Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Interview with Author Jenn LeBlanc and Giveaway

Today I'd like to welcome author Jenn LeBlanc to the blog. Jenn is the author of the awesome illustrated book The Rake and The Recluse. If you haven't checked out this book do so now. It's awesome and filled with lots of yummy pics! Jenn was kind enough to let me ask her a few questions and I'm super excited to share them with you. So without futher ado here's Jenn.

Hi Dani! Thank you for having me on your blog! I love chatting with you over Twitter so this should be fun.

1. First off, can you tell us a bit about you?
Hi! My name is Jenn LeBlanc and I am an author and professional photographer. I live in the beautiful state of Colorado and spend most of my days running kids around town, editing stories and images and writing or shooting new stuff. My first novel THE RAKE AND THE RECLUSE came out in the spring and has been picking up speed and fans ever since.
2. Where did you come up with the idea of illustrating a novel?
I actually came up with the idea while I was shooting the cover. The man who plays Gideon, Derek Hutchins, and I had such great chemistry on opposite ends of my lens I just kept shooting, and we planned more shoots, and it was right before the first iPad was set to be released and I thought, why not illustrate the whole thing? Publish as an eBook only? So...I did.

3. Do you plan to illustrate all of your future books?
That is the plan, though I am part of an anthology right now and that one I will not be illustrating within the book because I think it might detract from the other authors' stories.

4. Did you always want to be a writer?
No. I never wanted to be a writer. I always wanted to tell stories, and I always wanted to write a book or ten, but I never actually wanted to be a writer.

5. Why plan a book in the Victorian era? What about this era draws you in?
I LOVE Sherlock Holmes and the mystery of Jack The Ripper, and the incredible clothing and the amazing advances in technology (if you can call it that.) I just think the era speaks of so much change, and that is what is inherently beautiful about it. We all have this capacity for change, and this time period proves our ability to embrace it.

6. Where do your ideas come from?
Easy answer? From my dreams. I woke up with the first line of the book in my head as well as the image. "She ran as though the hounds of hell were on her." I wanted to know why she was running, and from whom or what. So I figured I had better sit down and find out.

7. Ala Twitter style can you describe your book in 140 characters of less.
A passionate, powerful, romance with a hero who meets the woman he was destined to love, only to become the man he was meant to be.

8. What are some of your favorite kinds of stories to read?
I am a historical romance junkie. I absolutely love the time period and the rules of engagement (so to speak) the fact that everything DOESN'T go and a little bit of ankle can send the strongest man into palpitations.

9. Do you have a favorite book and if so what is it?
My favorite book in the history of the world is Alice In Wonderland, which proves with a little imagination, all things are possible. There is always something new to discover. And it is illustrated, which was probably my favorite thing as a kid. I actually collect editions of this book, and currently have about ten. My current favorite romance is THE IRON DUKE. I don't know what it is about this book but I am in love with it and Rhys Trahaearn.

10. Have you ever fallen for another author's hero? If so, who and why?
Oh goodness yes, I fell for Devil Cynster in a bad way. That man *sigh* simply announces that she is to be his wife. I grew up fantasizing alpha heroes before I ever read about them. I also fell for Teresa Medeiros' Julian. He was actually my first romance novel hero and I recently fell for Rhys Trahaearn from Meljean Brook's THE IRON DUKE.

11. Human, Vampires, Demons, or Shifters-which are your favorite and why?
I love humans for their fallibility. But of the otherworlders I would have to go with Vampires, because I'm not much for hairy, horny, sticky or whispy men. I like them with two arms and two legs and all the other recognizable parts.

12. Belle of the Ball, Wallflower, or Widow?
Personally I'm the watcher, the wallflower. So I identify with them much more. I love a good strong widow though and believe wholeheartedly in second chances and possibilities.

13. If you could have dinner with any three book characters, who would you choose and why?
Can I say Gideon, Francine and Perry? I shouldn't should I. But I love to hear them banter. They are all so sneaky and cunning. OK so I will say...The Mad Hatter, The Cheshire Cat and Devil Cynster, because I would LOVE to see how he handles that little ménage!

14. If you could have dinner with any three authors, who would you choose and why?
Oh goodness, Ashley March because she is a dear friend and even though we live close we NEVER have time to get together, Meljean Brook because I fell HARD for Rhys in The Iron Duke, and Teresa Medeiros because she was my first and she looks hilarious.

15. What do you like to do in you free time?
I spend my free time writing and taking pictures. I know that sounds ridiculous, but I am a very lucky girl. If I have free time I try to do what I love and shooting is my ultimate passion.

16. What is your favorite place to shoot?
That's a hard one. I absolutely fell in LOVE with the Gulf when I was shooting down there during the Gulf Oil Spill last year, but ultimately my favorite place in the world to shoot is along the PCH in California from Muir Wood to Big Sur. I am just swept away by it as a Colorado native. It amazes me.

17. Favorite movie?
Ugh. I love Star Wars and Indiana Jones, but the New Star Trek was fan-freakin-tastic. Though I love Firefly above all things, so perhaps I should say Serenity, however the TV shows were so much better than the movie which was really just a wrap up and apology. Not that it wasn't good. It just doesn't stand alone. Labyrinth is up there, always has been, as has The Princess Bride, of course. Perhaps it's The Princess Bride, I mean 'AAAASSSS YOOOOOOUUUU WIIIIIISSSSHH!!" How can you go wrong with that? 

18. Favorite song?
Right now? Sail by AWOLnation. LOVE. In the long run? Gosh, Trip Through Your Wires? No With Or Without You. In Your Eyes. Midnight. Only You. Goodness. There can't be only one, which reminds me of Somebody by Queen, and I could go on forever. Final answer? Sugalumps by Flight Of The Concords. Just because I want to throw it out there. 

19. Favorite color? 
Pink with Green as a close second.

20. Last question, are you working on anything right now?
OMGoodness so much. Twitchy is a novella I'm writing for a new anthology, The Rake is the follow up to my current novel, and I also have Oranges, which is the second series after The Rake And The Recluse. I am also working on a cookbook with Derek, as well as illustrations and covers for some other authors. It's really exciting around here right now.

Thank you so much for having me Dani! I had a great time! I would love to give away an eBook copy of THE RAKE AND THE RECLUSE to one lucky commenter.

The novel is available for only $2. 99 on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance eBooks and on iBooks for your iThingy.

If you read it please track me down on Twitter, Facebook, or my blog to let me know what you think! I LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear from readers, both the good and the bad. That way my next book will only get better.

Thanks again for having me! I will leave you with an image from the book!

Thank you so much Jenn for all of the great answers! You were actually my very first interview and I was really nervous, so thank you! So I hope you all are excited for this book. Since this book is so awesome I am also going to be giving away a copy. So that makes 2 eBook copies of The Rake And The Recluse that are up for grabs today. So make sure to fill out the Rafflecopter thingy.


  1. I love that she did the cover herself! It's GORGEOUS! I really want to read this now! :)

  2. THANK YOU Liza!! Good luck in the giveaway! Make sure to track me down and let me know what you thought!


  3. Ohh! Great giveaway :-) I, too, love that she did the cover all by herself!! That is so awesome!

  4. Hi Jenn,

    Well, I'm totally gobsmacked. Why you ask? Well, several times in the past, I've asked other Authors if they've ever thought about illustrating their novels. Nobody ever responded to that question. So, I'm delighted that finally, you've done this. I enjoyed your interview immensely.

    My question for you is:

    What are the chances of "The Rake And The Recluse" being released in paperback?

    Thank you for this awesome opportunity.

    dpd333 AT aol dot com

  5. Thans Yay!

    Diane, it is available in trade paperback on Amazon, though it has less images than the eBook and is a bit more expensive. But I don't want to release it without the images. They were meant to be. :)

    Good luck in the giveaway!


  6. What's the toughest part about putting together a cover for a book?

  7. @Kissable
    I think it's figuring out a single scene that will not only speak to the feel of the novel but will also speak to the potential readers.

    In #TRATR I wanted to show Gideon's passion for Francine, so strong that he couldn't let her go no matter the circumstance, that he would fight to keep her. I also wanted to add hints of time travel (the modern day corset) and that the love scenes are rather steamy.

    So we used this image, which in the book is the line "His arms came around her like steel bands, securing her to him."

    It isn't easy at all. Because whether or not someone even stops to look at your book comes down to that cover most of the time. First impressions and all that.

    Did I do a good job?

  8. What a great idea! Love the photos! Thanks for the giveaway.

  9. Great cover! I would love to win The Rake and the Recluse!

  10. Thank you Megan and Emily!
    Good luck in the giveaway!!


  11. Hi Jenn, been following you on twitter for a while now, someone recommended you, I am glad I am a follower, been loving the pics you put on, Can't wait to read "THE RAKE AND THE RECLUSE" the cover is amazing, Derek always looks great in any shot I have seen that you have taken, Great blog interview x x

  12. I'm very intrigued by the concept of an illustrated romance. I wonder if The Rake and the Recluse would look as good on a Kindle as on an iPod...

  13. Oh Newberry sounds familiar, is it Julie? Maybe I'm thinking of someone else. Thank you so much for the follow! I'm glad you like D as much as I do, he is terribly pretty. I'm glad you liked the interview! Good luck in the giveaway!

    Molly, it is VERY different on a Kindle but the images were edited so they would not look like mud, they are really quite beautiful, I think you will like it. I wanted to make sure (because MY first reader was Sony) that they looked good on every reader. Good luck in the giveaway! Perhaps you will find out soon enough. :)

    THANK YOU EVERYBODY!! I've had so much fun chatting, let keep it up! If you are on twitter or Facebook come find me! I love to chat with readers. (plus if there's a bother giveaway you'll be the first to know)