Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Blogoversary Author Interview & Giveaway: Reena Jacobs

Hi Everyone,
Make sure you check out all the other interviews and giveaways by checking out the Blogoversary Tab or Picture at the top of the page.
Today we have an author whose genre I do not actively read, but she an author who I have great respect for because of her strive to not only be a better author but is willing to take the criticism that goes along with it

Please Welcome REENA JACOBS to Blood Rose Books

You worked with delinquent girls outside of the school system, all who were violent offenders that had gone through the court system and were basically on their last chances, did you ever try your hand at writing while helping these youth out? 
Other than high school, when I attempted one chapter and gave up, I never gave much thought to writing. After I dropped out of my psychology PhD program and didn’t have a job, I decided to take up writing as a way to be productive. That was August 2008. That writing excursion lasted for a month. It wasn’t until August 2009 that I seriously dedicated myself to writing. I’ve been working on my writing skills ever since.
Though my writing career is relatively short compared to others, I’ve learned an amazing amount. I’ve been quite lucky to be in a community with authors who are generous with their time and very helpful. 

Are you still able to do work with trouble youth?
It’s been about five years since I worked in a child development center (CDC). I love working with girls between the ages of 12-18. They have their whole lives to look forward to… sometimes they just need a bit of encouragement and direction to take a step on the right path.
At the same time, the CDC environment was a little harsh for me. It took me about a year to get to the point where I could walk into a restaurant and not immediately claim the seat which put me in the best position to defend myself. Back to the wall with full visual was a way of life for me.
If I ever worked with delinquent youth again, I’d love to try a position as a social worker or parole officer. It would be wonderful to work with young people before they get to the point where they’re locked in a CDC (aka kiddie jail).

You gravitated towards writing paranormal romance because of your love for the genre. Why did you choose Weres as the featured creature in your book? And why Were-Tigers?
Vampires and werewolves—those are the typical paranormal creatures I read about. I hope no one holds this against me, but the idea of getting jiggy with a vampire is so not my thing. All I can think about is he’s so… dead. Ugh. So vampires have never been a real option for me in terms of romance.
Then there are were-creatures. The most popular seems to be the werewolf… but like I said, they’re popular, almost to the point of being overdone. I love big cats, my favorite types of animals, in fact, and tigers are so majestic. They’re wicked awesome. Were-creatures plus tigers = wehr-tigers. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about.

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
Historical fiction. History was my worst subject in high school. It was all so dry. Now that I’m older, history intrigues me, but I don’t have the foundation. It would take me forever to learn all the little details to write a realistic story. I know how persnickety die hard historians are about their fiction, so if I did try anything historical, it’d have to be an alternate timeline. I’ve been mentally toying with a science fiction idea. We’ll see if it’ll ever see the light of day.

As an indie author what has been the most challenging aspect you have had getting your books out there for people to read?
Getting noticed is like shouting into a crowd where everyone is listening to their iPods on high volume. Getting the works out there isn’t all too difficult; it’s finding an audience which is the killer. Hard work and A LOT of luck is what it takes these days. So I work hard and hope to get lucky.

When you first contacted me about reviewing your book, you knew my view about paranormal romance bordering on erotica, but you insisted on me reviewing your book. Do you find that criticism coming from people who do not normally read this genre helps you become a better writer? Do you think it will help your books to appeal to a wider audience?
In terms of criticism, I really think it depends. I try to look at reviews objectively and see the value of them. I understand my style isn’t for everyone, and I respect that. After all, I have my own preferences. So in that aspect, yes… criticism does have the potential to help me improve my writing.
Will it help me appeal to a wider audience? I don’t know. The stories I write are what they are. Though I might change minor details in a story like Shadow Cat to help the story line flow better, the essence remains the same—exotic, steamy, and adventurous.

In Shadow Cat, you have a lot of knowledge of the Malaysian culture. What type of research did you do, as you knew both the Malaysian culture and language?
I wish I had something marvelous to say about this area, like I spent a year trekking it in the Malaysian jungles. But in truth, my research was strictly online. During my early military days, I studied Korean (language and culture) on the Army’s dime. Though Malaysia and Korea are different, my days as a student prepared me somewhat for the research involved. It’s easy to offend across cultures, and I hope (cross my fingers) I got the nuances correct.
As far as the language, I used an English – Malaysian dictionary. Later, a young lady (Fiona Chan) helped me tweak the translations.

Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share?
I just released a work late July, I Loved You First. The quickie teaser: Alexandria Carmichael guards two secrets close to her heart. One--she’s in love with her best friend, Seth. Two--he’s gay.
For this work, I stepped away from the fantasy scene and focused on real life issues. Right now I’m on the tail end of the blog tour. Readers can find more information about the events and goodies up for grab on my blog.

What is one book on your shelf that you cannot wait to read (can either be a new or old favorite).
Just one? How about three? 
I’m just starting Auction by Kitty Thomas. I’ve been looking forward to opening this work for weeks and finally found the time. From there, I’m heading to non-fiction. I’m normally not a non-fiction reader, but recently came into possession of two which are calling my name. The Art of Steampunk by Art Donovan and Am I Really a Christian by Mike McKinley. Those are my next two reads, and I anticipate starting one of them this week.

I want to that Reena for participating in my Blogoversary. If you would like to find out more about Reena's books, check out my review of Shadow Cat as well as Reena's Website. As part of the celebration Reena has donated One Print cody of the winners choice of either I Loved You First or Shadow Cat (open to Canada or USA) as well as One Ebook copy of I Loved You First and One Ebook copy of Shadow Cat (Open Internationally). Thank You once again Reena!

1.  Please leave a comment and/or question as well as a way to CONTACT YOU (you do not need to be a follower to participate, but it is always nice for you to join)
2. Post my Blogoversay Button on your website, for 1 extra entry (please leave a link)
3. This Giveaway is Open Canada/USA for Print Copy, and Internationally for the Ebook copies
4. The Giveaway ENDS on October 7, 2011
5. The winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hrs to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen
6. Book provided by Reena Jacobs


  1. Thanks for having me, J9.

    And good luck to all entering the giveaway!

  2. I would love to be entered! I follow on gfc. :)


  3. New Follower. You've got a very nice blog here. Come visit me over at Livre D'Amour-Books of Love Blog. I really like your header a lot.