Welcome to Kala’s Quick Five, where I chat with fascinating authors, artists, teachers and researchers and ask them five questions about their work. My guest today is Jennifer Crusie, New York Times-bestselling author of Bet Me and Welcome to Temptation. Jenny has written 20 novels and one book of literary criticism, edited two essay collections, and contributed over thirty essays to magazines and anthologies. Her work has been published in 20 countries. Her new book is Maybe This Time, available in bookstores now.
Kala: Jenny, welcome to Kala’s Quick Five. Your latest novel, Maybe This Time, delves into meddlesome ghosts, banana bread, ex-husbands, troubled kids, a very haunted house and second chances. What follows is an adventure with a parapsychologist, a jealous fiancé, an intuitive mother, and an avenging ex-mother-in-law. What led to your interest in writing about a haunted house?
Jenny: I wanted to do my version of The Turn of the Screw, and the ghosts came as part of that deal. Once I began the story, I realized how well they worked as metaphors—baggage from the past, people who couldn’t let go or were so obsessed with something that they lost control of their lives—but mostly they were just great antagonists.
Kala: I really enjoyed reading Maybe This Time. As someone who has spent their life in the metaphysical and paranormal fields, I read a lot of fiction and non-fiction on these subjects. One of the things I enjoyed most about your book, is the depth of research and reporting that you brought into the novel regarding these topics. One example being, that the main character’s mother in the book, discusses astrology with her daughter and explains why the daughter had problems with her ex-husband and her current fiancé, due to the astrological signs that they are and the conflicts which would arise. When writing the book, how did you determine what astrological signs the various characters in the book would be?
Jenny: I knew their characters and pretty much worked back from that. Most of my heroines have been Virgos or Scorpios because those are my sun and rising signs, and then the kinds of heroes who are attracted to them are generally Tauruses and Capricorns, the down-to-earth kind of guys who can be a rock in the maelstrom. Occasionally a character has to be born at a certain time and then I work within that, but generally I stick to what I know about astrology which isn’t much.
Kala: Do you have any personal experiences with the paranormal or supernatural? Have you seen a ghost or do you have a psychic or medium in your family?
Jenny: I come from a long line of very practical electricians. There may be ghosts, but we don’t see them because we’re fixing the wiring. And nope, I’ve never had a paranormal experience.
However, I still believe it’s possible. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, and I certainly haven’t encountered them all.
Kala: Andie is a modern day heroine, free-spirited, strong and independent. Is she the type of character that you are drawn to creating or does she differ from your previous works?
Jenny: I’m drawn to women who, when they’re encounter disaster, try to FIX it. (Must be that electrician heritage.) So I think that’s what all my heroines share, and Andie’s certainly part of that tradition.
Kala: Who is your favorite character in this story? For me, my favorite has to be Alice. I love the attention to descriptive detail, such as describing her as a Scorpio, which explains some of her intuitive and medium abilities. Once I got to know Alice, I immediately thought, what an interesting woman she is going to grow up to be and I already began to picture that book. Are you planning a sequel to this novel? If not, what’s up for you next?
Jenny: I loved Alice, too. I’m working on a romantic mystery novel right now called Lavender’s Blue, but I’ve already talked to my editor about Alice’s book, and she’s all for it. It’ll be written in tandem with another book about another supporting character from a book called Faking It, and the two titles are Haunting Alice and Stealing Nadine. Haunting Alice is about Alice at 30, going back to Archer House in order to sell it and finding out that her past isn’t as dead as it should be. I’m very much looking forward to it.
Kala: Jenny, thank you for joining me here on Kala’s Quick Five. More about Jennifer Crusie and Maybe This Time at: http://www.jennycrusie.com/
Jenny: Thank you, Kala!
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More about Kala Ambrose: Kala Ambrose is an award winning author, intuitive and talk show host of the Explore Your Spirit with Kala Show. Her thought-provoking interviews entice listeners to tune in around the globe! Described by her guests and listeners as discerning, empowering and inspiring, she speaks with world renowned authors, artists, teachers and researchers delving into metaphysical, holistic and paranormal topics. Kala’s book, 9 Life Altering Lessons: Secrets of the Mystery Schools Unveiled delves into the mysteries of ancient Egyptian mystery schools and explains their wisdom teachings. Kala Ambrose is a highly interactive teacher on a mission to educate, entertain and inspire. She lectures on the Ancient Wisdom Teachings of Egypt and the Mystery Schools, Working with Auras, Chakras and Energy Fields, and Wise Woman Wisdom.