Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Welcome Historical Author of the American West, Jena Galifany as She Discusses her Collaborative book 'Shyanne's Secret'

Scribal Love Welcomes Jena Galifany

Jena Galifany/ M.J. Conrad is an author of Romance, Suspence and Adventure.  Her newest work Shyanne's Secret is available from Whiskey Creek 

What is the name of your latest book?  And how did you come up with the title?

Shyanne's Secret is my first western novel. I have an author friend with the name Cheyenne and I love her name. I have a tendancy to spell things differently, though, so changed it to Shyanne. I wasn't sure of what type of book it would be but I liked the sound of her having some sort of secret and thus the title. I had the title before I had the story. 

What is this book about?  And what genre is this book in?

In 1880s Oregon, Cole Jackson, a half-blood, falls for Shyanne Bennett, a white girl. An accident leads to Cole's arrest for murder, one he didn't commit. He is lynched by Shyanne's father who believes that his daughter was defiled by Cole. Cole promised to take care of Shyanne, but now it's going to be hard to do. Shyanne lost her mind, knowing Cole died to keep her secret. A few years later, Cole's look-alike cousin, Will Marshall comes courting. 

Who is/are the main characters?  And why did you choose them?

Shyanne Bennett, spoiled white girl. Cole Jackson, half-blood Pauite. Will Marshall, half-blood Pauite and Cole's look-alike cousin. In this day of diversity, I thought about what it was like when it was not acceptable for interacial relationships. The Native American were considered guilty in any situation based on their nationality alone. I wanted to write a story of inspiration where the Native American found justice. 

What is the coolest or best part about your book?  (Any Favorite scenes, the world-building etc..)

I think the best part is the ending when Shyanne finds out why her husband won't sleep with her, or even in the house with her. I'd love to tell you but it would ruin the secret. lol 

Do you have a favorite character in the book?  If so, why?

I suppose I truly enjoyed writing Will's part. He had the most emotional parts, the inner termoil of fighting his own natural instincts and desires due to his loyalty to Cole. Will goes through a lot for his cousin and I like that kind of family loyalty. 

Is this book part of a series?  If so? What can we expect in future books? 

I don't have plans for making it a series but I would like to write more stories like it. I loved doing the research into the world of the Paute people.  

If not?  Will you consider expanding it? 

I might have a go at writing Will's story but I'll have to give that some thought. 

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? 

I think that any changes would upset the balance of the story. 

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

As I've noted, I learned a lot about the Pauite people, their way of life and wars they were involved in in the 1880s. I am part Native American, though a different tribe and it was good to learn of others. I enjoyed working my characters into the history. 

Do you have a publisher?  And if so, why did you choose them?  

I have more than one Shyanne's Secret is my sixth published book. published my ShadowsForge series over the past several years. I found them by seeing the quality of books they published when I was writing book reviews for an online review site, I have a historical novel, Her Perfect Man, released in October 2010 with

They were suggested to me by a fellow author. I chose both for their quality and willingness to work with the author to the benefit of us both. 

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I grew up reading Victoria Holt and Agatha Christie. I adore Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Connan Doyle and love the "willful misdirection" that I try to incorporate in my stories but I can't say exactly where I would have picked that up. 

What books are you reading now? 

The Mark of the Assassin by Daniel Silva, and I read my Bible daily. It's a slow time when I'm not reading 3 to 4 books at a time, though. 

What are the current writing projects that you are working on?

I'm working on Jon's Way, the fifth book in the ShadowsForge series, that follows the British rock band ShadowsForge while they tour England and the United States. I'm working on a non-fiction piece based on several biblical characters. Day Labor has a woman ready to do anything to make her husband happy. It is not quite a romance but has a few interesting turns. The Making of a Shadow is my pilot book in hopefully a new series. Hit man Jake Logan wants out of the racket after being faced with icing two teens who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. What he gets is not the deal he'd hoped for. Amity in the Storm is a gothic paranormal. Only When I Dream is a Sci-fi romance. I have others but I'll leave it at that for now. lol 

Do you write full time?  If not, do you hope to do so one day? 

I would love to write full time but for now I work a fulltime day job and just opened my own used book store to give my family a place to work. I'm there anywhere from 3 to 10 hours a day after I get off from my regular job. I write in my head most of the time and type it in the evening or on Saturday at the bookstore.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? 

We moved a lot when I was a child so I started making up friends that could travel with me. I have a creative mind and love to entertain others through writing. 

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? 

The biggest challenge would be to keep the middle of the story from sagging. I start with the ending and love that shocking opening that catches the attention but the middle can be difficult to keep the story moving. I usually have more than one situation going on in a story to keep that from happening. 

Do you have any advice for other writers seeking to get published for the first time? 

Don't ever think you've learned it all. Keep writing, keep reading, and keep learning. Don't take a rejection as a negative. Take it as a learning experience. It doesn't mean your work is not good, only not what they need at that time. If they give you suggestions, learn from them and move on the the next publisher. Don't give up.

Thanks Jena for dropping by!

You can find Jena on the web at:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting! We love and appreciate your feedback. Please note, any comment that appears to be spam or offensive in nature will be deleted.

Otherwise, we love and encourage your feed back and comments.

-Clare The Embraced Scribe