Thursday, December 10, 2009

Something to Believe In: Jessica Barksdale Inclan!!

Whoa-Ho-Ho!! Who wouldn't like a piece of that beefcake for Christmas?! If Santa looked like that, he'd have more than cookies waiting for him, if you know what I mean!

Wipe the drool off your keyboards and help me welcome Jessica Barksdale Incan to the Lovestruck Novice.

I had the pleasure of meeting Jessica when she spoke at Yosemite Romance Writers this fall. She gave an awesome talk on "Keeping Your Story Moving." It was just what this newbie needed to hear and I knew her tips would be a perfect fit here at TLN!

So, grab a mug of something hot and if it's spiked, we won't tell. Just get comfy and enjoy!

Ho-Ho-Ho, here we go . . .

1) If you were a book, what would your blurb be?

Jumping from one damn fine mess to another, Jessica Barksdale Inclan finds new ways to cause trouble and have fun at the same time.

2) Using three words, describe your voice.

Funny, romantic, true.

3) What's the best writing/career advice you've ever received?

Write 300 words a day, and in a year, you have a novel. Anne Lamott said this to me and to the rest of a class I was in, and it it's true even on just a basic math level! This advice also just takes the stress off. I read interviews where authors say there are in their offices 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, and I think that scares some budding novelists right out of not writing!

4) Do you have any tips for an aspiring writer on querying agents or publishers?

I think it is easier to query now, but it is also easier for agents to ignore queries as we are all about the equery. I think that having some type of publication or writing credit--a blog, a short story win, anything--can really move you from ignore to "okay I'll read this one" stage. You have to do some work just to get a line, a credit or two, that makes an agent notice you.

5) What's the one thing you know now that would have been beneficial back in your good old newbie days?

When I was new, this publicity thing was much harder than it is now. There was no myspace or facebook or But what I would tell myself at just the right moment is to jump on that ebandwagon and don't jump off. I think that being out there in the world is the best thing to do, but now we are all of us out there. I think we are waiting for the next best publicity thing to come along.

6) What can Jessica Inclan fan's look forward to in 2010?

I love the notion of "Jessica Inclan fans"! Well, 2010 is a growing year. I'm working on revising a YA novel that is just about to make the publishing rounds. I'm also finishing up a contemporary novel, so i think I have to say 2011 will be the year to find my new work. I will keep everyone posted on my web site. However, why not start with my backlist! :) that should hold you until 2011.

Here's sampler from Jessica's Sept 2009 release, BELIEVE IN ME.

Sayblee Safipour appeared out of swirling gray matter and blinked into the warm, dark glow of a living room that smelled like coconut, pineapple, and a soft ocean breeze. She breathed in something spicy, sweet, the scent of desire floating in the air. As her eyes adjusted to the light that pulsed with yellow heat, she pushed away her hood and flicked her long blond hair behind her shoulders. A slight, warm breeze moved in through the open windows, the sounds of night bugs and frogs a buzzing song coming from the wet foliage outside. She unbuttoned her robe and took it off, letting it drop into a pool of blue velvet softness on the couch, and smoothed out her blouse and skirt, until she realized that neither were at all wrinkled from her journey from London, matter an unbroken flow of energy tonight.

Traveling through matter wasn’t usually hard, though sometimes waves of energy made things a bit bumpy, space bunching up in rough, uneven pockets, sometimes due to someone’s bad magic or simply mischief, the gray like a roller coaster rather than a brisk walk on a flat escalator. However, what would have made this journey difficult, though, was her reluctance to arrive at Hilo at all.

Sayblee rubbed her forehead. She didn’t even need to look around the room to know what she would find. But she couldn’t resist. She took her hand away from her head and looked around. Yes, it was predictable. Pathetic, even. Basically male. Basically him. Look at this place! she thought to herself, gazing first at the creamy beige couch with the pink lace bra dangling on one arm. She looked around on the thick white carpet sure she’d find a tiny matching thong somewhere, but there were no other undergarments to be found. Probably, Sayblee thought, the woman didn’t even wear any, knowing what Felix was like and not wanting to impede his progress. And clearly, Felix had made progress. On the bleached wood coffee table were two crystal drink glasses, a quarter inch of pale yellow liquid still in each.

His damn concoction, she thought. Couldn’t even wait to finish his drink before pushing the poor woman into the bedroom.

Soft music that he undoubtedly thought would sooth the jumbled nerves of his date filled the room, a tremble of light guitar riffs, flute solos, and some kind of indigenous instruments. A didgeridoo? A rainstick? Sayblee thought, shutting off the annoying sounds with a flick of her mind. The stereo lights blinked and the room fell silent.

An unbuttoned white linen shirt lay on the floor by the hallway. As she stared at it, she heard a soft giggle float under the bedroom door and then a smooth, seductive laugh followed it, the sound that somehow reminded her of caramel.

Pig, she thought. No, that’s too harsh. Dog. Goat, maybe. No a goat is too cute. Skunk then. Or just pig.

Sayblee walked to the bookcase, picked up photo frames full of happy people she knew well, his brothers and sisters-in-law, his mother Zosime. She stared into their eyes, and soon, she felt the impressions of their warm feelings for him as she held the images in her hands. Funny guy, she heard, or really pulled into her mind as she moved her fingers over the photos. Why doesn’t he settle down? So handsome. All he needs is a good woman. If he wasn’t so adorable, I’d kill him. Can he ever be serious? What a charmer. Those eyes would do anyone in. That smile!

Sayblee’s shoulders dropped. She breathed in and took her hands away from his photos.

When she accepted this mission, she agreed to work with him, and work with Felix Valasay she would, even if it killed her. But it was hard to deal with someone who could live like this, who probably did a seduction scene like this every night of the week in this so-called post. Who could he possibly find here—in Hilo, Hawaii—that would lead any member of Les Croyant des Trois to Quain Dalzeil, the sorcier who was determined to destroy the Croyant way of life? The sorcier who had managed in recent years to affect all of Croyant life, creating fear, enchanting the best and brightest, leaving people to live in fear. Sure Felix managed to come to the aid of people needing him now and again. He’d been there with her just a year ago when a group of Croyant had fought Quain and Kallisto in the English countryside. But the Big Island? This house that smelled like tacky perfume and was filled with enough sexual energy to make the very floor vibrate?

Sayblee shook her head and turned toward the hallway. Why did Adalbert Baird, the Armiger of the Croyant Council, insist that Sayblee was the only sorcière who could go on this mission? So what that she had her particular skill of being able to burn anything she wanted: steel, concrete, quartz, titanium. But from what Adalbert said, there would be no magic for a while as they blended in with the Moyenne, setting up the trap so slowly and ordinarily they would attract no attention from Quain or his followers. Her special powers weren’t needed at all, or at least until the very end of the mission. So why did she have to end up with this particular sorcier?

Nothin' like a good lookin' hero with a naughty side!! Wah-hoo!

Thank you, Jessica, for giving the gift of your time and wisdom to us newbies! And a big ole THANK YOU goes out to all the TLN'ers for keepin' it real. (Dig on some that old school stuff, baby! lol) For more info on Jessica Barksdale Inclan, click on over to these links.

To help get you in the mood for the festivities to come, here's my favorite ditty: HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS sung by BURL IVES. Bundle up and stay warm- you're not going to want to miss next week's author!!


Emma Lai said...

An interview full of excellent advice, ladies! Great excerpt, Jessica.

susan said...

Morning, what a wonderful excerpt and I enjoyed the interview and want to say thanks for answering the questions and allowing us some of you time. Merry Christmas susan L.

Carol North said...

Hi Sarah and Jessica:
Thanks for the informative interview. Enjoyed the excerpt. The writing is very descriptive--my favorite type of writing.

You inspired me. Got to go and write 300+ words today.

Jessica Barksdale Inclan said...

Hi, All--

Thank you for dropping by and reading. And yes, Carol, Anne was right. Those 300 words a day DO add up.



Margaret Tanner said...

Good morning Sarah and Jessica,
Great interview, very sound advice.
Loved the excerpt.

Jessica Barksdale Inclan said...

Thank you, Margaret!