Thursday, February 4, 2010

Judi Fennell's Great Catch

The Girlfriends Cyber Circuit is back in action! This month is exciting because there are a bunch of great releases, the first being Judi Fennell's final book in her Mer trilogy, Catch of a Lifetime (Sourcebooks, Feb. 2010).

Judi has had her nose in a book and her head in some celestial realm all her life, including those early years when her mom would exhort her to “get outside!” instead of watching "Bewitched" or "I Dream of Jeannie" on television. So she did--right into Dad’s hammock with her Nancy Drew books. These days she’s more likely to have her nose in her laptop and her head (and the rest of her body) at her favorite bookstore, but she’s still reading, whether it be her latest manuscript or friends’ books.

To celebrate the release of each of her books, Judi, the Atlantis Inn and the Hibiscus House bed and breakfasts are raffling off three romantic beach getaway weekends. All information is on Judi's website. Sounds to me like a fabulous contest--wow! Welcome back, Judi!!

Can you tell us the premise of your new book?

Mermaid Angel Tritone has been researching humans from afar, hoping to find a way to convince them to stop polluting. When she jumps into a boat to escape a shark attack, it’s her chance to pursue her mission, but she has to keep her identity a total secret...

For Logan Hardington, finding a beautiful woman on his boat is surely not a problem—until he discovers she’s a mermaid, and suddenly his life is on the line...

What's one scene from this story you loved writing and why?

I loved writing the scene in the villain's castle. First, it's underwater, so I'm not confined by what really exists. I get to create a whole new place and that's just fun. My imagination goes wild. In this case, I based it on an old theater. Then I get to be in the villain's head which is always fun, and then toss all the "good" characters into a dangerous, deadly situation and have them figure out a way to get out. And then, I add some more trouble just for the fun of it. I guess it's not very nice of me to torture my characters, but it makes their survival so much more emotional. Especially if you think not all of them make it out alive.

I've never been able to choose just one favorite food, but do you have a clear preference?

Nope, can't do it. I'm Italian and grew up with homemade sauce (or gravy as some call it), the BEST homemade Sicilian pizza that, no matter how many times I watched my great aunts make, I could never duplicate. And, sadly, they're all gone now and no one in the family can make it like them. Plus, I'm from Philly. Home of the cheesesteak. And hoagie. And soft pretzels. (which is a misnomer. If you've ever gone to a sporting event and gotten a pretzel from a street vendor, they're anything but soft. Cold, hard, wet, and smelling of exhaust - ahhhhh, nothing like them!) Plus, I just love to eat. I was a corporate meeting and convention planner in the days before children and we were forever having cocktail parties with finger food - my downfall. I love cheese trays. And scallops wrapped in bacon. And pigs in a blanket. And...the list goes on. (Oh, I'm SO with you on that, Judi. Scallops with bacon and Italian-anything...YUM!!)

What's one piece of writing advice you've found valuable on your journey to publication?

That it's your story. Listen to all the feedback and see if any of it resonates with you, but, ultimately, it's your story. Your name is on it. You have to make sure it's what you want/can live with. (Excellent advice. ;)

What's a personality trait you love about one of the characters in your novel and why?

Angel's persistence. It ties in to why she's doing what she's doing, which I hadn't realized when I first started writing her story. I love finding out something so deep about my characters, and am always amazed when the whole story works out after I discover it. By that, I mean that there are elements that I'd put in earlier that, now that I know, show why she is the way she is, but which I hadn't intentionally put there for that reason. Sometimes I question myself when I start writing something that has no bearing on anything, but end up leaving it in because experience has shown me that I'll need it at some point.

Thanks so much for visiting, Judi, and congrats again on Catch of a Lifetime!!


Judi Fennell said...

thanks for having me, Marilyn!

Edie Ramer said...

Great interview! Judi, I love the sound of your book, and I'm going over to your website as soon as I comment. Isn't it funny that we had shows like Bewitched and I Dream of Jeanie so long ago (30 years? I'm not sure) and it took about 20-some years for paranormal to be popular in books? Your book fits right into those shows.

Marilyn Brant said...

Judi, it's a pleasure!!

Edie, I love your point about how those shows like "Bewitched" were on so long ago and, yet, it took all these decades for paranormal fun to reach the literary world... I think publishing just had to wait for us all to grow up and learn to be writers!

Pamela Cayne said...

Welcome, Judi--your book sounds amazing! I can't imagine how fun it must have been to write about such a world (says the girl who *still* watches The Little Mermaid once a year!) And loved the food question--I was drooling just reading it.

Marilyn--another awesome interview! Have a bacon-wrapped scallop in celebration! (Hey--if my hips have to suffer, so do yours!)

Marilyn Brant said...

Pamela~Ohhh, I want bacon-wrapped scallops, Thai spring rolls, some lasagna, double-chocolate brownies and a strawberry-banana smoothie with whipped cream... I mean, if we're gonna be talking about food, let's not hold back ;).

Have a marvelous weekend, my friend!

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Judi, your book sounds fabulous!

Hi Marilyn, great interview. Only now, I'm hungry...*goes off in search of something yummy to eat.*


L.A. Mitchell said...

Sweet interview, Marilyn :) Judi's Mer-world sounds intriguing!

Marilyn Brant said...

Nancy and L.A., thanks, you two, for helping welcome Judi! Hope you're both having a wonderful weekend ;).

Robin said...

Chiming in late here...another wonderful interview, Marilyn! I'm so happy for Judi's success! I know she won't remember me, but I shared a cab with her and a good friend of hers when I went to my very first RWA convention in Dallas. I'd only been writing a few months and she was super nice! Very smart. And I knew it wouldn't be long before she got published.

Huge congrats, Judi!

Sandra Ferguson said...

That is a yummy cover. I love the thought of Disney with a little heat.

Marilyn Brant said...

Robin and Sandra~Happy Monday, ladies!! Thanks to you both for visiting and saying 'hi' to Judi!! It always makes me smile to see your messages :).