Join us every Friday as we spotlight various members in the Savvy Authors Community. We'll introduce you to volunteers, members active in the Savvy writing community, recently published authors from Our Authors, editors, and agents.
This week’s Spotlight On guest won first place in YA in the FF&P “On the Far Side” and HeRa’s “Show Me The Spark” contests, received rave reviews, including 4.5 stars from RT Book Reviews, for her debut novel Touch
, which has just sold to France, Poland and Russia. The next installment of the Denazen series, the novella Untouched
hits the stands March 26ths, only 23 days away! Please join me in welcoming YA Paranormal author Jus Accardo!
First of all, congrats on a banner year! Touch (Denazen Book One) hit the stands last November to rave reviews, Toxic (Denazen Book Two) will be out in May, novellas and a third book for the Denazen series also in the works, pitch wrangling here at Savvy, another series titled Gatekeeper (Entangled Pub) coming in 2013, you are one busy woman. On behalf of those who still struggle to get out of bed every morning I have to ask, how do you manage it all? If it’s the coffee, you need to share that blend!
Thank you! Coffee does help
I think a huge part of it is simply loving what I do. Not once have I ever rolled out of bed thinking, “Crap. I have to go work now.” I open my eyes every day looking forward to it. I can’t imagine not doing it.
When you are immersed in a story what does an average day look like?
Pretty much computer screens and coffee. When I’m in the middle of something—particularly a first draft—I get tunnel vision. The house goes uncleaned, the fridge stays empty, and my poor husband starves. Luckily, I have a great guy who understands me and what I do (and can fend for himself when necessary).
Do you write the characters and wrap story around them or do they evolve as the story unfolds?
I think it’s a little of both. When I start, I know my characters pretty well, but they do surprise me sometimes.
If Touch were made into a movie, who would you choose to play Kale and Dez and why?
Well, when writing it, I totally pictured Avril Lavigne as Dez and a young Ben Barnes as Kale. Now though, I have to wonder if the dude on the cover does any acting. He’d be perfect! Same goes for the model on TOXIC. She’d make a perfect Dez.
Do you plan to stay with YA or will you explore other genres?
At the moment I can’t even imagine writing something other than YA. I have a YA thriller bouncing around in my brain, but YA paranormal will always be my first love.
People always want to know how much of the writer goes into their characters. Do you pull a lot from personal experience for your stories?
Well, I’ve personally never skateboarded from a rooftop or jumped from a moving car like Dez has…but I do think part of me bleeds into my characters—at least a little. It could be something simple. There’s a bit in TOXIC about Dez losing her house keys repeatedly—once in a lake. That’s happened to me. Twice actually… Yeah. Don’t ask.
What can you tell us about the Gatekeeper series?
Gatekeeper was originally written as an adult. It was actually the book I wrote right before TOUCH. Unfortunately I don’t have a blurb to share yet (soon though, I promise) but I can tell you there’s a strong heroine, a hottie hero, and a very special dog…
You were a spatula away from a culinary career when you decided to pursue writing. If you could cook a dinner for anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you serve them?
Since I never got the chance to cook for him, I’d have to say my grandfather. As for what I’d make, that’s easy! Chicken Marsala (my absolute favorite dish in the entire world) with risotto. For dessert it would be tiramisu. God…now I’m hungry
Despite a tight schedule you continue to give back to the writing community, including pitch wrangling here at Savvy. What keeps you coming back? What do you find fulfilling in volunteering?
Places like Savvy are invaluable. I met so many wonderful people and learned so many things… If I can give even a fraction of that back to someone else, then I’m happy.
What one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Do not give up!! This business is SO subjective. 20 agents could pass on your book, but when the 21st one sees it—POW. Insta-love. It’s all a matter of getting it in front of the right person. The more you write, the closer it brings you to your goal. It’s cheesy, and everyone says it, but it’s so true.
Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us today! You can learn more about Jus Accardo by going to her website.
For more information on our Spotlights, feel free to leave a comment or private message me from my profile page
Until he met Dez, Kale’s days were filled with violence and death. He was used as a weapon of destruction by the power hungry men of Denazen. He’s a Six. A person with an abnormal ability. Some people call them gifts, but not Kale. Kale’s touch means instant death.
But now there’s Dez, the girl he can touch, and they’re hunting down Sixes and warning them about Denazen. Kale is learning about the world outside captivity and trying to put his dark past behind him. But they underestimated how badly Denazen wanted him back.
When Dez sacrifices herself to save the new Six they’d rescued from falling into the corp’s hands, Kale is lost. Denazen has brought out its best to get the job done. Samsen, a nightmare from Kale’s past—the only person he’s ever truly feared—has come for them, and it soon becomes obvious he has his own twisted agenda.
Kale will need all his training to get Dez back and ensure they make it out, free—and alive. But will it be enough?
Jus Accardo is the author of YA paranormal and urban fantasy fiction. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs and sometimes guard bear, Oswald. She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.
Ria Boulay, Spotlight On Editor, writes romance and young adult novels. A former paralegal now working as a judicial secretary, she previously spent six years managing and writing for a large, metaphysical website. With her husband and two utterly impertinent Italian Greyhounds, she divides her time between New Hampshire and Cape Cod. When not writing, she spends her spare time rescuing homeless gargoyles and relaxes by riding her Harley.