This warm paranormal romance is a beautifully written, fast-paced novel that is earning strong reviews from its readers. An excerpt from the book's description: "Jack's immortality is exposed when he prevents a liquor store heist, forcing him to flee to protect his secret-a secret not even he understands. But when he meets Leah Winters-a mirror image of his decades-lost love, Lydia-his very soul is laid bare. He begins to question his sanity. Is she real, and if so, what does that mean for Jack and his secret?
On to our conversation with Jen! And don't miss the blog tour contest entry at the bottom of the post.
Congratulations on your new novel. In a few words, how would you describe your book to someone who hasn't heard about it?
Thank you. Describing anything in a few words can be a difficult task for an author, let alone explaining our books, but I will do my best. Over a century ago, Jack lost everything he loved. When fate offers him a second chance in the form of Leah, Jack must discover how much he is willing to risk in order to save the woman he already lost once.
Reviewers have been enthused about your book, describing it as "a beautiful tale of love, loss and second chances." What are some of your favorite - or most surprising - reviewer comments?
The reviews have been very kind, and I cannot thank them enough. Here are a few of my favorites:
"This book is definitely going on my favorite list. I loved the story, the romance and the mystery."
"Ms. Printy actually paints each scene vividly with strokes of emotion, as well as dark action. Her style flows smoothly and will pull at your heart throughout."
"What a fascinating story. It brings a whole new light to the idea of reincarnation and that one true love."
"I felt like Oliver Twist rubbing my Kindle and imploring the author, 'Please, Ms. Printy, can I have some more of your Fated Eternals? More Jack, more Leah, and definitely more Artagan.'"
"Deeply rooted in the ways of the 'old world', (Jack's) simply divine. His manners come from a time long past. Reading about a true gentleman makes me yearn for a return to chivalry and the rules of society…"
Your main character, Jack, is an immortal who long ago lost his soul-mate, Lydia... and now a century later finds her doppelganger in Leah. What was your inspiration for the premise of the novel?
I began playing with the idea of reincarnation and déjà vu. What if lovers bumped into each other in a next life? Would they recognize one another? What if one remembers and other did not? And so on. By the end of the daydream, I had two scenes in my head. One was the scene at the beginning of the first chapter when Jack bumps into Leah, and the other was the dream Jack has of his past at the end of the chapter.
The role of Artagan adds a layer of mystery and darkness to the story. He is certainly a contrast to Jack! Give our readers a "teaser" about one of your favorite scenes involving Artagan.
Artagan's badass attitude makes him a fun character to write. He's cocky, self-assured, or at least that's what he likes to appear to be. He has more sides to him then he shows at first. One of my favorite scenes is when Artagan opens up to Jack on the train, and the reader learns, like Jack, Artagan has his own tragic backstory that includes screaming villages, a black cloak, and a scythe. Although, Artagan has chosen to deal with his past in a different way, determined to enjoy living even if it "kills" him.
What scenes in the book were the most enjoyable for you to write?
I have a bunch of favorite scenes, so I'll pick three:
- I love the beginning scene when Jack runs into Leah for the first time. That was the turning point for Jack after searching long and hard for a way to die.
- The scene when Leah is hit by the car. The gut-wrenching moment when everything Jack has planned for falls apart and he's in the same position he was long ago, or so he thinks.
- Last but not least, the scene toward the end of the novel when Jack is in front of Concilium Animarum, bargaining for Leah's life with his own.
Ed's death, for a lot of reasons. First, he is one of my favorites. Being a happy-ending kind of girl, I wanted to give him his, but I knew his death was pivotal to the plot. In the middle of a re-write of My Soul Immortal, I lost my dad. Naturally, it seems death is an overwhelming theme in this book, I had to set it aside for a few months.
There were some sleepless nights when it was time to tie up a few loose ends at the end of the novel. I don't want to give away any spoilers. Let's just say I almost cut the epilogue at one point. Thank goodness, my RAP editor, Kris, has mad-ninja skills and is strong with the force.
What led to your choice of the first-person present-tense viewpoint used in the novel? It's unusual -- and very effective for putting the reader "in the moment" with Jack and his experiences.
When we meet Jack he is trying to avoid the past, and escape the future, I wanted the reader to feel what he felt when he felt it. I actually wrote the first draft in third-person past-tense. In the end, I wasn't capturing Jack's emotion. If I couldn't feel Jack's pain and joy, I know the reader wouldn't either. First-person present-tense viewpoint was the natural solution to capture the mood I wanted this book to achieve.
Which authors have influenced your writing?
Cassandra Clare. Her attention to detail is awe-inspiring. By the end of a scene, you know every-thing about "your" surroundings, from the feel of the stones under your feet to the dank taste in the air.
Suzanne Collins. She wrote a strong, likable female character. Not an easy task.
Stephenie Meyer. Her personal story made me pick up my pen, put it to paper in hopes that someday I'd fulfill my dream, and become a published author.
In addition to writing, I understand that you're engaged in another applied art: sculpting, which you do at a professional level. We've seen pictures of your work, and it's incredibly true-to-life. Do you find similarities in the creative process of those two crafts?
Oh yes, all the arts are similar if you think about it. It's only the tools that change. Whether I'm sculpting or telling a story, I'm attempting to capture a moment in time and make that moment as real as possible for the observer.
You also have a young family. With all that you have going on in your life, how do you manage your time to get writing done?
I prioritize. Housework falls to the bottom of the to-do list. It helps that my kids are older. They are able to fend for themselves when needed, and they help around the house.
Let's get a bit more personal: tell us five random things about you!
- I'm a beer snob.
- I believed in Santa until I was twelve or thirteen. Only child, need I say more.
- I know how to dig clams properly.
- I love growing orchids, but I don't have a green thumb so the plants suffer for it.
- I train in mixed martial arts.
I'm excited where this story is going. In the second book of Fated Eternals, we delve deeper into the world of Death and the Concilium Animarum. The next book will definitely be a darker tale.
One last question: is there something in the water in Maine that produces good writers?
I don't know about the water, but with a postcard-worthy scene around every corner and ghostly legends about nearly every town, there's a lot of material to work with.
Thank you, Jen, for talking with KBoards today!
It's been my pleasure. Thank you for having me!
My Soul Immortal is available now to download to your Kindle!
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