I want to welcome J. Hughey and her new release Eruption. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.
Thanks, Barbara, for the opportunity to visit with you today. I’m an author of five historical romances who is branching out into contemporary fiction. My day-to-day life is pretty normal, with my husband and two teenaged boys and a day job. Right now we’re busy with high school football.
Tell us about your latest release.
Eruption: Yellowblown™ Book One is being released today, September 13!
The perfect semester for Violet Perch starts with an awesome roomie and a freshman crush intent on becoming a sophomore reality. Yay! With everything going right, it only makes sense for the Yellowstone caldera to erupt for the first time in 630,000 years.
Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.
1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?
The Sheriff of Nottingham as played by Alan Rickman in the 1991 movie “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” comes to mind first. He was horrible, funny, and understandable in a sick way. Also, more recent would be Andrew Scott as Moriarty on the BBC series “Sherlock.” His performance of that character is downright creepy.
2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?
This is an impossible question, like picking your favorite child. Right now I’m in love with my Yellowblown™ hero, Boone Ramer. He’s a Nebraska cattle rancher, super nice, level headed, All-American guy. He wears plaid shirts and doesn’t swear (much) and holds the door for girls. Sounds like a total nerd but so, so not. Violet and her roommate refer to him as Hotness!
3.) What do genre do you write? What made you pick that one?
Right now I’m writing New Adult contemporary romance. In case you haven’t heard of the New Adult genre, it fits in the gap between young adult and adult, and generally deals with coming of age themes. Often racier than would be appropriate for a young adult read because the lead characters are in their late teens and early twenties. I also have my historical romances titles available, written under the name Jill Hughey. There will be a new novella coming out in a Love Historicals anthology this fall.
4.) What are you working on now?
I’m working on book two of the Yellowblown™ series. The title is Rhyolite Drifts, and it follows Violet and her family through some difficult challenges and heartbreaks caused by the Yellowstone eruptions, while she deals with the interrupted romance with Boone.
5.) What got you to start writing?
My first book started in my head with a very distinct scene between the hero and heroine. Those two would not quit, and I found it relaxing to escape into their world. When I had a pile of scenes trapped in my head, replaying over and over, I decided I needed to get them out, and I did. That’s how it started. The most odd thing is the original scene didn’t survive into the final manuscript. Such are the cruelties of editing!
6.) Where do you get your ideas from?
The story idea for the Yellowblown™ series in particular built really slowly for me. Originally, I was probably thinking about how my family would survive an eruption. (And why would a sane person be thinking about that? Because I majored in geology in college, and the Yellowstone/Wydaho region is my absolutely favorite place in the world, so I think about this stuff.) Anyway, originally the scenario used a family like mine, but I don’t personally enjoy reading stories about middle-aged people muddling along with their teenagers so I certainly didn’t want to devote a lot of time to writing something like that. Instead, I created a young heroine whose world should be expanding into adulthood yet begins to retract.
7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?
I’m sort of a conservative person. Letting my mom read my first book—with sex scenes—was really hard for me.
8.) Do you have any special talents?
My most unusual talent is singing. I started taking voice lessons about eight years ago and discovered I have an honest-to-God respectable soprano voice. I’ve tackled some difficult classical pieces and shock the heck out of people who know me only as a middle-aged mom when I open my mouth to sing.
9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?
Write the next book. Like most authors, I don’t have the luxury to pursue this career full time, so I have to be careful to protect writing time, and sprinkle in promoting and hanging out on Facebook as little as possible.
10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?
I’m not particularly religious, but I think I’d like to meet Jesus, or his mother Mary, mainly because I want to ask what parts of his life story actually happened the way portrayed in The Bible.
11.) What song would you say describes your life?
This will sound sappy, but I pick “The Sound of Music”—the song, not the entire musical. “I go to the hills when my heart is lonely. I know I will hear what I’ve heard before. My heart will be blessed with the sound of music, and I’ll sing once more.” Those words are sung by a character who knows herself, knows she has to recharge her batteries, and tries to do her best to share her gifts with the world. I’m sort of an introvert, so I think that describes how I approach my life.
12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?
I would be a sloth. They are so placid, I have no idea how they have survived. I recently saw a video where one was trying to cross a busy road. A man picked it up by its back and it just spread its legs out, sort of like a baby’s startle reflex in super slow motion. No aggression whatsoever. Nothing done in a hurry. I want to come back as something or someone really relaxed.
I saw him holding Hoag Hall’s front door open for some girls who’d dressed for success the first day of class. My armpits got really sweaty, like they did every time I’d thought about him this summer, which had been pretty often.
Pathetic, since I’d intended to forget him after realizing his words in February had been kindness, not truth.
Six months of rejection didn’t stop me from smoothing my hands down the legs of my shorts when Boone, irresistible as always in a dark green T-shirt with a little V at the neck and faded plaid shorts, walked in the classroom carrying a stack of stapled papers. My first syllabus of the year, no doubt. Why geology, why, why, why, with him as TA and Mom’s college degree in it? And why did I sit in the second row like a geek? No one sat in the front row so I was a total, total geek.
With his papers delivered to the lecturer’s table up front, he walked directly to me, as if he’d known I was there. Like, maybe, he’d been watching for me like I’d been for him. My face felt hot as I sat up in my seat.
“Hi Violet,” he said with the awesome smile that showed off his blunt jaw.
“Hey,” I managed.
“How was your summer?”
“It sucked,” I blurted.
He laughed, and I thought I heard some chick behind me sigh at the throaty sound.
“Whoa,” he said. “There must be a story there.”
“Not much of one. My mom. Remind me to never spend another summer at home,” I said, quickly rediscovering the easy banter that always made me want to spend more time with him.
“Maybe I’ll do that.” His eyes flicked down the front of my sleeveless floral blouse, feminine and flowy over the form-fitting tank top beneath it. His glance wasn’t sex-predator freaky, but appreciative, like a guy checking out a girl he wanted to know better.
Dr. Potter cleared his throat. “Duty calls,” Boone said, turning away.
“Doesn’t it always?”
He stopped mid-stride to look over his shoulder at me, mouth lifted in a half smile. I’d struck the mark with my little barb, and I lifted my eyebrows to acknowledge the hit.
When Boone handed out the syllabuses or syllabi—or whatever the plural form was—he made a point to give me the bottom one.
A Western Case Copperheads football sticky note fluttered on it. Blocky handwriting, from a pen about to run out of ink said, “Pregame party on Saturday? Text me.” And his cell number.
I tried to act like senior guys I’d been crushing on asked me out every day, while inside, July 4th fireworks zinged through me until my fingers went numb. With my best “whatever” expression, I fumbled to move the sticky from the first page to the fourth page of the syllabus (four pages!).
I hardly heard a word the prof said.
Eruption is available at the special price of 99 cents for a short time. Grab your copy now, before it goes up to $2.99. http://www.amazon.com/Eruption-YellowblownTM-Book-J-Hughey-ebook/dp/B00MRHAIRO
Where to find J. Hughey
Newsletter Subscribe: http://www.jillhughey.com/contact
Thank you so much for welcoming me here today, Barbara