Welcome to AUTHOR OPEN MIC!
There are many benefits of being published by a small press publisher. One of the things I am most grateful for is meeting so many talented and supportive authors. I am always amazed at the camaraderie and friendship that has blossomed from our small authors’ loop. It is always a joy when I get to highlight my fellow CMP authors and today is one of those days.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jody A. Kessler enjoys writing paranormal novels and is a member of Pikes Peak Writers. She is a yoga instructor, Reiki Master, and a graduate from the Colorado Institute of Massage Therapy. When she took an extended leave from her massage practice to stay at home with her newborn she returned to her first true passion —writing. She spends most of her time being a mother, writing, and teaching yoga, but also likes going to concerts, hiking, practicing herbal medicine, and reading anything that catches her interest. Jody lives in the mountains of Colorado with her family.
She welcomes visitors to her website www.jodyakessler.com
How did you get into writing? Was it something you were born with or did you discover your hidden talent?
Writing is something that I was born with. Although I didn’t realize it until I was in my early thirties. It was after I returned to the craft and started writing novels that everything seemed to click into place. I began to remember how much time I spent writing as a child and into my teens. It is hard to believe that I pretty much stopped writing all through my twenties. Writing is the most natural thing I have ever done and has brought a completely serendipitous feeling to my daily life.
Tell us a little about the genre/s you write. What attracted you to write about them?
I write new adult paranormal, with a little romance thrown in. Honestly, I didn’t even know that I was writing new adult until after my first manuscript was complete. My characters were more mature than the young adult (YA) genre, but they were still young and dealing with the challenges of younger people. Figuring out what they want from life, transitioning from high school to being more independent, and experiencing new relationships on a deeper level. All of this appealed to me and it’s what I like to write about. The paranormal influence happened because I have always had a deep interest in the supernatural, metaphysical, and the paranormal. And the romance is because I am a hopeless romantic and I like a happy ending.
What is the single, most important element in your writing or life as an author?
It is the complete and total freedom of expression. Writing relaxes me, but it also exhilarates me. It is infused in every part of my being.
What is the most difficult hurdle you have encountered (personal or professional)? What advice would you give other authors who face the same challenges?
Finding time to work is the largest hurdle in my writing life. I know this is a challenge for many busy people. We work multiple jobs, have families, or any other number of countless obstacles that keep us from sitting down and creating a great story. I spend most of my time taking care of my family. This is, and always will be my first priority even as I lust for one quiet hour a day to sit down and write. It doesn’t always happen. Somehow over the last few years I have managed to write two manuscripts, edit, submit queries, and finally get published. For me, I have to constantly push myself to stay committed even when I’m tired or have a laundry list of other things to do. My advice to anyone who struggles to find time is to ask yourself, how bad do you want it? I wanted to finish writing a book more than I wanted anything else. If you want something bad enough, you’ll make the time to see it through.
You have built up quite an array of books. If you can pick 2-3 favorites and tell us a little bit about each and why they stand out in your mind.
One: The dictionary. Okay, I know this is probably not what you were thinking would be at the top of my list. I should have known from this fact alone that I was born a writer. I have always owned a dictionary, or three. Even when I was eighteen and living in my first place — renting a room in my older sister’s tiny cabin, my torn up copy of Webster’s came with me. I’ve always enjoyed reading the dictionary just to learn something new. To this day I keep an enormous dictionary on the bookcase in my bedroom, even though I use the internet 99% of the time.
Two: Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. I found a collector’s leather bound version on my mother’s bookshelf when I was very young and I promptly pilfered it. I still have it. This is the first book I fell in love with. The creativity, the poetry, and the dark twisted-ness of the story instantly sang to me. It is still a favorite.
Three: Ann Rice’s vampire series. First series of books that I was obsessed with. I probably still am. Just the other night, Interview with a Vampire was on T.V. My husband made some comment about one of the actors in the film and I was instantly telling him a long narrative about the character, where he was from, and how the movie got it wrong. It’s been about twenty years since I read Interview and I still remember. Some books leave an impression, and some stay with you forever. Reading Ann Rice’s novels changed my life.
What are you cooking up next? What can readers expect?
The second book in the An Angel Falls series is already written. It is a wild ride of the paranormal with Angels of Death, demons, spiritual possession, Native American ceremonies, and bitter sweet young love. I am currently working on the third novel.
OPEN MIC FAV 5
1. Favorite hero or heroine I really don’t do hero’s or heroine’s very much, but I do like Eric Draven from The Crow, and I love Jamie Fraser from the Outlander series.
2. Favorite author Currently (and for about the last seven years) Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series.
3. Favorite music to write by Indie Alternative, latest faves are The Twilight Sad, Sigur Ros, The National, and Beach House. I love music, maybe even more than books.
4. Favorite inspiration Nature. I always feel better after spending some time outdoors. When I am centered and grounded the writing comes with ease.
5. Most memorable writing moment There have been many memorable moments for me but receiving the first offer for a contract from a publisher tops the list! How could it not?
Thank you for having me over!
BOOK REVEAL & EXCERPT
Saving the life of someone you love should not be the worst thing you have ever done, unless you are an Angel of Death.
Disgruntled with his position in the afterlife and conflicted by his feelings toward his new client, Nathaniel Evans forgoes the rules and saves nineteen year old Juliana Crowson from being hopelessly stuck in Forge Creek. This alters Juliana’s destiny and she finds herself in a series of near death accidents.
In the mountains of Colorado, Nathaniel comforts Juliana as she struggles to understand her paranormal abilities while coping with her brother’s drug addiction. When an ill-tempered Native American Shaman teaches her the difference between ghosts and place memories, she decides she wants nothing to do with the supernatural world. Too bad she doesn’t know that Nathaniel is part of it.
Will fate bring these two together, or has Nathaniel made the biggest mistake of his afterlife?
REVIEWS: WHAT ARE READERS SAYING?
“This story was very well paced. The characters were engaging, showed depth, character growth, and a lot of emotions. The conflict was well written, had some good plot twists, and a good amount of information to fill in any questions you might have about the Native American mythology and beliefs. I really, really enjoyed this first book by Jody A. Kessler. Personally I’d suggest it for anyone that’s a fan of Amy Plum’s Revenant series or Kelley Armstrong’s Darkness Rising series. I’m anxiously awaiting the next book in the series!” Paranormal Reads
“The author has managed to write a story which pulls the reader in very quickly. There are so many different elements within its pages but they all work well together. I couldn’t wait to see how she would pull it off, or if these 2 two were destined to forever be apart. The ending will surprise some, but it is perfect in my opinion. I look forward to seeing what comes next from this author.” F.W. at I heart Books
“Death Lies Between Us is a fascinating paranormal romance that has twists and turns that can’t be predicted. I was on the edge of my seat, flipping pages furiously through most of the book. Jody A. Kessler has created the beginning of a series that keeps you wanting more. The story is tightly woven and flows beautifully from beginning to end. The supporting characters are just as well written as the main characters. There are those you love, those you hate, and some you just can’t quite wrap your head around. This is definitely an author, and a series, to keep your eyes on!” My Book Addiction
Book and purchase information:
Excerpt DEATH LIES BETWEEN US, by Jody Kessler
“Juliana?” I don’t respond. I can’t face anyone.
“Can I sit with you?”
I hug my knees into my chest with my face buried in my folded arms. I mumble into the pit of my lap. “Are you here to end my misery?”
It’s an odd answer but then again so was the question. “Then, please leave.”
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have come, but neither can I go.”
I turn my face, taking in the crisp air and digest his unusual answers. There are so many things that have happened tonight that don’t make any sense. Why would one more confusing sentiment make any difference?
Loneliness wraps around me, holding me in a cool embrace. I break its grip by saying, “It goes on the list, you know?” I speak into the dark. No movement or sound gives away his location but I can feel him close by. The low thumping of Blue Nouveau’s drums is the only sound breaking the stillness of the forest.
The caress of his voice brushes my ear. “Which list are you referring to?”
“Our list — things that are inexplicable.”
“Which deficiency of mankind are we adding tonight?”
“Lying to someone you love.” My voice is flat but the tear leaking from my eye gives away my true feelings.
“We can put that one on the top of the list,” he says.
A gentle hand surprises me as it wraps gently around my swollen ankle and finds a comfortable hold. The warmth penetrates through the sore muscles like a mild current of electricity.
To find out more about Jody and her work, please pay her a visit at any one of the following online hot spots:
COPY OF DEATH LIES BETWEEN US
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Thank you to all who participated. Jody’s book sounds fabulous and is on the top of my list to read!!