Monday, October 25, 2010

J.L. Bryan: Interview & Giveaway

Today, I’m happy to have J.L. Bryan, author of Jenny Pox, here with us. Please read through the interview all the way to the end because there’s a giveaway!

Amanda: Thanks so much for being here today with us Jeff!

Jeff: Thanks for having me visit, Amanda.

Amanda:Can you tell us about yourself?

Jeff: I write speculative fiction—sometimes horror, sometimes science fiction, sometimes work that's harder to categorize. I live in the suburbs of Atlanta with my wife, two dogs, and two cats. The cats are very anti-writing and like to stand on my keyboard and block my view of the screen. They'll sit down on any book or newspaper you try to read, too. I think it's part of an evil cat plot to make us into illiterate servants.

Amanda: When did you start writing?

Jeff: I was six or seven when I started writing stories. They were usually about monsters, aliens, gangsters or detectives. I wrote a lot of comic book scripts in middle school. I was collaborating online with teenage artists and writers around the country, and we actually put out a few issues of a fanzine featuring our characters. I've always enjoyed escaping into imaginary worlds.

Amanda: Who have been your greatest inspirations?

Jeff: I've had a couple of good teachers who encouraged me. My seventh grade English teacher, my creative writing teacher at UGA, and my screenwriting workshop teacher at UCLA. The UCLA teacher taught me the most about the craft of writing, since she was an experienced writer rather than an English teacher.

Amanda: Who are your favorite authors or what are your favorite books?

Jeff: Some of my favorite books would include Huckleberry Finn, It, Dune, and my lifetime favorite series is probably The Three Investigators books. I must have read a hundred of those when I was a kid.

Amanda: Can you tell us a bit about Jenny Pox?

Jeff: Jenny Pox is about a girl who's born with a supernatural condition. Anyone she touches suffers terrible blistering and sores, and will soon die if she doesn't let go. Her whole life is built around avoiding other people. She has no explanation for her power. As she grows up, her dad has to go to huge lengths to take care of her without getting hurt or killed himself. When she's eighteen, she discovers she's not the only one in town with a supernatural ability.

Amanda: Where did you get the idea for Jenny Pox?

Jeff: The idea started with the character of Jenny. Everything about her world and all the events of the story were kind of implied the moment that the character idea came to me. I don't know where the idea came from. Some books take months or years of developing in the back of my mind before I write them. This one came full-blown, all at once. It was pretty nice, actually.

Amanda: Who is your favorite character of yours so far?

Jeff: From everything? That's hard to decide. I probably appreciate good villains the most, because they really power the story and keep things moving. My favorite villain characters are Pontifex Felagro from Helix and Ashleigh Goodling from Jenny Pox.

Amanda: What's your favorite Halloween related memory?

Jeff: My wife and I went to New Orleans a few years ago, actually just a couple of months after we met. It was an amazing Halloween, one of the best places you could ever spend that holiday. Thousands and thousands of people in the most amazing costumes.

Amanda: Do you have a favorite Halloween/horror book, story, movie, or a haunted place that you've been?

Jeff: I like to catch some of the movies I watched as a kid, like the early Nightmare on Elm Street movies. What I really like to see is It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and the Garfield special.

Amanda: Do you do anything special for Halloween?

Jeff: One of my friends' bands does a zombie show in Athens, which is always fun.

Amanda: What are you working on now?

Jeff: My new book is about a haunted book that brings a very nasty ghost back to life if you read it. He doesn't want you to stop reading it, either.

Amanda: Thanks so much for joining us today and for being a part of the Countdown to Halloween!

Jeff: Thanks for having me, Amanda! Happy Halloween!

Find J.L. Bryan around the web:

Website I Blog I Twitter I Facebook

JennyPox Jenny Pox by J.L. Bryan
Publisher: CreateSpace
Published: July 24, 2009  
paperback-292 pages

Summary from Goodreads:

Jenny is a quiet, small-town girl in South Carolina whose touch spreads a deadly supernatural plague. Jenny can't control her power. Her life is friendless and lonely until she meets a boy with the opposite power, a healing touch. Her love for him brings the wrath of his beautiful and immensely popular girlfriend Ashleigh, who secretly wields the most dangerous power of all.Jenny must master her own deadly power in order to free Seth from Ashleigh's control. Then she must defeat Ashleigh before Ashleigh can destroy her.


Guess what? That’s right, Jeff is nice enough to offer up TWO ebooks of Jenny Pox today for a giveaway!


    • Ask a question for Jeff who will be stopping in today, or leave a meaningful comment.
    • Make sure to include your email if it isn’t in your profile. You can email that to me if you prefer, but you must still leave a comment.
    • This contest ends October 31, 2010, at 11:59 pm est & is international.
    • 2 winners will be chosen & have 72 hrs to respond to my email or a new winner will be chosen.


SandyG265 said...

Hi Jeff,

If you could have a supernatural ability what would you want it to be?

sgiden at

Autumn said...

I love that comment about the cats making all of us into illiterate servants. I'm pretty sure my cats are trying to do that to me.

Jenny Pox sounds like such a great book. I can't wait to read it!

autumn.crochet (at) gmail. com

Anne said...

Jeff is a new to me author so I don't really have any questions to ask. I'll be checking out his books though.

I had to smile when I read the part about his cats. I have three and two of them are terrible when I'm trying to work online. One (the biggest, about a 20 likes to lie across my chest and shoulders when I read and gets very upset when I try to move him. It makes reading quite a challenge.

Tore said...

I really want to read this book. Please enter me in contest. How long have you been writting for? What made you decide to be a writer?

Lindsay said...

What's your favorite holiday of all time and what do you that gets you into the holiday spirit? Thanks for the giveaway and review. :)
lindsaydevine (at) bellsouth (dot) net

yllektra (force-oblique) said...

Thanks for hosting this interview and giveaway! :)
I have been following Mr Bryan's interviews and the book seems very original and fascinating!

Heeh, we are all fascinated by monsters, aliens and detectives when we are little.. Some of us never outgrow that phase either! lol *points to self*

When you were little what kind of character/creature did you wish you could be?

And *g* If we were servants to our cats, what would the first task they'd make us do be, in your opinion?

-That's two questions, but I hope it is ok. :)

article said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JL_Bryan said...

Hi everyone, thanks for reading the interview! Let's see if I can answer these questions...

Sandy- I think invisibility would be great. Then again, so would invincibility. Both would provide an endless source of practical jokes.

Tore- I've been writing stories since I was six years old, so that makes it 26 years :)

Lindsay - It's definitely a competition between Halloween and Christmas. The main advantage of Christmas is that the season lasts longer!

Hi Yllektra! I hope you win one of these, you've been showing up at all my blog appearances :) When I was a kid I very definitely wanted to be a werewolf out of all the supernatural creatures! And as for the cats: I think there first task would be forcing us to design paw-operated doors and can openers.

Thanks everyone! Let me know if you have more questions. I hope you'll try Jenny Pox!

Kulsuma said...


Do you get writer's blocks and if so how do you overcome it?



Amanda Leigh said...

Thanks again Jeff for the interview & thanks everyone for your great questions! :)

Good luck!

JL_Bryan said...

Hi Kulsuma,

I don't suffer from writer's block, but sometimes from "writer's laziness" or "writer's exhaustion-from-too-many-responsibilities." Once I start writing it's no problem, but some days it's struggle to make myself get started.

Amanda- Thanks again for having me!

k_sunshine1977 said...

hello jeff!

love that about the evil cat two are the same way! they'll have a whole room to themselves, but they want to sit on whatever piece of paper i'm looking at! never fails....

happy halloween!

k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

PinkStuff28 said...

Hi Jeff

What's your best halloween related memory ?

raluk.93 at gmail (dot) com

Stella (Ex Libris) said...

I have first heard about your book a couple of weeks ago, and ever since I'm introgued! The premise sounds so original and exviting, I cant wait to read it!

Is Jenny Pox a standalone book, or do you still have a few ideas you would like to explore in a sequel/series?

I also love Garfield, he can always brighten my day with a laugh :-D

Thanks for the funa nd interesting interview and I cross my fingers, really woudl like to win and read Jenny Pox! :-)

stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

JL_Bryan said...

Oh, sorry, I didn't know there were new questions!

PinkStuff: My best Halloween was spending it New Orleans! It was the last Halloween before Hurrican Katrina :(

Stella-I definitely intend to write a sequel. There are some things that were introduced that could use more exploring. Plus half my reviews say that I should write a sequel, I guess because of those less-explored areas. I'm currenly wrapping up a new book, and I haven't picked my next project yet.

Nice to hear from all of you!