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Whether I’m watching a scene from a motion picture movie or reading the words on paper, I love escaping into a great love story!

Author Interview: J.A. Dennam

We got a chance to talk with Between Faith and Fear (Captive #2) author, J.A. Dennam! Check out our interview:

      1. What’s a typical day like in the life of J.A. Dennam?
        My husband and I run our own businesses, so I never know what the day has in store for me.  A sure thing…lots of harried activity until the kids are shoved out the door with their hastily packed lunches. Then it’s right to the computer with my coffee and blessed silence until my husband cries FOUL! When that happens, I must exercise responsibility of some sort.
      2. Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
        I did NOTHING but read while growing up. Mostly movie-based books from the Scholastic book club, like Benji, C.H.O.M.P.S., and Superman. After a clandestine peek over my shoulder, I opened my first romance at the tender age of 12 and officially converted, but I still had room for J.R.R. Tolkien. My mother gets the credit for inspiring me to write my own stories down.
      3. Do you remember the first thing you ever wrote?
        My first creation was a crude outline of me impressing the hell out of Michael Jackson. A few years later, it was me impressing the hell out of my math teacher. He was hawt. I got more serious with the first three chapters of a YA-type story, which my high school friends loved, but my attention span was grossly underdeveloped at the time. I didn’t attempt anything more until I started my first novel, FLESH OF ANGELS, in 2001.
      4. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way, either growing up or as an adult?
        Judith McNaught is my all time fave in Romance (Paradise & Perfect… sigh!!) She’s a master in historical and contemporary. I think I read everything Johanna Lindsey put out up until the mid 90’s. Kathleen Woodiwiss (especially Shanna… must have read that a million times!) I also read a lot of Stephen King and John Grisham. Robert Ludlum lived in my town so, naturally, I had to sample a few of his thrillers 😉
      5. Where do you get your ideas from? Do they come to you or are they inspired by true events?
        A little of both. I’m usually never inspired by news events for fear I’ll be called out on it. Most start as fledgling ideas born from true events that I nurture with a little love, lots of obsession and TONS of imagination. Then I’ll trip over something really genius during the research process.
      6. Do you work with an outline or just write?
        Depends on the weather. Really, there’s no rhyme or reason to how I operate. I mostly pantsed (what we call writing by the seat of our pants) FLESH OF ANGELS and BETWEEN FAITH AND FEAR, then I outlined the last few chapters as I neared the end. The other two novels I completely outlined, but the stories changed so much I may as well not have. SO, after I type PROLOGUE, I lick and stick my finger in the air.
      7. Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so, how do you get out of the funk?
        This usually happens when I’m working on a slow paced scene. I’ll sit down with another book, watch a show or do chores when it’s really bad. Most of the time it just takes stepping away from the computer for a few minutes and the floodgates magically reopen.
      8. What part of the writing process is the hardest for you, whether it’s first draft, rewriting or editing?
        Since I’m an obsessive-compulsive rewriter and editor, that’s the easiest part for me. I guess the hardest part is condensing what I’ve written. Too much description can lead to Snoresville, so I need to convey the same message using half the words. It’s a huge challenge, vitally important in a suspense/thriller/action story and I aspire to get really good at it. That’s what was so fun about the hero in BETWEEN FAITH AND FEAR. He can get his point across with a snarky comment or a well-placed F-word.
      9. Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what do you listen to?
        I’ll pop the “P” when I say nope. When I’m at the computer, my gray matter is muddy enough. If I confuse things with outside stimulation, it’ll be like writing drunk. Not pretty.
      10. What project are you working on now?
        The third and final book in my Captive series, HELL’S HILLTOP. I’ve aspired toward a January, 2014 release at the latest. With all the stuff going on ‘tween now and then, it’ll be tough, but I’m getting excited about it. We got away from book 1 a little with book 2. But book 3 will contain equal parts of both while Rena and Ty wrap up the series with some heart-pounding conclusions.
        Between Faith and Fear Cover
      11. Did you always know you would write a sequel to Truth and Humility (Captive Series #1), or did it just come to you?
        My original intention was for T&H to be a stand-alone novel. *BUT* I always left the door open for a sequel. And if I chose to go that route, I always knew whom the story would belong to.
      12. How did you come up with the title?
        Most of my titles come to me as I’m writing the book. You’ll usually spot it. Kind of like Where’s Waldo 🙂 But, BETWEEN FAITH AND FEAR was actually first mentioned toward the end of T&H.
      13. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? Hardest?
        I had the absolute BEST time writing the flashbacks. Most of them had me in tears and represent the more humorous side of the story, though they were my hero’s darkest moments. The hardest to write was probably Chapter 13. A lot of information had to come out and it was tough condensing it all into a clear, flowy package.
      14. Which character speaks the loudest, to you?
        As much as I love my hero & heroine, their parts were pretty easy for me to write. So…I have to give props to my evil villain, Rafferty.  Half of his dialogue was so bad I had to summon the nerve to write it down. And before y’all shake a finger at ME (tsk!) if our villains had boundaries, what fun would they be?
      15. Which of your characters would you like to meet in person and why? What would you say to that person?
        Danny, hands down. She’s my rock. We’d talk about Austin, o’course she might get pissed and hit me.
      16. You are amazing at writing plot twists, how do you come up with them? Do they come to you as you’re writing, or does the idea pop up before you start?
        Since I pantsed Between Faith and Fear, most of the plot twists hit me as I went along. Really…when you’re writing a character like Sophie (one baaaaad momma) she can ONLY surprise you.
      17. What can you tell us about Book #3? There will be a third one, right? 😉
        Absolutely! Book 3 is titled HELL’S HILLTOP. Book 1 was gritty and sweet. Book 2, raw and action packed. Book 3 will be sexy…and bone chilling. By the end of book 2, we don’t know what to expect from Rena Hellberg. Can we trust her or not? Ty will get a chance to dive into the woman’s psyche and find out exactly what drives her…and how to handle her unpredictable mood swings.
      18. What has been the toughest criticism you’ve been given as an author?
        I had a 1-star review that was basically a lengthy rant of how convoluted and poorly written my story was. It was hard to shake until I saw that most popular books on Goodreads had one of those. That brought a smile to my face.
      19. What has been the best compliment?
        I’ll quote – “THIS WAS SUCH A GOOD BOOK!!! I LAUGH, CRIED…AND CRIED SOME MORE! PUT IT LIKE THIS…I NEVER CRY!”
      20. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
        Don’t give up. No one will give the time, love, and attention to your story the way you do. No one will appreciate it as much. Do it justice by persevering over the criticisms, the road blocks, the heartache…the rewards are more than worth it! But the path to success is paved with humility. Know how and when to take constructive criticism. Sleep on it, learn from it, then apply it. It’s best to get this type of criticism from a critique group rather than a reviewer. I am EXTREMELY blessed in this department.

Novel Teasers 😉 :

      1. Favorite TV show? Then – DUKES OF HAZZARD. Now – SONS OF ANARCHY
      2. Late night or early morning? Early morning
      3. Favorite fictional male (or female) character who you have not written? Indiana Jones
      4. Tea or coffee? Coffee. Then tea.
      5. If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be? Half-Cut

Between Faith and Fear FULL CoverTitle: Between Faith and Fear (Captive #2)
Author: J.A. Dennam
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Action

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jadennamAbout J.A. Dennam:

J. A. Dennam, an award winning author and member of Romance Writers of America, resides in a small Kansas town with her husband and four children.   Besides her great love for literary arts, her passions include fine art, culinary art and music.

Storytelling has been a part of her life since childhood, when insomnia forced a young girl of six into counting popcorn on the ceiling in the dead of night.  Confessing her problem to her older sister, the two girls decided to tell each other stories to entice sleep; however, the inevitable snore always tore through her sister’s nose before she could utter the words ‘Once Upon A Time.’  So, the stories began to flow in silence, her imagination taking her to quiet, private places so enthralling, the trick was suddenly to stay awake.  Each night, she went to bed anticipating the continuation of the adventure that had been interrupted by sleep the previous night.  Soon, insomnia was no longer a problem and the stories would sometimes take months to complete.

Those habits carried on to adulthood until the need to purge her stories demanded she put them in print.  Her fascination with romance, fast cars and adventure films is what structures her stories today, making Romantic Suspense the genre she was simply born to write.

For over twenty years, Ms. Dennam has been ensconced in her career as a painter of Western art.  In the meantime, however, she managed to complete three novels: FLESH OF ANGELS, FLESH OF THE FATHER, and TRUTH AND HUMILITY.  The recent decision to forgo her fine art career in lieu of her writing career was a simple one.  Her passion for writing far outshines all other passions and she has only just begun to build her list of achievements by entering writing contests, joining local writer’s groups and stocking local bookstores with her titles.

Ms Dennam is proud to announce that she is now represented by Marisa A. Corvisiero, Esq. with the Corvisiero Literary Agency.

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