Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Interview with Jennifer White


Reluctantly, Delilah Gray has returned to her childhood home—a ramshackle cottage where her compulsive, hoarding grandmother, Meema, raised her. Meema’s ghostly manifestations refuse to let Delilah clean the filthy house, or to stay there peacefully. And that’s just the beginning of Delilah’s problems. Lonely, angry, and hiding a painful secret, she tries to find a place for herself in a town that she once discovered was “in-between”—a portal to the worlds of the supernatural. Upon her arrival, Delilah unwittingly gets caught in the middle of important business between The Keeper, whose job it is to keep souls on the physical plane, and The Sender who helps speed the dead on their afterlife journey. When Delilah discovers that she is connected to Lily Defoe, a woman who leapt to her death many years ago, and to a man who refers to himself as The Gravedigger for Lost Souls, she realizes there is more to her homecoming than she anticipated. Who she is, and who she’s been, crosses the boundaries of life and death. Nothing—not the people she meets, not this very moment in time, not even the tragic death of her daughter—is what it appears to be. Not only does Delilah have her own “soul searching” to do, but she must work with some of Green Lake’s oddest characters to uncover the mysteries of several unsolved deaths that have never been forgotten. While strange and supernatural occurrences threaten Delilah’s already fragile emotional state, she still has a crucial choice to make that will change everything. She comes to understand that there are some things that are worse than death. There is Otherwise—to be confined to a twilight state between the spiritual and the physical worlds.


Can you explain a little more the world you created in Otherwise? (the creatures, the Sender, the
Keeper, the Otherwise, etc.)

OTHERWISE is a story that launches its main character, Delilah, right into the middle of paranormal occurrences that she can’t, at first, understand. When she finds herself back at the dilapidated cottage on Hermit Meddler’s Way where she grew up with her hoarding grandmother, Meema—who’s been dead for some time—she tries to make the best of things. But, immediately someone—or something—begins groaning, a low, throaty, guttural sound. Delilah flees through tunnels of trash and out of the house.
While she tries to understand the new characters that are dropping into her life, Delilah soon realizes nothing is what it appears. Whenever she cleans and fixes up her home, she finds all her endeavors are quickly, and inexplicably, undone. Swirling around her is the unsolved deaths of several people in town—mysteries that have never gone away. She finds herself mixed up with seven elderly oddballs who are all connected to Delilah’s deceased grandmother. 
As she stumbles through her new existence, trying to figure out who is truly on her side, she begins falling in love with a man she’s attracted to, and yet keeps at bay. He covertly shows up and, seemingly, disappears, all on his own schedule. 
Over time, Delilah encounters three Incarnations—The Keeper, whose job it is to keep souls on the physical plane, The Sender who helps speed the dead on their afterlife journey and the Gravedigger for Lost Souls. Other characters she discovers include the Sender’s fetches, message-bearers that can appear as animals and are links between the living and the dead. And of course, there are the “otherwise”—those that are confined to a twilight state between the spiritual and the physical worlds.

Can you explain the connection between Delilah and Lily a bit more?

Not without shouting, “Spoiler Alert!” (Although it’s a great question!) Let’s just say Delilah’s past is connected to Lily.

Do you believe in soul mates and/or ghosts?

I absolutely believe in soul mates and twin flames. (Take a peek at my book dedications!) I also believe in ghosts, and many other scientifically inexplicable things. To quote Hamlet, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”  
I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in my assumptions. A third of Americans say they believe in ghosts, according to a poll by the Associated Press and Ipsos. About 23 percent, also say they’ve actually seen a ghost, or believe they’ve been in [a ghost’s] presence.

Which character do you relate most with?

I think I relate, in some way, to every character I’ve ever created. (And by character, I’m referring to the human ones!) I believe that we’re all human and therefore share similar human emotions and experiences. 
Although I’m not male, nor elderly, I can still relate to the human condition and the situations that I put those characters into. I feel for them when they have a dilemma, I worry when they’re anxious, I cheer when they’ve overcome obstacles. 
As a writer, I need to know, understand, and relate to them, better than anyone else before I can write about them and have them become lifelike… to the point of almost walking off the page.

Are you planning on writing a sequel to Otherwise?

I have sequels for both OTHERWISE and DEAD ASLEEP. While both stories wrap up completely at the end—I’m a sucker for a great ending—there’s a deliberate door I’ve left ajar for the next installment. Also, I’ve received threats from readers that if I don’t deliver sequels, minions will be sent to haunt my dreams in horrible ways.

Can you share any upcoming projects?

Absolutely! I have many projects in the works that I’m working on now that will take me through this year and into 2013. 
I’m giving a final edit to my book, Hummus for the Holidays that was also adapted for film, and is currently being reviewed by a major film company. While I’m preparing sequels to OTHERWISE and DEAD ASLEEP, I’m also writing a new Young Adult/Crossover that’s the first in a trilogy and will have accompanying movie scripts. (I’m very excited about it!) 
While I continue to write Hollywood taglines, I’ve also been working on Independent film with my business partner; writing the script for a conspiracy thriller with supernatural elements. 
If that’s not enough, you can always read my latest blog on my website, and the one I write for “Write Anything.”


Who is your writing inspiration?

Stephen King. I know… I’m alone in this. The poor man has sold only 350 million copies of his books. Really, more readers should check out his work! He doesn’t know it yet, but we’re going to be very good friends.

What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Anything that has tons of strange and crunchy things in it. Ben & Jerry’s knows what I’m talking about.

If you could visit any place on earth for a week, where would you go?

Could we make this time travel, too? I’d go back to my college, or even high school, but take with me all the experience and knowledge I've already acquired. I’d love to see my friends witholder eyes, or really pay attention in History class!

What is the most difficult part of writing?

Making my fingers keep up with my brain. I’m prolific, so getting ideas and writing them aren’t my problem, it’s finding the time to do it all! If I could, I’d clone myself, so we could all sit around writing and discussing our newest story ideas. Actually, one of my clones is the one that’s answering these questions now.

Use three words to describe yourself and your writing.

Authentic. Intriguing. Witty.

Why do you write?

I can’t not. (Oops, was that a double negative?) I’ve been doing this so long, it defines who I am. I’m passionate about what I do. I love every minute of it, and I feel bad for people who think this is a terrible vocation! They don’t know how cool it really is! (Should I share that notion with some middle school kids?)

Anything you want to add?

Sure! For anyone who wants to get to know me better, you can check out my Facebook, website, send me a pithy shout out on Twitter, or email me. Just be forewarned—if you’re funny, I might want to be really good friends with you. As in favorite all your tweets, send you plush toys at the holidays, or even bump Stephen King’s phone call.

Thanks For the interview Jennifer :) 

By the way, don't forget to read my review for Otherwise: here

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