Sunday, March 6, 2011

Guest Blog: Sarah-Jane Lehoux

Here at Me Want Food, I am happy to welcome fellow Mundania author Sarah-Jane Lehoux to chat! Thanks for stopping by! Please tell us a bit about your latest release, or what's coming up.

SHADES OF WAR was released by Mundania Press at the end of November 2010. It is the second book in the Sevy series. Shades again follows Sevy, this time to the Northern Jungles of Axlun, where she must face her inner demons, angry spirits, and a serial killer all while trying to save her best friend from a furious mob of xenophobes. As with THIEF, SHADES OF WAR explores issues of moral relativism, but goes a step further to delve into redemption and forgiveness, and how one can work through past mistakes and make a more positive future for themselves and others.

How did you become inspired to write this work?

As I was writing THIEF, the first in the Sevy series, I realized that there was so much more of this character and world to be explored. But I didn’t know what the next book should be about. As what often happens when I think a lot on one subject, I had a very vivid dream which provided me both the setting and the plot for SHADES. The dream was set in a jungle environment, and had a number of prominent images that stuck with me once I woke: a red and blue snake, a woman’s shoe, a screaming monkey, and a baby swaddled in leaves and blood. Pretty cryptic stuff, but it all linked up together nicely in my head.

What is a day in your writing life like? Do you have a set schedule?

I write in the evenings, mostly due to the fact that I have a full time job and the evenings are the only time I have available. I haven’t used a set schedule in the past; I mostly just wrote as the mood struck me. Now, I am trying to make a concerted effort to reach a minimum word count every day. It’s the only way I’ll finish my current projects in any reasonable amount of time.

Lately, I’ve been using Write or Die. Just plug in the amount of time, the number of words, and type away. I put on music that suits whatever the tone of the scene I’m writing, and just go for it. In the past, I’ve been a picky writer and would obsess over each line. Now I’m going for more of a stream of consciousness style, with heavy editing once I finish each chapter.

Of your backlist/WIPs, which would you say was the easiest to write? The most challenging? Why?

SHADES OF WAR was the easiest. I had already had the majority of the characters set up from THIEF, and I had a plot that just seemed to write itself and form all sorts of connections and underlying themes that I wasn’t aware of until I went back and read it. So far, MASQUERADE is proving the most difficult. I think that’s due to the subject matter. I’m putting Sevy through a character arc that’s really challenging because, for the most part, she is being forced to act like someone else. It makes it hard because my mind is screaming, “But Sevy wouldn’t do that! She’d do this instead!”

Are you published primarily in print or eBook, or both equally? Which format do you prefer and why?

Both equally. Readers can purchase my books in both formats. I don’t really have a preference, but in terms of sales, it seems like eBooks are the future.

Do you own an e-reader, or maybe two? How do you like it?

No, I don’t own an e-reader. Unfortunately, I have certain problems with my vision that make it impossible for me to read off of a screen for long lengths of time. Plus, I prefer holding an actual book in my hands. I suppose I’m horribly old-fashioned in that regard.

What do you have planned writing wise for the rest of the year?

I’m trying to finish up MASQUERADE, the third book in the Sevy series, by June so that it will be ready for publication by November or December of this year. Once I’m done with that, I’d like to focus on RED ROVER, which is a comedic fantasy that I’ve been playing with for the past year. And if I’m lucky enough to finish up that, there is an untitled young adult novel that’s been swimming around my head for awhile now. Basically, I have a lot of ideas and now I just need to get off my duff and get to work!

Do you have any social media profiles/pages where readers can follow you?

Yep. If readers go to http://sarah-janelehoux.com/contact.htm they can find a list of links to such sites as Twitter and Facebook, among others.

Do you have a blog/Yahoo group for readers to stay updated on your works?

They can visit www.sarah-janelehoux.blogspot.com for weekly updates, or sign up for my quarterly newsletter on my website.

Desert Island quiz: you can only bring one album, one DVD set for your favorite TV show, and one movie. What are they?

Music: “O” by Damien Rice because it’s the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard.
TV: I don’t watch tv. I’m too cheap to pay for cable, and besides that, there’s never anything good on anyway.
Movie: The Color Purple. Because no matter how many times I watch it, I always get sucked into it. It is so visually striking, so emotionally compelling, and always provides such a cathartic release.

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