Sunday, January 13, 2013

Interview with Jen Minkman + Giveaway

It is such a great experience to get to talk with an author and discuss their books. Today I had the honor of interviewing Jen Minkman. She is the author of Shadow of Time, a YA Paranormal Romance book to be released this Spring 2013. I also had privilege of reading Shadow of Time, and I had such a good time reading it! Thank you so much, Jen!

Also, Late 2012 I did took part in the Cover Reveal of Shadow of Time. So read on guys and just below the interview is a chance to win an ebook copy of Shadow of Time. Just use rafflecopter widget. Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY. Good luck and Happy reading!

Blair Book Project (BBP): Describe Shadow of Time in 3 sentences.

Jen Minkman (JM): Hannah falls in love with Navajo boy and old childhood friend Josh, but all is not well on the Navajo rez... what curse seems to be haunting her? Why does she have nightmares about the distant past, and why is Josh always present in those dreams?

BBP: What inspired you to write Shadow of Time?

JM: Reading New Moon by Stephenie Meyer and longing for a good YA paranormal book where the female protagonist WOULD end up with her Native American love interest!

BBP: The Native American culture of Shadow of Time is quite in depth, how did the idea come about and how much research did you get into to create it?

JM: Like I said, I already knew the story would be set near a Native American reservation... but once I picked the Navajo rez as the setting, I realized I didn't know enough about their culture to write a convincing book. I think I must have spent at least 8 hours a week on research alone: I simply HAD to watch every DVD and read every article and book on the subject I could get my hands on. Most of that research hasn't even made it into the final draft of the book. I didn't want it to be bogged down in details, I also wanted to write a gripping, fast-paced tale of romance, history and fate!

BBP: Shadow of Time is translated in English and was originally written in Dutch, and sometimes you can come across situations like, when it comes to languages there are expressions/words that simply don’t have the exact kind of translation to another, how was the experience?

JM: It only happened very occasionally that I couldn't come up with an exact translation of a term in Dutch. For me, translating is also more about capturing the mood of a piece than rendering a verbatim 100% accurate translation. It's actually a privilege to be able to translate my own work - you never quite know what some translators do with it, after all :)

BBP: Shadow of Time is strongly intertwined with varying forms of spirituality (the connection to nature, god-worship, rituals, etc), what made you want to give this kind of essence to the story?

JM: Well, because the connection to nature is very important to myself and my belief system. Rituals are not that important to me, but they are essential to the Navajo, which is why I felt they deserved a prominent place in the storyline. It is not just supposed to be paranormal romance, but a sort of spiritual/mystical romance too, which is what my Dutch publisher calls the book's genre.

BBP: I noticed that Shadow of Time has the absence of a third party/love triangle scenario and a majority of YA books cater to that. Did it ever occur to you to establish the same brand before settling into the kind of love story the book has now?

JM: In this book, I simply didn't see the point of having a love triangle, it wouldn't add anything to the storyline. I can imagine a kind of love-triangle appearing in future books I am planning to write, but I am not a big fan of them.

BBP: If you were one of your characters, who would you be and why?

JM: The obvious answer would be Hannah, I guess, since the story is written from her point of view. She is a lot like me. She has some very close friends, has a good bond with her sibling (Hannah has Ben, I am very close to my sister), she likes men who are different than the men of her own culture (I have had a few relationships with foreign guys/men and am now married to a Filipino!). Don't all writers ultimately write about themselves? ;)

BBP: Shadow of Time is a stand-alone book, but the kind of premise you chose looks to be very diverse, have you thought about continuing on to writing a new story for Josh and Hannah? Or maybe creating a sequel in the eyes of other characters from the book?

JM: I have heard people complain they would have liked to know more about Josh or seeing more of the story through his eyes, so I am going to eventually release a companion novella to Shadow of Time where you can find out more about him :) There won't be any sequels, though.

BBP: I know you love to read just as much, are there any books you’ve read that you could say encouraged you, in some way, to write Shadow of Time? Also, what books would you recommend that has something similar to Shadow of Time?

JM: I think all the paranormal romance novels I've read have pushed me into this direction, because I wanted to create something new - something that had never been done before. I am now getting that back from reviewers, who say within the genre, this is really something quite different. I do know Alyson Noel is writing a paranormal series about Native American spirituality as well (the Soul Seekers series), but I haven't read the books yet, so I don't know if it is similar to my book.

Author Links:
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