Friday, 17 April 2015

Interview with the Author Janine Carbone

Here on 'The Secret Writer Blog' I am delighted that today I can introduce you all to a new author Janine Carbone!

Janine, is a Philadelphia native, who has put her BA in psychology to good use with the creation of her first New Adult novel, 'Wildflower'. Janine has mixed elements of mystery, romance, and suspense, to create an edgy and intense debut novel peering into the darker side of mental health.

Janine Carbone grew up in a world full of books and knew that she wanted to be a writer since an early age. Janine has told me that spends most nights dreaming up new plots, while mornings you can find her with a pen and pad in hand, twisting and weaving words to inspire surprise and delight for her readers.

With a love of cooking and traveling overseas, Janine can be found in the kitchen experimenting with unusual ingredients, or trekking across grounds unknown. However, she does enjoy spending every moment she can with her family. 
A very warm welcome to you Janine and can I thank you, for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us today.
Thank you for having me. I’m so excited to make this stop on your blog.

For the benefit of our International readers can you tell us a bit about the part of the world that you are currently resident in and why do you like living there?
I’m in the eastern part of the US, living in New Jersey. I can say I like it here 6 months out the year, but when the cold weather comes along with the white fluffy stuff, I want to run for the hills…to Florida or California at least.

Can I ask what sort of books did you like reading as a child?
Dr. Seuss was a favourite in elementary school. By middle school my reading evolved to a varied selection of Stephen King…loved “It”, but now I’m terrified of clowns! Faye Kellerman…writes great mysteries. I also remember falling in love with the bunnies from 'Watership Down'.

Do you think the books that you read as a child have influenced your writing in any way?
They say reading shapes great writers. I can only hope with each book I read that was the case for me.

Do you have a set routine when you are working on a novel?
Yes. That would be the “don’t give up” routine. No matter how many times I think I have it all figured out from the beginning, once I start writing my characters always take turns I never anticipated. It’s exciting, but also frustrating when I try to rework it all into the original outline to avoid plot holes. The don’t give up part comes in when it takes a couple of months for me to write the original outline, and upwards of a year for the first draft.

Where do you do your writing best?
All over. I have notebooks I carry around with me. Whenever I feel inspired, I take a moment to write.

What helped you decide to actually write a novel?
I've always wanted to be an author from a young age. When I started writing in my twenties during my spare time it was just for fun. But then I started accumulating so much that I decided to turn it into a novel. Luckily for me it all fit together nicely in one package and Wildflower came to life.

Can you briefly tell us a bit about your novel ‘Wildflower’?
It has some of everything- Mystery, romance, suspense, and psychology.
Here’s my book description: Faith desperately tries to hold on and fit into the mold of the "typical" college student, but her life quickly spirals out of control when visions of a dark past consume her. When these repressed memories begin to resurface, she relives the devastation of dealing with abandonment, death and betrayal. Faith soon realizes she never did escape the dangers of the past, and her battles are real and present. With a sadistic stalker lurking around campus while she painfully struggles to hold onto her newfound romance, Faith finds herself fighting to survive all over again.

When you are writing a novel, how do you place yourself into the time period that you are actually writing about?

Road trips are fun. I visit places that resemble settings in my book. The main setting in Wildflower is a college campus. It helps that I was a college student living on campus at one point in my life. To refresh my memory though, I made many trips to Arcadia University when writing the first draft.

How do you go about imagining, developing and give real lives and personalities to the characters that we read about within in your book?

I have an active dreaming imagination. I am fortunate enough to hold on to a lot of my dreams. Sometimes, before going to bed I try to clear my mind and think of nothing but my characters. Then I let my mind take over when I’m sleeping. This is how my characters grow and their world takes shape.

Did you encounter any difficulties in getting you book accepted and published?
In the past, it was extremely hard to get published. Times have changed and authors who have went with big publishers in the past are now going the less traditional indie way of publishing. This is why I wasn't worried with exploring this path as a new author. I sent out a few queries and within a couple of months I got positive responses. I was shocked when an indie publisher offered the first contract to me. I thought the process would be more difficult. When I encountered creative difference with that publisher I realized it is our duty as writers to be more critical about who publishes our work, and not take any leap because it is an easy one.

Did you have to undertake any research for your novel?

There is a lot of mental health and psychology in 'Wildflower'. Luckily, I didn't have to do much research because my BA is in that field.

What is your favourite book and why?
I can’t name just one because there are so many great books out there! When I was a teenager I would have told you 'Justice' by Faye Kellerman was my favourite. Last year it would have been the 'Mortal Instruments' series by Cassandra Clare. Earlier in the year the 'Divergent Series' caught my attention. Lately I have been reading more indie authors and I fell in love with 'Pleasantwick' by a new author, M. L. Stoughton.

Are you currently reading a book at the moment, and if so what is it?

I’m finishing up 'The Talisman' by Stephen King right now.

Do you have any other hobbies or interests that you enjoy in order to give you a break from your normal routine and your writing?

I own a retail vending business and so I travel a lot. One weekend I may find myself down the shore, another weekend at a huge concert venue. Every week it changes and that brings variety and excitement to my life. I also love cruises. Waking up and stepping off the ship into another part of the world is nice.  

Can you give us a hint about any other books that you may have in the making at the moment?
I’m halfway done the first draft of my second novel. It is a big turn from 'Wildflower'. Instead of going in a realistic fiction route, I decided to write a fantasy. My main character is thrust into a world she never imagined existed, forced into a fight - that isn't hers - to change the world for the better with powers she barely knows how to use. But ultimately she seeks to save the one person who matters the most to her while destroying the one who caused her the most pain and torment. 

Janine, I have been absolutely delighted and very honoured that you agreed to be interviewed for my literary site. I would also like to thank-you again for taking the time to speak to us today.
Thank you for taking the time to interview me!

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If you would like to find out more about Janine and her writing a direct web link to her website can be found below:


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for leaving your comment Michaele. It is very much appreciated both by Janine and myself :-)


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