From TV writer Dee DeTarsio, a new novel, The Scent of Jade. When an ancient jade relic that holds secrets to global warming ends up in the hands of a not-so-perfect heroine, she is thrust in a fish-out-of-water adventure, lost in the Costa Rican rainforest.
Perfect escape, like watching a romantic action movie with a sarcastic friend. At times the heroine fell apart; then she rocked her best Angelina Jolie, with humor, action and a hint of sexiness. –Unabridged Chick unabridged-expression.blogspot.com
The Scent of Jade has enjoyed a fast-growing, international fan base. Clever, quirky, and multi-talented, ebook novelist Dee DeTarsio is definitely a new author you want to friend, and then you can say, you knew her when…. –The Divining Wand
San Diego Novelist Romances UK. The Scent of Jade has a killer, Hollywood logline: Romancing the Stone meets Survivor. The author takes a page from her world-traveling protagonist Julie Fraser and has connected with Brit romance fans. –Mediabistro
My husband, who has earned his title of beditor, once complained that ‘women sure do think a lot.’ That’s right, we do. Live and learn, hombres. THE SCENT OF JADE grew out of his observation and into a hybrid chick-lit action/adventure novel.
I began with a “what-if” scenario (a woman on a resort vacation, what could possibly go wrong?) that grew into a ROMANCING THE STONE (awesome movie) meets SURVIVOR (amazing reality show!). I hate camping, I’m scared of the dark, I like my belly full, thank you, and my coffee hot, so I tried to make my heroine as uncomfortable as possible.
What is it about?
THE SCENT OF JADE is a hybrid chick-lit action/adventure that follows a woman lost in the Costa Rican rainforest with an ancient idol that may hold secrets to global warming: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00466HRVY
Was there a character you struggled with?
Julie Fraser, the protagonist, is the most important character, as the star of the show. I love her, and I had to keep making things difficult for her, and not give her an easy pass. We sometimes want to protect our babies and not let bad stuff happen to them, but half the fun is figuring out that the “bad stuff” is where it gets good!
How many unpublished books do you have lurking under your bed?
I have written 4 novels–I just can’t seem to help myself! To help with promoting THE SCENT OF JADE, I also added ‘Til Somebody Loves You, Romantic Comedy Quick-Pick, a quirky chick-lit based in Chicago, following a copywriter’s search for her one true love–featuring a damsel in distress who can save her own day! http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0047O2Q6Q
How did you find your publisher? How do they treat you? Would you recommend them?
I am a television writer living in southern California. When my agent became a victim of the economy, I pushed to get my women’s fiction novel, The Scent of Jade, on Amazon. In the first two months, there have been nearly 2000 downloads (from Amazon, the iBookstore, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords). In addition, The Scent of Jade has hit #6 in the Romantic Suspense category for Amazon in the UK–and broke through the top 100 on Amazon in the US in Romantic Suspense. One of the biggest kicks was seeing my books grouped with my idol, goddess Marian Keyes.
I can’t tell you how excited I am to be part of the digital revolution. The advent of the kindle and other eReaders, including smart phones!, has opened so many doors to so many new writers and genres, it has been an amazing adventure. I love reading new books and authors that I might not have found before.
What’s the best/worst part of being a writer?
Though some in my family would place me on Team Eeyore, meeting the requirements of insecurity, self-doubt and doom and gloom necessary to be a writer, that miasma can magically disappear with the push of a button–upon discovering a kind note from someone who actually read something I wrote and liked it, who wasn’t my mother. Pinch me, I’m dreaming, but that unbelievable feedback is enough to make it all worthwhile! I’m trying out a new slogan: Be kind, Remind…an author if you like their stories…
What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
I’m a morning person, fueled by triple espresso–who never met a problem that couldn’t be solved by an afternoon nap and a good ten hours of sleep!
Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer.
I am petrified of being left behind in this digital revolution, (http://ogblayotspay.blogspot.com/2011/01/please-dont-say-anything.html) and do all of my projects on the computer. That said, however, every single idea was written, scribbled, and scrawled with a pen on paper first. I sometimes use crayons, gel pens on watercolor paper to fuel creativity (try that!), and love the sweet, sweet smell of a fresh Sharpie. My purse, pockets and desk are awash in sticky notes because I’ve learned the hard way–I’m convinced I would be a best-selling author by now, but I’ve forgotten what that brilliant idea was.
What/who do you draw inspiration from?
I love TV and it loves me! While I concede that I will probably never fulfill my childhood dream of writing for a soap opera, (I ended up as a news producer instead… ‘If it’s news to you, it’s news to us’…) I am eternally inspired by what I watch.
I believe in magic, happily-ever-after and the 7th sense: hope. My favorite TV shows used to be reruns of Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie, up to and including Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, and, if you haven’t discovered The Wizards of Waverly Place yet, two wands up.
I also love the magic known as HGTV–a new kitchen in 30 minutes? Voila! And as for the fairy-tale ending possibilities of House Hunters, International…A Votre Sante! (The enchantment just doesn’t get much better than watching someone with a $1.2 million budget discover a crumbling 17th century 500-square-foot three-story-house with room for only a single-sized bed, kitschy rooster fabric curtained kitchen cupboards, that does include a wee washing machine in the bathroom, with nary a dryer in site.)
Writing for television is writing for tell a vision. Producers are the authors of suspense: amping up the conflict and drama. Storytelling a vision invites the audience, through whatever medium, to stay tuned for the good stuff…coming up.
Watching eye-spinning amounts of TV is just another venue for receiving hints from the universe. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as word count?
I am so not a numbers person (and think it’s perfectly acceptable to round out your checking account, but always in the bank’s favor) (Hello? Left brain are you even home?). I have fallen into the pattern of working to complete whatever scene or action is unfolding. If I’m curious about what’s going to happen next, I’m hoping readers will be, too!
What are you working on now that you can talk about?
I am working on the screenplay for THE SCENT OF JADE, which is also a great writing exercise. Screenplays, at 120 pages, are less than half the page count of a traditional novel, so the importance of every word, nuance and action is magnified. I am editing my novel manuscript–and then I will use a screenplay writing program called Final Draft, to format it.
I write every day–from sticky notes-to-self, to my blog, to finishing up my next novel. THE KITCHEN SHRINK, a hybrid romantic comedy/chick lit, (if your life’s a mess, your house could probably use a makeover, too…) will be published next month.
How do/did you deal with rejection letters?
I beat myself up! Rejection stinks. Any kind of “thanks-but-no-thanks-you’re-not-what-I-had-in-mind” really, really hurts. But as my mother says, it apparently builds “character.” Fooey. Since stomping around, moping and plotting out sweet, sweet vengeance doesn’t get me anywhere, it usually sends me running back to the comforting glow of my laptop!
Do you have a critique partner?
I have been part of a writing workshop for several years. For the joy of disappearing into other worlds and other people’s lives, I thank the FAT Tuesday Writers (it’s not what you think–First And Third!) for their inspiration and motivation and give them a standing ovation for allowing me to hang out with them. Again, to have someone who is not my mother reading and critiquing my story, can only help my writing; reducing adverb count, (brutally!), managing beats and deconstructing plot defects!