Thursday, September 30, 2010


Ok my little boils and ghouls today I've got something extra special to dish out for y'all - something that a bit different than the usual author interviews. I was holding off until I had time to do some blog maintenance and now that I have...MUAHAHAHA! It is time! (Somehow that "It is time" line now sends my mind straight to images of a skinny baboon gesturing a lion towards a protruding rock formation with a stick. Huh.)

So, we all know authors. They write books. They blog. They do interviews. They have signings. After actors they're pretty much the most visible artists out there. And like any celebrity they've got people standing behind them, propping them up and making them look good.

Take Tracy Fritze for instance. She's assistant to MaryJanice Davidson, author of the Queen Betsy series who only last month was interviewed here and has graciously deigned to be interviewed herself. So, without further adieu, enjoy!

(1) So, you're an assistant to an author. What does that entail? Could you run through your typical day?
Well, I actually only work 12 hours a week (ok I am only paid to work 12 hours a week). Some days I go to MaryJanice’s home and work in the office there. Go through the mail, pay bills, and send out prizes or donations. Most of the time I actually work from home. I monitor her email, a Yahoo Group, Facebook, and keep her calendar for her. She is very flexible about when I actually work so you may see me on line at odd hours of the day!

(2)Do you do this part-time or full-time? If part-time, what's your alter-ego up to? Is it hard to balance?
Well, I pretty much answered this in #1 – part time. I also work as a Financial Secretary for my church and do all the office/financial work for my husband’s business. I am trying to start my own business selling bracelets that I make as well. Oh, and I have two kids! One just left for college and the other is in 10th grade. So I don’t really have time for an alter-ego!

(3) How exactly did you come by the job? Did you know MaryJanice previously?
I was actually looking for a job that fit the specific days I had available and found the job through a local temp agency. I actually had never heard of MaryJanice before this. I know, I know – makes her diehard fans a bit upset to hear that!

(4) How much interaction do you have with your boss? Is it in person or via phone/internet?
Quite a bit actually. Most of it is via email but when I am working at her house, she is just down the hall & I bug her all the time!

(5) Are there any anecdotes about the job you'd care to share?
Well the best one is in the forward of UNDEAD AND UNFINSISHED already! When I came to work and was locked out of MJ’s house. After pounding on the door, calling the house, and calling her cell, her elementary aged son opened the door in his underwear!

Apparently MJ was sick in bed. What MJ didn’t know was that I had just colored my hair that morning & turned myself into some sort of demonic pumpkin. My scalp was nearly bleeding from washing my hair about 20 times! Being locked out of her house was just icing on the cake. I had actually started to cry because I just couldn’t take it anymore!

(6) What are the best/worst parts of the job?
The best part for me is being able to work from home so much. I am actually quite an introvert! The worse part for me is when I get slammed with mean fan-mail. I tend to take the negative comments personally which is strange because I have nothing to do with writing the books!

(7) Finally, some random questions about you:
a. What are your hobbies aside from writing?
I am not a writer at all. I am a reader though! I have a goal to read 50 books this year ; I am on book 40 now with over 3 months to go! I also bead; I make bracelets that I sell to whomever will buy them! I just started selling them on a website that is for selling homemade products (
b. Could you please describe your dream day?
Ah….a dream day….wake up to a wonderful, homemade breakfast. Lounge around reading and checking email. After a luxurious shower, be presented with a sensible, yet delicious lunch. Spend the afternoon reading, beading, and watching movies. Cook dinner with my hubby. The evening would be spent doing things together as a family. Wait – this pretty much describes my days now (except I am cooking all these meals in real life!). I am very blessed.
c. If you found a genie, what would be your three wishes?
1. An unlimited number of wishes
2. & 3. Rather mute considering wish #1!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

ANNOUNCEMENT: Jennifer Rardin

I'm not sure if you've heard or not by now, but last Monday (September 20th) Jennifer Rardin passed away. If you're a regular of my blog you may remember her interview here back in February; she was an amazing writer who gave the world the Jaz Parks series about an assistant to a vampire assassin for the CIA. When an artist dies, the loss is always that much greater for all that she could've done disappears with her. Whether it be a writer, a painter, an actor or a musician, their death robs the world of all that potential, all that imagination, and the world seems a little bit darker as a result.

Jennifer Rardin's death is no exception to this. She will be sorely missed. Please be aware that memorials may be made to the Riley’s Children’s Hospital. Jennifer's Jaz Parks series still has two forthcoming volumes: Bitten in Two, set for release on November 8, 2010, and a yet untitled book (coincidentally, originally intended as the series' end) due out next June.

(10) You’ve mentioned that the eighth book in the series is written as a possible ending for the series with the potential to continue further left open. So, what’s coming next once the door has closed on Jaz? And how about yourself – where do you see yourself five years from now?

I’ve just finished a YA urban fantasy called Shadowstruck which my agent is currently marketing. I’m hoping it will be picked up soon, because it’s actually the first in a two- or
three-book series, which would mean I’d have at least one more book to write to finish that story arc. Which is way cool and something I’m eager to continue.

I’m also prepared to write an amazing new urban fantasy series which, while quite unlike the Jaz Parks books, is still designed to make you laugh, gasp, and stay up until four a.m. just so you can see what happens next! Hopefully I’ll be able to begin writing that early this summer.

My habit is to write my main (paying) project during the day, and then to work on my sideline
project at night. Now that Shadowstruck is finished, I’ve begun writing a musical comedy for the stage. Broadway, here I come!

Five years from now? Hmmm. I’ll be staring down the big 50. At least one of my kids will be out of college. I definitely plan to be writing, hopefully better stuff than ever. On a laptop that walks—and talks—and makes pizza. That would be awesome.

(11) Finally, some random questions about you:
a. What are your hobbies aside from writing? Probably my second passion after writing is gardening. I also enjoy travel so much that if you said, “Hey, Jen, do you wanna go to the store with me?” I’d be out the door immediately. Yeah, I don’t have to go far. I just like to go. Hiking is a major pleasure, as is saying things that make my hubby’s eyebrows shoot right up into his
hairline. Which isn’t easy, because he has one of those military cuts. But I keep trying!
b. Could you please describe your dream day? First of all, this day must last for
forty-eight hours. Don’t know how you’re going to swing it, but there it is. So I get to sleep until noon, and yet still have tons of time to . . . write 3,500 words. . .run two miles . . . shower for forty-five minutes . . . have a delicious lunch with my girlfriends . . . spend the afternoon planting flowers . . . spend the evening playing cards with my kids . . . hop in the car and travel somewhere new and exciting with hubby.
c. If you found a genie, what would be your three wishes? Health, happiness, and long life for my children and their children. (That sounds like one, but I think it probably counts as three, or possibly four, but I’m assuming this is a generous genie.)