PJ Fiala joins us today! Her latest book, Missing Desire, released on November 2nd, and her upcoming multi-author story collection, Stories of Sun, Sand & Sea: Mistletoe and Palm Trees releases on November 7th!
And wait ’til you hear about the amazing fundraising organization for veterans that she’s recently started!
Tell us about you! Can you share some interesting tidbits we may not know?
I like to think I’m fairly well-rounded. I love crafty things like painting, making things, projects, etc. My daughter-in-law just got me involved in crocheting which is slow going but I’m determined to make something. I ride motorcycle, which is my favorite “gather-my-thoughts” past time. I think while I’m riding and that’s where my characters take shape.
I’ve just recently started a charity with friend and fellow author, Stacey Joy Netzel, titled Authors4Veterans. Our first charity is Fisher House – Wisconsin and that will come to fruition in November.
For updates on Authors4Veterans giveaways, or if you’d like to be notified of fundraisers, please CLICK HERE to sign up for their newsletter.
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer but honestly never believed it could happen. Then I was stuck in a horrible job with a boss from hell and decided if I didn’t take the plunge, I’d always be working for someone else. So, these characters who had always come out to play while I was riding finally got to tell me their story and I sat down and started writing. Now I’m 12 books later and still going strong.
Other than writing, what are some of your passions in life?
My family is number one. I have four beautiful grandchildren that we enjoy completely. We have family dinner every Saturday and the kids and grandkids come to have dinner and connect. That fills up my heart. My husband and I also bike as I mentioned above, but we enjoy kayaking, a little hiking, listening to bands and enjoying friends.
What was your debut novel, and how has your writing process changed since your debut?
My first book published in 2013. I’ve since re-written that book and republished after losing a publisher. I like it better and yes, after each book I’ve learned more and more. I enhance my writing process by reading. I read books by other authors and learn what to do and not to do. I read blog posts and writing publications to learn more about writing and the writing process.
What is your favorite part of the writing/publishing process and why?
I love getting into my characters heads. When I’m feeling them, I’m living in a world of make-believe and its a beautiful world. It isn’t filled with the hate and vitriol this current world is filled with. That’s what keeps me doing it, it’s an escape.
What is your most challenging part of the writing/publishing process and what do you do to make it easier?
Marketing. OMG, there’s just so much to do. It gets overwhelming, even after doing this for 4 years. It seems instead of being more streamlined, it continues to get worse and worse.
What does a typical day look like for you? How do you find balance?
I work part-time in a law office and have been doing that for the last 13 years. I keep that job to allow me to focus on the writing and not worry so much about the financial aspect as much until I make enough to feel comfortable. I get up early in the morning, just before 5, and begin my day. I check my facebook groups that I admin. and answer questions and comment where needed. I write a blog post or two and then it’s time to get ready for work. After work I come home, recheck facebook and then begin to write. If nothing ugly cropped up before that time. Sometimes issues occur, but usually, things are good.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Start earlier, it can happen for you too. Keep going and save a bit more money to see you through.
What do you love about writing romance?
I love romance, period. But the first time my characters kiss, I just love that. First time they have sex, ditto. Trials, tribulations and then finally, the HEA. Swoon.
What kinds of things do you find romantic in real life? Can you share a story?
My husband tries very hard to keep life fun. We’re bikers and so I find a romantic evening a great evening ride to somewhere for dinner and then cruise around afterward. But, we live in Wisconsin and we have many months where biking isn’t possible. So, he’ll make up a cheese and thinly sliced roast beef platter and a bottle of wine and we’ll eat in the living room, which is a favorite of mine, a guilty pleasure of sorts, and we’ll eat and drink our wine sitting on the floor and chatting.
Do you read your book reviews? If so, how do they affect your writing (if at all)?
Ah, you know I used to. Now I just look at the over all rating and how many reviews I have, which is important for purchasing promo opportunities. Some readers are super thoughtful and if they have a complaint, they’ll write a constructive review, which does help, but others are just mean. I’m fortunate, that I don’t have many negative reviews, and we’re all going to get some because you simply can’t please everyone. But, once in a while I’ll take a quick glance and then move on.
What is the craziest, funniest, or most surprising thing that has happened to you since publishing your first book?
I suppose this is boring, but I honestly haven’t had any crazy, funny or surprising fan moments. I’ve been fortunate to meet fans and it’s always fun, especially when we’ve been chatting on social media for a while, but nothing out of the ordinary.
My [latest] release [was] Nov. 2, 2017, and is titled, Missing Desire (A Chandler County Novel). Chandler County is a world I created with friend and fellow author Stephany Tullis. We created a diverse, fantastic amazing world which is situated between Louisville and Lexington Kentucky. Since the location is where it is, Chandler County gets many transient people who come and go or come and stay, especially during the Derby time. We’ve invited other authors to participate by writing their own stories in Chandler County and this will be our second release cycle.
Here’s the blurb:
Can love overcome the insecurities of the past?
Nita Brown is a big, beautiful, resilient woman. She’s endured the loss of a husband, the trials of raising three kids, and the joy of purchasing and running of her own business. But dealing with the issues her son has brought home at the same time meeting a man who sees her for who she is, now this just might bring her to her knees.
Chuck Layton is new in town. He followed his boss, Levi, to Bourbonville to continue working in his newly found profession. Learning the security business has helped him over-come the insecurities his father drilled into him his whole life, and this new case is honing his skills. But, just as he’s figured out what he wants to do with his life he finds he must weigh his livelihood against his growing love of Nita. Chuck has some decisions to make.
I have a second release with an amazing group of authors on November 7th, which is an anthology of 10 stories titled, Mistletoe & Palm Trees. Each short story takes place on or near a beach. I’m looking forward to that, besides my Missing Desire release on Nov. 2. My release schedule is sadly not super organized. I’ve been looking to cross promote with my fellow authors and I’m trying to line that up right now. Other than that, my books release and then they’re out there for the readers to hopefully fall in love with.
As PJ has mentioned, she’s recently teamed up with author Stacey Joy Netzel to start a charity for veterans called Authors4Veterans. Their first charity drive is focused on Fisher House Wisconsin, a place where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving medical treatment.
Authors4Veterans will be hosting a reader giveaway this November in which two winners will receive a ThirtyOne thermal bag filled with books and swag and goodies.
Five Facts Just for Fun!
1. What’s your favorite ’90s jam?
Well, I had to look up some 90’s music and then this one caught my eye. Mambo No. 5. https://youtu.be/EK_LN3XEcnw
2. What was the last gift you gave someone?
I filled a gift basket up for my boss at the office with the assistance of my daughter-in-law. Beef Jerky, coffee, fresh baked pumpkin bread, homemade jams and apple sauce. All yummy goodness.
3. What were you like as a kid?
Busy. Very busy.
4. What was the last thing you binge-watched & what did you think of it?
Right now we’re binge watching A Handmaid’s Tale. It’s amazing.
5. What is the one thing (other than your loved ones) that you cannot live without?
My phone. 😦
A CHANDLER COUNTY NOVEL