February 19, 2014

interview and excerpt with jl redington

Blogger's Note: Today, I'm pleased to welcome JL Redington to the blog as part of her Chick Lit Plus blog tour for her novel, The Lives That Save Us. Enjoy this interview with the author and excerpt of the novel.

Change the Word: How did you come up with the idea for this story?
JL Redington: It started with wanting to do a mystery involving the FBI. I wasn’t sure of a story line, wasn’t sure how it would all come together or if it would until my fingers hit the keyboard and then the movie started. I just followed along as best I could!

CTW: Who is your favorite character in this book and why?
JR: It’s hard to pick a favorite, but it would probably be Cayman. He’s confident enough to keep trying with Alexa, deal with her neurosis from the losses she’s experienced and stay focused on her good qualities.

CTW: What most surprised you while writing this story?
JR: How connected I got with the characters. It was hard to see it end, and really hard to move on to the next story. It surprised me more than anything how that connection formed and stayed with me. Surprises me on each book I write.

CTW: Where do you find motivation and inspiration for writing?
JR: It all comes from somewhere in my head. There is a piece of a story that starts and won’t go away, then another piece pops in there until the movie is off and running. I guess when that process stops I’ll stop writing. I hope it never does!

CTW: How do you get yourself in the mood to write?
JR: I wake up in the morning and I know this is my fulltime job. So I get ready for the day, eat breakfast and head to the office and my trusty computer. I must always be in the mood to write because I’ve never noticed it ‘hit’ me that it’s time to write. It’s just what I do, and so I go do it, if that makes sense.

CTW: What snacks/treats/drinks/do you need on hand when you’re writing?
JR: I always have a bottle of water (flavored with Propel – mostly grape), I may have a very small snack sized bowl of mixed nuts that I’ll chew on, but mostly I’m staring at the screen and often forget to eat, so I have to put a reminder in my phone that it’s time to eat. I treat myself to a Diet Caffeine Free Pepsi every once in a while…

CTW: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
JR: My mom told me when I was engaged to be married to always make my bed the first thing in the morning, before I do anything else. She said that way, if I don’t get anything else done all day, I can at least look at my bed and say, “I got that much done!” She was absolutely right.  I make my bed every morning, and sometimes when I come up the stairs feeling like I’m just not being productive, I gaze into my room to that nicely made bed and know that I’m productive.  Sounds silly, but I’ve had more ideas for writing pop into my head when I see that tidy bed then from any other source. Just have to say, “Thanks, Mom!”

CTW: How much of yourself or your life do you put into your characters or story?
JR: I put a lot of what I would like to be in my female characters. Their strengths are sometimes what I feel my weaknesses are. Nothing from my personal life makes up any of the stories, but sometimes I will use a funny story from one of my kids youth or adulthood for comic relief in a book, usually something they did that cracked me up.

CTW: If you could only read three books for the rest of your life, what would you choose and why?
JR: The Scriptures, #3 in the Mistborn series, and hmmm….one Agatha Christy mystery, but that’s going to take some thought as to which one.

CTW: What’s up next for you and your writing career?
JR: I’m currently working on a second Romantic Suspense series called “Passions in the Park”.  The first one, Love Me Anyway is out and I’m about a third of the way through the second one, Cherish Me Always. I would like to take some time to get another YA book out in my Esme Chronicles as well. Next year? Writing, writing, writing. I love my job!

CTW: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
JR: For those youngsters who dream of writing books I say read, read, read. I found a whole new life, a new world in every book I read growing up. I often think all those stories combined in my psyche and now shoot out those movies that I type up and turn into stories. So read on!

“Don’t play those games with me, young lady,” said Keith, “I’ve been around too long, and don’t have that much time left that I would enjoy the game now.  You liked him, and you know it.”

Alexa dropped dejectedly down in the seat across from Keith.

“Did I really blow it?  I can’t fall for anyone again, Keith.  I really can’t.”

Keith chuckled and looked down at his empty coffee cup.

“How old are you?  Twenty-six?  Twenty-eight max?  Don’t you think that’s kind of a long time to be alone?  You may have to do that ‘kissing-the-frogs’ thing for a while, but you don’t have to sleep with every frog you kiss, and you don’t have to expect every one of them to turn into a prince.  But you could at least enjoy yourself along the way.  I need some coffee.”

Alexa sighed and reached across the table to pour the steaming coffee into his cup.

“I can’t, Keith.  I mean it; and I don’t want to.  I don’t want to deal with another human being in my life.”

“Yes, you do.” He said with determination.

“How do you--How could you even remotely know that?”

Keith looked at her across the table.  He picked up his coffee cup and took a slow sip, then put the cup back down on the table and stared into the dark liquid.

“I know that because there isn’t a human being on the face of this earth that doesn’t need to be loved.”  He looked into her eyes.  “You’re not betraying the memory of your father, nor are you giving in to a life you swore you’d never want.  Be human Alexa; live again.  Square your shoulders, take a deep breath and give it a go.  It’s a ride you can stop at any time.”

About the Book
Alexa is beautiful, smart and alone in the world, a result of devastating losses in her life. She purchased a diner in the quiet out of the way town of Startup, Washington and hired employees to help run it. She’s just beginning to feel secure in her loneliness.

Suddenly her world is jolted awake by Cayman, a handsome young stranger that enters her diner seemingly from nowhere. Event’s happen quickly, and soon Alexa is deep into secret lives, deception and desire.

Will she figure out the riddle of her father’s death? Will she be able to resist the temptation to fall in love with Cayman in spite of her suspicions? Will she live to tell the tale?

About the Author
JL Redington lives Juneau, Alaska,  with her husband Terry and puppy, Shelby. Together they are the parents of six grown children and 19 grandchildren. She loves to read, camp, cook and be with her friends and family. In writing this romance series, JL has found a new love in her life, and that is writing books. JL has always felt books are a way to take us out of the everyday and into a place we can relax, be entertained and enjoy a different world for a period of time. Happy reading!

Connect with JL

Buy the Book
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