Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop - Author Interview

I've been invited to participate in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop
Thanks, Penny Ehrenkranz for letting me hop on. Every day Penny features new posts about writing and writers on her blog, so a visit is well worth your time. 
Thank you, organizers, for the shout out! Today I get to answer some questions about my book and my writing in general. 

Ten Interview Questions for Don’t You Marry the Mormon Boys

What is the working title of your book?

Don’t You Marry the Mormon Boys. The title comes from an old “expandable” folk song (i.e. “Don’t You Marry the California Boys,” “Don’t You Marry the Texas Boys,” etc.) There are links on the upper right hand column of my blog if you want to hear the song and view the video trailer.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

It percolated for a long time. When I realized, long after the fact, that a former high school classmate (an outstanding young man) was the son of a polygamous clan leader, and I read articles about him and his family, some story ideas were planted.

What genre does your book fall under?

Literary fiction

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I think Louisa looks like Evangeline Lilly, though Louisa hair is more auburn. I’ll have to get back to you on the others.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

One wife would be more than enough for Bachelor Andy McBride . . .

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Don’t You Marry the Mormon Boys was published by Bonneville Books, an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc. in 2007

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

A couple of years. Other projects (The Book Lover’s Cookbook, Wenger & Jensen, Ballantine, 2003), took over for a while, and then it took a long time to find a publisher for Mormon Boys.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

The Giant Joshua by Maurine Whipple
The Sister Wife by Diane Noble
The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall
The Twenty-Seventh Wife by Irving Wallace

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

         1)  Driving through Colorado City, Arizona 

)       2)  Visiting the cemetery at Colorado City, Arizona

  3)  Attending a family reunion (we aren’t directly related to this group) where a whole table of women hailed from Colorado City. Each introduced herself as having “six children and twenty stepchildren,” or something similar. There were no men. The women’s clothing and hairstyles were pioneer-style and they wore no makeup. Obviously, they were polygamous wives and no one in the family had met them or even heard from their side of the family for years; they were warmly welcomed.                                                                                     4)  My own pioneer heritage

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

There’s a dog in the book named Eliza R. Snow, after a famous Utah poet

September 1, 2012: Don’t You Marry the Mormon Boys has just won the gold medal in Cultural Fiction from the Readers Favorite International Book Award Contest.

Other awards (2008): first runner-up, commercial Fiction, The Eric Hoffer Award; Bronze Award in Religious Fiction, ForeWord Magazine; Finalist, Religious Fiction, USA Best Books; Semi-finalist in Religious Fiction, ReaderViews Literary Awards; listed as one of Carolyn Howard Johnson’s Top Ten Reads of 2008 (listed at her site under Insight and Understanding into Utah, Its Religion and Culture and Fiction depicting the Repression of Women).

And - - - - - there’s a spinoff, coming in 2013:

September 19, 2012 press release:

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kirk Cunningham, Head Publicist: (801) 380-4503 |
Jolly Fish Press Acquires Janet Kay Jensen's Gabriel's Daughters
PROVO, UT—Jolly Fish Press (JFP) has successfully acquired Gabriel's Daughters, a heart-wrenching literary fiction from award-winning author Janet Kay Jensen.

Gabriel's Daughters wrestles with issues of polygamy, homosexuality, and modernity through the lives of the large, loving, and polygamous Martin family. The story is told primarily through the eyes of Zina Martin, a young girl who, upon discovering she is impregnated by her "sterile" teacher—and will soon be married off to a man three times her age—escapes the enclosed polygamous town of Gabriel's Landing, Utah. Zina then embarks on a journey full of self-discovery, yet she can never fully escape the longing she has for her family and even the controversial and outdated lifestyle she once lived. Through both tears and triumph, Gabriel's Daughters reveals a moving story that not only acts as insightful social commentary, but also prompts readers to reevaluate their lives.

Janet Kay Jensen is the co-author of The Book Lover's Cookbook (Ballantine, 2003) and the author of Don't You Marry the Mormon Boys (Bonneville Books, 2007), which recently won a gold medal for Cultural Fiction in the Readers Favorite International Book Awards Contest. A long-time educator, Jensen now lives on Logan, Utah as a full-time writer and literacy tutor.

Gabriel's Daughters, Jensen's first book with JFP, is slated for release Fall 2013.

*p.s. I have a new author page at facebook, and I'd appreciate a "like." Thank you!


Shaunda said...

Your synopsis for Don't You Marry the Mormon Boys made me chuckle! :) Thank goodness you didn't get steered too far off-course with The Book Lover's Cookbook. Looking forward to Gabriel's Daughters!

CTW said...

Looking forward to the sequel.