Today the Dragon Wins

"Today the Dragon Wins" offers information from Fantasy Author and Professional Editor Sandy Lender. You'll also find dragons, wizards, sorcerers, and other fantasy elements necessary for a fabulous story, if you know where to look...

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Sandy Lender is the editor of an international trade publication and the author of the fantasy novels Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings, available from ArcheBooks Publishing, and the series-supporting chapbook, What Choices We Made.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Jane Green Takes a Chance at The Dragon

Or...meet the author of contemporary women's fiction novel Second Chance

Today Fantasy Author Sandy Lender interviews Women's Fiction Author Jane Green to share some good writing/publishing tips with visitors to The Dragon and to hear some of the inside scoop about the intriguing Second Chance. Jane will stop in to answer your questions later today, so leave your thoughts with the comments link below!

The Dragon: Good morning, Jane, and welcome to The Dragon. This is a site for writers, so I want to ask you a couple of writing and publishing questions before I delve into the book Second Chance, if you don't mind. This is not your first novel; it's your ninth. So my visitors would love to hear how you found time to write this story while marketing and promoting the last one(s) and raising your four children.

Jane Green: I have absolutely no idea... It always seems like an impossible task, but I've decided I have a ridiculous amount of energy, and I always seem to manage it. My kids are all in school or pre-school in the mornings, so that's when I write and these days I go to the library to avoid distractions. By the time the kids are home from school, I'm back to being Mom. Touring and promoting is difficult - so hard to be away from them, but also wonderful to be out there meeting my readers, and being defined as something other than a mother - I get to feel like a grown-up again.

The Dragon: How much of a role does your agent play in promotion and "after-publication" efforts with a new title? And do you see that as standard representation in the chick-lit genre?

Jane Green: My agent has no role in promotion, other than perhaps to ask what the publishers are doing, and only steps in after publication to trouble-shoot. The publisher handles everything, and the agent is really a go-between - if I have an issue I will either go through my agent, or at least cc my agent in on all correspondence to keep them in the loop. I don't think this is different for any genre.

The Dragon: In the opening of Second Chance, the narrator, through the character Tom, makes an observation that Tom's business trips are a current-day sacrifice that "won't be forever." He and his wife are tolerating the lifestyle of Tom-as-CEO of a software company and all the time away from each other because it's setting them up for a better future. But Tom's untimely death stops that future. We're never promised tomorrow. They should have been enjoying each other while they had the chance.

First: do you think that's a heavy message for a chick-lit novel? Or do you think the genre is ripe for such a powerful and moving message/reminder?

Jane Green: I think chick lit suffers from an incredibly strong misconception that it's light, fluffy, about single twenty somethings looking for Mr Right. I like to think of chick lit as commercial women's fiction that accurately reflects the lives that real women are living today, with an emotional honesty that isn't found necessarily in other books. It didn't start off that way, but in the twelve years since chick lit emerged in England it has changed and evolved with its readers. I'm writing now for women in their thirties and upwards, and all the issues that we are dealing with, and certainly that includes loss, regret, and unhappiness.

The Dragon: Second: How does this message resonate with you? Why did you place it in your novel?

Jane Green: I am a strong believer in living in the moment and trying to accept and appreciate life on life's terms. I love the saying I used in Second Chance that the key to happiness is not getting what you want but wanting what you've got.

The Dragon: I identified very closely with Holly from Second Chance because I recently had a husband who suffered from Marcus-Syndrome—believed he was pulling the wool over people's eyes. But people know when it's just a front…Is Holly's husband Marcus based on anyone you know?

Jane Green: You might think that. I couldn't possibly comment...

The Dragon: I'm laughing. I have a disclaimer in the front of Choices Meant for Gods, too. Can you share with visitors to The Dragon how different characters usually appear to you or enter your life to have their stories told?

Jane Green: I have to make a conscious effort to conjure them up in my mind, and then I start mapping them out on the computer. First I visualise them, then give them a name, and the rest always seems to follow fairly naturally. By the time I start writing my aim is that the characterisation is strong enough that they will dictate where the story will go.

The Dragon: Once you've got a character or a concept, how long does it typically take for you to write out the story?

Jane Green: a couple of weeks.

The Dragon: Now that you have nine of those stories published, how can visitors at The Dragon pick one up?

Jane Green: All good bookstores, and of course amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

The Dragon: Jane, thank you so much for stopping by The Dragon. I'm sure my visitors have learned some new tips from you today that they're thankful for, and I certainly appreciate you sharing some insight here. I wish you the best of success with Second Chance!

Jane Green: Thank you Sandy, it was lovely being here.

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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3 Comments:

Blogger Raven Bower said...

Hi Jane,

You mentioned you like to work on your characters first and get them strong enough to where they can dictate the plot.

I'm curious - do you outline at all or throw the situations at the characters and see what they do?

Thanks,
~Raven

8:02 AM  
Blogger Lyddy said...

Question for JG-You say it only takes couple weeks to write out a story once you have the characters. Is that the whole novel? I cant get a novel writtn and I've been working on it for a year now!!!

Question for SL-I made Adison drive back from the Erasure concert so I could read CMFG in the car yesterday. OMG!!!! You SO rock!!!! I don't read real fast so I'm not too far in but I love it so far!

9:04 AM  
Blogger Nigel said...

Ladies,
I apologize on behalf of the author and her management for not knowing to check in during her tour stop.

Raven, my love, it's good to see you again. You know how Sandy likes to just fling her characters into precarious situations. I think they handle themselves well, though. Don't you?

All my best,
Nigel

3:49 PM  

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