I can't believe summer is almost over. But that doesn't mean the Campfire is. The next few weeks I'll be heading to Maryland, Vermont, Cape May, and Pennsylvania. We even have a Driveway Camping date with my sister. Now that's a fire you'd wish you could be around, I never now where our conversation will go. Here's a shout out to all the sisters near and far. Fall campfires are the best. Crisp air with the scent of a wood fire is the ultimate. But before we give up summer, click on the virtual fire and let's welcome today's guest N. Jade Gray. I enjoyed reading her book Raider of Her Heart. Here she is to tell you her happening.
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N. Jade Gray, welcome to the Campfire. Coffee, tea, cocoa, or wine?
Interviewee All of the above, except the Coffee. And I’m fond of a good Italian Margarita every once in a while.
I never heard of an Italian Margarita. (Dashing to google) Oh my, that looks and sounds delish. I'll post a recipe below. Now, as we settle around the fire tell us if you've had any camping experience.
Growing up, my dad had a side business of renting campers and toppers to people to go camping. We, as a family, spent a lot of time camping, whether it be in toppers, campers, or tents. I had three brothers who were involved in Boy Scouts, so we did a lot of camping activities with that organization as well. Then I caught the Backpacking in Colorado bug when I was in High School. Five summers I went to Durango, Colorado to the San Juan Mountains and would backpack with a youth group from all over Oklahoma. We would backpack in the wilderness for two weeks. We made our tents out of tarps, so there were some wet soggy nights sometimes, but it was an awesome adventure, and I loved it! Nature is one of the best retreats with campfire being the best therapy.
Now that I’m older I would love to try the Glamping, as you call it, in Covered Wagons and other cool ideas they’ve come up with.
Hooray, a fellow camper. That sounds so exciting. You really were in the midst of the outdoor experience and visited some gorgeous places. You should try Glamping, all the comforts of home in the middle of nowhere. Now, tell us about your books. That's a big fire on the cover of Raider. What are you working on now?
My two previous books were Historical Romance Time Travels. I’m deviating in my current project. It is still Romance, but it’s a Christmas Contemporary story. The working title is Tangled in Tinsel.
I think it's fun and stimulates the creative process when you color outside the lines. What a fun title. Do you have a tagline?
Interviewee No. I suppose I need to put this on my to-do list. 😊
For those who are wondering, a tagline is a short usually one sentence or two that sums up the story. They are quite difficult to created. Raider of Her Heart used, History, written in stone or could it be changed given the chance. If you don’t mind me asking, can you tell us about the time and process? New authors and readers often don't realize the how long things can take.
My first book, All for the Love of a Cowboy, took years. Umm, over 20, but I was a full-time mother, wife, worked full-time job, and school. But, I kept chipping away at it. With several of those years just trying to get someone to say Yes to the submission. My second book, Raider of Her Heart, didn’t take as long now that the boys are older. Maybe around 4 years from start to publication.
Do you see that folks? Patience and Perseverance. To be successful at most things you need those two ingredients. Did you ever to play with your work in progress, get 'Tangled in the Tinsel' and said nope this is not going to work?
Yes and it’s been recently. Yes, even after getting two books published. I’m not sure self-doubt ever really goes away or it hasn’t for me anyway. The publishing world has so many books/authors and there are so many perimeters you don’t even consider when you decide to “write your book.” I have found it hard to keep up with my full-time day job and my writing. Discouragement creeps in. Then I start to question does my story really matter? And have I gotten past this bump in the road…the verdict is still out, but I continue to plug away slowly at the story clamoring to get out of my head and onto paper.
I'm sure all of us are cheering you on. One of my favorite quotes is -The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places. ~Author Unknown Most authors have bits and pieces of projects at various stages of development, how about you? Are any calling to you for attention?
I have so many stashes of paper, computer files containing words for stories or ideas that I’m not sure I will ever get them all out. Ha. But, there are two that seem to bully me for my time. The Christmas story I’ve mentioned and another contemporary romance that refuses to be put on a back seat.
Okay so I'm adding T the P's above, time. Working, family and school all swallow chunks of Time. You can only do what you can. I retire soon and look forward to having that time to write. You never know. Persevere and you may get a block buster and can write full-time. So lets time travel back to your beginning self. What would you tell N. Jade Gray?
It’s hard, but worth it. There is more to this writing business you won’t understand, but try to learn. You can’t begin to imagine the feeling that sweeps over you when you hold your book baby in your hands for the first time. Dare to keep at it and put your stubbornness to work.
You seem like a pretty adventurous lad. What does your bucket list look like?
Ever evolving. Do I want to jump out of an airplane. Well....no. That is definitely not on any list, no way, no how!
Over the last few years I've been able to knock a few off of the "to do's". Hot air balloon ride, Zip-lining, Water rafting, Hiking a waterfall...I guess I like adventure. My husband and I like to try activities that are available to the area we are visiting, for example Kissing the Blarney Stone (only the clean spot, mind you). It helps when we encourage each others inner child. :) So, something that may be on the bucket list today, may go to the wayside the next for something that I want to experience (within reason)..
Camping is about traveling and you look like you've traveled a bit. What was the best vacation you ever took?
I love vacations, but to pick just one? Oh boy.
I would say our trip to Ireland was spectacular. Both our boys were able to go with us, along with our soon to be daughter-in-law, which our oldest son proposed to at the Cliffs of Moher. We visited so many beautiful sites and places and I’m sure barely scratched the surface. I’d love to go back again some day!
Oh, Ireland. The land of my people. Cover me Kelly Green with envy. And how romantic. I guess you've rubbed off on your oldest. Do you have a “Kodak Moment"?
My family, My husband and my wedding day, the births of our sons. So many a collage in my mind.
A collage in your mind, that's beautiful. Family is one of our most important foundations. Speaking of foundations Who helps you build your books. Are there any mentors, or authors you would like to give a shout-out to?
The mentors in the trenches, Theresa, Melissa, Margret and many family and friends. It does take an army sometimes to encourage and support.
Final question. What does literary success look like to you?
Being a published author in itself is success! That dream has been realized.
But if I’m truthful with myself, there’s a selfish part of me that would love to say my book was made into a movie. Hey, I know we all do it! 😊
Lol, we do! Thank you so much for joining me around the campfire today. It's been a fun time and hope you enjoyed yourself as much as I enjoyed it. I would appreciate you leaving us a blub and exert from your work. Don’t forget to add where we can purchase your book and how we can find out more about you below.
Blurb: Cavalry scout Judson Stone needs to warn Lawrence, Kansas, of the impending threat of Quantrill and his raiders. Shot and left for dead, he awakes in a strange new time and place. Guilt riddles him over his failed mission as the days pass and he struggles to find a way back to his own time –and overcome growing feelings for a woman who doesn't trust him.
Sadie Winters has her hands full juggling a full-time job, a start-up business, and the chore of keeping tabs on her mischievous grandfather. She doesn't need the further complication of caring for the stranger Gramps brought home. Little by little, the mystery surrounding Judson is revealed, and she throws herself into helping him find his way back to his own time. But how can she send him back, knowing she's fallen in love?
You can find more about N. Jade Gray by clicking on the buttons below.
Before you go, since we talked about our books being made into movies, this weeks recommendations are some of my personal favorites
Harry Potter- All of them
Lord of the Rings- All of them
This weeks recipe The Italian Margarita
Don't forget to join me next week when I interview thriller author C. Becker.
And one more perseverance quote
Don't be discouraged. It's often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock. ~Author Unknown