Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Shadow of Time Blog Tour: Interview and Giveaway

What are your favorite book(s)?

I love reading paranormal romance from other authors, like Cynthia Hand, Stephenie Meyer and Margaret Mahy (my all-time favourite paranormal romance book as a teenager was 'The Tricksters'), but I also enjoy sci-fi and dystiopian books such as 'The Martian Chronicles', 'Fahrenheit 451' and 'The Hunger Games'.

Who is your favorite author?

It's hard to say as I love reading so much, but Ray Bradbury (U.S.), Stefan Zweig (Austria), Tonke Dragt (Holland) and Thea Beckman (Holland) rank very high. Especially Bradbury and Zweig are masters of the short story.

Where do you get your inspiration from? 

Sometimes I'd watch a documentary about something mysterious and I feel like I have to incorporate it into a storyline. Sometimes it's on-screen chemistry between two people in a movie that prompts me to write a love story. And sometimes, stories sort of seep into my mind when I take walks in the woods or the dunes of Holland. It is like they already exist and all I have to do is tune in to them and write them down. Sometimes it feels like the characters are writing themselves.

Where is your favorite place to do your writing?

At home with some peaceful music on and some incense burning in a corner of the room! 'At home' could also be in a cozy holiday cottage abroad, the place doesn't really matter. But I definitely need alone-time to really focus on my writing. There are days that I like to spend more or less as a recluse, so my writing process won't be interrupted.

What made you decide to write Shadow of Time? 

Reading 'New Moon' by Stephenie Meyer and realising Jacob and Bella weren't gonna end up together! I was SO frustrated! I decided there and then I would write a supernatural love story about a Native American boy and an American girl who would have a happy ending together. I also really wanted to delve into the history of the Native Americans and incorporate that into the storyline.

What is the hardest part of writing a novel? 

Scrapping. By far. I don't know who said 'kill your darlings', but it's true: you always want to tell your readers too much, and you must be strict with yourself in order to create a truly great and balanced novel.

Tell us about your new novel. 

The story is set in Arizona, which was quite a challenge for me as I have never been there myself. It's about Hannah, a young high school teacher who falls in love with Josh, one of her brother's childhood friends. Josh is a Navajo from the reservation in Arizona, and strange things start happening all around Hannah when she is trying to get to know Josh better. She has terrifying nightmares which seem to gradually turn into reality. The dreams are always about the distant past, and Josh is always a part of them.

About the author.

Jen Minkman (1978) was born in Holland, in the town of Alphen aan den Rijn. When she was 19, she moved between The Hague, Salzburg (Austria), Brussels (Belgium) and Cambridge (UK) to complete her studies in intercultural communication. She is currently a teacher of English, career counsellor and teenage coach at a secondary school in Voorburg, Holland. She tries to read at least 100 books a year (and write a few, too!).

In her spare time, she plays the piano, the guitar and the violin. For every novel she writes, she creates a soundtrack. The songs that Hannah and Josh sing in the book 'Shadow of Time' really exist and can be listened to on the author's website. One of those songs, 'In Beauty May I Walk', was even especially requested by a Navajo woman to play during her traditional wedding.

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