I am so friggen excited to have Jeanne Bogino stopping by today, answering questions, and giving us a sneak peek into her new release, ROCK ANGEL.
Rock Angel had it all: sexiness, edginess, drama, and romance. Humor, hatred, bonding friendships, and the kind of knife in the heart betrayal. I was unable to put this book down, literally stayed up all night reading it. In the six years I’ve had my Nook, I haven’t read a paperback. I mean, who would when you can carry around your entire library on one small device. Well, earlier this year I attended BEA in NYC and had the pleasure of meeting Jeanne Bogino and obtaining an ARC of ROCK ANGEL. The cover is super chic and eye catching. I picked up the book, entirely intrigued by the cover, and for two days I couldn’t put it down. Despite having the paperback already, this book is on my MUST BUY list! Amazing writing, terrific characters, and a story you won’t forget.
I asked Jeanne to stop by and answer some questions, and the terrific woman she is, she agreed. So without further ado, please welcome Jeanne!
Tell us a little about your release.
My novel Rock Angel is a hard driving story set in the rock music scene of the 1990's. Guitar goddess Shan is young, talented, and addicted to heroin when she’s recruited into a rock band by Quinn, a hot, arrogant musical genius. Sparks fly between the two and, although Quinn is accustomed to bedding a different groupie every night, he can’t ignore his growing feelings for his new band mate. But Quinn is far from perfect, domineering, narcissistic, in many ways toxic, and Shan find some way to love him while remaining true to herself and the music that has always been her salvation.
What inspired you to write ROCK ANGEL?
Cinderella. That’s what Rock Angel is, at it’s core – a Cinderella story. Only my girl isn’t a princess, she’s a rock star. Her prince is a hot, womanizing keyboard player. Her glass slipper is a guitar.
Interesting comparisons, and I totally can picture it! What are you working on next?
Angel on High – Book 2 in the Rock Angel series!
I saw the preview after ROCK ANGEL, and OMG, woman, please, sign me up for that! Can you share with us “the call” story?
It’s pretty unusual. I started writing Rock Angel (which was then called MusicMakers) about ten years ago. That first manuscript was a thousand-page doorstop. A few loyal friends plowed through it, including my good friend Gina Coleman, who today is the marketing director of Prashanti Press, my publisher. Anyhow, the book languished on my computer for years. I’d haul it out every once in awhile, chop fifty or a hundred pages, then put it away again. When Gina began working with Prashanti Press, she pitched Rock Angel to Wendy Lipp, my publisher. I had literally nothing to do with it – didn’t even know the book was being pitched. One day I just got a text: “Wendy wants to see your book.” It’s my own Cinderella story, really.
Do you have a favorite time of day for writing?
Early morning. That’s when I’m sharpest and most energetic.
What is your favorite scene from Rock Angel and why?
The scene when Quinn first hears Shan sing. This is it – the beginning of their connection– and it happens on a visceral, instinctive level. They really are fused together from that point onward, even though he fights it every step of the way.
How do you balance writing and everyday life?
It’s not always easy. I always have a lot going on, so I have to block out writing time. When the writing is going well, you have to drag me away from it. When it isn’t, it’s harder to stay focused on it, so having a schedule is crucial.
What is your favorite memory from childhood?
What a cool question! When I was growing up, I had a tree house in a gnarly old apple tree in our backyard. I used to love hanging out up there, munching on apples, and reading. That’s definitely one of my fondest memories - very Jo March in the garret.
Where is your favorite place in the world?
Right now, it’s Bryce Canyon, Utah. I just recently visited it for the first time. It’s breathtaking, majestic – the most beautiful place I have ever seen. I still get overwhelmed when I think about it.
What is your favorite food to cook or eat?
I’m half Italian, so it’s pasta – no contest! I could eat it three times a day.
What do you like to read?
I’m a librarian so I read lots of different things, but my favorite genre is domestic fiction. I love Jodi Picoult, Chris Bohjalian, Katrina Kittle, and Elizabeth Berg. I’m a huge fan of Diana Gabaldon and I love horror– Stephen King, Dan Simmons, Jack Ketchum are my desert isle picks. I also ravenously devour any time of music fiction – A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, The Commitments by Roddy Doyle, and Bel Canto by Ann Patchett are all books I wish I’d written.
What are you reading right now?
All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner and Inside Madeline by Paula Bomer.
Who first introduced you to the love of reading?
My mother. I loved it when she read to me. I can clearly remember the first book I ever picked up and read…it was The Wizard of Oz. She’d been reading it to me, but I just couldn’t wait to find out what happened next.
Who influenced your decision to become a writer?
My eighth grade English teacher, Bill Reichert. He was the first person to say to me, “Jeanne, I think you’re a writer.” I had always suspected as much, but it meant a lot to hear it from someone I admired and respected.
Wanna give us a list of your three favorite things?
(Can I have 4? I also love herbs!)
Will you share an excerpt with us?
Quinn looked up at the funky metal building, a type he’d only ever seen in SoHo. “Denise is still living in that loft, huh?”
“Yeah.” Dan nodded, his long hair stirring in the breeze.
“You should move in here, then, if you’re really serious about living with her,” Quinn said. “This would be a great place to practice. I bet the acoustics are good,” he added as they climbed the three flights to the apartment.
Dan rapped on the door. They heard the clicking of multiple locks and the door opened. “Hi, sweet stuff,” he cooed as Denise’s round blue eyes peered through the crack.
They went into the apartment, redolent with the smell of marinara. Quinn recognized Oda Solomon, the bartender from the Grotto, who was at the stove stirring the vat of sauce.
Denise was smiling at Ty, reaching out with both hands. Her red hair stood up like a rooster’s comb. “Ty, it’s good to see you again.”
“And you remember Quinn, of course,” Dan prompted as Ty squeezed her hands.
“Yes.” Denise’s smile lost some of its warmth. “Hi, Quinn.”
“Denise—always a pleasure,” Quinn replied, his tone polite but guarded.
Denise led Dan and Ty into the other room, but Quinn lingered in the kitchen with Oda, who was now mixing tomato juice and Worcestershire in a glass pitcher.
“Are your Marys as good as your cooking smells?”
Oda poured the tomato mix into tall glasses, adding a healthy splash of vodka to each. “I’m not the cook,” she confessed, handing him a drink. “Your guitar player is.”
Quinn experienced a surge of annoyance as Oda went into the other room with the tray of drinks. Everyone seemed to think this was a done deal, but he wasn’t going to accept a musician just because it was convenient. He wanted only the best in his band.
He followed her into the living room, which was big and open, furnished with a couple of Papasan chairs, a low table, and a big ottoman. The sparse room was bathed in a soft glow by the late-afternoon sunlight filtering through the wide windows. The walls were covered with matted photographs, city shots, mostly, although there were a few pictures of Dan. Naturally, since Denise was the photographer, a student at the New York Institute of Photography.
One of the chairs was occupied by Ty. In the other was a girl. When Quinn saw her, he paused with his drink halfway to his lips.
She was sitting with one leg curled underneath her, a beat-up acoustic guitar in her lap, her fingers twisting a string around one of its tuning pegs. Her hair was shiny black, hanging to her waist in a riot of corkscrew curls. Her face was a stunner, with high cheekbones and eyes that were almost too big, wide set and soulful, their color a striking light green. Her mouth was full, her lips a soft, clear pink.
When she looked up at Quinn, he caught the full voltage of her laser eyes. “I guess you’re Quinn, the keyboard player?” she said shyly.
“And I guess you’re Shan, the guitar player.” She bobbed her head, the black curls dancing around her slim shoulders, and turned her attention back to Ty.
Great. Quinn took a big gulp. Now she’ll think I consider it a done deal, too. It was rare that he was at a loss for words, but this girl had caught him off guard. She was a babe, all right. A serious knockout, in fact. He turned to Dan.
“Nice fake. You did that on purpose,” he accused, whispering so Shan wouldn’t hear.
Dan smirked. “You’re the one who decided she’d be a shaved whale in a flannel shirt. I told you she was cute.”
“Yeah, you said cute. You didn’t mention that she was a fucking goddess.”
“I don’t think she’s your type,” Dan said, “but wait’ll you play with her.”
“I plan to play with her, all right. And we can skip the audition!”
“We’re looking for a guitar player,” Dan reminded him, frowning. “Behave yourself.”
A timer went off and Shan set her guitar aside, unfolding herself from the deep chair. Quinn moved out of her way as she headed for the kitchen. She was slim and very slight, he saw as she paused to look up at him. The top of her head barely reached his chin. “I’m sorry about last night,” she said to him. “Thanks for letting me feed you to make up for it.”
“No problem,” he said, zapping her with one of his high-caliber smiles as Dan and Ty exchanged knowing looks. “It gave us a chance to check out the Grotto. You’re a regular?”
Shan nodded. “It’s a nice gig, and the money’s great.”
As she moved past, Quinn met Dan’s eyes, grinned wolfishly, and did a quick about-face, following her into the kitchen.
Want to get your copy? Make sure you pick yours up now. YOU WONT REGRET IT!
Connect with Jeanne below!
About the author: By day, Jeanne Bogino is director of a small but busy library in rural New York. By night, she writes at her western Massachusetts homestead. She’s published short horror, fantasy, romance, memoir, and gay fiction, and is a regular contributor at Library Journal, where she was named 2011’s fiction reviewer of the year. An expert on zombie lit and horror films, Jeanne has published articles and appeared on panels devoted to these subjects. Rock Angel is her debut novel with Prashanti Press. Connect with Jeanne on her website (bogino.com), Facebook (facebook.com/JeanneBoginoAuthor) and Twitter (@PrashantiPress).