Today on the blog I have an interview with author L.B. Joramo about her debut novel, The Immortal American, as well as some interesting discussion on women during the American Revolution. And I still don’t understand why publisher’s don’t want most books featuring the American Revolution Era? This one was an entertaining read, you can read my review from yesterday HERE! Check out the giveaway also after the interview. Enjoy!
Hi L. B.! Welcome to Oh, for the Hook of a Book! It’s a pleasure to have you here today as we discuss your writing and your release of Immortal American! How are things?
L.B.: Things are going very well! How are things with you?
Erin: Good, thank you. Winding down Little League seasons and hopefully adding a few more hours back to my writing time. I’m ready to learn about your writing. Let’s have a seat, relax with a drink, and get started!
Q: How would you describe The Immortal American to intrigue others to read it?
A: I’ve told friends and editors this line, which sums up the book in a nutshell: On the cusp of the American Revolution, Violet Buccleuch transforms from a simple farmer to a sniper.
Q: Is it your first book?
A: This is my first published book, yes.
Q: When did you first discover you wanted write? What inspires you?
A: The first book I wrote was when I was six. I had a handful of actual words under my belt, so I strung them together with a red crayon and bound them with construction paper and yarn. I was very proud. I haven’t stopped writing since.
I find inspiration in almost everything. My muse is a bit crazy lately too, since I have had countless other story ideas pop in my head. Just the other day I was watching a pregnancy test commercial and thought of a great story. One day I hope to find the time to write everything down!
Q: Who is your favorite character in The Immoral American? Why?
A: As much as I love Violet, it is the men of my stories that are my favorites. Jacque kills me with his intelligence and that accent of his. He’s also hilarious. And in the second of the series there is another fella that I just love, love, love!
Q: How did you start your process of writing? Do you use an outline or free write while your muse leads?
A: This first book, The Immortal American, was definitely a free write, or I flew by the seat of my pants. I knew ahead of time the beginning and the end and some other details, but it was Violet who led the way. However, after that, especially realizing that this was going to be a series, I needed to start an outline and begin to get more organized. I don’t usually operate this way, but I’m finding I like it.
Q: I gather the eighteenth century is your favorite time in history? Why? What countries during that time period interest you most?
A: Actually, I love any era in history. Really! But I have studied the eighteenth century for the last few years. I’m in the last leg of earning my Master’s in US Military History; my area of concentration is, can you guess?- the American Revolution. But I do love the era too. It was such a time of change and astounding thoughts. The American Revolution was felt globally. Already the Russian coup of Catherine the Great had made many European courts take notice, but it was after the American’s demanded their independence that the serf’s revolted. The French Revolution struck soon after the American Revolution. And soon enough Britain would be one of the first countries to fight to emancipate slaves. The whole era had wave after wave of major transformations. It was a remarkable time.
Q: What interesting things have you discovered about women’s roles in war during your research into American history of the eighteenth century?
A: Only a handful of academics have studied women soldiers, but we are finding more and more data that indicates that there were hundreds of women who fought for both Britain and America during the War for Independence. I’m not talking Molly Pitcher myths. I’m talking about many women who took men’s names and disguised as men for a number of years. One case was a woman who was discovered after more than thirty years in the British Royal Army. It gave me goose bumps when I read about her, and how she hid her gender for that long.
I don’t mean to sound dismissive about Molly Pitcher, because her myth is based on a real woman, who took the place of her husband after he was shot and killed. He was an artilleryman, and what she did was not only brave but, honestly, I can’t wrap my head around how she just kept working after her husband was shot. I doubt I could have done that.
The other detail that I wish I could debunk is about camp followers. I think many camp followers got a bad reputation because there were a few prostitutes mixed in with them, but predominantly camp followers were the ones who fed, clothed, cleaned, and ensured an army’s morale. General George Washington thought them invaluable, and they were. I wish they were given more credit for their efforts.
Q: Do you have a favorite historical figure?
A: Oh gosh! There are so many! I have long had a crush on Thomas Paine’s words. Oh, the man could write. But it was John Adams that made me laugh over and over again. He was hysterical! Some of the letters he wrote to his then fiancé, Abigail, when he had smallpox and he tried to relay what he looked like were just sidesplitting.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge in publishing your book? Your biggest success?
A: Yikes, were there challenges! I entered a pitch contest that was online. I won with that line I wrote above. Because it was a rather public contest the editor asked for my manuscript, like the rules implied. She wrote me back after the contest that her house didn’t publish anything from the American Revolution era, but my pitch was compelling enough that she started to read my book. She loved it, but couldn’t do much for me other than list other houses that might publish my book. House after house wrote me back that they didn’t publish my era, or I didn’t have enough romance, or enough paranormal, or enough . . . you get the point. I was about to give up on it, when I wrote to D. Patrick Miller, an editor of his own publishing line, but also a manuscript assessor. He had enough faith in me and my book to help me get the great title it has now! I owe him so much, and shortly after that I met my now editor, Jennifer Jakes, who has become one of my best friends. My life is so much richer with brilliant, supportive people, which I think might be the biggest success of all, having wonderful friends.
Q: Is there more to The Immortal American series?
A: Oh, yes! The second in the series will be published this fall and shortly after that there will be a short story about Jacque from the series.
Q: What other types of novels do you hope to write? Do you have anything else in the works?
A: Beside the Immortal American series my editor and I are working on a paranormal series that should be a lot of fun.
Q: If you could time travel to any event, what would it be and why?
A: I would love to be a fly on the wall when Thomas Jefferson composed the Declaration of Independence. To write something that eloquent, that articulate, and yet demanding is pure genius, and I would have loved to be a part of that, even if just witnessing it.
Q: Who are some of your favorite authors? What is your favorite genre?
A: I don’t have a favorite genre. I love them all! I read anything from poetry to mysteries to romance to the classics. My first love was William Shakespeare; the Russian greats—Tolstoy, Dostoevsky–always get to me, even if I don’t agree with them; e.e. cummings makes me fall in love, Lindsey Sands always transports me away from my worries; and my newest favorite is Tom Rob Smith, he writes mysteries set in Stalin controlled Soviet Union, when the country purportedly had no crime, because communism was supposed to take care of that, so Smith’s character has the double whammy of not only catching criminals, but ensuring to keep covering up the crimes too. Very good stuff!
Q: Where can readers connect with you?
Erin: Thank you, L.B., for this great interview today. It was a lot of fun learning more about you!
L.B.: Oh, thank you for having me here! I’m so grateful and honored! I hope you and all your blog readers have a wonderful day!
You could win a $10 Amazon card, courtesy of L.B. Joramo! Just leave me a comment below in the footer of the blog post with your email, or send me an email to hookofabook(at)hotmail(dot)com OR stop by the Facebook page to comment (but be sure to give me your email at one of these three places) at www.facebook.com/HookofaBook.
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THE IMMORTAL AMERICAN, Synopsis~
As black clouds gather for America in 1775 Violet Buccleuch transforms from simple colonial farmer to become the Immortal American.
While Boston roars with protests, Violet Buccleuch fights to survive. The lone provider for her mother and sister, Violet knows that soon enough she must surrender to the only option a woman of 1775 has: marriage.
For two years she’s delayed a wedding to Mathew Adams, her fiancé. He’s loved her since they were children, and Violet knows he will be a good husband. But he’s gone and committed the most dangerous mistake a man can make: He’s introduced her to his friend, Jacque Beaumont, a Frenchman and a spy, a dark, dangerous man Violet can’t stop herself from wanting.
Then Violet’s life is shattered–brutality, death, and the threat of debtor’s prison surround her. Both Jacque and Mathew come to her aid–one man rescues her farm, the other rescues her heart. As the Battle of Concord rages at her door, Violet is entangled between her loyalty to Mathew, even as she’s drawn further into Jacque’s shadowy, mysterious world – perhaps a world from which there’s no return.
Author L.B. Joramo, Biography~
I live in the Big Sky state, where I write, research, and love watching my son grow. I do live a bit of a fairy tale right now. Even with all the stress of deadlines, I live in a home where birds serenade me every day, my son amazes me with his humor, and I am doing exactly what I want—writing.
Link to Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/theimmortalamericanvirtualtour/
Twitter Hashtag: #ImmortalAmericanTour