Welcome to the blog tour stop for I Loved You First by Reena Jacobs!! This wonderful author sent me her novel for review and then participated in an interview! She's super fun and fantastic, and her novel, I Loved You First, (more like a novella) is out now, so check it out. Please check out the interview, and then stay tuned for GIVEAWAY details!! Also visit her blog for a couple ways to win a signed copy of her book! Now for the interview:
Mickey: Welcome to the blog! Please introduce yourself for those who aren't familiar with you and your work.
Reena: I want to shy away and put on my humble face, but I guess this isn't the time to be modest, right? :) I'm the author of two published books and a handful of smaller pieces. I have to admit, I haven't quite settled on a particular genre yet. So readers might find my works across the board (erotica, fantasy, horror, quirky) until I stop being such a scatterbrain.
Mickey: Your novella, I Loved You First, has a couple strong lessons. Did personal experience inspire you to write this story?
Reena: The actually events of the story are purely fictional. However the feminine tone has much to do with an issue which is extremely important to me: empowerment. When I was younger, there was a lot of pressure to conform in ways which were disadvantageous to girls. I fear many young women are in similar situations today, and I want them to know it's okay to be your own person.
In terms of the LGBT elements, I wanted folks to read I Loved You First and realize people are people. No one is perfect, we all have different fears... and sometimes hide because of them, often times with good reason. Just like you, members of the LGBT community have hopes, dreams, families. Someone loves them and cares about their well being and happiness just as your friends and families do for you. I guess I'd just like people to be more empathetic.
Mickey: As a fan of equality, I want to commend you for your efforts to promote acceptance of the gay community. Were you worried about how this would go over with your readers?
Reena: Not really. I know from experience, some people will love what I write, and others will hate it. :) My readers are the ones who read my work, not the ones who boycott me.
Mickey: I Love You First is much different than some of your earlier works. Do you think you'll branch out to other genres as well?
Reena: I don't know. I'd really like to focus, but sometimes the muse has other ideas. I'm quite fond of contemporary fantasy and see myself sticking with it. Still, there's something wholesome about touching on real life issues. Though I'm not a stickler to genre, I believe readers will find similarities in the tone of my works. Most pieces I write feature imperfect characters in imperfect relationships. The stars emerge on the other end a little worn, but with a greater understanding of what's important in their lives and ways to deal more effectively with their environments. If I could pick a genre for myself which would encompass majority of my works, I'd call it Interpersonal Relationships.
Mickey: You've written longer novels than I Loved You First. Do you prefer the shorter length when writing?
Reena: I remember writing Shadow Cat and thinking, how in the world am I going to come up with enough words to create an 80k+ word novel. The thing is, word count is important in traditional publishing. Going indie has given me quite a bit of freedom. I no longer have to worry about word count. It's not so much I prefer writing shorter works, but rather I just write until I'm finished.
Mickey: There are a lot of great books coming out soon! Which one are you looking forward to the most?
Reena: Kresley Cole's Lothaire. I wish there was room to perch on Ms. Cole's shoulder so I can read her Immortals After Dark series as soon as she finishes each book.
Mickey: What's the one book you wish you'd written or thought of?
Reena: Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
Mickey: I love movies and recommendations. What's the best movie (or movies) you've seen lately?
Reena: Tough call. This has been a year of "I'm not impressed." Hmm... movies I watched this year which didn't leave me screaming at the screen? Tangled and Mao's Last Dancer were both 2010 releases but quite enjoyable.
Mickey: Any final thoughts you want readers to know?
Reena: Of the thousands of books coming out on a regular basis, I can't express to you how much I appreciate that you've pulled mine out of the pile. Thanks!
Reena Jacobs is just your typical writer who loves to see her words in print. As an avid reader, she’s known to hoard books and begs her husband regularly for “just one more purchase.” Her home life is filled with days chasing her preschooler and nights harassing her husband. Between it all, she squeezes in time for writing and growling at the dog.
Find her here: Blog | Website | Twitter
Buy I Loved You First here: BN.com | Amazon | Smashwords
My blog tour stop is including a keychain swag pack giveaway!! See the picture above of what you can win! How do you win, you ask? Simple! Leave a comment here with your name and a way to contact you (email/Twitter) and you're entered!! Spread the word on Twitter/Facebook/your blog and you can get an extra entry for each! Just make sure that you leave a separate comment for each way you enter! This is open to anywhere USPS delivers first-class mail, so this can be international! Ends on Wed, 9/20/11. Questions? Email me at imabookshark(at)yahoo(dot)com and I'll be happy to help you. Thanks so much!!
Big thanks to Reena Jacobs for sharing her work and thoughts with me!! Glad to have you on the blog today, and thanks for the giveaway!