An Embarrassingly Late Interview with JB Lynn

So this fall has been kind of interesting. As soon as I found out that JB Lynn's second book FURTHER CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN was coming out  I e-mailed her and said I wanted to do an interview with her in October to celebrate its release because I lurrrrved the first book so much. Let it be known that JB got the questions back to me uber-promptly. Because she is awesome that way. Way before October. In fact, in the beginning of September. In fact, a few days after I found out I was pregnant.

Yep. I'm preggers. Total shocker. Didn't think it could happen the easy way. Due next spring. It was a rough first trimester. I'm not quite ready to talk about it yet. What I am ready to talk about is JB Lynn's awesome books.

Without further ado, my interview with the fabulous JB Lynn (And a giveaway at the end!):

K: Thank you so much for doing the interview! 

JB: Thanks so much for having me, Karen.

(Ooh, see! Also really polite.) First, can you tell me a little about the series?

CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN is about the adventures, or more appropriately, the misadventures of Maggie Lee.

She is not your average hitwoman. For one thing, she’s never killed anyone. For another, after hitting her head in the car accident that killed her sister, her new best friend is a talking lizard—a picky eater, obsessed with Wheel of Fortune, that only Maggie can hear.

In order to help her injured and orphaned niece get the best medical care possible, she reluctantly accepts a mobster’s lucrative job offer: major cash to kill his monstrous son-in-law.

Paired with Patrick Mulligan, a charming murder mentor (who happens to moonlight as a police detective), Maggie stumbles down her new career path, contending with self-doubt, three meddling aunts, a semi-psychic friend predicting her doom, and a day job she hates. Oh, and let’s not forget about Paul Kowalski, the sexy beat cop who could throw her ass in jail if he finds out what she’s up to.

FURTHER CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN is the sequel, which is due out in October. Maggie, Godzilla and the rest of the gang are back for more shenanigans.

I'm going to admit, I was a teensy bit leery at first when I read that one of the characters is a talking lizard. But by the end, Godzilla (he goes by "God" for short) was absolutely my favorite character! What gave you the idea to write him?

God is one of my favorite characters too!  Since the stories are told in first person point of view, I wanted to give Maggie someone to talk things out with as she embarked on this crazy new life. He’s her confidante, her conscience, her friend, and the character who challenges her core beliefs. He can say the most outrageous things, which are all the more funny since he’s a lizard.

Is there anything you found surprising about writing a sequel? Either good or bad (or both).

The good: I already knew most of the characters and I got the chance to develop some of the secondary characters more.

The bad: Readers loved the first book so much I was TERRIFIED that I couldn’t make the second book as good a read.

The ugly truth: I’ve always envisioned this story as a three-part series. (Well, truth be told, I actually have ideas sketched out for nine books, but I could see wrapping up most of the issues raised in Book 1 by the end of Book 3.) So FURTHER is the middle part of the story and middles are ALWAYS the toughest part of a book for me to write.

What does your writing process look like? Any specific rituals or tics...y'know, anything neurotic? (Ha! Do you see what I did there?)

Clever, how you’ve managed to ask if I’m neurotic. The answer is a resounding, YES! ;-)   I’m constantly convinced that what I’m writing is complete and utter garbage and no one is ever going to read it, and yet, I don’t give up writing. Crazy, right?

I’m a plotter. I won’t start a book without knowing how it ends. Before I begin to write, I plot out all the big moments or turning points on these crazy graphs that would make no sense to anyone else. I usually write my first drafts by hand, in purple ink, in a spiral notebook. When I get really stuck I cover my dining room table with my story laid out on index cards.

Okay, random question time:
What's the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?

I distinctly remember eating a lot of clover when I was a kid.

If you had to give up one product you use on a daily basis, what would you choose?

Ooooh, that’s a really tough question. Can I say each day’s third pot of coffee?

Cupcake or Ice Cream?


Sherlock: Benedict Cumberbatch or Robert Downey Jr.?

Benedict. His accent is better.  Besides, I’m a huge fan of SHERLOCK’s producer Steven Moffat, for what he’s done with Doctor Who.

(See? How can you not love her?)

Besides being a writer, JB Lynn is a compulsive reader, a runner (of sorts), an enthusiastic cook (who doesn't get the appeal of the Food Network), and someone who has an irresistible urge to eavesdrop at all times.
For more information about JB and her books, visit:

To (belatedly) celebrate Further Confessions' release, I will be giving away a copy of Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman to one lucky reader. All you need to do is leave a comment with your e-mail address and the most neurotic thing you've ever done. :)

Let The Merriment Begin

Some people trim the tree the day after Thanksgiving.
Others watch a slew of holiday films while they nosh on leftover turkey.
Well, it's not an Akins Christmas until we watch this:

Why I Love YA

by Karen Akins

Seriously. I feel like I'm about to start a high school essay, but isn't that kind of apropos?

For me, the love of YA is actually more of a newfound thing. I didn't read YA back in my teen years (not that there was as much to choose from). Back in the 90's, this was my idea of YA:
And there is NOTHING wrong with Sweet Valley High. Or any contemporary long-running series. Don't get me wrong. I just discovered Jane Austen and Agatha Christie and the Brontes in ninth grade, and they kind of got a hammerhold on my heart. (Still have one.)

It wasn't until I was 9 months pregnant with the Pea that I rediscovered YA. IN THE MOST TRAUMATIC WAY POSSIBLE. One of my friends suggested I read the Twilight series (the fourth book was about to come out). I trusted her taste, so I said, "Sure, why not?"

And, yes, I got sucked into the story. Into the characters. It was fun, putting myself in Bella's shoes and reliving those raw teenage emotions again.

And then out comes Book 4.

Did I mention I was 9 months pregnant with my first child?

My first child that I was about to GIVE BIRTH TO.

I pretty much called my friend the second I was done reading the hybrid-vampire-baby-worst-c-section-ever scene and screamed, "What the WHAT??"

And she reassured me that despite the fact that he was indeed draining every drop of energy out of me like a hybrid-vampire-baby, the Pea was not actually a hybrid-vampire-baby. (He was, however, 10 freaking pounds at birth.)

And then the Pea arrived and he didn't sleep a lot. Which meant I didn't sleep a lot. And he was ten pounds, which meant he wanted to eat ALL THE TIME.

So I picked up another YA book while I was feeding him.

And I loved that one. And another. And another.

I loved the pace. I loved the energy and the undercurrent of hope.

Then I said, "Hey, I've always had story ideas swirling around in my head...what if I actually tried to write a book?"

So I did.

And, that, dear friends, is why I love YA.

Also, I love Beth Revis. And I love Beth Revis's books.

And I LOVE her giveaways.