And now I'm excited to welcome today's guest, Black Opal Books author Zrinka Jelic. Her book, Bonded By Crimson, is a lovely paranormal romance, and though I'm only half finished with it, I can tell you that the exotic locations and European charm make it a really fun read. Check out my interview with Zrinka, and below that, a blurb for Bonded By Crimson.
LR: What’s the most compelling thing about your most recent project, the thing that’s kept your butt in the chair through hours of writing and revising?
ZJ: The heroine in my work in progress (wip) is a single, self-sufficient, career oriented woman. So when she returns from a business trip and finds a husband and a couple of kids at home, needless to say she’s in state of shock. Though she is instantly attracted to him and starts to get feelings for the kids, at first she thinks he’s an intruder and tries to kick him out, but everything and everyone proves they are a married couple. In her single life she is promiscuous and when she comes on too strong, her husband will refuse her, and consequently punish her by denying her what he wants (he’s a bit of a Dom and loves to play teasing games). But when her reward time comes, it will be earth shattering. (LR: COOL!)
LR: If you had to recommend one writing resource, either a class or a book or a workshop, what would that be? What’s had the most impact on your work?
ZJ: I read a few books on how to write a book and I can compare them to those parenting books. Both made me feel guilty. The parenting books, because I used disposable diapers over cloth, because I used store bought wipes, when a moistened cloth would do, for sticking a pacifier in my baby’s mouth. The book writing books for not plotting and laying the hero’s journey and character’s arc down. For not drafting every scene in detail. I tried all of that, and felt silly to say the least and not to mention that I never referred back to it. But the books did point other things that I used in my writing, just doing the exercises made me feel like I’m wasting my time.
As far as workshops and classes, I can honestly say not every workshop is created the same, even if they have same name. As a FFnP class moderator, I see any editing class fill up quickly. And it comes down to the instructor. Are they going to assign homework and give feedback on it? Are the lessons clear and easy to understand? Instructors who don’t ask for works to be submitted, usually have low enrollment in their classes. People want feedback, something they can learn from. I’ve taken a moth long, highly acclaimed editing workshop and got nothing out of it.
LR: Fantasy or reality? Most people lean one way or the other in their work. Do you have a preference, or do you swing both ways?
ZJ: I tend to swing towards reality and mix fantasy elements with it. I like to throw ordinary character in an extraordinary situation. When mischievous faeries, playful angels, mysterious vamps and other immortals pull the life strings, it is interesting to see how my characters will cope.(LR: LOVE IT!)
LR: Clutter or quiet? Which one makes it possible for you to be creative? Describe your perfect writing situation.
ZJ: Definitely, quiet. And tidy. Though it’s hard with kids at home. Once I went to work at Starbucks, but couldn’t. Every time barista called someone’s order of extra grande-vendi-something something … I’d lose my train of thought. Frothing from the machine didn’t help either.
LR: How to you juggle all your hats (spouse, parent, worker-bee, housekeeper, writer)?
ZJ: Well, for now I’m staying-at-home-mom so at least I don’t have to rush off to work in the morning and put in 8 plus hours. But that will change once my little one starts school next fall. Still, it is a balancing act, and especially if you have three people make mess and only one who cleans. Some days, writing is the last thing I do before the bed. But I have to put down at least a few words. I envy those who write thousands of words per day, but I just read a blog where the author says the real craft takes slow simmer and lots of stirring, or it will come out lumpy and mushy. There is truth in those words. I cannot rush a good thing.
LR: What’s your favorite non-writing activity? Like, are you a closet marathon runner? Could you crochet a house-cozy if you had to?
ZJ: My favorite non-writing activity is working out in the gym, or jogging outside. I try to squeeze a workout per day, but I consider myself lucky if I get to work out three times in a week. I don’t crochet, but I can knit, though I haven’t done that in a long time.
LR: Football, basketball, baseball or soccer? Which one gets your blood moving the fastest – or is there another sport you prefer?
ZJ: At the moment it’s soccer with UEFA 2012 even if Croatia lost against Spain in the last game. I’m not a big sports fan and thanks god neither is my hubby. If I watch any sports it’s because either Croatian team is playing, or it’s artistic like figure skating.
LR: What’s next on your horizon? Describe your current WIP(s) or other upcoming project.
ZJ: I mentioned one of my current WIP(s) above. I have another one on the back burner. It’s a prequel to Bonded by Crimson that’s about half done, but other ideas keep coming to me so that one kind of ends up pushed aside. I’m determined to finish it, no matter what. It’s the question of when not if. And I also have a finished story, my very first one, that I call “my training wheels” where I made every beginners mistake. It is my intention to go back to it and redo. It needs lots of editing like new main characters since I recycled them, but I’m ready for it.
Thanks for playing along today, Zrinka. I'm lovin' your book, and look forward to whatever you come up with next!
Love isn’t in the cards for her…
After her short failed marriage, Kate tries to rebuild her life and takes a position as a nanny to three small boys. She quickly grows to love them, but their father, terrifies her, while igniting a passion she didn’t know she possessed. Disturbed by his distant manner with his sons, Kate struggles to make him more involved in the boys’ daily lives. Her efforts are mysteriously supported by an entity that cannot really exist. Or can she? And if she does exist, is she really trying to help Kate, or just take over her body?
But when he deals the hand, all bets are off…
Six years after his beloved wife passed away, Matthias is still trying to become the father she wanted him to be. Not an easy task for a three-centuries-old immortal. His search for the ultimate nanny ends when Kate Rokov stumbles to his home and into his arms. The immediate attraction he feels for her seems like a betrayal of his dead wife, a love he’s harboured for over three hundred years. But when Kate is stalked by a deadly stranger, life he clung to in the past begins to crumble and break down. Can Matthias learn to trust and to love again in time to save his family from disaster, or will his stubborn pride destroy everything worth living for?