Q: Jenny, it’s a blast having you here. I’m thrilled to be one of your Blog Tour stops and I know the readers are just thrilled to death to have you here as well. Ok, first question, give us your background story, how did Jenny Hilborne become an author?
JENNY: Thanks for having me, pleasure to be here. When I was at college, my English professor put a bug in my ear about getting my work published. I sat on it for over 2 years, thought ‘I’d love it, but I’m not good enough.’ Well, you never know until you try, so I tried….and got rejected, many times. Then I met my publisher, Echelon Press, at the Southern California Writers Conference in 2009. She liked what I wrote, but not enough to publish it. YET. I got some valuable feedback, worked on my first manuscript some more, sent it back to my publisher, and she welcomed me in.
Q: You have a new book out April 15th called No Alibi , being released by ECHELON PRESS. Tell us a little about the book?
JENNY: No Alibi is a suspense set in San Francisco, featuring homicide cop, John Doucette. When Doucette finds himself in the middle of a tangled homicide investigation a name crops up he doesn’t want to hear, and he is forced to confront skeletons from his own past or risk letting a killer go free.
Q: You also wrote a past novel called Madness And Murder, which did well. Do you feel as though No Alibi has to top this novel, like it has to raise the stakes and just blow the minds off the readers?
JENNY: Good question. The first novel out is the benchmark, I guess, although I don’t compare them. They are both set in San Francisco, but the similarity stops there. I put as much effort and enthusiasm into No Alibi as I did my first novel, and didn’t quit until I felt it was the best it could be. I got great feedback for Madness and Murder, for which I’m sincerely grateful, and I want my readers to enjoy No Alibi just as much.
Q: What comes next after No Alibi, do you see yourself taking on any new genres?
JENNY: I’ve just finished my 3rd suspense, called Hide and Seek, and embarked on my 4th mystery: Fatal Fury. I’m sticking with the suspense/thriller genre for now, however I broke the mold for Fatal Fury and set it in Oxford, England instead of San Francisco.
Q: Let’s change gears just for a second, because I think the readers want to know and care what you think about this changing market we are seeing today. A lot of people have said, an open market to all authors, is the death of literature as we know it and also lowers the standards of quality. What do you think about that?
JENNY: Another good question and difficult to answer. To put in bluntly, I think of self published v published in terms of licensed v unlicensed. This is not, by any means, to imply either is better than the other. I certainly can’t agree it is the death of literature as we know it. Some of the recent books I’ve read have amazed me to the point I’m still raving about them, many self published. These fabulously talented authors might never have had their work read if they’d gone the traditional published route, which I would consider a loss. Same with music – so many talented people who never get a break because it’s hard to make noise over the sheer volume of other talented individuals trying to be plucked from obscurity. The “open” market breaks down barriers and gives these authors the chance they deserve. With many eBooks priced so low, it doesn’t cost much to take a chance on an unknown author, and maybe uncover a gem.
On the flip side, self publishing opens the flood gates. There are so many more books on the market. The noise from all these new authors splashing in this now massive ocean is so loud it’s deafening. The competition is brutal and more authors (both published and self published) will struggle to make a decent living, in my opinion. I also think it’s overwhelming for the reader, bombarded with all these new authors clamoring for their attention. There is also no guarantee of any kind of quality with a self published book – the “unlicensed” craftsman. In the past, I have read poorly written self published books, which is why I now buy mostly from referral. I think it’s too soon to comment on whether the open market actually lowers the standards. I think the risk for it is there, but I also think the opportunity is greater than ever to discover more fantastic books we might never have found.
Q: What’s your view on Self-Published authors, do you think they’re good for the market or just pure poison? Not that you said that, let me make that clear to my readers, it’s just that I’ve heard many editors call self-Publishers this and that’s when they were being nice.
JENNY: Hopefully my long post above answers this. Many self published authors are equally as good or better than published authors, and didn’t get a publishing contract due to a multitude of reasons other than the quality of their work. We all know this is a subjective business. Then there are self published authors who publish work not yet ready or good enough for public consumption. I wish self published authors well. I understand their arguments for doing what they do. For me, I still prefer the traditional published route.
Q: I’m not sure if you heard the news of Borders closing down their stores around the U.S after they filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, do you think this change is because how readers get their content, are books becoming things of the past, do you think we’ll see Ebooks become the preferred format?
JENNY: I think Borders were slow in recognizing the trends in the market and they paid the price. Amazon and B&N paid attention. I think eBooks are here to stay and growing in popularity. I also believe tangible books will never be a thing of the past, but libraries and independent bookstores might. We now have the choice of how we prefer to read, although this progress might limit the types of outlets from which we purchase.
Q: In ten years, where do you want to see writing and the industry step into?
JENNY: I would like to see more readers in ten years – more children who think texting is reading or spend all day playing internet games turn to books, both tangible and e-format. I’m not sure the writing industry is where our concerns should be as much as what’s happening to young readers. Hopefully e-readers will help address this and encourage them to read more. I would also like to see Amazon not have the monopoly on the sale of eBooks.
Q: Jilly, Can I call you Jilly? LOL j/k , what advise would you give any up and starting young author?
JENNY: You can call me Jilly, but my name’s Jenny :). I’m no expert to dole out advice, so all I can say is 1) you must want to do it with all your heart to endure the solitude and the set backs. 2) If you do want to do it with all your heart, then never give up. 3) Network.
Q: Share to the readers, your biggest setbacks as you started down your path to get published, if there is one?
JENNY: I’ve been incredibly fortunate. I have no dusty old manuscripts sitting in a drawer. I can’t say I’ve had big setbacks. It is hard to deal with rejection, so use it to your advantage, learn from it, ask questions, and push on.
Q: Is there any up and coming authors that you know of ( not including me, because we all know I’m freaking amazing 😉 ) that people should check out?
JENNY: Oh, yes. Here are three of the books (and authors) I’ve recently read can’t stop raving about: Mike McIntyre, author of The Scavengers Daughter; Cindy Sample, author of Dying For A Date, Vincent Zandri, author of The Innocent. These books and authors stole my breath.
Q: Jenny, not Jilly 😉 , it’s been a blast having you here. You’re welcome to stop by, do a guest blog post or do another Blog tour anytime. Is there any last words you want to leave the readers with?
JENNY: My pleasure to be here. Thank you so much for the opportunity. You asked me some tough questions, my friend and I had to think. It felt good. For all the readers out there, this is as much an exciting and boisterous time for you as it is for us authors. You have way more product from which to choose, and way more attention being demanded of you. Thanks for your patience and your support. Never stop reading, no matter how loud it gets.
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MADNESS AND MURDER