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8.19.2010

Interview with author Jennifer Crusie

Parajunkee's View would like to extend a warm welcome to Jennifer Crusie, New York Times Best Selling Author of Maybe This Time.

Jenny has written 15 novels and one book of literary criticism, edited two essay collections, and contributed over thirty essays to magazines and anthologies. Her work has been published in 20 countries.

Her latest novel Maybe This Time is a wonderful addition to the paranormal romance genre and is generously being offered to one lucky commenter on this post. {details below}


*********

PJ: Your bio states that the pursuit of a Ph.D led you to actually writing your first novel, what drew you to the genre of romance?

JC: I was studying romance as part of my dissertation, an examination of the impact of gender on storytelling.  I read 100 romance novels to study how women wrote, and I was so caught up in the stories and so admired the genre that I stopping writing my diss and started writing novels.  Twenty novels later, the diss is still unfinished.  I'll get to it.  Eventually.

PJ: In your own words, can you tell us a little bit about your latest novel, Maybe This Time?

JC: Maybe This Time is my version of Henry James' Turn of the Screw.   I pushed the date back to 1992, but things still change radically from the original because the world has changed so radically in the hundred years between the two books.  So it's the story of what would happen if a governess were sent to a lonely house that might be haunted to deal with two disturbed children in modern times.  My heroine Andie is coping with raising these two kids and dealing with her ex-husband (the children's guardian who hired her) and her current fiance, plus a host of relatives and ghost professionals who turn up.  I had a great time with it.

PJ:  Maybe This Time leans towards the paranormal romance / fantasy genre, did you enjoy writing in this direction?

JC: Loved it.  I've done it in the collaborations--witches in The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes with Eileen Dreyer and Anne Stuart, goddesses in Dogs and Goddesses with Anne Stuart and Lani Diane Rich, and demons in Wild Ride with Bob Mayer--but this was my first time with ghosts.  Lots of research which was fascinating, and a new challenge which is always good.

PJ: Can we expect more paranormal romances in the future, solo or collaborative?

JC: Anne and Lani and I are planning a book called Fairy Tale Lies that tells the story of what happens after the happily ever after to Rapunzel (Lani), Cinderella (Anne), and Red Riding Hood (me).  There's lots of magic in that.  And I'm planning on doing Alice's story as an adult, tentatively titled Haunting Alice, which will have ghosts.  So yes.

PJ:  Maybe This Time is an homage to The Turn of the Screw, the novella by Henry James. I enjoyed how you brought into play the argument of the ghosts reality within the pages of your novel, and firmly took the side of the governess. Would you recommend readers to familiarize themselves with James’ novella first before reading yours if they would like to give your novel a little more depth?

JC: I don't think so. I'd recommend The Turn of the Screw to anybody, it's a wonderful novel (and very short and easy to read for those who don't like reading stories from two centuries ago).  But Maybe This Time was written to stand on its own.  If you've never read TotS, you won't miss it.  If you have read it, you can see the echoes and the references, but I think the depth of the novel is in the novel itself, not in the allusions.

PJ: I loved reading about Andromeda and North, will we be seeing them again?

JC: They'll show up in Haunting Alice, I would imagine.  They're Alice's parents, after all.

PJ: Speaking of the characters, I was also very impressed with the depth of each one, from the surly housekeeper to Andie’s unique mother, do you base your characters off of real people in your life, or purely fictional?

JC: Purely fictional.  They sort of show up in my head and become who they are.  Mrs. Crumb, the housekeeper, owed a lot to Mrs. Grose, the housekeeper from The Turn of the Screw, and some to Mrs. Danvers, the housekeeper from Rebecca, but she was also her own person.  Andie's mother my daughter might recognize as partly me, the whack job who never let the sixties go.  Hey, I LIKE long dresses, okay?

PJ: As a writer, do you have your ideas firmly in place with an outline, or do you just let the storyline flow?

JC: I let it flow.  I make scene diagrams and check turning points as I go, but the story emerges on its own and I try not to get in its way until it's all on paper.  Then I go back and rewrite extensively to make sure everything is clear.

PJ: Has becoming a Best-Selling author impacted your life greatly?

JC: In some ways.  I don't have to get dressed up to go to work.  When I needed help because the career part was eating the writing part, my daughter came on board and became an expert on publishing and promotion, and because of that we have an entirely different relationship as adults and professional partners that we wouldn't have had otherwise, so that's been the best part of it all.  But on a day to day basis, it makes no difference at all.  You start a book with the same trepidation that any unknown writer does.  You struggle with the same things.  You still have to mop floors and clean the toilet.  The bestseller stuff makes a difference in New York.  It doesn't mean much in Ohio.

PJ: Are there any appearances or events you would like PJV readers to know about?

JC: I have a seven-city book tour coming up (list is at http://www.arghink.com/2010/07/30/maybe-this-time-the-tour/).  I also have a blog called Argh Ink (http://www.arghink.com/) where we talk about everything under the sun which is probably more fun than a book tour, especially if you're not in the upper midwest which is where the tour is.  And every Friday night, Lani Diane Rich/Lucy March and I watch a romantic comedy for a project called The Popcorn Dialogues (the schedule is at http://popcorndialogues.com/ ).   We start the movie at 7PM ET and keep a conversation with other PopD people going on Twitter at #PopD.  Then after the movie, Lucy and I do a podcast that goes up on the blog the next day (Saturday afternoon).  It's fun, and we've learned so much about writing romantic comedy that we have no plans to stop after the historical survey is done.   And anybody is welcome to chime in.

PJ: Lastly, I notice that you hail from Wapakoneta, Ohio. Recently made famous by Kent Boyd from So You Think You Can Dance? Are you a fan?

JC: You know, I'm not, but I wish Kent the best.   Wapak is also about ten miles from Lima, Ohio, which is where the Glee kids live, and I'm a big fan of that.   I'm a fiction writer, so reality doesn't have much pull for me.

Thank you so much for stopping by Jenny. I can't gush enough about  Maybe This Time {review here}. I think I might just have to stop by and check out those popcorn dialogues!

Question for our readers/commentators:

Do you believe in ghosts? And have you ever seen one?


*********

The Giveaway!
  • One {1} Copy of Jennifer Crusie's Maybe This Time 
  • Contest open for US and Canadian residents only
  • Answer the question above. Comment to win, please include email for contact purposes 
  • Giveaway Ends August 31, 2010
Extra Entries {Please Comment for each extra entry}:
  • Anyway in which you promote this giveaway, blog post, sidebar, tweet, facebook etc. just leave a link
  • If you are a follower, GFC, email...etc.

95 comments:

Ben Langhinrchs said...

I don't believe in ghosts, but more as an agnostic doesn't know than as an athiest doesn't believe. I've never seen one, but could be easily convinced and keep looking.

I am not sure whether I count as a reader of Jennifer Crusie, because I am more of a listener. Not audio books. My wife simply reads great swathes of them to me (most recently, 'Wild Ride'), and getting a new one would mean giving it to her and hearing her lovely voice laughing and chortling as she read it aloud.

Rebecca said...

I have to have this one1 must must must!

Ghosts, I am undecided really. There have been things that have happend to people I know in more of a good way that makes me believe in spirits more a less. As far as ghosts that are out to get the living, not really.

beckaboo3283(at)gmail(dot)com

Rebecca said...

added to sidebar (right after i post this) :o)

beckaboo3283(at)gmail(dot)com

Rebecca said...

google follower

beckaboo3283(at)gmail(dot)com

Stella said...

I've never seen a ghost, but I have yet to decide if they exist or not. One part of me say that its absolutely ridiculous to believe in ghosts but another part is torn by the "what if" factor. either way, fun to think about!

im a follower
blue_star_@hotmail.com

Amy and Jennifer said...

I've never seen a ghost myself, but I do think they exist. To many people have had experiences with ghosts for them not to be real!!

Amy and Jennifer said...

I'm also a google follower.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

O please please enter me.
I'm itching to read this.
Do I believe in ghosts?
Yes.
Have I seen one?
No.
But I do think I've felt them before.
Great question and awesome interview :)
suitejuju(at)gmail(dot)com

Amy and Jennifer said...

Shared on blogspot/facebook :)

Jennifer (An Abundance of Books) said...

Great interview! i've been a fan of Crusie's since I first picked up "Faking It" and found it was set in Columbus, Oh, where I had just moved to.

I've never seen a ghost but my mother told me that my great grandfather swore he saw his mother's ghost when he was walking home from school one day. The school teacher (who was boarding with them) backed up his story.
I did want to stay at a haunted hotel in Eureka Springs for my honeymoon and my husband nixed it. :)

I would love to be included in the contest:
I am a follower
I tweeted this contest http://twitter.com/AbundanceBooks/status/21578592110
I put a sidebar link up on my blog http://anabundanceofbooks.blogspot.com/

Vegetarian Cannibal said...

I do not believe in ghosts. There has yet to be any proof of their existence. I'm a scientific sort, so unless there's logical evidence to the contrary, I'm not rushing off to a seance anytime soon.

Scorpio M. said...

I do believe in ghosts. Have never seen one & hope never to but my grandmother says she has and I know she never lies.

jenma76 at hotmail dot com

Scorpio M. said...

I am a GFC follower.

jenma76 at hotmail dot com

Booksnob said...

I love The Turn of the Screw and a good ghost story. I grew up in a haunted house and although I have not seen a ghost that I know of, I have felt and experienced their presence many times. They even appear in my dreams. One was very violent and scary and I couldn't sleep for about 6 months. So, Yes, I believe in ghosts.
yo teach 24 at comcast dot net
http://www.booksnob-booksnob.blogspot.com

Booksnob said...

Oh, I forgot to tell you I am an old follower. Have a great day.

Christinabean said...

I believe in ghosts but I've never seen one. Not sure if I'd freak out if I did (probably)...

clderwee at gmail dot com

+1 I'm a follower
+ 1 I tweeted this contest - http://twitter.com/clderwee/status/21588569469
+ 1 initial entry

Thanks! www.allaboutyabooks.blogspot.com

Patti (Book Addict) said...

Oh, girl, you know I am all over this one! Count me in please!

Yes I believe in ghosts, thankfully I've never seen one :)

Patti (Book Addict) said...

Extra point: tweeted:
http://twitter.com/BookAddictPatti/status/21592632279

Patti (Book Addict) said...

(I feel silly doing comments for extra entries)

+1 old follower

Patti (Book Addict) said...

Last one:

+1 sidebar post:
www.bookaddictpatti.com

mountie9 said...

I do believe in ghosts but have never seen one, I would like too though -- well only if it was a friendly one

contestmom AT hotmail DOT com

mountie9 said...

Tweeted
http://twitter.com/mountie9/status/21592971906

mountie9 said...

Follow you on google reader

mountie9 said...

Follow you on twitter
mountie9
contestmom AT hotmail DOT com

Mishel said...

Honestly I think I do believe in ghosts. I don' have any real reason why I do and I haven't seen any proof of them personally. But I can't bring myself to say that I don't believe in them.

I really enjoyed the interview and would love a chance to be entered in the giveaway.

I'm a follower.
I also posted a link to this giveaway on my sidebar (http://creativitygone.blogspot.com)

Thanks so much,

mishtakes AT gmail DOT com

stilettostorytime said...

I have never seen a ghost but I cannot say that I do not believe in them. I have seen and experienced too many things I cannot explain to deny something such as ghosts...based on my first hand sightings alone.

Thanks for the giveaway!
Courtney
stilettostorytime)at)gmail(dot)com

Faith Adeline said...

I definitely believe in ghosts (: I've never seen one, but I think they're there.

The giveaway is awesome! My email is faithadeline@gmail.com

I'm a follower and tweeted about the giveaway here: https://twitter.com/faithadeline

elaing8 said...

Great interview.
I do believe in ghosts but have never seen one. But I know peole who have.
elaing8(at)netscape(dot)net

elaing8 said...

tweeted
http://twitter.com/elaing8/status/21618124176

elaing8(at)netscape(dot)net

elaing8 said...

GFC Follower
elaing8(at)netscape(dot)net

Kate R said...

Ok. I'm off to twitter this contest because I want the book, stat.

Ruthie said...

When my mother died my mother-in-law said she came to her that night & told her to take care of me. I have never experienced this but do believe...

ruthiekb72@yahoo.com

JenM said...

I don't believe in ghosts and unless I actually saw one, I'm unlikely to change my mind. That doesn't stop me from enjoying reading about them though!

jen at delux dot com

JenM said...

I'm a GFC follower.

jen at delux dot com

stacey said...

Yes I do believe in ghost live in a few haunted houses have not seen them but seen this open and close and herd things and one time seen a suft animal floting in the air.
sasluvbooks(at)yahoo.com

stacey said...

I'm a GFC Follower
sasluvbooks(at)yahoo.com

stacey said...

I blog about this on my myspace blog and here is the link to my myspace http://www.myspace.com/sasluvbooks

sasluvbooks(at)yahoo.com

Ladytink_534 said...

I do believe in ghosts but I've never seen one.

Ladytink_534(at)yahoo(dot)com

Ladytink_534 said...

I'm a follower (Google Friend)
Ladytink_534(at)yahoo(dot)com

Tasha said...

I do believe in ghosts, but I have never seen one.

~Book Obsessed

Tasha said...

here is my tweet...

http://twitter.com/avidbookaholic/status/21657421353

~Book Obsessed

Tasha said...

I am a GFC follower...

~Book Obsessed

Sugar said...

wow that looks amazing!!

Thanks for the chance to win :)

Emma said...

Do I believe in Ghosts? I do believe that people may see things that are unexplained, but are these people that have died and are in some sort of limbo? No I dont believe that at all. When you are dead you are dead.

Nicole said...

I've never seen a ghost, and never any evidence to believe that they are real. *shrug*
I'm a follower
minnchica(dot)bookpusher(at)gmail.com

Aik said...

I believe in ghosts but I've never seen them. It's not that I want to see them, anyway. I'm too much a coward for that.

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Aik said...

I'm a follower.

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Aik said...

I tweeted:

http://twitter.com/aikchien/status/21743116622

aikychien at yahoo dot com

joder said...

I do believe in ghosts. There's just too many sightings and stories for them not to exist.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

joder said...

I'm a follower.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

joder said...

Tweeted here...http://twitter.com/jone402/status/21784652609

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Jennifer Mathis said...

I believe in ghost I'm not sure that I have ever seen one but I have certainly heard them walking and when I was a kid we would wake up to the smell of bacon and coffee but my mom would still be asleep and there was no neighbors

meandi09@yahoo.com

Flippin' Fabulous- A Reader's Record said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Flippin' Fabulous- A Reader's Record said...

I'm a follower :-)

As for ghosts? Yeah, I believe in them. Yeah, I've seen them. I grew up in a house I couldn't sleep in because of 'weird stuff.' I had pictures I took, for testing, and got 'white images' in the pictures. They got lost in moving, a few were copied for the local historian club, but lets just say thinking about ghosts freaks me out!!!

areadersrecord (at) gmail (dot) com

-Stacey @ Flippin' Fabulous- A Reader's Record

kjovus said...

I am a follower!
kjovus(at)gmail(dot)com

kjovus said...

Yes I believe in ghost, the good kind and the bad kind.
kjovus(at)gmail(dot)com

Margay said...

I do believe in ghosts. I've been witness to too many things in my life that have no other explanation.

Btw, this book sounds great!

I am a follower via Google Friends Connect.

Margay1122(at)aol(dot)com

latishajean said...

I think I do sometimes but it's one of those things I'm undecided about. makes you think great giveaway thank you!
tishajean@charter.net

latishajean said...

Im a follower too
tishajean@charter.net

latishajean said...

tweeted to
http://twitter.com/latishajean/status/21856004070
tishajean@charter.net

Angiegirl said...

I have to say, no, I don't. But I love reading about them!

angiegirl (at) gmail (dot) com

k_sunshine1977 said...

sure, just because i haven't seen one doesn't mean they don't exist - 'course, i feel that way about a lot of things....:)

k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

Chrystal said...

I believe in ghosts. When I was little there were loud noises in the bedrooms when we were all downstairs together and then a flash of light by the upstairs door like something was leaving. I used to think maybe it was my Grandma checking on us and making sure we were okay. :)

+1 Follower
chrystal.mclean@yahoo.ca

PS thanks for the great contests!

Barbara E. said...

I'd like to believe in ghosts and I know there are a lot of unexplained things that people have experienced, but until I actually see one, I don't think I'll be a believer.

I'm a GFC follower
Barbed1951(at)aol(dot)com

ParanormalBites said...

I'm a believer, although I haven't actually seen a ghost. I have other sensory experiences, including feeling physical touches, having my daughter's toys suddenly start making sounds when no one was touching them and smelling certain scents that had no explaination. I have also experienced "cold spots", had objects moved when no one had been in a room to move them, and watched my then baby daughter and cat physically react to a presence that I could not see. I actually have a few stories that I could share, lol.

I follow the blog on GFC, Twitter and Facebook.

Laurie
admin@ParanormalBites.com

Monica said...

I believe not really in ghosts but in spirits whether good or bad. I guess it's really the same thing but idk I like to say spirits! I like to think that I had an "encounter" when I stayed at The Hawthorn in Salem, Massachusetts which is a haunted hotel! (Ghost Hunters even went there!) It's a really lame story and I won't bore you with the details it was just a creepy door that got stuck and then wasn't? It was a you had to be there kind of thing I think.

Anyway. I follow on GFC and Twitter!

Monica
MMashura93@gmail.com

Ashley's Bookshelf said...

Do you believe in ghosts? And have you ever seen one?

Hm. Lets see. I believe in God's Word which is the bible. And it says not to contact or socialize with the dead. So it doesnt say that there isnt any just not to contact them. No I have never seen any and I dont necessarily go looking for them either :D

ashleysbookshelf@gmail.com

Ashley's Bookshelf said...

I follow on GFC!

ashleysbookshelf@gmail.com

Ashley's Bookshelf said...

I follow through email

ashleysbookshelf@gmail.com

Ashley's Bookshelf said...

I follow on Twitter!
@ashleybookshelf

ashleysbookshelf@gmail.com

Sweeter the berry said...

I believe in ghosts. Haven't seen one but felt and heard one.

letessha@yahoo.com

Sweeter the berry said...

twitter follower/dahliamomma

letessha@yahoo.com

Sweeter the berry said...

gfc follower
letessha@yahoo.com

Sweeter the berry said...

email subscriber
letessha@yahoo.com

Sweeter the berry said...

fb liker/letesshaw

letessha@yahoo.com

Meredith said...

I follow on GFC and Twitter @tessaa99

I don't know that I've resolved whether I believe in ghosts or not. I've never seen one.

I've been to Wapakoneta and was born in Lima. Moved from the area years ago!

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Meredith said...

I am a GFC follower. (leaving a separate entry)

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Meredith said...

Twitter follower @tessaa99

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Sarah Chateau Saghir said...

I do believe in ghosts (souls).. why, what are we, but souls borrowing our bodies, then returning to the Most High.
saghir(dot)sarah(at)live(dot)ca
- a blog follower

Brooke said...

I don't believe in ghosts and I've never seen one either. My aunt and uncle stayed at a hotel that's supposedly haunted though, and she claims they saw one. I've yet to decide if she really believes it herself or if it's just a story to tell.
texas_gal45(at)hotmail(dot)com

Brooke said...

(+1) GFC follower
texas_gal45(at)hotmail(dot)com

Linda Henderson said...

Well, I don't know as I believe in ghosts as such, but I do believe in spirits. I've never seen one, probably a good thing too, it would totally freak me out.

seriousreader at live dot com

Linda Henderson said...

I tweeted this giveaway.

http://twitter.com/BookOwner/status/22534661747

seriousreader at live dot com

Linda Henderson said...

I posted on Facebook.

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1232683984&v=wall&story_fbid=154665761211917&ref=mf

seriousreader at live dot com

Linda Henderson said...

I follow on GFC.

seriousreader at live dot com

Linda Henderson said...

I like you on Facebook as myself.

seriousreader at live dot com

Linda Henderson said...

I follow you on Twitter as BookOwner.

seriousreader at live dot com

Linda Henderson said...

I am an email subscriber.

seriousreader at live dot com

Breanne said...

No and no!

bmweida at yahoo dot com

Breanne said...

I follow via GFC

bmweida at yahoo dot com

donnas said...

I do believe in ghosts. And I do believe I have seen one and experienced some other strange things.

GFC follower

post and sidebar = http://donnasbloghome.blogspot.com/2010/08/contest-links-for-830.html

tweet - http://twitter.com/DonnaS1/statuses/22583523902

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Natasha said...

Awesome giveaway! I do believe in ghosts, although I haven't seen one myself. My family has lots of ghosts stories, and I do have a ghost picture that was taken at my house.. it was creepy. I do love all things supernatural!

I follow through GF! I'm also subscribed, which is how I found out about this giveaway!

natashajennex(at)gmail(dot)com

Rosie said...

I've never actually seen a ghost, but I do believe in them!!!

rosie0512 @ hotmail . com

MannaB said...

I believe in ghosts and I believe that I have seen my Grandmother's ghost twice.
I am a follower with GFC

crazypplrok@gmail.com

Tiffani said...

Awesome Giveaway! Yay! And I do in fact believe in Ghosts! Because there are some things that happen that I just can't figure out what the cause was. Like if all of the windows and doors are closed, the whole family is in the same room and then all of a sudden a door slams! So yeah I believe in ghosts. And I think I actually saw one once. It was right after my dog died. I was on the couch and then all of a sudden I thought I heard a whimper, so I want to my dogs favorite place. The closet. So I walked in and then I saw him(at least I think so) I saw a blurry white dog. But that's not the weird part, the dog didn't have a head! That did it, I freaked out and ran off screaming! People tell me it was all in my head........but it felt to real to not be real.

email: cafe.of.answers@gmail.com

blog: http://cafeofanswers.blogspot.com/