I'm very excited to have J.C. Isabella, the author of The Unofficial Zack Warren Fan Club, on the blog today! As part of The Unofficial Zack Warren Fan Club Blog Tour, I had the honor to interview her and she graciously answered all my questions!:D
Deea: Welcome on Deea’s Journal and thank you for taking the time to answer my questions!
For people who read about your work for the first time, could you give a short description of The Unofficial Zack Warren Fan Club?
J.C. Isabella: The Unofficial Zack Warren Fan Club is about family and love at its core. You have Chloe, a girl who is trying to ignore how she feels for Zack, while trying to keep the club a secret. Then you have Zack, someone who looks and acts like the stereotypical jock, but is really a genuine guy who cares about Chloe. It’s about realizing what is important to you, and going for it.
D: One of the things I really like about The Unofficial Zack Warren Fan Club is that we have two alternate POV’s. What was writing from a guy’s POV like?
J.C. :Honestly, I didn’t have a hard time with it. I tried not to think about writing from a guy’s point of view, and how hard it would be. I just wrote as the person, and how they were feeling. I expounded on certain things that set genders apart. Also, when I was growing up, I hung out with the boys. Some of my best friends were guys, one was a baseball player, so I got to see how they operate when they were just being themselves. If I am having trouble getting into a guy’s head for something, I’ll look at an actor, and ask myself, what would he do, or what would the character he played do?
D: Chloe has a great voice and she is so easy to relate to! Is she anything like you or like someone you know in real life?
J.C. I suppose I can be perfectly honest here, and tell you that Chloe and I are similar in some ways. Humor, for one, and quirks are abound. With her, I set out to write a real person, someone I could relate to, and when I did that, I think I may have put a little of me in her. I am a very approachable friendly person, and that’s really how I wanted Chloe to be.
D: What was your favorite part to write?
J.C. I love writing the banter between Zack and Chloe. The teasing, the arguing, it’s sometimes more satisfying to me than the happy ending. Anyone can have fun writing a few lovey words, but when you hammer out an argument that leaves a character reeling, not sure if they’d rather hit the person or kiss them, and they are just so frustrated, it’s really a lot of fun. Tension makes everything amazing!
*I know, right? That's my favorite part to read too! I'm addicted to books that have that kind of tension and banter!*
D. All the games, secrets, clubs and societies make the world in The Unofficial Zack Warren Fan Club lots of fun and exciting. Did you experience any of that in high school/college?
J.C. I was in a couple clubs, but nothing really secretive. What influenced part of the idea was seeing a group of girls giggling about one particular guy. I started asking myself, how far would someone go? How far could they take it? Robert Pattinson and Justin Bieber may have fan clubs, but what if someone started one for the everyday high school guy?
D: What do you do to set the mood when you write? Do you listen to a certain playlist or do you like to write in a specific place etc?
J.C. I need quiet, hardly any distraction. Sometimes I will listen to music to help me brainstorm or write a specific scene, it can help set the mood for a fight or a party. The most helpful thing I do is go back and read what I wrote the day before, or just go back and start from the beginning.
D: As a fan of YA Contemporary Romance yourself, could you recommend us a few books you really liked?
J.C. I think one of my favorite books that I have read over and over, is called Getting Rid of Bradley By Jennifer Crusie.
It’s funny and feel good, and there are these dogs in the book that seem to have their own personalities. I discovered it after I wrote Zack Warren, when someone pointed out there was already a character with that name. So I went and got the book, and it’s been a keeper ever since!
Janet Evanovich has an awesome series with Stephanie Plum, but she has a lot of short romances out, that were sweet and hilarious. I was afraid to read them in public because I’d end up laughing so hard. I think my favorite is called Foul Play.
*I've been wanting to read Janet Evanovich for a long time! I really need to try her books soon!*
D: What are you working on now?
D: What are you working on now?
J.C. Right now I am finishing up the second book in the Unofficial Series, The Unofficial Story of Kyle B. Johnston, which will be out this October.
*Eeep! I'm so excited about his story!*
D: How would you encourage aspiring authors who have yet to publish their first novel?
J.C. One thing I advise everyone to do is take off their rose colored glasses. People forget publishing does not happen overnight. In our instant gratification world, this process still takes months and years. You have to be willing to go for the long haul. Write more than one book, and then write a series or a few more books. Just because one book is done and you’re querying it, doesn’t mean you stop writing.
The only gratification you get initially is just the pat on your back when you finish your story. In order to succeed you have to accept that. It took me a while, but I got to a point where I was able to look myself in the mirror and say, “You may be the only one who ever reads your stories, but that’s okay. It’s okay because at least you tried, and trying is sometimes the hardest part.”
So step into the world of publishing with a level head and realistic views. Learn from what others are doing. Find out what has been successful for them, implement there strategies and formulas. If you do this, there is an even better chance you will succeed. Arm yourself with information.
After all, knowledge is power.
*Great advice!!! And it would work in other domains too! Thank you!*
D: Thank you for stopping by and for the thoughtful answers!:)
J.C. Isabella is the author of Chasing McCree and The Unofficial Zack Warren Fan Club. Ever since she discovered romance novels in high school, she has been a self proclaimed fan. This led to penning her first YA. When she isn't thinking up new recipes for the cookbook she hopes to one day write, she is brainstorming a new novel and listening to country music. She lives in the tropics of Florida with her big fat Italian family and ornery feline companion.
And now on to the giveaway :
fill in the Rafflecopter form below to win a digital copy of The Unofficial Zack Warren Fan Club!