I’m so pleased to welcome one of my favorite authors to the blog. Janna King is the author of The Seasonaires and Malibu Bluff. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her several times and she is so warm and approachable. Her two books read like a TV show if that makes any sense. …A juicy, guilty pleasure reality TV show.
Please welcome Los Angeles author Janna King to the blog and enjoy her thoughtful and funny interview.
Thank you Janna, for taking the time to answer our questions!
Q. Can you describe Malibu Bluff in three words?
A. Influencers, Los Angeles, Games
Q. Why were your compelled to write a sequel to the Seasonaires book?
A. When I wrote the first Seasonaires novel, I knew where I wanted the story to go in a follow-up book. I had already envisioned Mia’s arc and the new location, largely because I’m from Los Angeles. It was fun to explore my “hometown” with an eye for atmosphere and description. The new characters came to me early on in developing the plot.
Q. What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?
A. I am in awe of Joan Didion and her way with language, imagery, mood, and pathos. I’m a fan of complex female characters like those in Gillian Flynn and Liane Moriarty novels. I was addicted to Kaira Rouda’s new novel The Favorite Daughter for that reason. I also found Otessa Moshfegh’s My Year of Rest and Relaxation fascinating. Dark humor is a huge draw for me.
Q. What book(s) are on your nightstand to read this year?
A. The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray, The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris, The Unbreakables by Lisa Barr, and Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered by Karen Kilgraff & Georgia Hardstarck are on my immediate TBR. There are so many books in my stack!
Q. What does your writing process look like? Do you listen to music? If so, does it vary based on the book?
A. I have always been a music fanatic (my kids are in a rock band, Jane Doe). My taste is all over the place, but I can’t listen to anything with lyrics when I write because I concentrate on the words and sing along (badly). Also, if a song is sad or poignant, I cry, and it’s hard to see through tears well enough to type.
Q. What do you do when you are not writing?
A. I’m always writing. Even when I’m not physically at my laptop, I’m jotting down notes or cogitating on stories, plots, characters, and dialog. But I also love to hike with one of my rescue pups (and my daughter, when she’s in town), I visit friends (they are crucial in my life), volunteer at 826LA (a youth writing and tutoring organization), and eat cheese. I also shop online, put items in the shopping cart, then abandon because I think, “Nah, I don’t really need this.”
Q. Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
A. It takes patience because as a hopeful author, you spend a lot of time waiting for responses – and some of those responses are “no.” You have to be resilient. I started out in film and TV, so I have a pretty thick skin when it comes to rejection. I know I will get frustrated with the process, but I’m compelled to keep writing, so I just press forward. That attitude helped in trying to get my first novel published – that and a persistent, resourceful book agent.
Q. How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
A. I have an amazing publicist, Kathleen Carter. She is not only a total pro, but she is a lovely, patient person who answered all my neurotic questions as a debut author (and continues to do so, even though I’m not so green anymore). I’m also active on social media and LOVE when readers, bloggers and bookstagrammers connect with me. I think it’s important to respond and express gratitude, and share what’s going on in life.
Q. What is something you cannot live without? (excluding computer or phone).
A. Love. And jeans.
Q. Can you tell us about any other upcoming projects? Will there be a third book in the series?
A. I think there will be more books, though I can’t get specific yet. I’m developing some TV projects, including series and TV movies. I like living in both the book and screen worlds. Mostly, I’m just happy to have work!
Q. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
A. Write! Don’t worry about the outcome. Get it on the page and don’t edit until it’s all out. Express what you have to say and feel. It’s beyond rewarding. Then get down to the nuts and bolts of editing. Try not to get caught up in who will read it or watch it. If you want to read and watch it, that’s how you will write your best material. Also, meet other creatives and talk to them. You’ll learn about different ways of working, and you never know who can put you in touch with someone instrumental.
Q. Where is your favorite place to write?
A. I’m a creature of habit and write at my hutch desk. When I’m in the thick of it, my spouse says he leaves me in the morning and finds me in exactly the same place when he gets home at night. Sometimes I will venture out to one specific coffee house (not Starbucks) near my house with a good friend of mine who is also a writer. We work silently for most of the day, taking a few breaks to chat. It’s nice to have the company because writing at home or in an office can get very hermit-like. Plus, our coffee house has free refills all day!
Q. Name two things you consider yourself to be very good at.
A. Loving my two kids and worrying.
Q. Have you always lived in Southern California? What’s your favorite place/restaurant/library/bar/event in Orange County?
A. Growing up, we spent many summers in Newport Beach and Laguna Beach. My grandparents would take us to Pageant of the Masters, which I found beautiful, weird and funny all at the same time. I love the Pacific Amphitheater for concerts. While writing these answers, I just discovered that Michael McDonald and Chaka Khan are performing there together! I may have to buy tickets! As far as restaurants go, I love Water Grill in Costa Mesa.
Q. What would you like to say to your readers and fans?
A. Thank you, thank you, thank you. The support has meant everything to me. I am so happy that I’ve actually made friends with readers. That’s the best part of social media.
Q. Can you share with us the best way to reach you and where to learn more about your books?
A. You can find me on Instagram (jannakingk), Facebook (Janna King) and Twitter (amiwriteJK). My website is www.janna-king.com. You can also find me on www.thebroad.life as co-founder and writer – it’s a site focusing on women. I love when people get in touch with me. Don’t be a stranger!
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