Monday, July 11, 2011

Scene of the Crime with Author Jennifer Stanley

This week's featured author writes books under the names J.B. Stanley, Jennifer Stanley, and Ellery Adams. I first became acquainted with her work through her Ellery Adams Books by the Bay series.

I've recently gotten my hands on a copy of the second book in that series, A Deadly Cliche, and even with all the advanced reading copies I have lined up to read, I know it won't be long before I read the next adventure of Olivia Limoges and Captain Haviland!

Jennifer Stanley
If you'd like more information on this talented writer and her books, here are some links for you:

Now let's get to the fun part-- the interview!

What was the very first book you remember reading and loving? What makes that book so special?

When I was a kid, I fell in love with E.B. White’s The Trumpet of the Swan. I’ve always loved animals and I sat down and wrote a poem about the swans. It was my first creative writing experiment and it wasn’t half bad. Rhymed and everything!

Outside of your writing and all associated commitments, what do you like to do in your free time?

I have two kids (5 and 8) so being their indentured servant takes up much of my time, but I also love to garden and I love anything to do with food. I love to shop for it, cook it, and most especially, eat it. I adore movies, going to the beach, and reading. If I had my druthers, I’d spend the morning reading in the sun with iced coffee and the evenings reading at the dinner table with a margarita. 
If I were to visit your hometown, where would you recommend that I go? (I like seeing and doing things that aren't in all the guide books.)

I’m from Centerport, NY and the only thing to do there is get out on the water in a sailboat. Across the harbor is a delightful seaside town called Northport. Have lunch, go shopping, and be invigorated by the sea breezes. 

You have total control over casting a movie based on your life. Which actor would you cast as you?

Cate Blanchett

A slightly younger Cate Blanchett because she has great depth as an actress and would make me seem more intelligent than I really am.

Who is your favorite recurring character in crime fiction?

 I have several, but I am very fond of Donna Leon’s Guido Brunetti and M.C. Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth. I love historical mysteries and am caught up in Charles Finch’s character Charles Lenox and C.S. Harris’ Sebastian St. Cyr as well.

Before your very first published mystery, what else had you written (short stories, articles, unpublished manuscripts)?

In grad school, it was my aspiration to become a poet. I had some poetry published in poetry journals, but then I set my sights on children’s books. I’ve written a few, but they were never published. I even have 2/3 of a YA book sitting in a drawer.

What did you do the first time you saw one of your books on a shelf in a bookstore? How did you celebrate when you first heard you were to be published?

I took some goofy pictures of the bookshelves and the night I heard about my first three-book deal was surreal. I drank champagne and dreamed about fame and fortune. Well, at least the champagne was good…LOL.

The latest additions to Jennifer's family

I don't know if you've seen it, but I love Parnell Hall's video about book signings. What is the most unusual experience you've had at a book signing or author event?
I kind of have a male stalker who attends my signings, grills me about getting published, and tells me all about his work in progress. He never gets the hint that I am there to sell my own books. Once, I spent thirty minutes after a signing trying to answer all of his questions, but he still shows up to every event and hounds me. Last time, I told him that I’d have to kill him if I ever saw him again. I was smiling, but I think he might have actually seen something unpleasant in my eyes.

The way some people talk, the only way to read now or in the future is with some sort of electronic device, like my husband's Nook. What is your opinion of eBooks, and how will they affect you as a published author?

I am divided on this issue. I have an ereader and adore it. I love the portability, the ability to increase font, and how quickly I can purchase a new book when I’m ready, but I worry about beautiful books with their color plates and leather covers fading into the past. Another concern is selection. If only a few corporations control our selection, will the millions of titles currently out there make it to ebook form or will they pass into oblivion? Thank goodness for libraries because I believe they will preserve the heritage of the physical book. 

Thank you so much for spending this time with us, Jennifer. May the sales of your books increase by leaps and bounds!

Coming December 2011!

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