Jazz... Passion. Jazz ... Advocate. Jazz ... Book Reviewer. Jazz... Determined to Make a Positive Difference.
Jazz Correa, Author
GMB: And welcome to Jazz Correa, joining us in the 'Anything But a Tired Barn' from Yonkers, New York. I first knew of Jazz through the Master Koda Select Publishing Facebook Group and learned more as she worked through an issue concerning an author who did not like a book review Jazz and her team produced.
Jazz, I believe it takes a certain amount of 'passion' when holding oneself out to the public as a book reviewer. How would you describe that kind of 'passion'?
Jazz: Well the Dictionary Definition includes 'Any powerful, compelling emotion, such as love.' * My Definition would be more like it's the air that I breath, the light of my eyes, that which I cannot live without, my soul, my aura, my identity... I AM PASSION—and I carry it in everything that I do. No matter what that is.
GMB: And how does your passion carry over into your role(s) in the writing community?
Jazz: I am an Author: yes. But, I'm much more than that. I consider myself an Author Advocate. I speak out for them, I help and assist them in any way that I can. I walk with them in this very long walk that we've chose to endeavor. I offer my knowledge, my creativity and tech-savvy abilities to help them reach for the stars and nothing less. I find a sense of belonging in doing said things. So, not only do I write, but I guide aspiring authors and those whom have already realized that dream in marketing, promoting and much, much more.
GMB: Where did your passion, your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/reviewing, etc. come from?
Jazz: Yes. I confess. I am a lover of art. All kinds of art. As a younger person I sang, as a child a drew, in my early adult years I was very crafty and made things. My love for books must have been something that developed out of a need to know and understand. The art hidden therein was a mystery to me during my younger years and I yearned to know. To really know and understand.
Here is a funny fact that most people do not know about me. I have dyslexia. As I child I struggled with it quietly. Ashamed to tell anyone about my problem. So I did not actually start reading until I was in fourth grade, and I did it all by myself. I WANTED—No, NEEDED to know what these fabulous books which were such a mystery hid in their pages. So, all alone I struggled with Dyslexia until I one day, finally, picked up my favorite book, “The Cat in the Hat” and read it. Oh glory! What joy I felt in being able to understand the contents of that page. I remember sitting in the school library or my neighborhood library and breathing deep the scent of books. It was my own personal haven. Then I'd dig in, looking at picture books, sitting with a story in my lap and flipping through it's pages. Then I'd take books home and in the middle of the night, with a flashlight, tucked away under my sheets, head covered and room dark, I would read and read.
THAT is where my passion began!
Y Correa, Advocate
GMB: Incredible! What a commitment to The Page ... both to yours, and to The Page of others. Now alternatively, tell us about the last time you had to slog your way through a ton of work. How did you get through it? With a little style … Perhaps a pang of dismay followed by the satisfaction of …?”
Jazz: Every single day ... LOL! Like I said, I work diligently helping the writing community. Every single day I'm drowned in work that I do for other people—on top of my own works! That can be anything from editing, reviews, cover art, book trailers... you name it.
On top of that, I'm a single mother of 4. Three of which are on their own, but my youngest remains. He had low functioning Autism. So, doing everything I do plus dealing with day to day life, means my life is ALWAYS a struggle. But, the satisfaction at the end of the day lies in going to bed with a smile on my face knowing that I did the best that I can with what I have. That I put positive karma out in the world, and that my kids know that I love them.
GMB: And you choose to bring your passion, your determination to the business world of writing and publishing ... You have shared with us a little about the notion of ‘passion’ … Now where and/or how do you find the greatest inspiration for the ‘passion’ you describe?
Jazz: My passion comes from two places: Myself and my kids. My kids inspire me on a daily basis—and my own will power, is the wick that light the flame of my passions.
GMB: Nice ... Very nice ... I'm going to continue with a question or two about the business ... How do you feel about eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing? What do you think is the future of reading/writing?
Jazz: I like eBook and print books just the same. The only difference being that I with eBooks I cannot inhale that glorious soothing scent of printed paper, like I can with in-print books. This debate about Traditional publishing vs Self-publishing is something that I could never really understand. In the words of the famous Rodney King, “Why can't we all just get along?”
I believe that rather than debating who's better and who's not, we should all join together to view the other side of it, and that is: We all share a common goal and a common passion. BOOKS!
I see a very bleak future for us if we cannot get past those petty arguments. I've read both indie and traditional works. On both sides of the fence there had been good and bad. It's ALL just a matter of perspective.
From the Jazz' Facebook Page
GMB: Jazz what were you doing the last time you looked at a clock and realized you had lost all track of time?
Jazz: Writing and smiling!
GMB: You've shared so much already ... But I'm going to ask anyway ... What more about you do you want us to know (before we start figuring out all the rest) *grins*.
Jazz: This may sound as cliché as anything, but I'm the sort of person that just “tells it like it is”. My life really is an open book. I'm not the pretentious type that tries to hide things, worrying about “the public” finding out. I could really care less. I live my life the best I can, knowing that I have shortcomings. Period. I'm not perfect and I don't pretend to be. And, I think that's what my friends love the best about me. That sometimes I'm a bit “brutally honest”.
Oh! Jeez! There it is! That's what people should know! I'm brutally honest. LOL. I suppose that's a bad thing and a good thing.
GMB: Well perhaps a bad or a good thing as well ... I supposed it depends who is hanging around at the time ... What were your goals and intentions when you decided to review books? How well do you feel you have achieved them?
Jazz: My goal upon having made the decision to review books was to give authors the advantage of honest insight of their work, as well as the reading public the opportunity to take a look at books that they may have otherwise overlooked. I wanted to find hidden treasures!
I find that lot's of times the reading public becomes fixed on “what's hot” and turns their backs on anything else. I found that in doing reviews, we can give many authors the chance to showcase their works—should that work be something the reading public may be interested in.
I also found that providing reviews is a good way to give authors exposure. However, the key was “being honest”. Lot's of times authors get very vague reviews or a certain number of starts without an explanation of any kind. When providing reviews, you have the opportunity to tell the author exactly what you did and did not like about their work.
GMB: Share with us more about what you think is essential to your book reviews. Please tell us why we all here in the ‘Anything But a Tired Barn’ will read your Book Reviews and decide whether to buy or ignore the read reviewed.
Jazz: As I mentioned above, my book reviews are HONEST and anything but vague. I also work with a team of ladies, who are part of my read and review group, which have made it their mission to do the same. We make it a point to tell about the story without telling too much. I personally, look at the authors prose and form, at the flow/progression of the book, the evolution of the characters, the plot (as that can play a big role in a story)... basically, I look at every aspect of the book and review accordingly, attempting to give the potential reader a good look into the book, allowing them to decide on their own whether or not that book is for them. I can't tell you HOW HARD it is to give JUST ENOUGH about a book! Being a reviewer, you can easily expose too much, or not enough about a book.
GMB: Can you share some uplifting stories about people you have met in your writing community … perhaps while reviewing books?
Jazz: Oh wow! I've met SO MANY amazing people and some that are in so great in the writing community! I've made friends that I know will last a life time... unfortunately, I've also made enemies. Recently, my group and I had the great experience of reading and reviewing Author Beem Weeks story “Jazz Baby”, and here is what he said once we notified him of his reviews:
“WOW! That's the first response I can offer. WOW! The second response, as well. What humbling reviews. I am so pleased, so thrilled, so overwhelmed by the reviews each of you have written. Thank you all so very much. I mean that from my heart. God bless you each... B. Weeks” It's moment's like this that make it all worth while. Here are some more reviews I enjoy. http://ycorreafb.blogspot.com/2013/08/author-spotlight-reviews-of-beem-weeks.html
GMB: What is the most important thing that people DO NOT know about reviewing books that they need to know?
Jazz: A book review serves a purpose. That being, help. Not only do you help readers decide on whether or not this book is for them, but you also help authors know what the general reading public thinks about their book. With that knowledge, they can either perfect their art or continue to do a fantastic job. Book reviews offer growth. When done well of course.
GMB: What book, or books do you think everyone in the ‘Anything But a Tired Barn’ should read?
Jazz: Do I have all day? LOL...
GMB: Until the cows come home... *winks*
Jazz: Oh my goodness! There are so many that I would recommend. Here is a plan, check out my Blog or my Goodreads page and follow my reviews or look at some that I've already done.
GMB: Fair enough and here are the links those in the Barn can take a peak at and t learn more about what they should be reading ... Now here is my favorite question when with a popular individual who has already done a lot of interviews: What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, and then answer it.
Jazz: Hmmm! Good one! LOL. I'll have to say, “Where did you get your characters from?” My characters are a combination of extensive research and everyday people—some, my very own family members. Even myself. My Fate Books Collection is about angels and demons. I've done extensive research about the mythological history about these entities and have written my books to showcase that. The villain in “Marco, Antonio & Amaryllis” is a goddess, though I changed her name, the details of the villain are true to mythological history. I like my characters to have substance and history, I want them to be as real as possible and I find that in looking into that, I can than establish a believable history to those characters.
GMB: Well done *smiles* No always an easy question to answer ... and what a wonderful Interview with you here today. Thank You for joining us Jazz ... And we hope to see you here around the Barn again soon!
Jazz: THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE OPPORTUNITY!!
GMB: You are very welcome Jazz ... Be well, take care ... It was nice organizing this get together with you friends ... I hope everyone surely loves it.
Keeping an Eye on You...
Hello Jacqueline Cross, Author and Friend traditionally publishing under the name Nadia Kilrick ... Thanks for strolling on down our country road for a visit to the 'Anything But a Tired Barn'. I know you are under the weather, and I sure appreciate you coming on by ...
To help you feel at home, we brought over a familiar friend to keep a keen eye on you... I hope our Blog Fans appreciate your effort and to get to know you, and your work a little better... Again, welcome to the Barn one and all...
JC: Thank You for inviting me... You know it was a lovely stroll ... a beautiful day in the country indeed...
GMB: Jacqueline, what genre is Ziggy Returns? Why write in this genre in particular? What is it you like about this genre?
JC: Paranormal/horror. It’s a ghost story. For the most part, I’m not one who thinks too much about genre. I write a story and hope it’s good enough that people will want to read it and tell their friends about it. Once it’s written, I try to put it into the category where it most likely fits. I’ve always liked ghost stories. Perhaps it’s because when I read a good one, memories of sitting on the blue shag carpeting in the living room of my childhood home, listening while my mother told stories of her own childhood, flood my mind and heart. Most of her tales were suspense-filled, creepy and filled with ‘monsters’ found in the backwaters of the Florida panhandle. We couldn’t get enough of them. She should have been a writer.
GMB: Please tell us here in the Barn why we will read Ziggy Returns and enjoy the heck out of it.
JC: Hmm, it’s a short story with a little something for everyone; abuse, betrayal, friendship, secrets, love, remorse and forgiveness. And of course, it’s a ghost story. I tried to write it in such a way that it conveys each character’s emotions without any one being ‘in your face’. It’s my hope that anyone reading about Ziggy and Minna’s relationship will be able to understand Minna’s ability to forgive those who have wronged her and move on with her life.
GMB: Nice ... Tell us more about Ziggy Returns. Something to really get us interested in reading and sharing this story with others…
JC: Ziggy Fuller is a rough, self-sufficient man who lives off the land and likes to be in control. His generally unkind demeanor is made worse by drinking too much of the moonshine he makes and sells. He is a philanderer who has betrayed his wife more than once during their marriage. That is, until a foolish act leads to his death. Only then does he have regrets...
GMB: Stop there ... *smiles* We don't want to give too much away... I believe your description of the story is so intelligently presented. I'm stopping you here because I have read and reviewed Ziggy Returns and come to know you through the wonderful world of the Master Koda Select Publishing Family... I want your readers to discover all there is to discover about your stories...
JC: And thank you for the Review Mitch ... I do tend to go on...
GMB: And we are also privileged to be able to visit with you about your September 7, 2013 release, People of Kilmservy Village - The Rough Hewn Trilogy, but I first want to share with our Blog Fans the Five Star Review I published August 2, 2013 and for Ziggy's Return. In my Book Review, I wrote in part, "By the third chapter I was in love with the writing style conveying a Southern ease on balance with a Back Water sense of urgency. Living in San Diego at the time, I was one of the first in line to see the Blair Witch Project when it broke into popular mainstream. This storytelling continually had me reflecting on what I enjoyed about Blair Witch ... the 'tellin' and'no-telling'. *** An author to be sure to follow into her next project..."
JC: Thank you for the kind words...
GMB: It was a fine read and here we are encouraged and now following you to your next project... *smiles*
People of Kilmservy Village
JC: Yes ... we are here today celebrating the release of my new novel by Nadia Kilrick entitled People of Kilmservy Village - The Rough Hewn Trilogy.
GMB: Tell us about the writer you are ... the author producing these wonderful stories (and before we start figuring it all out) *grins*.
JC: Oh gosh, I don’t know if you need to look into those dark corners. I’m sure the padlocks will hold so, we’re good. *snickers* Seriously, though, I live a simple life in the country and split my time between the Emerald Coast of NW FL and the green hills of the Cumberland Plateau in TN. I spend as much time with my grandchildren as possible. There are 10 of them from toddlers to a twenty-two year old. When I have the time (laughs hysterically) I also make quilts and my own soaps. And you thought you were going to learn some deep-dark secrets, didn’t you? *winks*
GMB: Well there may not be any secrets revealed now, but in your stories, 'Oh My' *winks back* Which appears first, when contemplating a new project: a character, the plot, or the title?
JC: For me, it’s the characters and plot simultaneously. The characters tell me their story and I write it. Then, I rewrite it. The title comes soon after I begin writing.
GMB: Now here we have the blurb for your new release, People of Kilmservy Village - The Rough Hewn Trilogy... Looks incredible ... Has your own life influenced your novels? If so, please tell us how … perhaps give us an example?
JC: Yes. As a writer, I’ve drawn from several personal experiences. That’s not to say that the stories you’ll read are based entirely on my life, certainly not. What a terrifying life that would've been to lead! Like every writer I know, I pick things apart, throw bits out and add bits in to create a world different than most people’s reality. By doing so, I hope to take the reader on a sojourn with me that they will (hopefully) see through the lives of my characters.
GMB: Who is your favorite character you have created? Why this character?
JC: To date, it’s Carolyn ‘Carrie’ Dunsmorrest Breckenship from the ‘Rough Hewn’ Trilogy. When we first meet her, we question her ability to make informed decisions, as well as, a seemingly ever-present weakness, leaving us to wonder if she’ll ever find the strength to stand up for herself. I like that her strength simmers below the surface where others, either, can’t, or refuse to see it - until her trials are such that she has no choice but to show the world around her how strong she has always been.
GMB: Going back to Ziggy Returns, and perhaps Kilmservy Village as well, the settings fascinate me … Tell us more…
JC: I love the hills of East Tennessee in the United States. They are a magical place to me - filled with ghosts of many of my ancestors and inhabited by a peace-loving, gentle sort of humankind. Problems between families are generally solved within the confines of the family and I like that there is seldom outside interference where family/friend/neighbor issues are concerned. That is, unless someone is in imminent danger and then the call goes out and the involvement becomes a community effort. Whenever I think of a setting for a story, my mind goes to these hills first. How can I set these characters in the sweet, misty-magical green hills of TN?
GMB: So incredible ... I find myself being drawn to certain places in the same way... Jacqueline, Tell us about a time when you, as an author had to slog your way through a ton of work. What was it and how did you get through it?
JC: While writing & editing Ziggy Returns, I was working on edits of the ‘Rough Hewn’ 1 & 2 novels, writing #3 in the same, working on a book trailer and covers, writing a recipe book, doing research for two books I’m co-writing; one on mental illness and the other on prescription drug abuse. In addition, I was ghostwriting several gardening articles. In order to complete everything with some semblance of sanity intact, I had to break each piece down into its level of importance/urgency. I’m one who doesn’t like to let others down but I did have to drop the web content writing gig and put the two coauthor projects on hold in order to focus on fiction writing. Those simple moves helped tremendously.
GMB: So busy in deed ... we develop this passion for writing, and the next thing you know we are all making choices ... assuming priorities... Where do you see your writing career in the next five to ten years?
JC: I hope to be settled comfortably into a full-time organized writing life within the next five years. I have several novel-length works in progress and notes for many others. The organization part seems to be an issue. So, I would love to find that switch in my brain that locks it in the ‘on’ position.
GMB: And for us all Jacqueline ... And for us all ... And I'd like to thank you for coming by the Barn today...
JC: And I’d like to finish up by thanking you for having me here at ‘Anything But a Tired Barn’, G. Mitchell Baker. It’s been fun! And I want to leave you with a little something from my 2013 Journals...
GMG: Thank You Jacqueline ... So thoughtful ... And to "Keep Moving..." we will my friend... Get well JC... We'll get you well-enough to truly enjoy the release of both your fine works... Sincerely... From all of Us in the 'Anything But a Tired Barn'... And Cheers and All the Best with your Latest and New Releases! Sincerely, Mitch
Amazon Author Page for G. Mitchell Baker
G. Mitchell Baker, Author