everything in her life seems to spiral farther and farther off course. Her parents are a mess, her friends don't know how to treat her, and her perfect boyfriend suddenly seems anything but.
As Brie settles into her new normal, she encounters more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don't line up. Brie soon uncovers a dark and twisted secret about Faith's final night...a secret that puts her own life in danger.
Those two paragraphs were all it took for me to pick up Losing Faith and carry it to the register. And wow am I glad I did! I connected with the main character Brie immediately and wanted to know more about her from page one.
Please welcome Denise! Your website profile is amazing Denise. I see that you've been a professional Polynesian dancer and fitness competitor to a mushroom farmer and church secretary and are now a mom and an author. Thanks for taking time out of your busy life to visit us!
The death of a sibling is a tough subject and I've rarely seen it covered so sensitively and tastefully as you did in Losing Faith. What inspired you to write this novel?
Well thank you! I’ve never had a sister (though I’ve always secretly wanted one) and I’ve never lost a sibling, but I did lose a close friend when I was sixteen. That loss, and realizing how much I hadn’t known about my friend until it was too late, was likely the seed that started Losing Faith.
Often a best friend is like a sister. That had to be hard. What was your favorite part of the writing process?
I love first drafts! When the world is wide open and I can write anything and just let the characters emerge – that’s the fun part for me. I don’t mind revising either, but it often takes me a while to get into the swing of that part. I feel like I could sit down and write a new first draft every day.
I envy your love of first drafts. That's my least favorite part of creating a book! Can you tell us a bit about Losing Faith that we may not know from the synopsis?
One of my favorite characters, Tessa Lockbaum, who takes over every scene she’s in, was not in my original outline. She just dropped in out of nowhere during the writing of the first draft and hasn’t left me alone since!
I love it when characters surprise even the writers. So tell me, are there plans for another novel in the works? A sequel or stand alone perhaps?
There’s no sequel planned, but I’m now considering writing a companion novel where I would tell more of Tessa’s story.
That would be awesome! I'd love to know her side of things. Is there anything in the publishing process that surprised you?
So much of the process surprised me! The waiting, at every stage, is excruciating…and then about three months out from publication, it’s like everything moves on fast forward and there is no time for anything. Also I wasn’t expecting to deal with so much self-doubt as a published author. I always thought a little bit of validation from industry professionals would help with the self-doubt, but I guess even that doesn’t hold up against the process of making your work very public. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the camaraderie between published authors. Maybe I’ve just lucked out, but it seems everyone I meet, virtually or otherwise, is so incredibly encouraging and helpful.
The waiting truly is excruciating! The writer community is pretty awesome, I have to agree. Any closing thoughts you'd like to leave us with?
I love to hear thoughts from readers—good or bad—so please drop me a note through my website if you decide to give it a read!
There you go peeps, an open invitation to drop in and let Denise know what you think of her novel. To get a copy of Losing Faith click on the title and to learn more about Denise click on her name. You can also find her on Twitter here. If you've read Losing Faith or plan to I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!
A great interview Heather, and Losing Faith sounds like a book I will have to read. Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
Thanks Jessica. Let me know what you think of Losing Faith!ReplyDelete
Oh Heather, this is a wonderful interview. I got teared up reading the books blurb. Losing a sister would be so devastating. Thanks for introducing us to Denise Jaden and her book. I'll definitely pick it up. :DReplyDelete
I thought the book was really good. I couldn't put it down. Some of it I figured out way before I should have, but that's okay. I'm a writer. What do you expect? ;)ReplyDelete
Yes, a good friend is indeed a brother/sister you choose;ReplyDelete
Heather, you did a great interview. LOSING FAITH sounds like a book I'll be losing sleep reading. Thanks.
And thanks for visiting my blog and commenting. It helps me not quite so alone in the blogverse.
I know what you mean Brenda, I can't even imagine it. My sister is so dear to me. Let me know what you think of Losing Faith!ReplyDelete
Me too Stina! I was turning pages late into the night and it takes quite the book to get me to do that! I know which parts you're talking about and yeah, I think it's because we're writers. But regardless, it was an excellent book!ReplyDelete
You're most welcome Roland! I love your blog and the little snippets of story you give us. Let me know what you think of Losing Faith, enjoy!ReplyDelete
A fabulous interview with a fabulous woman. Thank you Heather. You are filling up my bookshelf!ReplyDelete
Denise, I'm looking forward to reading losing faith.
You're welcome Karlene! Thanks for dropping by. It is my goal to fill your shelves with young adult novels!ReplyDelete
Thanks Heather and Denise for such a great interview! I have Losing Faith here at home, and I'm reading that one next.ReplyDelete
I'm amazed that published authors still have self-doubt. It sounds like that little splinter just won't leave us alone!
Denise, good luck with your book. I've heard amazing things about it, and I can't wait to read it.