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Friday, October 29, 2010

Interview & Giveaway: J.L. Bryan, author of Jenny Pox!

As part of our Indie / Self-Published book reading challenge, we have J.L. Bryan in our blog today! Myself and Tin are very happy to have him in our blog. I'm currently reading Jenny Pox and I am liking the book more and more as I read through. Look forward to my review in the next few days. For now, I give the floor to Jeff!

Thanks for taking the time in letting us interview you!
Thanks for having me over, Kai!

Can you please describe yourself in 50 words or less?
Hmmm...(Wait! Does that count as a word? I'm burning through even more words now! Must close parentheses ASAP!) I live in Atlanta, I have a wife, a yard, a shed, two dogs, two cats. I've been writing stories all my life, and I have a degree in English literature. In my spare time, I like to work more. I really don't have spare time.

Please give us a very brief summary of what the book is all about and what can readers expect from it.

Jenny Pox is the story of a girl who's born with a kind of nasty curse--whenever she touches people, or animals, she infects them a horrible supernatural bubonic plague kind of disease, and she can quickly kill people by touching them too long. She struggles with this all of her life. She can't touch anyone, she avoids people all she can, which leaves her a social outcast around town and at school. Most of the story happens during her senior year of high school, when she meets a boy with a healing touch--their powers cancel out, making him the one person in the world who can touch her without dying.

Is there an inspiration in writing Jenny? Are any of the characters in the book based on a real life character?
I didn't base any characters on specific people, but maybe on types of people or characteristics picked up from a variety of people. I don't generally base characters on real people, but I may draw specific traits from different people. Jenny was probably the most personal character, with problems like depression and social anxiety--those her social anxiety is backwards, because she's not afraid of people doing things to her, she's afraid of what she will do to them. But it plays out exactly as if she had a deep fear of others.

Was there a part of the book you felt was very difficult to write? From what I've been reading so far, Ashleigh seems like a very complicated character, and the characters are strong and vibrant and not flat at all. Are there any specific message you want to convey through these characters and your writing?
Well, thanks for the comment about the characters being strong and vibrant! I'm not looking to convey any specific message, but I guess we could find some...The message of Ashleigh would probably be don't trust people who seek power, even, or especially, if they wrap themselves in a lot of high moral platitudes. For Jenny, it might be: don't discount that quiet person in the back of the room, because they may be capable of things you can't imagine.

Given the chance, is there a part of the story you would change or re-write?
Since I'm an indie author, I can make changes any time I want and upload new files for the ebook and paperback. If I see something I want to change, I change it.

What do you think is the biggest challenge an indie writer can face?
The biggest challenge is letting people know about your work. Once people try it, they pretty much judge you the same way they would judge any author. So far, the reviews and other feedback on Jenny Pox has been tremendously positive, but I'm still working hard to let people know the book is out there. Book bloggers are hugely important to indie authors for this reason! Book bloggers will help people discover your book, if they like it themselves.

Of course, just as with traditonal publishing, your book needs to be engaging, well-written and carefully edited. But there's nothing new about that.

Is there any advice you can give for aspiring writers who wants to take a stab at the indie writing scene?
The biggest issue is always quality. It takes years to develop your craft. If you're putting a book out independently, you are completely responsible for the quality and editing. A bad book isn't going to go far, because no will recommend it to their friends and it will just get bad reviews, or no reviews at all. So make sure the books you put out are professional quality. Covers are hugely important, too.

Beyond that, the water's fine, jump right in. There is a tremendously supportive community of indie authors over at Kindleboards, for example, and we constantly share our discoveries and experiences with each other. You can learn tons of vital information for free just by hanging out and goofing off with other writers.

Thank you, Jeff. Is there anything else you'd like to say to our readers?
Thanks for taking the time to read this interview! At the moment, Jenny Pox ebooks have been discounted $2.39 on Amazon Kindle, and trade paperbacks are just over $9. Amazon did these discounts, not me, so I'm not sure how long they will last. So this is a great time to try a free sample of Jenny Pox on Amazon and see if you like it.

Thanks again for having me, Kai! I appreciate all the work you're doing to introduce readers to good indie authors. Readers can save lots of money and find lots of great reads if they start exploring the indie scene.

We have a giveaway! In light of helping indie authors spread the word about their books, Jeff was generous enough to provide an ebook copy of his book, Jenny Pox, to one lucky reader! And yes, this is INTERNATIONAL, so everyone can enter! Contest runs until November 12th!

Here's what you need to do:

- You need to be a follower of the blog to join the contest
- Comment on the interview
- Fill out the form below


  1. Would absolutely love to read this book!

    great interview btw.

    She has a blog you know~ [ Jenny I mean ]



  2. Makes me wonder if there was more than a bit of mother-in-law in one of the bad guys!?! :D
    *ah, yes, I'm mischievous*

    Cherry Mischievous

  3. This looks like a interesting read... cant wait to add it to my collection :)


  4. Thanks for the chance of winning this book!

  5. I've been looking forward to this one. Thanks for the giveaway!!

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  6. Wow, nice interview! Sounds like a nice book to read, even though it is not exactly my kind of fav reading, I'd definitely give it a try!


  7. I have seen this book mentioned on a few blogs and my curiosity is going - would love to read it!

    baychriz at gmail dot com

  8. Lovely to meet J.L.Bryan. Jenny Pox sounds like a fascinating read!


    bookwormreviewed at gmail dot com

  9. Interesting interview ...i think i'll read Jenny Pox asap.

  10. Such an insightful interview. Love the questions, love the answers even more.
    Would really like to read Jenny Pox. Btw, the cover's gorg.


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