Monday, January 28, 2013

Talking with Jennifer Comeaux

Jennifer Comeaux is the author of Edge of the Past, the sequel to Life on the Edge. Both are contemporary romance novels geared toward the teenage audience, published by Astraea Press.

About Edge of the Past:

Emily’s skating career and personal life have never been more golden. She and her partner Chris have won every competition they’ve entered this season, and she’s found the man of her dreams in her coach Sergei. But when one of the biggest competitions of the year takes Emily and Sergei to Russia, Sergei’s past explodes into the present and makes Emily doubt everything in their future.

Scroll down for an excerpt from the book!

Jennifer, how long have you been writing, and how did you start? 

I started writing when I was very young! I had a very active imagination, and I loved writing stories. I wrote my first “novel” when I was twelve. As I got older, my fiction writing took a back seat to school-related writing, and I didn’t write anything of substance again until three years ago. I had the idea for a romance between a skater and a coach, and one of my friends kept bugging me to write the story so she could read it. I felt so rusty when I first started, but then the words just flowed! That rough draft eventually turned into my first published novel, Life on the Edge.

How would you describe your book in a tweet? (140 characters or less.)

Can true love survive the ghosts of the past?

Do you outline, write by the seat of your pants, or let your characters tell you what to write? 

I did a mixture of both for Edge of the Past. I had a very jumbled outline that I tried to follow, but many times I’d start working on a chapter and the characters would have different ideas! Even though I’m a very organized person in my day job as an accountant, I find that in my writing, I’m not a very structured plotter.

Did you have any say in your cover art? What do you think of it? Tell us about the artist. 

I love my cover! I’m very lucky that my publisher has an awesome artist, Elaina Lee, who is very receptive to feedback. She listened to my ideas and worked with me to create the perfect cover for the story.

I keep a running list of new names, and I even troll the obits for ideas. How do you name your characters? 

My main characters’ names just sort of came to me a long time ago. I liked the name Emily and thought it fit her personality. For many of the minor characters, I’ve been using the names of my friends’ children. The kids get a kick out of seeing their names in print!

If you could be one of your characters, which one would you choose? 

I would be Emily because I’d love to know what it feels like to be a champion skater – to feel like I’m flying over the ice. And she has a pretty amazing fiancĂ© too!

With which of your characters would you most like to be stuck on a deserted island? 

I would most like to be stuck with Sergei because, well...he’s hot, haha! He’s also incredibly sweet, generous, and caring, so I think he’d be great if things got rough on the island.

Tell us about your favorite scene in the book. 

My favorite scene in the book is one where Emily and Sergei get to spend some quality romantic time with each other after a rough couple of weeks. I love writing those romantic moments where I can really showcase the chemistry between them.

What song would you pick to go with your book?

I have a whole soundtrack for the book that you can find on my blog! One of the songs that’s closely tied in with the theme of the book is “Fall Away” by The Fray. The chorus of the song is “You fall away from your past but it’s following you.”

What are your favorite books or favorite authors?

a) as a child:
Judy Blume
b) as a teenager Francine Pascal. I read every Sweet Valley High book I could get my hands on! I also loved her Caitlin series.
as an adult: I’ve really enjoyed Tammara Webber, Rachel Hawthorne and Stephanie Perkins.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)? 

I’m currently reading Summer Swing by Delia Delaney on my Kindle.

Where’s home for you?  
Home is right across the Mississippi River from New Orleans in an area called the West Bank. It’s been my home all my life!

If you could take a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go? (Don’t worry about the money. Your publisher is paying.)

I would go to Sochi, Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympics. I attended the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, and it was such an amazing event!

What are you working on now? 

I’m currently working on the third book in the EDGE series! It will wrap up Emily and Sergei’s journey and also tell Emily’s best friend Aubrey’s story, as they all prepare for the 2006 Olympics. I also just finished a short story that’s sort of an epilogue to Edge of the Past. It will be available as a free download in early 2013!

Great! I know your fans are anxiously awaiting the third book in the series. I hope you'll come back and tell us about it when it's out.

Excerpt from Edge of the Past

Mom’s eyebrows were still raised as she returned to her seat. I stayed standing and tapped Sergei’s arm. “Can we talk for a sec?”

I led him away from the table to a quiet spot near the entrance. A couple of Canadian ice dance coaches passed us, and we swapped brief hellos. I retreated further into the corner and looked up at Sergei.

“What was your dad angry about?”

Sergei rubbed the back of his neck and let out a frustrated sigh. “He wasn’t happy that he left work and now you’re not skating.”

I laughed dryly. “So, now he has something else to hold against me.”

“No, it’s not you.” Sergei touched my cheek. “He doesn’t even know you. It’s just him...and the way he is.”

“When you said he’s not a ray of sunshine, you weren’t joking. He didn’t even shake your hand.”

“He’s never been good at expressing emotion.”

“I’m sure glad you got your mom’s personality.” I tugged on the end of Sergei’s purple tie.

He smiled and wrapped his arms around me, but I could feel the tension in his body. What else could go wrong on this trip? With two days left in St. Petersburg and three more in Moscow, I was almost afraid to ask that question.

About the author:

Jennifer Comeaux earned a Master of Accounting from Tulane University and is a Certified Public Accountant in south Louisiana. When not working or writing, she is an avid follower of the sport of figure skating, traveling to competitions around the country. Those experiences allow her to see a different side of the sport and serve as an inspiration for her writing.

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