I found my best friend at the Tennessee Valley Author Event in Knoxville. From the moment I walked over to her wonderfully decorated table I knew this tall, beautiful girl, with a purple streak in her hair, was going to be my BFF for the rest of the day. You know what, she was. We had breakfast together and traded books at the end of the event.
The friendship soon spilled over into Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. It didn’t take me long to figure out I was a good judge of character and I had chosen my best friend wisely. For example, she’s a huge Harry Potter fan, she was obviously a fan of purple (hence the highlight in her hair) and loved YA Paranormal. To me, that solidified the friendship and I knew that I wanted Janae Mitchell on my blog.
Janae has been a writer since she was old enough to hold a pencil. Her genre of choice was poetry and short stories—until now. After falling in love with so many books over the past decade, she decided that she wanted to write a novel of her own and bring life to the characters that haunt her mind. It wasn’t until 2012 that she pursued that passion and started on her first YA novel. 115,000 words later, For Always was born.
Having grown up in an historical Dandridge home that was used as slave quarters during the Civil War, she experienced several things that couldn’t be explained. Due to these events, she sought out and joined an investigative team called Eyewitness Paranormal. Her interest in ghosts and the unexplained, combined with her love for telling a story, made writing the For Always series inevitable.
Janae was born and raised in East Tennessee, where she currently resides with her husband, two children, and their hairless dog, Slick. In her spare time, she likes to read, play tennis, and spend time with her family on the lake.
When did you realize you wanted to be an author?
Well, I used to write short stories as a kid just for fun. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I actually took that desire to tell a story and ran with it, which led me to my first book series, For Always.
In what genre do you write?
Young Adult, mainly of the paranormal variety. I’ve got a bit of a fascination with ghosts.
Is there a genre you haven’t written in, but want to?
I’ve been asked to write fantasy, which might be cool.
What is your writing process? Such as, outlining, freehand, computer vs paper and pen?
Since I don’t even like writing a grocery list out, I only freehand important notes that I don’t want to forget. I don’t outline, either, but keep telling myself that I need to. I tend to play out scenes in my head while doing random things and then sit down and write them out later… while listening to SiriusXM; I can’t write in silence.
Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not?
Hmm… that’s a tough one. I tend to pull stories and characters from thin air. Sometimes I’ll let my characters have certain characteristics of those around me, even myself on occasion, or I’ll incorporate some random memory into the story. But for the most part, music is my inspiration. Certain songs set the mood and help build the characters and storyline in my head.
How much research, if any, did you have to put into your novel(s)?
The For Always series involves a character (Beau Brogan) who lived in the late 1800’s early 1900’s, as well as some Latin, all of which I know nothing about. So, for that story, I had to do a bit of research to make sure I was getting it right and not letting Beau eat popcorn before it was invented or saying phrases that weren’t relevant to his time.
Do you listen to music while you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to?
Most definitely. As I mentioned before, music is a big inspiration and I’m listening to it right at this very moment, actually—my all-time fav, Prince. When I’m forming stories in my head, I usually listen to my iPod. Crossfade is a band that’s usually on my most-played list. Certain songs inspire certain scenes and I’ll focus on those when I need to. I’ve even mentioned a few those songs in my books that they helped to inspire.
When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun?
When it’s not too hot and humid in this southern heat, I love to play tennis. And when it is too hot and humid for that, we’re on the lake. I also love to read, of course, which is my winter sport.
What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your writing career?
Oh, my… there seems to be so many. I’m trying to think of when I actually busted out in my happy dance. I guess when I signed my first publishing contract, which is always a big deal. I also get extremely excited when people like my books; the fact that there are people who call themselves my fans and say they fangirl over me is amazing. (But I can’t bring myself to call them that… to me, they’ll always be my readers.)
Who created your amazing cover art?
Eden Crane Designs
Is there an artist, book blogger, editor or anyone else that you want to give a shout out to?
There are SO many bloggers I could mention that I hate mentioning just one. Bloggers and reviewers are the ones who put our books out there in the public eye, and usually without getting anything in return. I love bloggers!
Give us a brief description of your WIP (work in progress) or your newest novel.
The final installment in the For Always series, “For Eternity”, is my next book that’s coming out, but I don’t have a release date yet. Until then, I’m working on a bit of a spin-off novel from that series, which will incorporate a character that isn’t mentioned until the epilogue of the last book… and that’s all I can say about that. *insert evil grin here*
What author would you geek out over if you met them in real life?
Oh, mylanta… just letting all the possibilities dance through my mind made me shiver. I’d have to say, without a doubt, that I’d completely geek out over J.K. Rowling. I might even drool just a bit. It would be embarrassing.
Hands down, what is your favorite book of all time and why?
Harry Potter—all of them. The way the story unfolds from beginning to end is absolutely genius, in my opinion. I’m so glad to be a part of the HP generation.
What book would you like to see in film or do you believe that books should be left alone?
Books are always better, however, I really enjoy watching film adaptations of them… unless they royally screw them up and they’re nothing like the book—then I just get pissy. I’d love to see Jennifer Armentrout’s Lux series be made into a movie, which if I’m not mistaken, is in the works.
As a reader, what about a book turns you away?
If the book doesn’t play out like a movie in my mind or just doesn’t make sense, I can’t do it. I also don’t like over-writing, which sometimes inhibits the flow instead of adding to it. Being a southerner, I also don’t like bad southern dialect from authors who obviously aren’t southern.
If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it?
I’m not a trooper lol. I’d have to be bored to the point of doing something stupid and dangerous to finish a book I didn’t like—reading a bad book is better than going to jail.
Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?
I’m partial to YA paranormal, but tend to like all paranormal, as well as contemporary.
Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?
Both. If the e-book is awesome, I want the hardback.
Of course I love the Twilight and Harry Potter movies, but if we don’t count those, I’d have to say it’s a tie between Labrinth and The Goonies.
Favorite TV show?
Ghost Hunters & Ghost Adventures
If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A Blondie from Applebees
What’s your favorite candy/dessert?
I’m not big on candy. (For dessert, see above answer.)
What band or musician can you listen to over and over again? You can list more than one.
Crossfade, SafetySuit, Hinder, and Prince.
What’s your hidden talent?
If I expose it, it will no longer be hidden.
What is your dream vacation?
Spending a week with fellow author/adventurer Josh Gates (with my family in tow, of course) exploring some of his favorite locations.
Author Name: Janae Mitchell