Recent I got the opportunity to read The Scent Of Jade By Dee DeTarsio and I was amazed by how funny and terrific this book was. Since I read the book I have been talking to the author via e-mails and she was sweet enough to grant me an interview. BUT, and here is the reason she is beyond sweet, she let it be known to me that she would be offering up 3 e-book copies of her totally funny, must read book The Scent Of Jade. At the end of Dee's interview I will let you know how you can enter to win a copy of her book The Scent Of Jade. Without further ado I give you my interview with Dee.
1) How did you come up with the idea for The Scent Of Jade?
My husband, (who has earned the title of ”beditor”) once complained that “women sure do think a lot.” That’s right, we do. Live and learn, hombres. So, while no one dies and nothing explodes in The Scent of Jade, the story grew out of his observation and into a hybrid chick-lit action/adventure novel--Romancing the Stone meets Survivor. It was a lot of fun to write, and Julie, the heroine, still has plenty of time to “think.” (My husband likes it but thinks there should be more sex!)
2) The Scent Of Jade was so laugh out loud funny. Does writing the comedic parts in the book come naturally to you?
Oh boy. Thank you for laughing! Comedy is tough and I don’t sit down and command my computer to be funny. In fact, I don’t think I am funny at all, but I hope I have a good sense of humor. The characters start developing their personalities and I try to let them go crazy.
From Stephen King’s most excellent book “On Writing” and his “What if...” question of endless possibilities, I tried to shake up Julie’s world (putting an ordinary person in an extraordinary situation) and see how she would react. What if the protagonist is lost in the jungle and stumbles upon a marijuana crop? What if she encounters a monkey? (See below!)
3) Are any of the characters from your book a work of fiction or are they taken from your real life (i.e. people you know or have known)?
It’s allll fiction...But! I think writers are thieves, we steal everything that’s not nailed down! From the guy at the gym who looks like he forgot to shave half of his face, to the woman in the grocery store smacking her gum like there’s no tomorrow...characters are all around us. In some shape or form, most personalities that end up in stories are an amalgamation of the characters in our world. I think the universe always gives us clues.
4) The fact that you had a monkey that liked being stoned was such an unexpected and hysterical part of his character. I just have to know where the idea for the pot loving monkey came from?
I have no experience with monkeys (just penguins, I used to work at SeaWorld!). I love the idea of how we try to humanize things--from cars to computers to animals. Hello, anthropomorphism--guilty as charged! I had so much fun with that monkey, he became real to me. I had a blast seeing what he would do next, and watching how his personality and relationship with Julie developed. It is eternally fascinating to me how much communication goes on without speaking a word.
5) Is there a jade stone idol? The wealth of information you provided about it was most convincing.
Believe it or not, yes, there is a jade stone, that has been in my husband’s family for years! Go figure. No one can tell me the history. It does not have a carved face, but it is a beautiful, heavy piece of jade, that I have carted around forever and became inspired by--it would be so cool if it had some magical power! (It’s the jade in the video--The Scent of Jade video:http://youtu.be/pV4ObDjueOc)
6) Did you always want to be a writer/author or is that something you discovered you were good at and also if you weren't a writer what would you be doing?
All of my jobs involved writing (from television news producer to marketing director). I started writing novels several years ago because I wanted to recycle all those sticky notes I couldn’t stop scribbling.
Writing for television is writing for tell a vision and it’s been a natural progression to translate that into novels. Producers are the authors of suspense: amping up the conflict and drama. Storytelling a vision invites the audience, through whatever medium, to stay tuned for the good stuff...coming up.
When I’m not writing, I’d like to say I’m busy speaking and cooking fluent Italian, teaching yoga class and volunteering for the Peace Corps, but none of that would be true.
7) Are there any writers/authors who have inspired you and what author's do you like to read?
Insecurity is my middle name. I love to read just about anything I can get my hands on, while lamenting that I will never be able to write like whichever author I am currently reading:
I am not as funny as Marian Keyes.
I am not as smart as Jennifer Weiner.
I am not as beautiful as Emily Giffin.
I am not as sweet as Sarah Pekkanen.
I do have weird sisters. (Shout out to Eleanor Brown!)
8) If you could check off one or two things from your bucket list what would they be and why?
I want a do-over: kayaking with my son. We were on a family vacation in the Outer Banks in North Carolina and my son and I were paired up in a kayak. We were totally at cross-purposes--our mirror-image paddling cancelled each other’s out, and we did not move an inch. The rest of our party, including our guide, was half a mile away from us, and getting smaller by the second, making us paddle even more furiously. We were going nowhere, fast. (For all the splashing, windmilling and gnashing of teeth, you would think we would have been halfway to Cuba.) I kept yelling at my poor boy, “Knock it off! Go on the other side! Come on!” I don’t think we could have remained any more anchored in that spot if we had been trying. Not a shining motherhood moment, and I don’t even know if my son remembers, but I really want a do-over!
In case you were wondering, one of my sisters came to rescue us (or heaven knows, we’d probably still be there), we changed partners, and a good time was had by all.
9) What is coming up next for you book wise (i.e. next book, book signings, blog tour, etc)?
I have several new novels coming out--stay tuned! Up next: Ros...Coming this summer! You are also invited to check out:
‘Til Somebody Loves You, Romantic Comedy Quick-Pick A modern fairy-tale about a damsel in distress who can save her own day!
The Kitchen Shrink, A novel If your life’s a mess, your house can probably use a makeover, too!
Thanks so much, Raquel!
It would be my pleasure to offer 3 Amazon kindle egift books of The Scent of Jade. Readers don’t need a kindle to read, they can accept the gift via a free kindle app for their computer or smart phone!
Dee I can't thank you enough for doing this for me and for giving my readers a chance to read your amazing book. I you would like to win one of the 3 copies of The Scent Of Jade ( my review HERE) please leave a comment with your e-mail address. Since this is an ebook I will make this internation ONLY if you are able to accept Amazon kindle egift books. Giveaway ends at 11:59 P.M. on May 3,2011.
Links To Dee DeTarsio: