If I Speak True by Jessica L. Brooks – Interview & Giveaway

If I Speak TrueIf I Speak True

Dahlia Kennedy’s sixteenth birthday marks a decade of mysterious dahlias arriving and strange, lonely dreams of being in a forest. The only difference this birthday, however, is that for the first time, someone is there with her. And he’s practically from a whole other era.

The more often Dahlia visits Rowan in his land of Ambrosia, the stronger their connection grows. But… is Ambrosia real? Is he real? What is going on between the two of them, exactly, and why does he insist that she keep it to herself?

As secrets usually go, however, it’s only a matter of time before everything comes out. And when Dahlia finds out the truth of who Rowan is, who she is, and how he really feels — it’s beyond anything she could have ever imagined.

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About the Author:

Jessica BrooksJessica L. Brooks resides with her husband of over sixteen years, three awesome daughters, and a plethora of pets in Central California, where fog, frost, triple-digit heat and various items of produce arrive bountifully, depending on the season. She has an affinity for both coffee and owls, and loves to connect with fellow readers and writers on most social networks like Goodreads, Twitter and Pinterest. You can also connect with her on her blog, Let Me Tell You A Story.

Jessica shares reviews for her favorite books on Afterglow Book Reviews, spreads writing and author love for independently-published authors at Indie Ignites, and salutes all writers (no matter what stage in their writerly journey) at Operation Awesome.

IF I SPEAK TRUE, the first in the Flora series, will be available 1/27/14. PITY ISN’T AN OPTION (Cozenage, #1) is her debut novel.

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 INTERVIEW

One food you would never eat? 
Eggplant. Been there, tried it, don’t get it. Nope.
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
I’d say having someone connect with the characters is probably the most rewarding. You get to know them so well as you write them, so having people enjoy getting to know them as well is quite rewarding.


Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
 
Definitely. Especially in the way some of my main characters think. I enjoy being able to share what’s in their heads and expose a part that so many of us are afraid to show other people in real life.
If you were a bird, which one would you be?

I researched birds when writing Pity Isn’t An Option, and fell in love with the Rufous hummingbird. It’s a tiny thing, but so beautiful, with bright orange feathers and a brilliant red throat. The females have green on them as well. And, they fly super-fast, chasing way other hummingbirds twice their size. They go from California to Alaska and back again in the course of one year. I just love everything about them.
You have won one million dollars what is the first thing that you would buy?
 
With this being hypothetical and us throwing out the bumps in the road that might make this less simple than it is in my head: There’s this abandoned building in the town that I live in–it’s been abandoned for years now. I would buy it, gut it, and turn it into a homeless shelter. It’s the perfect size to have a kitchen, sleep area, storage area to feed and help others in the community, a book area, and more. Every time I drive buy it, I think of what a waste it is to be sitting there, completely unused. So yeah. That’s what I would buy.
If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
This title just came to me: I CANNOT MAKE UP MY MIND. I have issues with deciding things, like my favorites of anything. So yeah, that would be a pretty appropriate title for a book about myself.
 
Favorite quote from a movie?
One of my favorite movies is Stick It. So here’s one of the many phrases we tend to repeat around here: Pointy feet, not pointy words. Pointy words are mouth turds. It doesn’t sound funny if you haven’t seen the movie, but the character who says it has an accent, and so, given the scene and the way it’s said, we always laugh about it. Plus, if you think about it, she does make a good point. She’s trying to keep the gymnasts from verbally fighting with one another.
What do you think of book trailers?
I love them. I think they help readers connect to books in a completely different way–a good way–and that’s awesome. I would love to eventually be able to have book trailers for all of my books.
What words or expression do you overuse?
Well, being in a house with three teenagers, I think the current one I’ve accidentally picked up on is “can you not”. *hangs head* I am trying to stop.

What is on your “keeper shelf” of books?

Gosh, there are so many… I usually don’t keep books I don’t enjoy or think my daughters will enjoy — I donate them to the library. But there are so many “keepers”! In keeping with my whole “I cannot make up my mind” thing, I think I’ll just list a stack. Along with bookshelves I have throughout the house, there’s also one wall where I have stacks organized by color. Here’s the blue stack: The Death Cure, The False Prince, Unravel Me, Sea, Bitterblue, The Ask and the Answer, and Falling Kingdoms.

Do you like the spotlight or lurking in the shadows?

 
Um, this is a weird answer. If it’s a large group, I’m fine with being in the spotlight. If it’s a small group, I’d rather hide. I’m better with either large groups, or one on one with people.
How do you come up with the characters names/personalities?
Research, especially for If I Speak True. I researched a lot of trees and flowers, and not only that, but the feelings or meanings that tend to be associated with them. So, for instance, a dahlia (for Dahlia Kennedy, the main character) can be associated being “forever thine”, Tuberose can mean “dangerous pleasures”, and Sage can mean “great respect”. Rowan can mean “protection” and “connection”. Hawthorne (Rowan’s cousin) can mean “contradiction” or “consequence”, and Daphne, commonly known as mezereon, flower-wise, means “eager to please”.
How many books are in your TRB pile? 

I just checked Goodreads. It’s currently at 665 books–and I’d say almost all of them are YA.

Most embarrassing moment?
 
I’ve had a few, but one was when I was about thirteen. I was riding my bike home from my piano teacher’s house a few blocks up the street from my house, and saw a boy I had a crush on practicing throwing a football in his front yard across the street from me. I must have been staring too much in his direction or something, because the bag full of piano books that was hanging from my right handlebar weighed the handle down and suddenly jerked my right handle down toward my leg, which caused the entire bike to turn into a truck that was parked at the curb to my right. Then, the truck’s alarm started going off! I was so mortified–I acted as though it was the most normal thing in the world as he looked over, and I got back going on my bike again and headed for home, but it was horrible. And then I told my dad later that day, and instead of feeling sorry for me, he scolded me for not checking to see if I’d marked up the truck!
 
What is your view on self publishing?
I think it’s an amazing opportunity, and am grateful for it. There are so many readers who want to read whatever they can, and self-publishing allows that to happen.

Titles: do you write the books first and the title comes next or does the title come to you as you write?
The titles come later. I usually have some sort of title or nickname for them, but those rarely stick. I like the process of choosing something that goes with the storyline once it’s completed, or close to being final.

Do your characters really talk to you?
I haven’t had any specifically talk to me yet, but I have felt their feelings, heard their thoughts, and understood where they were coming from. I’d say I feel more “inside” them than “outside” to where we could carry on a conversation.

 

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