Saturday, March 23, 2013

Interview 17: Darlene Jones

Greetings humans, half-breeds, and everything in between. A while back, I had the pleasure to interview my new friend, Darlene Jones. She is visiting the ECS as a guest and sharing loads of interesting insights into her work. Be sure to look around and see what she has to offer. Here are the results of our interview. A good time was truly had by all, and here’s how it went down.
Hi there Darlene! It’s so awesome to have you here at the ECS Universe. Don’t worry about the darkness, your eyes will adjust.

 So tell me, who is Darlene Jones?
A long time ago, I lived in Mali. Every single day, I wished I could wave a magic wand to relieve the heart-wrenching poverty. The story line of my books reflects my desire to wave that wand and make the world a better place. If only wishes could come true. And of course, every novel needs its love story, so along with the sci-fi magic, I’ve added the requisite romance.

I like the idea that your writing reflex your desire to make the world a better place. I can’t wait to get to the knitty gritty of this interview and what wonders you have to share.

So whacha got for me today?

In my latest release: EMBRACED Abby believes the clickings she hears in the fillings of her teeth are messages from aliens. One of her students, Curtis, helps her to decode the messages. Both are in for a wild ride as they follow along with Coder Guy, as Abby calls the alien.

Strange messages in the fillings of teeth is a new one for me, but I like it. With an premise like that, I’m sure this will be a good and non-predictable story.

 So who’s starring is this 2 dimensional script read of EMBRACED?

Abby is a junior high school principal with what could be considered a very ordinary life. She doesn’t believe in aliens and is baffled as to why she thinks the clickings in her teeth are messages from “out there somewhere.” She feels guilty for involving a student, but feels she has no one else to turn to.

I like it when main characters are simple ordinary people. When their lives become not so ordinary, it make their story so much more interesting and exciting.

 Past, present, future, is there a rhyme or reason to your writing?

LOL. This is a good question. I started playing with the story when I suffered from insomnia. I thought it would help put me to sleep. It didn’t! Eventually, I felt compelled to write it down. I thought I’d write one novel, but I’ve published three and have the fourth almost ready to publish.

I feel you on the whole insomnia issue. Sometimes I think that if I just write it down, the idea will leave my head and I can sleep…it hasn’t worked for me yet either.

What author(s) has most influenced your writing? Why or how?
Robert J Sawyer. I’m not a hard core technical sci fi writer like he is, but I had a chance to participate in a week long seminar with him. He’s amazingly generous in sharing his knowledge. We learned so much. I credit him with giving me the courage to go ahead and finish my first novel. 

That’s pretty cool that you had a chance to attend a week long seminar with him. I glad you received the inspiration and courage you needed to complete your first novel.

Whose brain are you just itching to scratch?
Nelson Mendela. I’d love to know how he survived prison all those years and remained so caring and kind.

I agree with you. It seems to me that some people are put on the earth for the sole purpose of inspiring others and making the world a better place in one way or another. Some people’s lives are so harsh, adventurous, outrageous, and unbelievable that it makes you appreciate the mundane and simple struggles of your own life.

Who is so you and why?
I relate to characters in books. I’ve just read Domingo’s Angel and can relate to Angela as she did the kind of thing I could see myself doing. She left home and went off to Spain just after WWII and lived in a village there. I went off to Africa when young girls didn’t go off on their own let alone to the “dark” continent.

I try to find a way to relate to at least one character in every book that I read, but I haven’t yet experienced a true parallel such as yours. I can’t image what it must have felt like for you to leave home and live in Africa as a young girl. I bet that would make for a good story.

What’s your ideal reading spot for your next highly anticipated read?

I’m in the office/laundry area of our place in Mexico listening to the washing machine going through its cycles. Soon, I’ll take a break to go hang the clothes on the roof and perhaps catch a breeze while doing so. I prefer to read lying on the sofa and I usually save my reading for evenings.

I read Domingo’s Angel on my Kindle. I read it fast to find out what happens and then I liked it so much, I read it a second time more slowly to savor each nuance.

That sounds cozy. I read in the evenings too, but only because I work days. On the weekends I like to read in the afternoon. It’s cool that you sped through that book just to get the gist and then re-read it for enjoyment. I’ve done that before.

What was your favorite book or story, pre-teen years?

In those days I loved anything that focused on horses. I read all the time and hated that you could only take out 3 books from the library at a time.

Again, I can relate. For me though, my biggest problem with getting my library books was the fact that my family would lose them all the time- What’s a kid to do…Now this is where the questions get a little kooky; are you ready?


Alright then, here we go.

If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be?

You ask tough questions. I’m not a huge movie fan. If I really had to choose, it would be The Gods Must be Crazy.

That’s a pretty good movie and given your life and travels I can see why you picked it.

What makes you geek out?
Ah, that’s easy -- computers and related gadgets – I’m like the “boys and their toys” when it comes to laptops, Kindles, iPads etc. I’m anxious to see the new Microsoft Surface.

Sweet. I’m somewhat into gadgets, I mean I do like my tech, but I’m very picky.

 So what’s testing your patience right now?

I’m frustrated that I’m behind my self-imposed schedule for releasing my fourth book. I wanted to have it finished by the end of December, but that’s not going to happen.

Deadline are a beast even when self-imposed. I hardly ever meet my own, but I figure things get done when they are supposed to as long as I don’t waste time and procrastinate.

When the soundtrack of your life is playing in your head, what songs express your glee and what songs bring out your rage?

I don’t listen to music – I have no ear for it.

I gotta tell you that as a music lover, this almost breaks my heart. Then again, I like music so much why shouldn’t the opposite expression exist; not everyone has to like music.

What’s the most fun experience you’ve ever had, to date?

Safari in Kenya. A life-long dream and an experience that lived up to every expectation.

That sounds like an adventure to me and I bet it was fun.

 Remind me again how I was lucky enough to meet you?

I found you via Triberr.

Now that’s funny. I guess someone must have put info about my guest spots on there. Usually people find me through LinkedIn.

Not that you can see into the future, but in your opinion, what does the future hold?

I hope my life is more of the same – writing, reading, playing with my granddaughter. As for the world … I’d like to think conditions and relations between countries will get better, but I’m not overly optimistic.

Ok humans, half-breeds, and everything in between, that’s all for today. Be sure to follow this blog to see who will be visiting next time. For more from Darlene Jones, check out these great links: