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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Blog Tour: Interview and Giveaway with Reena Jacobs

I Loved You First by Reena Jacobs

Book Description:"Alexandria (Alex) Carmichael guards two secrets close to her heart. One—she’s in love with her best friend, Seth. Two—he’s gay.

As a freshman in college, Alex looks forward to fun times with her best friend. When Seth decides cycling through girlfriends is the way to fit in with the straight crowd, Alex must make a choice: watch Seth give his affections to another while her heart breaks or come clean with her feelings and risk losing his friendship forever.

I Loved You First is a new adult love story told through the eyes of an African-American/Caucasian student who takes a journey of self-discovery while watching her best friend come to terms with his sexuality. Turn the pages and find a message of hope, new beginnings, and positive change."

About the Author:

Reena Jacobs is just your typical writer who loves to see her words in print. As an avid reader, she’s known to hoard books and begs her husband regularly for “just one more purchase.” Her home life is filled with days chasing her preschooler and nights harassing her husband. Between it all, she squeezes in time for writing and growling at the dog.

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Interview with Reena Jacobs

Reena Jacobs is author of the novel Shadow Cat and the novella I Loved You First and three other works.

HP: Reena, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Reena Jacobs: When my world is falling apart, I get a haircut. And I don’t mean a trim. I mean, I come out of the beauty shop with my hair about an inch long… maybe. I get to a point where I just can’t take another stress in my life—fixing my hair being one of them. So it’s the first to go. There’s just something liberating about getting rid of all my hair. It’s like saying, “screw you, world! I can do whatever I want.” It’s been about four years since my last crazed haircut. Let’s see if my spirals will outlast this blog tour. :)

HP: How did you start writing?

Reena Jacobs: On a whim, really. One summer day in 2008, I decided it’d be a great idea to write a novel and got to work. It took two and a half months to write. Of course, those two and a half months were spread out over the course of a year or so.

HP: Do you think any authors influenced your writing?

Reena Jacobs: I’m not sure influenced would be the word I’d used. However, reading the works of authors does motivate me. Reading really gets my muse pumped.

HP: How do your family/friends feel toward your writing?

Reena Jacobs: I’m actually not the greatest at making friends. The closest people in my life have always been family – my mother, husband, daughters, father. I share my hopes and dreams with them. My mom and dad were surprised, but supportive. My husband and daughters live with me, so anything I do is typical me. The only family member who wasn’t so supportive was/is my brother. And he’s rather… different.

HP: Can you tell us a little bit about your novella I Loved You First? What inspired this story and your characters?

Reena Jacobs: I remember when the story sprung into an idea. I was sitting in bed writing Shadow Cat and got distracted by the Sims 2 (I’m easily distracted, by the way). College Rock was playing, and I was mumbling along. How I wished those were real songs instead of mumbo jumbo Simeoleon, no one understood. So I looked them up and found out they were based off real songs! Rockin’. I listened to the English versions and read the lyrics. Next thing I knew, I had a story developed and outlined. That was about two years ago. Earlier this year, the muse wouldn’t leave me alone, so I finally gave in and wrote I Loved You First.

HP: Is there a lesson or something you would like readers to get from your novella?

Reena Jacobs: Yes. I think about all the girls (young women) out there who feel they have to yield… give up their identity to be accepted. It worries me. I wrote I Loved You First with those girls in mind. I would hope teens read this work and understand they don’t need another person to complete them.

HP: How do you get a novel or novella wrote, does the plot or the characters come first?

Reena Jacobs: I usually develop the plot and characters about the same time. Ideas for me usually start with a single scene, which I’ll type out. When I’m ready, I’ll prepare by creating an outline and character profile(s) for the protagonist(s) then get to writing. Doesn’t really matter which comes first as long as I have them at hand as guidelines.

HP: What was the hardest part about writing I Loved You First or any of your novels for that matter?

Reena Jacobs: Letting go. As I mentioned, I use an outline, but sometimes the plot points don’t always fit well. My mind will rebel, and I get something like writer’s block. Once I realize the reason the muse has refused her favors (the particular piece of the outline doesn’t belong in the story), I skip the scene. I don’t always come to the realization right away, so sometimes I can lose a day or two begging the muse for a wee bit of inspiration.

HP: Can you tell us a little bit about your other works, Shadow Cat, One Wish, etc?

Reena Jacobs: Shadow Cat, my debut novel, and is about a pharmaceutical CEO (Eric) who goes to Malaysia for a bit of business and pleasure. While there, he encounters a woman (Berani) who turns out to be a wehr-tiger. It gets a little steamy in the jungle, so remember to keep a fan by your side.

One Wish is a flash fiction piece (3-400 words) which I wrote for no real reason other than to write. It’s available as a free download at most online bookstores.

I’ll mention one other piece, also a flash fiction (around 1k words). Circulatory System. It’s also available as a free download, but I’m in the process of writing other pieces to join it in a flash fiction collection. I’m really looking forward to this release (whenever that may be).

HP: Where can we purchase I Loved You First?

Reena Jacobs: I Loved You First is available at Barnes & Nobles, Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon DE, Smashwords, CreateSpace (Print), and slowly but surely populating at other online retailers.

HP: Are you working on anything at the moment maybe another book or novella?

Reena Jacobs: Always! As I mentioned, I’m hooked on the flash fiction project which I’ve tentatively named Injustice Is Served. I’m also working on a couple of sequels. Chasing Shadows which is book two of the Striped Ones series and Regina’s Story which is the follow up to Control Freak: Brandon’s Story.

HP: Are there any up coming authors/novels that have sparked your attention? If so, who and why?

Reena Jacobs: I have my eye on two authors who had debut releases this year. Cynthia Hand, author of Unearthly and Veronica Roth, author of Divergent. Both stories were wonderful reads. Unearthly was the first angel story I’d read. I was rather fond of some her side characters. I’m hoping to learn more about them in Hallowed. Divergent reminded me a bit of The Hunger Games. Not a life and death situation, but the outcomes could end a way of life for some of the kids. With all the secrets revealed toward the end of Divergent, I look forward to reading the aftermath.

HP: Do you have anything you would like to say to readers?

Reena Jacobs: Thank you for taking a chance on me. With hundreds of thousands of books available, it gives me the warm fuzzies to think you chose one of my works.

HP: At the end of the day when all is said and done, would you change anything about your novella, I Loved You First?

Reena Jacobs: I remember after I released Shadow Cat, thinking of all the things I wish I had done instead. At times, I still think about going back and revamping it. I might do that down the line. As an indie author, I have the option at any time.

But when it comes to I Loved You First, I have no regrets… no I should have thoughts. It the story I wanted to tell with no extra fluff.

HP: Thanks for being here and sharing with us Reena!!


Reena Jacobs has offered to giveaway a keychain S.W.A.G pack to one (1) winner!!


Giveaway Details:
  • Giveaway is open to US & Canada & International!
  • Giveaway will run from August 23rd 2011 - August 29th 2011
  • The winner will be chosen randomly on August 30th 2011.
  • The winner will have 48 hours to contact back before another winner will be chosen.
  • One entry per-person please; duplicates or more than one entry by the same person will be deleted.
  • If you enter, you are acknowledging that you read and accept the giveaway/contest policy.
  • Giveaway is provided by the author.
To Enter:
  • Leave a name and email address to contact you if you win in the comment section below
leave a comment, then head over to Reena's blog for a chance to win a signed copy of 
I Loved You First.
follow the tour stops HERE 


5 comments:

  1. Thank you for taking the time to share with us today and for the fun giveaway opportunity. I will be looking up Shadow Cat and love the idea of putting together a book of flash fiction. I sometimes have a hard time reading these, what I call shorts, and I am looking forward to you changing my mind :)

    dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks so much for the chance!

    natcleary(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I thought I was the only one who would chop my hair off when my world was topsy turvy and I felt the need for a change. My work buddies laugh because when I tell them I am going to get a haircut--I mean a complete change. My hair will probably be a different color and definitely a different style when I leave. And definitely a lot shorter (I have gone all the way to a pixie). :)

    Shanan
    http://www.thebookaddictnet.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Denise Z I only recently got into flash fiction last year. Had never heard of it before and was surprised at how popular it was with some groups.

    @Shanan, The Book Addict I love waiting until after they make the first snip then shouting out, "wait!" That usually gives them a nice jolt, and me a nice laugh. :)

    Good luck in the giveaway, everyone! :)

    Also an opportunity for anyone who comments here to win a signed copy following the shout out link above and entering.

    ReplyDelete

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