Hello everyone. All of my Reviews, that I have yet to write, will be posted sporadically during the summer. After the end of this summer, I will not be posting on here anymore, as you will see the info on the right side of the blog.
Thanks for your understanding.
Friday, March 1, 2013
Rock My World By Sharisse Coulter *Book Feature & Author Interview*
Jenna Jax-Anders hit rock bottom in high school. Or so she thought. From rock star heiress to knocked-up has been, she turned it all around, marrying the punk rock baby daddy love of her life. The perfect Hollywood fairytale. Until the day she walked in on him kissing her best friend.
As she struggles to find herself and redefine the world around her, she faces the challenges of raising her over-achieving teenage daughter, the heartbreak of losing her best friend (backstabbing aside), and emerging from the shadows of two famous last names to find her own identity. Oh, there’s also the tiny issue of her husband’s record label, backed by an anonymous mogul whose morally ambiguous creative direction may ruin them all.
I’m originally from Lake Tahoe but went to grad school in Australia, where I met my husband (a musician). We’ve been married for eight years now and have a four-year old son.
When and why did you begin writing?
I really started writing in college, particularly grad school. I’d just been through a really traumatic experience—my boyfriend at the time committed suicide—and I needed a way to work through my grief and find a way to come to terms with it. Writing saved me.
What inspired you to write your first book?
ROCK MY WORLD is my first book, and it started with the idea of Jenna and Alex, two of my main characters. They rattled around in my imagination for a couple years aimlessly, until finally, a year after having my son, I was struck by sudden inspiration and knew their story.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
Making the time to do it. It’s so easy to put everything else first, especially when it’s not earning money yet. It’s so simple, and yet it takes incredible discipline to just sit down and write—to write when it’s fun, when it’s hard, to write through the parts you’re sure are terrible—all to get to the good stuff.
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?
Absolutely! The biggest lesson I learned was that there is nothing separating me from my biggest influences other than my own self-belief and determination. They, just like me, had to sit down and do the work in order to learn their stories, characters, and find their voice. It’s a decision one makes—to be a writer. Not a predetermined fate.
What is your greatest strength as a writer?
Probably my organization. I’m very logical and straight-forward so figuring out character arcs and timelines comes naturally. It helps to free up space in my brain to work on my weaknesses, like dialogue.
Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I don’t know if writer’s block is the same for everyone, but my version is usually less about a lack of creativity and more about procrastinating. If I’m already working on something and I find myself not wanting to write, it usually means I need to deal with an underlying character or plot issue. I give myself a short break to work on something else and then force myself to write through that section even if everything I’m writing is awful. It’s easier for me to go back during editing to find the solution than it is in a blocked moment.
Can you tell us about your main character?
Sure! Jenna Jax-Anders is the daughter of the legendary rocker, Shawn Jax. She grew up in Los Angeles amongst an elite crowd, of which she reigned as queen bee until she got knocked up her senior year of high school. Stripped of her burgeoning modeling career and social status, she made it through with a little help from her best friend, Airika, and baby daddy, Alex. She married Alex and they had a baby girl, Felicity. From the outside, it looked like she had it all: hot husband, beautiful baby, cute house, trust fund. But cutting her adolescence short meant she never had to make it on her own. She never learned who she was or how to define herself except through her role to others: wife, daughter, mother, best friend. At thirty-four, she has to do what most of us do at eighteen: figure out who she is and what she wants in life.
How did you develop your plot and characters?
I first thought about my main characters, so I started off sketching them out in my mind. I asked myself what they would look like, what music they’d listen to, where they’d shop, what their houses would look like. Some of that was based in procrastination, but mostly it was a good way to learn how to think like them. Once I could think like them, I knew how they’d react to different circumstances and just tried to write their actions and reactions as honestly as I could.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
If my readers could walk away with one message I would hope that it would be to make the effort to find out who you are. No matter your upbringing or circumstances, in order to be happy, we all have to answer that question, if only for ourselves.
How much of the book is realistic?
I think anyone in the music industry will find some familiar anecdotes in that part of the story. And there are probably some who will assume the book is pretty autobiographical, but that would be a mistake. I like to take things from my own life experiences and then warp them to suit my story’s needs.
Do you have any upcoming appearances that you would like to share with us?
Yes! I’m touring the country with my husband and our son. We’re calling it A Novel Music Tour (anovelmusictour.com) and we’ll be doing shows featuring original acoustic music from my husband, Lee Coulter (the SiriusXM’s The Coffee House “Discovery of 2011”) and I’ll be signing books and answering questions.