Please welcome Jana Oliver,an author who knows about self-publishing, small press publishing and beyond. She is a member of Georgia Romance Writers. I'm amazed at some of the things she has done. Read to find out what she has to say about Paris Hilton and sex videos. (Kidding about the videos.)
What was your first published book and with whom?
My very first book was self-published in 2001, back in the days before doing-it-yourself was even remotely considered kosher. I never submitted it to a publisher or an agent, but formed an itsy tiny publishing house with my husband and printed the book. Was it the best book in the world? No. It certainly wasn’t the worst as it was a finalist for a Daphne du Maurier Award. Out of the exercise I learned a lot about distribution, marketing, how to obtain reviews, etc. The learning curve was steep. A lot of what I gained from self-publishing serves me well now that I’m traditionally published.
What themes go through your books?
Oh, lots! I don’t like clunking my readers over the head, so I weave them into my characters’ lives. I like to examine personal obsession, what makes a person continue to fight for or against some cause when it looks like he or she has already lost the battle. I’ve examined the role of intrusive government in our lives, our responsibility to our fellow humans, and how love is one of the most powerful forces in the universe. Besides telling a good story, I want to get my readers thinking, which in turn makes me have to do some mental gymnastics.
How did you write with kids and deadlines?
No kids. Unless, of course, you count the Furry Tyrant (cat). But I only have one of those so she’s easily mollified with a bit of scratching behind an ear. Deadlines don’t bother me too much. I came from the advertising world where deadlines were never set with much resemblance to reality. Need ad copy for an entire fifty page catalog in the next week? No problem! So working on a book at a slow and measured pace doesn’t seem so ugly.
How many books have you published?
Six now, if you count the first three self-published ones. The last three are the Time Rovers Series and are published by Dragon Moon Press, which is an imprint of Hades Publications, the largest independent science fiction and fantasy publishing house in Canada.
Other jobs you've had?
I’ve had about every job except running for Vice President. I spent a decade as a registered nurse and then quit that field about time the insurance companies moved in. I’ve been a DJ, I’ve written advertising copy for the World Largest Retailer (and others) and I’ve been a travel agent, which comes in very handy for my globe hopping. I started writing a decade ago and this seems to be the one career I truly can enjoy until it’s time to shuffle off this mortal coil. The voices in my head aren’t going to let me do anything else it seems.
What are you writing now?
Since my latest Time Rovers Book (MADMAN’S DANCE) is out in a couple of weeks, I’ve turned my attention to a dark paranormal romance/urban fantasy (one of a pair) that I want to send to my agent. The manuscript is done, just needs a final tweak. The story is set in contemporary L.A. and features a witch who can talk to the dead. Where that was rather new when I started this book about five years ago, now it seems almost everyone talks to the dead. Still, I like the story which pairs a Wiccan with a Catholic private investigator. Both of them are having trouble accepting their God (or Goddess) given gifts. It’s very sweet love story with some scary bad creatures.
What would you write if you could do write anything you wanted to write?
Exactly what I’m doing. I do have one book that I need to “grow” into, a story about a woman killed by a pro killer, but the murder is pinned on the local crazy guy. It’s based on a real case so I have to do a LOT of thinking on that one before I put fingers to keyboard. I want that book to just knock everyone’s socks off and that’s why I need to grow as a writer before that story is put on paper.
Who knows, if I can pull it off then maybe I can be invited to one of Paris Hilton’s infamous parties. Talk about “book fodder”.
Madman’s Dance (Time Rovers – Book 3)
October 30, 2008
Dragon Moon Press
Posted by Mary Marvella | 12:10 AM | Dragon Moon Press, Jana Oliver, Madman's Dance, paranormal romance, Paris Hilton, Time Rovers, Urban Fantasy | 15 comments »