Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Promotional Interview with Jacquelyn Sylvan

Jacquelyn Sylvan, Author, Surviving Serendipity:

1. Where you are from and where are you now? I’m originally from Passaic, NJ; we moved to the Poconos when I was two. Now, I live in Palmerton, Pa, with my husband Martin, dog Sirius, and two cats, Neville and Hermione.

2. How did you get started writing? I’ve always been a writer. I wrote my first poem when I was about four. I came into the world of novel-writing late, since it took so long for my life to settle down to the point where I had the time and energy to devote to writing.

3. What do you do when you are not writing? Well, I work as a phlebotomist (read: nasty vampire lady) during the day, to keep us in beer and skittles, and I love hiking, karate, and having a quiet night with some wine, Cheez-its, and a good movie.

4. What would readers like to know about you? Hmm…the secret to my success, perhaps? It’s that I never grew up. I am 27 years old, and no matter what anyone tells me, I do now and will always believe in magic. I believe in unicorns, in dragons, in faeries. And, because I believe in them, I’m able to write convincingly about them.

5. What inspired your first book? I’ve always loved epic fantasies, but the good ones always seem to star men. I wanted to read an epic fantasy with a REAL female lead, someone I could relate to, someone anyone could relate to. So, I got sick of waiting, and wrote it myself!

6. How many books have you written? Two and a half, one published, one under consideration, and one I’m currently working on.

7. What are the titles of your books and what genres are they? Surviving Serendipity is my YA Fantasy, which is being released January 15, and A Bittersweet Moon, a story about werewolves in our time.

8. How do you decide on that topic or genre? I don’t decide the genre; the genre decides itself. I do tend to be drawn to the magical and otherworldly, but for the most part ideas simply pop into my head. The ones I can’t shake become books. Surviving Serendipity rolled around in my head for over a year before I finally sat down and wrote it.

9. How do you manage to keep yourself focused and on track? It sounds silly, but it’s a sense of debt which keeps me going. I’m indebted to my book, because I believe in it, and I feel like I owe it to the story to make sure it gets read by as many people as possible; I owe it to my publisher, because she believed in me enough to give me a contract; and to my family and friends, because they have so much faith in me, and I want to give them something to show for it.

10. Do you write to make money or for the love of writing? I do love writing, but if I didn’t want to make money I’d just have a boatload of files no one would ever see. The possibilities of a successful—and I’m talking Stephen King successful—career in writing are very seductive. Honestly, though, I’d be happy to be able to support myself solely through writing.

11. What are some traditional methods of marketing you have used? I’ve already started some web advertisements, and I’m using my website, several blogs, and an email newsletter as well.

12. What are some unique methods of marketing you have used? I’m constantly thinking about unique ways to market, but it’s difficult; let’s face it, writers are creative people, and it seems as though every time I think of something “unique” I soon realize several people have already been doing it for years. Right now, I’m trying to join an advertisement campaign my alma mater runs, which would hopefully culminate in my smiling face on a billboard above the most-traversed highway in my area.

13. Do you sell through a website? If so, what’s the address? If not, why not? I don’t sell through my website yet, since my book isn’t available until January. Once that happens, I’ll be putting up a link to my book’s page on Amazon. My URL is

14. Where can people order your books? Through Amazon, and I plan to petition Barnes&Noble’s and Borders’ Small Press departments to include me in their warehouse; they can special order it, but if it’s in their warehouse there’s a bigger chance it’ll be on their shelves. One of my goals is to make the book as available as possible, because the easier it is to buy it, the more people will.

15. What format are your books – e-book, print, audio etc? Print, definitely, and I know my publisher plans to make it available as an e-book. No plans yet for audio, but I wouldn’t turn it down if approached.

16. Will you write more books? I think it’s a sickness I’ll never recover from.

17. What do you have in the works now? I’m currently working on a book that’s a bit offbeat for me…no mythological creatures to be found! It’s a story about a girl lost in the Alaskan wilderness, with a cruel yet inspiring twist.

18. What does the future hold for you and your books? I feel that the possibilities are only limited by my imagination. As long as I have big dreams for my books, and continue to chase them, not even the sky can hold me back.

19. What was the most successful thing you did to promote your books? It’s hard to say, since I’m not able to use book sales to judge. I’ve gotten very good feedback on my newsletter and website, though.

20. What was the least successful thing you did to promote your books? Again, hard to say, but raising interest for programs in local libraries has been a major challenge for me. I’m very new at this, so I’m still working out the kinks in all of my marketing strategies. I try to view everything as a learning experience, though…taking “failures” back to the lab, tweaking them, and trying again. Eventually, I’ll get it right!

This interview was done in conjunction with Nikki Leigh. For more information, visit –

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