Today we're featuring J. Rocci, author of the newly released Youthful Gods, Book One: Pretty Pleasures
Tell us about Youthful Gods. What inspired you to write it? How long did it take?
Inspiration was easy! I've been going to renfaires since I was three, and I've found that each one is unique and special, whether it's the different eras, the costume guidelines, or the entertainment.
My very first job, at fourteen, was as the Privy Princess at the now abandoned Virginia Renaissance Faire (there's a new VA faire down by Lake Anna, but that's entirely different- no permanent buildings, no real traveling rennies, merchants or actors, and it's mostly is a local thing). I worked the VA Faire from 1996 until its last season in 1999, and I had been planning to travel the next year with a friend until I met my future husband that last season. But there will be more on that story this upcoming Monday, when I host the Torquere LJ :)
For those curious, or if you've never been to a faire, you can see pics of my latest trip to the Maryland Renfaire on my blog (jrocci.blogspot.com). It's very colorful and vibrant, with a lot of shops, nestled back in the woods. I took most of my cues for Youthful Gods from the old VA Faire, but the MD one was an influence as well.
A renfaire is such a versatile setting that feeds on magic and fantasy that it was my first choice for a contemporary fantasy. The story of Youthful Gods actually began back in 2001 when I went back to college and started writing a first person narrative from Lex, who may or may not be crazy cakes, between classes. As I started world building, things just got more and more complicated and I realized Lex may not be the best intro to the world. So I started Greg's story back in 2007 but didn't really knuckle down to write it until this year. (There was a double major and a fulltime career in there. Don't judge.)
Tell us one thing about yourself that your readers would be surprised to know.
Oh man - there's no way to answer this without sounding bad, is there? Well, I don't know really what my readers expect of me, but I guess I can say that, despite being a romance writer, I really am a very cynical and pragmatic person. People don't come to cry on my shoulder - they come when they want someone's ass kicked.
(Also, I curse like a grunt in basic when not at work. Okay. When I'm at work too, but only in front of the other cursing people...)
You write in various lengths, from short to long. Are there differences in writing one length over another?
I've found that, if given no limits, I will write for years on end. So I impose challenges on myself for word counts and plan accordingly. A lot of it depends on what else I've got going on in life.
What's the best thing about writing? How about the worst thing?
I love world building and writing the stories I want to read. If an idea gets its hooks in me, I find it hard to step away. The worst thing is that this is my hobby. I have a fulltime career in a field I probably wouldn't leave even if I won the lottery, and juggling writing with wearing my Big Kid Pants just sucks. But it does mean I get to travel and gather more fodder for stories, and writing gives me a fluffy place to go to in my head when humanity makes me want to put on my combat boots and kick some heads. My dear heart, we'll call him Mr. Bay, is a very understanding fellow who also likes to write, so that's not a hardship.
Character or plot, which comes first?
It honestly depends. In the case of Youthful Gods, there was this whole other story and plot in my head first and Greg and Boone grew out of that. For my Army and Marines stories, Evan and Josh were there first in my head and the plots/love interests followed.
What is your favorite way to spend a rainy day?
Curled up in an armchair with a notebook, hot tea, and an oversized sweatshirt, as the cats and dog curl around me and Mr. Bay reads a book on the couch.
Not that I've put any thought or wistful yearning into that.
What's the best writing advice you ever received/found?
A man will turn over half a library to make one book -- Samuel Johnson
What are you working on now?
Hrm. I've got Youthful Gods Book Two, the sequel to Army Green focusing on Reo and Derrick, and a Naughty sip with Josh and Garrison (my two marine boys from Cornerstone and Commitment).
Come hang out at the Torquere LJ on Monday, October 17, for a chance to win some cool prizes, like a t-shirt and tote bag!
J. Rocci lives outside of Washington D.C. with the love of her life and their furry children: A chickenhead dog, two crazy cat-brats, and a milksnake named Fuzzy. She writes wherever her Muse takes her, usually in the form of her best friend demanding more smut.
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