27 December 2010

Inside the Author's Studio with Jeannie Lin w/ Book Giveaway


This week's Inside the Author's Studio features Jeannie Lin!

Jeannie Lin started writing in 2005 while she was teaching high school. After a long journey through rejections and contests and revisions, her manuscript, Butterfly Swords, won the 2009 Golden Heart® award for historical romance. Harlequin® Mills & Boon has bought the manuscript and she is thrilled that a major publisher is willing to take a chance on such an unusual setting! She has completed three full-length manuscripts and several shorter works set in the dramatic Tang Dynasty.

She serves as vice-president of her local RWA chapter in St. Louis, MORWA. Her principle online writing community is Romance Divas and she recommends that any writer looking for like-minded individuals come and take a look.

As of May 2009, Jeannie is represented by Gail Fortune of the Talbot Fortune Agency Inc.

Her stories are inspired by her love of adventure, history, and fantasy in both western and Asian traditions. From an early age she was fascinated by legends of King Arthur and the fantasy of Lord of the Rings as well as the Chinese wuxia (martial arts) fiction. As a result, she writes heroic characters in epic situations while interweaving a strong romance to make larger than life characters human. For more on wuxia and the historical background to her books, see the extras section.

Describe yourself in one sentence?

Small, but fierce!

What are the one record, book, and food, you'd take to a desert island?
ABBA Gold, Gone with the Wind, and macaroni & cheese (the box stuff)

I went with all the comfort items. I can listen to ABBA Gold over and over, I've already read Gone with the Wind several times and it holds up, and mac and cheese from the box with that weird cheese product pouch is still pretty darn good! All you have to do is boil water.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I wanted to be a Disney Imagineer at one point. I love detail work and I always loved how in all the rides they paid attention to so many little details. I also wanted to be a teacher and a writer. Hey, two out of three! Disney, here I come...

Which book do you wish you'd written?
This changes every time someone asks. I've said Kite Runner in the past, but right now I'd have to say The Time Traveler's Wife. I keep on thinking of that book and the fractured, yet all-encompassing nature of Henry and Claire's love story. It's written in a way that will stay with me forever.

What makes you happy?
I love the little things. I really do. Like when you order a latte somewhere and they put a little cookie on your plate that you didn't expect. And pictures of kittens. I'm really too easy that way.

What makes you angry?
The television news. It just all feels one-sided, nit-picky and inflammatory on purpose nowadays. Blowing up small issues to fill a 24 hour news cycle.

Name five people who you'd like to invite to a dinner party?
Totally off the top of my head here: The Dalai Lama, Harrison Ford, Lisa See, Ang Lee, and Joss Whedon. I'll make mac and cheese!

What's the scariest thing you've ever done?
I started a charter school in Los Angeles with eight of my teacher buddies--all of them absolute badasses. Imagine starting something like that from square one. Every decision is yours to make, every mistake is still waiting to happen. There were so many times when I looked at the students and parents who trusted us and thought, oh my gosh, they gave us a whole school. And now we have to make it work.

What inspired you to start writing?
My mom planted the seed in my head very early on. She'd wanted to be a writer in Vietnam. Her dream was to teach school and write during the summers. That all changed when she fled the country. At one point when I was in getting a master's degree in education and my sister was getting an MFA in creative writing, I looked at Sis and said, "Hey, between the two of us, we're living out mum's dream."

Where would you most like to live?
I wouldn't mind finding a quiet place in Southern California. It's 80 degrees there right now! (Shhh....don't tell my husband)

What is your favorite curse word?
Son-of-a-bitch (used as one word)

Who is your favorite man candy?
Hubby...who I think looks a bit like Daniel Craig. :D

And of course Han...I mean Harrison is always high on the list.

Sum up your latest release in no more than twelve words!
Butterfly Swords: Sword fights, love scenes, more sword fights. Happy ending!

Everyone stop on by to leave a comment for Jeannie. Jeannie is offering up a copy of Butterfly Swords to a lucky commentor! Contest runs until midnight Sunday, EST. Good Luck!

13 people posted their 2 cents:

Anonymous said...

Not entering, oh my bad move banning myself from reading ebooks before I have a reader :(

Anyyyway, I was wondering if Jeannie spent a lot of time reseaching for this book?

(Hm trying to post, but it doesn't like my profiles)

Lynette said...

Then your in luck because this isn't an E-book. LOL!

Melanie said...

Great interview Lynette and Jeannie! I think I'd invite Joss Whedon to a dinner party too. :)


JenM said...

Wow, I'm really impressed that Jeannie and her teacher friends started a charter school. That's an incredible achievement. I've heard a lot about Butterfly Swords and I'd love to win a copy.

jen at delux dot com

blodeuedd said...

Oh now you tease, and now I want it :)...is it international too?
Just gonna leave my email here hihi
blodeuedd1 at gmail dot com

*stares a bit at harrison Ford*
Such a sexy old guy

(and yes another profile again, oh explorer, you confuse me)

Jeannie Lin said...

Hi Lynette and everyone!
I didn't realize this was up yesterday. Thanks for having me and everyone for commenting.

Blodeuedd - The contest is indeed open to international readers.
As to research, it seems like I'm constantly researching the Tang Dynasty as well as Chinese culture and history in general. I researched during every revision of Butterfly Swords, each time finding more and more information. Some readers have complained that they wanted more history, but I always smile because every single page has "history" in it. For example, when Ai Li takes a bath, she uses a soapbean cake. I had to research what the Chinese used to bathe and found they had a natural source of soap in the soapbean tree. Every tree is researched, the architecture of the houses, all the locations. I still research constantly and I do quite enjoy it :)

Jeannie Lin said...

Melanie - I would totally love to know what goes through Joss' head when he's writing!

JenM - It was the scariest, but also the most rewarding thing I've ever done.

bloudeuedd - Oh yes. Harrison. *sigh* And he has already met the Dalai Lama, so they'd be old friends.

Julie said...

Well, we'd love to have you in southern California. :D And congratulations on the newest addition to your family!

Also: Daniel Craig = rawr.

Jeannie Lin said...

Julie - I was born in San Diego and grew up in So Cal so I miss it dearly. I'm looking forward to visiting next April for the Romantic Times convention.

RFTC Blog said...

Great interview. I am in awe that you started your own charter school. When I was younger I always wanted to be a teacher. I grew up and realized I didn't have the patience to teach others. I respecet anyone that is able to do that.
I keep hearing such great things about this book. Would love to read it. Not everyday you read a book that takes place in China. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.


Lustee said...

I'd so love to read this. Thanks for stopping by Jeannie!
lusteewench at gmail dot com

BRN said...

The book sounds lovely.
tradingaddress at gmail dot com

Terri C. said...

I've heard so much about this book and want to give it a try.

comethespring at gmail dot com

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