Please join us in welcoming author Jude Sierra to TNA today, on the tour for her new novel, What It Takes. Enjoy Jude’s interview and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win one of the following:
First Prize: A $25 Interlude Press Gift Card
Second Prize: An e-copy of What It Takes to five winners
TNA: Hi, Jude, welcome to The Novel Approach. What’s the inspiration for What It Takes? A previous experience, or something else?
Jude: Thank you for having me!
This story was a seed that kind of hung out in the back of my mind for years, and it was initially inspired by an Anya Marina song, Satellite Heart. Beyond that, a lot of Milo’s story and journey are shaped by my own past experiences. It was a difficult process, because I had to relive and really explore difficult parts of my past, but ultimately it was really cathartic. It was also such a pleasure to shape those difficult themes with a beautiful love story.
TNA: What attitude or mindset do you think is most important for you, as a writer?
Jude: Determination. I love writing, but sometimes it’s hard – really hard – and it takes grit and determination to keep going. I think that it really helps to have support systems, self-belief, and a willingness to be vulnerable.
TNA: In your opinion, what makes the perfect book hero?
Jude: Someone very human and complex. I like my heroes to be flawed and wonderful and ultimately, loving. Blue eyes don’t hurt either. My husband has beautiful blue eyes I am a sucker for, and I guess I’m predictable that way.
TNA: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in writing?
Jude: I never realized how much my language background influenced my writing before I started the editing process for Hush. I learned Spanish and English together as my first languages, and then learned Portuguese and didn’t use my Spanish for years. When we moved to the States, I went back to Spanish learning. I tend to structure sentences in lots of ways that aren’t always right. Also, I tend to think I can break rules because I’m a poet, because I definitely use words and language differently when I write poetry. Learning to keep my poetic voice but balance it with prose is something I work on every day.
TNA: Tell us about your favorite childhood book.
Jude: You mean how amazing the Little House on the Prairie books are? Gosh, I loved those books, particularly the ones where Laura is a teenager and then gets married. I feel like the books are just a love story on so many levels. Her love for her family, for the land, for her husband, Almanzo. Almanzo was my first model for what romance and love and steadfast devotion would look like. Little House on the Prairie was the first chapter book I ever read (I think I was seven or eight), and I’ve read them so much over my life that they’ve fallen apart.
TNA: Thanks so much for joining us, Jude, it’s been a pleasure!
Blurb: The connection was instantaneous.
Mere moments after Milo Graham’s family relocates to Cape Cod, he meets Andrew Witherell—launching a lifelong friendship built on a foundation of deep bonds, secret forts, and plans for the future. When Milo is called home from college to attend his domineering father’s funeral, he and Andrew finally act on their mutual attraction. But doubtful of his worth, Milo severs all ties with his childhood friend. Years later, the men find themselves home again, and their long-held feelings will not be denied. But will they have what it takes to find lasting love?
Jude Sierra began her writing career at the age of eight when she immortalized her summer vacation with ten entries in a row that read “pool+tv.” She first began writing poetry as a child in her home country of Brazil, and is still a student of the form.
As a sucker for happy endings and well-written emotional arcs and characters, Jude is an unapologetic bookaholic. She finds bookstores and libraries unbearably sexy and, to her husband’s dismay, is attempting to create her own in their living room. She is a writer of many things that hope to find their way out of the sanctuary of her hard drive and many that have found a home in the fanfiction community.
She is currently working on her Master of Arts in Writing and Rhetoric and managing a home filled with her husband, two young sons, and two cats. Her first novel, Hush, was published in 2015 by Interlude Press.
Tour Dates and Stops:
14-Jan: Book Lovers 4Ever, Lee Brazil, Inked Rainbow Reads
15-Jan: Havan Fellows, Love Bytes, Hearts on Fire
18-Jan: Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, A.M. Leibowitz
19-Jan: Velvet Panic, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
20-Jan: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, The Novel Approach, Kirsty Loves Books
21-Jan: Molly Lolly, MM Good Book Reviews
22-Jan: BFD Book Blog, Happily Ever Chapter
25-Jan: Nautical Star Books, My Fiction Nook
26-Jan: Emotion In Motion, Bayou Book Junkie
27-Jan: Full Moon Dreaming, Alpha Book Club, QUEERcentric Books
The Fine Print:
*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*Some residency restrictions may apply
*All comments must be relevant to the author’s prompt to be eligible (when applicable)
*The Novel Approach will not be held liable for prize delivery unless otherwise specified
*Void where prohibited by law