On the blog today we have author June Stevens Westerfield. June is know for her diversity in books and featuring heroines who are plus sized or full figured. Her latest release, Immortal Moon, is the second book in her Parnorm World series and features the butt kicking character Anya Moon. As a fan, I enjoy her books because the female leads are not weak. As June puts it, they are damsels NOT in distress. =)
Read my review for her newest release, Immortal Moon, HERE.
Join June's street team, Damsels NOT In Distress
I want to thank you for stopping by the blog today.
Thanks for having me! I always enjoy hanging with you, Amy.
Okay, first question. Every author has a bio, can you tell the readers three things, about yourself, not listed in yours?
I dropped out of Culinary School, I’m a Master Barber, and I have purple hair—Okay, that’s technically not bio worthy, but I LOVE having purple hair. It’s super awesome because even if I haven’t brushed it for days, my hair still looks fabulous.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I was born this way. No, really. I can’t remember a time in my life when stories weren’t a part of my life. I was reading by the time I was four years old. My first book to read by myself was Cinderella. I’ve always been a sucker for a romance. Even before I realized I could write stories down, I made them up in my head, all day, every day. But I FINALLY got the guts to start publishing 10 years ago.
4) What is the best piece of advice you received in your journey to become an author?
It sounds trite but the best advice I’ve ever been given is “writer’s write”. It’s so true. I was first published 10 years ago. I published several novellas under different pennames, but then life took a turn and I had to take jobs to make money. While I was in the publishing industry continuously, I spent the next seven years helping other people publish their books and pursue their dreams. Finally I couldn’t do it anymore. So… writer’s write. I know from experience, if you are truly a writer in your soul, you will never be satisfied, never been truly happy if you are not writing.
When you are not saving the world by writing books, how do you spend your free time?
Free time? What’s that? In addition to writing I run two small businesses. A greeting card company and an author centric consulting and web design business. But for two hours a night you can find me snuggling on my sofa with a 100+ pound boy-puppy on my lap while my husband has the three others (all lady dogs…go figure) huddled around him and we watch TV. #FamilyTime
Your newest release is Immortal Moon, can you tell the readers a little about it?
Immortal Moon is the beginning of a three book story arc involving the second Moon sister, Anya, and Jarrett Campbell. You may remember Jarrett from Voodoo Moon as Fiona’s best buddy. The hunky vampire had his eye on the hot little red-headed bartender before he knew she was Fiona’s sister.
Immortal Moon takes place six months after Voodoo Moon. Jarrett has been out of town and when he and Anya meet up again, by chance, sparks fly…and so do fists and fangs.
The Moon Sisters are strong female characters. What made you decide to write them that way instead of the typical damsel in destress?
My street team’s name is “June’s Damsels NOT in Distress” for a reason! LOL! I just can’t stand simpering Bellas—um, I mean belles. (Teehee!) I like my women to be strong and capable, and not “need” a guy to take care of them. They should be with a man because the want him. Not that my ladies don’t have issues. I’m the first to admit that Fiona is arrogant and too hot tempered for her own good. Anya is much more jovial than Fiona, but she’s just as sassy. And, she has her own issues…but I don’t want to spoil it.
But, basically, I strive to write women who can fall in love without losing their own sense of self.
8) As well as having strong female characters, you also have body diversity among your books. Do you feel more authors are becoming open to the aspect of curvier lead characters?
I think it’s more than authors are starting to realize that READERS are open to the aspect of more body diverse main characters. I think that comes directly from the “indie” revolution. We are no longer held back by what publishers tell us what a reader wants. We can listen directly to the reader, and if a publisher doesn’t agree, do it ourselves.
I want my characters to be “real” people, like they are in my head. (Yes, I know, there’s medicine for that!) To do that, they should look like real people. And not just in body size. Women come in so many different shapes, sizes, colors, ages, and physical abilities. Truly, we are all beautiful, and capable. And men too! In the Paranorm World the men and women come in a variety of sizes and skin tones. I like it that way.
The men in your books are HOT, where do you find your inspiration for them?
Oh, no doubt I look at actors that make me drool and come up with a character that looks like them…yet sometimes they evolve. For instance, Jarrett was originally conceived as Alex O’Loughlin, but even before I got to his part in Voodoo Moon, I was seeing Jason Momoa in my head, all arms and legs and cocky smile (the Stargate Atlantis years)… and just like that, Jarrett, who had once been Irish, became the product of and Irish sea-faring father and a Tahitian mother.
Speaking of inspiration, if the Paranom World series was made into a movie, who would you cast as Ian, Fiona, Anya, Jarrett, Pinky, River, and Luca?
Ian: Bradley Cooper
Fiona: Jennifer Lawrence
Anya: Caity Lotz
River: Emily Bett Rickards
Luca: Shemar Moore
Pinky: This one is really hard. Not just because I love him so much (which I do), but because he is the most beloved by my readers. I know we all want him to be super buff and sexy (Like the model, Travis DesLaurier)… but to me, Pinky has always been CUTE. The skinny, nerdy kind of cute. My pick would be one of these adorable fellas:
Grant Gustin (From The Flash)
NOW I GET TO ASK: Who would YOU pick? You can go to Iflist.com and nominate actors you’d like to portray your favorite Paranorm World Characters http://www.iflist.com/stories/voodoomoonparanormworldseries#
You have written contemporary romances and now paranormal. What is your favorite genre to write?
You know, I really can’t pick a genre. I love reading them all, and so I love trying my hand at writing them all. I love the challenge. I’m working on some fantasy and some historical (there might be pirates) as well.
If you were given a chance to live as one of your characters for 24 hours, who would you choose? Why?
Fiona, definitely. She can kick ass! (Can I say the a-word here?) I mean Anya can, too… but Fiona can shoot lightning bolts out of the end of a stick and can be as surly as she wants and no one (except Ian) dares challenge her. Not to mention her totally awesome magic horse, Mal.
If your life was made into a reality tv show, what would the title be?
My Six Fur-babies
What three books are must haves in any reader's library?
THREE BOOKS? Are you serious? How about three recommendations?
Every book (and short story collection) ever written by L.M. Montegomery (Don’t stop at Anne of Green Gables… there’s such scope for imagination…)
Every book ever written by Sherry D. Ficklin (She will rip your heart out and hand it back to you while laughing maniacally. And you’ll ask for more.)
And The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, because everyone should know what “Stay gold, Ponyboy” means.
Any additional information you would like to add?
Wow, I’m not sure there’s anything I COULD add. You are too awesome Amy! You had me wracking my brain on these! Thank you so much for having me, and thanks to anyone who took the time out to read my inane ramblings. Ahh, yes, speaking of… don’t forget that Voodoo Moon is FREE on ebook, so if you haven’t started the series yet, you can do so now!
Books by June Stevens Westerfield
Contemporary Romances by June Stevens Westerfield
Oak Hollow Series
A Reason To Stay
Godmother Security Series
June is a geek girl, fat chick, and unrepentant romantic. She writes full time and is both independently and traditionally published. She also works part time running her greeting card company, Once More With Feelings, and is co-owner of the Pop Lit Divas Radio Show. When not working, June can be found making jewelry, reading, cooking, or watching geeky movies with her husband and snuggling with her 6...YES 6, furbabies. Notice cleaning wasn't listed...
You can find out more about June on her website at junestevens.com