November 21, 2018

#Interview with @JodiGallegos_

About the Author:

Jodi is a YA and NA/Adult author, black belt, and registered nurse. She lives with her husband, three sons and an evolving herd of undisciplined animals in Colorado. She has a well-earned fear of bears, but tolerates the Teddy and Gummy variety. She has been obsessed with books, both reading and writing them, for most of her life and prefers the written word to having actual conversations. The most current projected completion date of her To Be Read book collection is May 17, 2176.

Where can readers follow you?

1. What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now? Jodi Gallegos (real and pen name). I was born in Portland, OR and live in western CO.

2.  Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be? I knew in high school that I wanted to do some job involving literature, but my English teacher destroyed that dream by stating, “you’ll never make a living in literature.” Being a writer never occurred to me until I was an adult and rediscovered my love of writing and creating.

3.  When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"? I’d probably been writing again for several years before I embraced the mentality that I’m a writer because I write, publication has nothing to do with it. Even with that, I sometimes find it hard to say I’m a writer. It’s as though someone is going to burst through the door at any moment and expose me as a fraud.

4.  Did it take a long time to get your first book published? It took approximately 15 years from the time I decided to pursue a writing career until I was first published. There were definite moments when I felt like it was time to give it all up, but I hung in there, and it finally happened.

5.  Do you work another job as well as your writing work? I’m a registered nurse and work full time on a cardiac care unit.

6.  What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say? My latest book is The Light At Finnigan’s End (Rum Runners, Book 2). It’s about the dark paths a person will travel in the name of love and vengeance. 

7.  Who is your publisher? or do you self-publish? My publisher is Changing Tides Publishing, a newer imprint of Crimson Tree/Clean Teen Publishing.

8. How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it? I wrote the first two books in the Rum Runners series during National Novel Writing Month, so the first draft was completed in 30 days. I then spent 9-12 months revising them. My first completed novel took four years (and I have revision plans for it!).

9.Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others? A Shine That Defies the Dark was the easiest. I had a pretty solid outline for my story progression (which is a HUGE undertaking, as I’m a pantser by nature—aka fly by the seat of my pants!). Even with the pressure of having to complete the first draft in 30 days, I knew exactly where I was headed and there were very few interruptions.

10.  What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre? I have more ideas for the adult/New Adult romance genre. I also have high hopes for the young adult novels I’ve completed and have in the revision stages. Both of my YA novels are in the light fantasy and adventurous categories: a medieval, warrior princess novel and a martial arts fantasy.

11. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series? I have ideas and early outlines for books 3 & 4 in the Rum Runners series. My current project (a contemporary romance) will be a stand-alone. Both of my YA projects would be series. And, of course, there are always new ideas bubbling and threatening to distract me.

12. What genre would you place your books into? My published novels are historical romance. They are set in Louisiana during prohibition.

13. What made you decide to write that genre of book? I actually had no idea I was writing a romance. I thought I was just writing a bootlegger book with a female main character. Imagine my surprise when a romance imprint was imterested.

14. Do you have a favorite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favorite? I love them all. I could never pick one. They’re like my children, each one is a unique and wonderful entity.

15. Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title? The title usually comes up as I’m writing the book. Once I have a better idea as to the nuances of my book (the characters, their history and arc, the setting) I can better title it. I always start with a working title, but I’ve never kept it until the completion of the book.

16. How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books? I like to research everything about my new projects. For instance, my current book is set in Alaska. I’ve been researching the town, the local industries, population, bars, and take-out menus. I like to pick regionally appropriate names based on the local population, as well as names with some meaning to who my characters are. When I make up a place, as I did in the Rum Runners series, I pour over maps to decide where my town might live in relation to the real world and then I research that area.

17. Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story? I am a reformed pantser. My first novel was written entirely on the fly. I knew where I started and wanted to end, but I had no idea how I was going to make that journey. It took me over four years to write, and I still have a hard time remembering some of the details, because the creation was so chaotic. I now sit down and write out a very basic outline so that I know how the major plot points will progress. After that, I write with wild abandon and let the story lead me. 

18.   Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you? I do hide some “Easter eggs” in my books. Sometime even I forget they are there, until I re-read them. I did base one character, Vieux Piersall, in A Shine That Defies the Dark, in part on my grandfather. It wasn’t intentional, he just seemed to come through in the character. 

19. What is your favorite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once? I don’t know if it’s a “favorite” book, but it’s the only book I’ve read more than once. I also introduced my husband to it via audiobook (which I’ve listened to twice now). It was the first post-apocalyptic book I ever read, and it made a huge impact on how imagined what a nuclear war might be like. The book was Alas, Bablylon by Pat Frank. It’s very dated now—rotary dial phones and all, lol, but the idea still holds up for me.

20. Did you have a favorite author as a child? Stephen King is the first author I remember being a fan of. I was twelve, and maybe had a dark side—all my friends were reading romance!
53. What piece of advice would you give to a new writer? Stick with it, don’t give up. As hard as it seems on some days, you have to remember how it feels to not write. As long as you’re writing there’s always a chance. It’s only hopeless if you quit.

21. If you could invite three favorite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with? Erma Bombeck, Stephen King and Stan Lee *sniff*.

Strange Questions to have some fun! 

Which do you prefer? . . . . .

Paperback/Hardback or E-book? I don’t discriminate where books are concerned.

Read a book once/Reread books more than once? I’ve only read one book more than once. I wish I had that kind of time, but there are so many books to read.

Books or Movies? Books

Action, Drama, Mystery, Romance? I’m not a genre reader. I’ll read whatever strikes my interest. A good blurb gets me more than a genre.

Library or New books from a bookstore? I love all books, the well-worn/loved library copies and the crisp new ones.

Morning or Evening? Evening

Early Nights or Late Nights? Early nights (I’m getting old, I need my sleep)

Coffee or Tea? Tea

Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter? Autumn

Favorite Book Snack? M&Ms

Dogs or Cats? Both. And goats. And horses. And…well, all the animals.

Make sure to check out her book on Amazon! 


Gripping, romantic, and evocative of its time— A Shine that Defies the Dark is a spellbinding story of one woman who will stop at nothing to survive during a tumultuous time in American history. The romance is sizzling and the danger will keep your heart pounding all the way through to the last page. After a six-year exile, Ophelia Breaux and her mother are overjoyed to return to the Louisiana bayou. But it seems the ghosts of the epic feud that drove them away still haunt Plaquemines Parish, and with the Great Depression sweeping the nation, the two soon find they can't make ends meet. Seeing no other option, Ophelia's mother takes the drastic step of sharing her bed with the town judge in exchange for a reduced rent. The judge has had a life-long obsession with Momma, and Ophelia is desperate to end this arrangement and get her away from him. When Remy Granger shows up, Ophelia knows it could mean more trouble—and that's the last thing they need. Handsome and dangerous, he's the first boy she ever kissed, and a member of the most notorious family in southern Louisiana—but he's also got an opportunity for fast money in rumrunning. Ophelia goes all in, and it turns out she may have a knack for the business. But she's going to have to run even faster if she wants to save Momma… dodging the cops, rival gangs, and her traitorous heart at every turn.

Cleric’s Cove is home to the most brutal gang of bootleggers in Southern Louisiana, the Moret family. Desperate to find out what happened to her brother Finn, Deirdre Cassidy is determined to use her skills as a healer, as well as her feminine charms, to infiltrate the Moret crime family. Once she’s ensconced in the Moret hideout, she hopes to gather information that will lead her to Finn—or help her destroy the family that caused his disappearance. But the one thing Deirdre never counted on is Mo Moret. The eldest son and head of the Moret gang, Mo is incredibly dangerous, yet magnetic—the attraction between them palpable. Still, Deirdre doesn’t believe he'll ever set aside family loyalty for love. And even if he did, Deirdre has vowed to see the end of the Morets—whatever the cost. The second installment in the popular Rum Runners series by Jodi Gallegos, The Light at Finnigan’s End is a fast-paced romance with elements of historical fiction, set against the gritty backdrop of depression-era southern Louisiana.

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