Sunday, September 1, 2019

Jennifer Zamboni: Author Spotlight and Interview



Please welcome Jennifer Zamboni to Fantasy Fun Reads. I met Jennifer as a fan of my books several years ago and I had no idea at the time that she would go on to become a great author herself. Pack of Freaks is the second book in her series called Beasts Among Us.

Blurb:

Being alpha isn’t easy.

Gretchen wants a normal life: working in the salon, making music, and settling in with her new pack. If only her wolf side wouldn’t make decisions without her.

She survived betrayal and the fight for her freedom, so relationship issues and a group of fae-blooded circus freaks in her kitchen should be a breeze. But a plea from another pack and the exposure of the fae, including werewolves, to the human world just might tip the scale on her sanity.

Good thing she has good friends, a man who loves her, and music that soothed the savage beast.

Join Gretchen as she gives in to romance, discovers new truths about old friends, and embraces her role as alpha.


This one just released a few weeks ago and has already gotten some great reviews. If you haven't read the first in her series yet, check this out....


Start with Book One here:   http://bit.ly/beautyisthebeast

Interview:

What inspired you to write?

I love books! That would be the simplest explanation. The more in-depth answer is I love exploring a world and experimenting with all those little what ifs.

What do you know now that you wished you knew when you first started to write?
Grammar. I thought that because I got A’s on the English papers I wrote in high school, I knew grammar, and therefore completely neglected learning it. Now I’m kicking myself and attempting to educate myself. My early manuscripts are terrifying.

As far as the publishing industry itself goes, I’m still learning.

Tell us about your writing and publishing journey. What made you decide to go the traditional or self-published route?

I wanted to publish my writing years before I made it happen. I finished my first book when I was about 19, edited it the best I could (again, that grammar problem), and began querying agents. I received a handful of rejections and a bunch that never got back to me. As time wore on, I took another look at my writing and realized, it wasn’t ready, and quit querying.

I began working full time as a cosmetologist, and writing fell to the back burner. (Note: I still read a ton!) Working in a salon is absolutely exhausting. The only things I wrote were a few short stories that have never seen the light of day.

Then, in 2008, I discovered NaNoWriMo. I wrote a 70,000 word paranormal romance novel, though I hadn’t yet encountered PNR at the time, and didn’t have a clue that’s what I had written. Soon after that, I discovered urban fantasy and fell in love with the genre. My next NaNoWriMo, I wrote the first ¾ of Beauty is the Beast (which I called Mosquito Bites). I had fellow writer critique it for me, and then I let it sit. I wrote the first 30,000 words of Pack of Freaks (sequel to Beauty is the Beast), when I began dating my now husband (which is why I didn’t win NaNo that year). I wrote a few other books in the following years, but I was continually drawn back to the world I created for Beauty is the Beast and I decided to pursue publication.

As for why I chose to self publish, it’s all about control. Some of my favorite books in the genre are the Mercy Thompson novels by Patricia Briggs, but I almost didn’t pick up the first one because of the cover. Mercy is depicted wearing a teeny tiny top, low slung pants, and is posed provocatively. Now, let me just say, the covers for the series are beautiful, but I don’t feel like they reflect the story. Mercy is a mechanic, wears coveralls, and is a jeans and tee-shirt type of girl. I wanted my covers match what was in the pages. I also wanted control of what I did with my book. In the publishing world, for an unknown author, you’d be in charge of all your own publicity and marketing. Indie’s have to do that as well, but they also don’t have to share their profits with a publisher, or their rights.

I published Beauty is the Beast last October, and while I’m still learning how to sell, I’m happy with being an indie.

Who are your favorite authors today? What genres do you love to read?
I’ve already mentioned Patricia Briggs! I’d love to sit down with her and pick her brain. I read almost everything, though mainly urban fantasy and romance. I like reading about life, I just like a bit of magic thrown in there.

What are you working on now? What's planned for the future?

The third book is a completed rough draft, and I’m in the middle of the rough draft for the 4th. That will close out the series, but I plan on sticking with the world. There’s so much to explore! I also have a PNR duology in the planning stages, also set in the same world. After that, we shall see! I have a notebook of story and character ideas to fall back on!


Bio:
Jen loves books. Reading them, writing them, reviewing them, and collecting them. (She claims it’s not hoarding)
Urban fantasy is the name of her game, and being a mom is her day job. She also is a licensed cosmetologist, though she no longer works in a salon.
She lives in the boondocks of Maine with her husband, 2 tiny tornadoes (girls), 2 dogs, 3 cats, and 1 vocally insistent cockatiel.
To learn more, check out: jenniferzamboni.blogspot.com

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