I’m so thrilled to have the awesome Jana Oliver on the blog today! Jana is the author of The Demon Trapper’s Daughter and the upcoming Soul Thief (August 30th)!
Please welcome Jana to the blog!
Jana, you’ve had a really interesting journey in publishing your books. By publishing your first three novels in order to learn the ins and outs of publishing, do you think that prepared you better for working with one of the large publishing houses, such as St. Martin’s Press?
It definitely prepared me to write for a bigger house. Self-publishing taught me about distribution and marketing. When I moved to a small Canadian press for my time travel series, I worked with a talented editor who taught me so much about my craft. Now that I’m with St. Martin’s I use those skills on a regular basis. The transition was less traumatic because I had some experience under my belt.
The Demon Trapper’s Daughter was a hit, and Soul Thief is just as good! Was it easier writing Soul Thief now that some of the world building is established?
Believe it or not, the first book in any series is easier because I’m playing in a brand new world and it’s all shiny and exciting. The second book has to build on the first and also weave in the backstory without rendering the reader comatose. I’m not very good at creating a ‘story bible’ (how an author keeps track of details mentioned in previous books). Are Riley’s demon scars on the right or left leg? What color are Peter’s eyes? How old was Riley when her mom died and what does her apartment look like? Endless little details that slowly amass into a ton of detail I have to remember from book to book. First books are a blast but all books after that require heavy lifting. ::laughs::
Are there any plans for your first series, Time Rovers (Sojourn, Virtual Evil, and Madman’s Dance) to be re-issued?
At this point they’re still published through Dragon Moon Press in trade paper size and available online. I’ll be reissuing the e-books in about a month so folks with those Kindles and Nooks can enjoy the stories.
What do you like to see in a good book?
Dynamic and intrinsically flawed characters, something for them to fight for and a story that challenges me to figure out how it’s all going to end. If I can predict each turning point, I will put the book down. You keep me on the edge of my seat and that’s what I call a good book.
What makes you toss a book aside in frustration?
TSTL (too stupid to live) characters. I understand when a character makes a dumb move (we all do in real life) but when he/she does that repeatedly that’s not swimming at the smart end of the gene pool.
When you’re not busy writing, what do you like to do to unwind?
I’m an amateur photographer who has had just enough training to make me dangerous. When I have the chance, which is rare nowadays, I will just go out and shoot. It’s relaxing and it turns off the characters who chatter away in my brain most of the time.
What’s one of the most daring things you’ve ever done?
I moved to Hong Kong for eight months to set up a satellite office for the company I was working for at the time. I didn’t speak Cantonese, I was from Iowa and had been out of the country once in my life (and not to Asia). I left my spouse behind during that time. It was a gamble that paid off with some serious personal growth and a wealth of wonderful photographs.
What’s one of your biggest pet peeves?
The “we’ve always done it this way” mentality. I love people who can think outside the box, who are inventive and creative. They’re never dull, that’s for sure.
Is there any news of upcoming projects (other than the Soul Thief release, of course!), or events that you’d like to share with us?
My next big event is Dragon*Con in Atlanta over Labor Day Weekend. It’s a huge (50K+) multi-media convention and a total blast. SOUL THIEF is launching there and I’m really looking forward to it since the series is set in Atlanta.
A few weeks after that I’m off to the UK for a book tour. I’m a frequent traveler to the British Isles, but this will be my first publisher-sponsored book tour so that’s very cool. I’ll be in the London area and then up in Edinburgh (my first trip to Scotland)! If you can’t tell by the exclamation points, I’m jazzed.
Then next February FORGIVEN (Demon Trappers #3) will be out. It sounds like a long time away, but it really isn’t. At least not for the author.
Visit Jana at her website!
Purchase The Demon Trapper’s Daughter (Kindle and Nook version is $2.99!!): Amazon| Barnes and Noble
Pre-Order Soul Thief: Amazon| Barnes and Noble