Here today is Janet Nichols Lynch, author of the recent release Addicted To Her. This is a beautiful coming of story focusing on a Mexican-American teenage boy torn between the girl he's in love with and his family as well as what might really end up being the right thing to do. Stay tuned after the interview for your chance to win a copy of Addicted To Her.
AGA: You develop not only Rafa and Monique, but Rafa's whole family as well, showing the reader everyone more than just with occasional interactions like what is seen in many books. Did you find it harder to portray his family more so than his friends?
JNL: No, writing about families is pretty easy for me because my own is so important to me and I listen to my students talk about their families, which gives me a lot of ideas for my characters.
AGA: What was the inspiration behind Jesus coming from El Salvador as opposed to Mexico or another Latin American country? Did you have to do a lot of research to make his story and culture realistic?
JNL: As you know, many immigrants come from Mexico to settle in California and many stories have been told about them, so I wanted to choose a different country. I think the civil war in El Salvador and the seeking of political asylum here makes a dramatic backdrop for Jesus. I did some research, of course, but my nephew Carl, who is getting his Ph.D. in Spanish, was a great resource in getting Jesus' story right.
AGA: Of the full cast of characters, which did you enjoy writing and developing the most?
JNL: My heart and soul is always with my protagonist, but here's a tip for you writers, which took me about ten years to learn: it's not enough to walk in the shoes of your protagonist; you have to know every single character and his or her viewpoint thoroughly no matter how
small his or her roles in the book. I choose my number of characters carefully, and consolidate them when I can because creating a character is a lot of work.
AGA: If you could pair Rafa with any character from any book (romantically or otherwise, your pick), what would your choice be?
JNL: Rafa has two important platonic female friends, Tor and Andy, whom he would never be romantically involved with. It's very important for teens to have close friends of the opposite sex to better understand that deep mystery of the other gender. It's also extremely difficult for teens to choose a significant other because physical attractions are so powerful at this age. As Rafa learns, the hottest mate is quite frequently the worst, which can lead to tremendous emotional suffering.
AGA: What do you think of the final cover for Addicted To Her?
JNL: I love the cover. It captures the lure of Monique's sexual power.
AGA: Did you notice an obvious difference in what was needed to write Addicted To Her as opposed to your earlier works?
JNL: A huge challenge for me was developing Monique as a full-fledged character. From the very beginning, I knew her role in the plot, but that was not enough. She needed a convincing back story for readers to understand why Rafa would even bother with her. She's an extremely flawed character, but I wanted her to be sympathetic, too. No one is all bad or all good, so characters shouldn't be either.
AGA: If you could step into someone else's shoes for a day, whose life would you want to experience?
JNL: Definitely Obama. He is severely criticized every day and yet he keeps his cool and his smile and goes about doing the best he can for our country. I'd love to know the inter workings of his head. He's my inspiration. Whenever I have self-doubt, I think, be brave, look at all the guff Obama takes!
AGA: What is the most fearless thing you have done to date?
JNL: My senior piano recital in college. I remember one hour before the performance I was sitting at the piano in my formal and ringlets, my head stuffed with 75 pages of memorized music and my fingers tingling with an hour of music in them. I looked out at the empty concert hall thinking, how am I going to do this? I will die. But I did get through, and after that everything else has been comparatively easier.
AGA: Is there anything else you'd like to say or add?
JNL: It's my passion to write and my privilege to be read.
Thank you Janet for your time! For the chance to win a copy of this fantastic book, fill out this form. Contest is US only and ends Monday, May 24 at 8 CST.