This is definitely a very exciting time for Janeal, with the release of her first book. As well I was very excited to be one of the first to read it :). But what's even more exciting is that I got to ask her a bunch questions and find out some great stuff about her as an author and how the process of putting her book out there for the first time has been. So continue on below to see how that interview went, and then we shall have giveaway time! I can't wait to share this book with one of you, you lucky ducks!
1. First off, we'd love to learn some more about you :) What things can you tell us so that we can know a bit more of who you are? And where can we go to learn more about your book?
Hardest question! I'm shy so I find it tough to talk about myself. I'm a homeschooling mother of three and love every minute of it. And yes, as part of that I'm constantly getting my kids to read and write books. Thankfully they are just as crazy about books as I am.
You can learn more about my book on http://janealfalor.com/. Or you can purchase it an ecopy at Amazon, Kobo, and Smashwords, or the print version at Create Space.
Meghan- I am also a stay at home mom to 3 little ones. I try to encourage reading as much as possible, and they know how crazy mommy is about her books. I can only hope that at least one of them will develop the madness as well haha.
2. What has the experience of putting your very first book out there been like?
It has been beyond amazing. I was expecting a lot of hiccups and not a lot of interest. But for a few tiny things, everything has gone very smoothly. More than that, people truly astound me with their interest and support. There has been a lot of shock, tears, and insane giggling going on at my house. But mostly it has left me feeling a lot of gratitude for so many incredible people.
3. When did you make the decision to become a writer? What helped you make that decision?
I've been writing stories since I was a kid. I think I've always enjoyed being able to escape real life through my own imaginings. Sometimes you just need that escape to help ease the pressure of daily life. Plus it's down right fun!
Meghan- Writing has been something I've always wanted to try my hand at. But I always just worry that I don't have the creative juices neccesary to write something interesting enough. Perhaps someday something will happen to push me into that direction.
4. What things do you take pleasure in when you aren't writing?
I love cooking and eating, the eating part probably a little too much. ;) Reading of course. Being outdoors. I especially enjoy being with my family. My husband and children bring a lot of joy to my life.
Meghan- Ha! Can I ever relate with you on the eating too much part ;). I have a terrible weakness for foods that I know aren't good for me. But we can't be good all the time can we? Besides, it's too much fun to have ice cream with your kids on a sunny day, and sit down with some snacks and a movie in the evening :).
5. Now for some questions about You Are Mine, where did you find inspiration for this story?
I was reading a lot of marriage of convenience/marrying for money type stories and I thought; What if these girls weren't sold off for money? What if they were sold off for something else that they couldn't control. Something of great value like...Magic.
And my life was consumed until...well, it's still consumed.
Meghan- I have to give props to a very unique and imaginative idea. It makes this read so much fun, and that much more interesting with the fantastical dynamic thrown in there.
6. Was women's rights something you always had interest in? Or was it just something that developed for the story?
I've always cared about women's right, but I didn't go into the story knowing that was what I was going to write about. After I wrote the first draft I stepped back and went, 'Well look at that.How can I use that to make Serena grow?'
7. Did you find it difficult as a woman in today's age to put yourself into Serena's position?
Yes and no. Serena has lived through horrors that I've never been through. But there's so many problems for women in this world that break my heart. It's only too easy to find stories about violence against women and ways we are still struggling to find equality with men. I hope that it is something we work at changing until the only places it exists is in history and fiction.
Meghan- Yes, and hopefully sooner rather than later!
8. Do you have a personal favorite amongst the characters you wrote?
This answer always changes every time someone asks me. I just love them all so much. Right now I'm feeling in the mood for a good swoon so I'd have to go with Zade. *imagines Zade* *swoons*
Meghan- I definitely have to agree! I adored Zade, and I always got excited whenever he walked onto the scene. I had a perfect visualization of him and yes, he is definitely swoon-worthy.
9. Are any of your characters based off of people you have met or know in real life?
Not any specific person, but I do think some of character traits have been based off of people I know in general. I know so many great people with strength and goodness and I'd like to think they've been a positive influence on my outlook.
10. Do you think if you lived in Serena's world that you would have had the bravery she has when facing pure domination and slavery? Why or why not?
I truly hope that I would, but honestly? I'm scared I wouldn't. It's really easy to say I would be brave enough, but the truth is I'm not always as brave as I would like to be. It's so hard to stand up for things. I can only try to work on being better and hope if ever faced with a similar situation I can do what needs to be done.
11. Why do you think people should read your book? Why would you recommend it?
Because it's awesome!
Really though, one thing I love as a reader is character growth and Serena definitely has a lot of that. There's romance that takes time to build as the characters get to know one another. Plus, it will jerk your emotions all over, but leave them in a happy place.
Meghan- It definitely is awesome, among many other positive qualities it carries. Character development is something I love in a book. It definitely can make or break a book. But watching Serena grow, change and adapt was phenomenal. For those who haven't, you can read all about it in my review :).
12. I'd like to hear about your own reading preferences, have you always been a fan of fantasy? What other genres do you enjoy?
I have always loved fantasy and YA. I also really enjoy reading Sweet Romances, especially historical ones, and books that make me laugh.
13. Who are some of your favorite Authors?
Rae Carson, Beth Revis, Gail Carson Levine, and Victoria Hanley
Meghan- I am a little ashamed to admit that I have never heard of any of them or read their books. I shall try my best to change that!
14. Do you have any all time favorite books? Any books that you think everyone should read at some point?
Pretty much all of the books written by the authors above. The Fire and Thorns series, Across the Universe series, Ella Enchanted, and the Seer and the Sword. All fantastic books/series.
15. Speaking as a new and emerging author, what advice would you give to aspiring writers out there who are thinking about putting out their stories?
If you believe in your story, follow your heart, but be willing to work hard. Very little in the publishing business is easy, but it's very worth it.
16. I had one final question about your story. When I was listing the genre for my review, I was trying to decide if I should list it as a Historical Fiction, or a Dystopian. In which genre would you place it, if either?
I personally classify it as a High Fantasy. With romance if you'd like. And when I feel like making up a genre I call it a Realistic High Fantasy because it's relateable despite having magic and being in another world.
Meghan- Ah! Thank you for solving my dilemma. I think I will have to look into some more High Fantasy Novels :).
Before we carry onto the giveaway I would like to take this time to thank Janeal for taking the time to answer all my questions so thoroughly and for providing and e-copy so that I can share this great novel with one of you lucky readers :).
Enter the rafflecopter below for your chance to win!
& don't forget to tell your friends :).