Guest interview: Janni Nell + Book giveaway!

After growing up in a beachside suburb of Sydney, Australia, Janni Nell travelled overseas, working in the UK before returning to Sydney, where she now lives. She has won prizes for short story but her dream was to publish a novel. Carina Press fulfilled that dream when Allegra Fairweather: Paranormal Investigator was published in June 2010. The second book in the series, “South of Salem”, will be released 30th May 2011. When Janni isn’t writing, you can find her line dancing or working in her vegetable garden.

Welcome Janni! Please tell us about your latest release.

Allegra Fairweather: Paranormal Investigator is the first book in a series of mysteries featuring Allegra and her gorgeous guardian angel, Casper.

Sounds fascinating! Do you have a review you could share with us?

“Pick up this book for an entertaining lighthearted look at several of the legends that abound in the mysterious land of Scotland mixed with a plucky heroine determined to solve her cases no matter what the risk. This is an enjoyable debut novel with enough interesting loose ends to make one hope for other chapters in Allegra Fairweather’s life.” 4 stars Night Owl Paranormal Reviews.

Wonderful review! Scottish legends always draw me in. Why do you write paranormal mysteries?

I’ve always enjoyed reading the mystery genre, but I seem unable to write any genre without a hint of the paranormal creeping in. I’ve given up fighting it and these days just allow the ghosts and witches and goblins to play.

What do you enjoy most about writing paranormal mysteries?

I love using my imagination to create things beyond the normal. I also love writing in Allegra’s kind of snarky voice, which allows me to say things I could never say in real life.

How did your story’s setting impact your plot or characters?

For the Allegra books, the setting always comes first. It impacts enormously on the story. So far, I’ve used a different country for each book and often use the mythology of that country, when creating the paranormal characters.

I love unique settings. Did you choose the title of your book and if so how did you do it?

I did choose the title, although it wasn’t my first choice. I planned to call it “The Secret of the Loch”, but that didn’t seem to capture the essence of the book, so I decided to go with “Allegra Fairweather: Paranormal Investigator”.

Interesting! I love the title. Also, the cover is gorgeous. Where is your favorite place in the world?

Right where I live in Sydney, Australia. Okay, the traffic sucks, but the climate is lovely, and I live near a semi-rural pocket of the city so a short drive will take me into “the bush”.

I would love to visit Austrailia at some point. Please tell us about your favorite character in the book.

I love Allegra. She’s kind of like me plus wish fulfillment. She’s way taller than I am, stronger, a better fighter, braver.

What was the most important thing you learned (the thing that made all the difference) just before you made your first sale?

After years of submitting to agents, I faced the fact that I’d probably never become a professional author. I made peace with that, realizing I had a good life, even if I never got published. As I had several completed manuscripts in my bottom drawer, I figured I might as well send them off to publishers. I didn’t have an agent so that meant choosing publishers, who were happy with unagented submissions. Luckily, Carina Press liked my book. I became one of their launch authors.

That's fantastic! What do you wish you’d known before becoming published?

That the freedom of e-publishing is ideal for me.

Do you have any advice for unpublished authors?

Keep writing, learning and submitting. Be polite and co-operative. Be careful what you post on the internet.

What’s next for you?

The second Allegra Fairweather book, “South of Salem”, will be released 30th May 2011. I’m currently working on the third book in the series.

Congratulations on your upcoming release! I love the title. Very intriguing. Would you like to ask readers a question?

Who is your favorite paranormal character?

Thanks so much for being our guest today, Janni!

Everyone, a winner will be chosen from all the commenters to receive a copy of Janni's book, Allegra Fairweather: Paranormal Investigator.

Please check out Jani's websites.


Toni Anderson said...

Great interview, Janni. I spent a couple days in Sydney and it is a gorgeous city. The second book sounds as wonderful as the first. My favorite paranormal character? Hmm...I don't read much paranormal. I'm loving Marie Treanor's Vampire series and I've got a soft spot for Karen Marie Monings Fever series. In turns of mythology I love the Gorgon story, and Nessie is pretty high up there too.

Anonymous said...

This premise sounds so fun! I can certainly identify with Janni's comment that living through her heroine lets her say and do things she normally wouldn't get to. Thanks for the post!

Karen Cote said...

This was wonderful Janni. The insight on what you provided gave knowledge of yourself and the review gave insights into your work which sounds fascinating. For just a second I wanted to live in Australia too. Okay...longer than a second. Congrats on your partnership with Carina Press. I've heard nothing but good things about them.

Janni Nell said...

Living in Australia means I've only just woken up.

Toni: We had our own "Nessie" in Sydney Harbour recently. Photos of something that looked like the Loch Ness Monster's less famous cousin appeared in the newspaper. No reports on what it actually was. Old tyres and glue perhaps?

mistydietz: Allegra gets away with a lot more than I can. :-)

Karen: You wouldn't want to be in Sydney today. :-) Cold and raining. Good weather for curling up with a book anyway. I have a Tess Gerritsen I'm dying to finish.

Janni Nell said...

Thanks for having me on the blog, Nicole. It's been great!

Nicole North said...

Thanks so much for being our special guest, Janni!! I enjoyed interviewing you!!