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Author Interview & Giveaway – Judi Fennell

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Today I have the honor of bringing to you author Judi Fennell.  Judi is an award-winning author and writes what she calls “fairy tales with a twist.” Her romance novels have been finalists in Gather.com’s First Chapters and First Chapters Romance contests, and have won numerous RWA Chapter Awards, including the FF&P Prism Award, and the New Jersey Golden Leaf Award. Judi lives with her family in suburban Philadelphia, PA, where she is working on the next book in the Genie Trilogy, Genie Knows Best, set for release in November 2011. Please help me welcome Judi to That’s What I’m Talking About
Twimom: Judi, welcome and thank you for stopping by.
Judi: Thanks so much for having me!
Twimom: How long have you been writing and how did you start? What are your inspirations?
Judi:  I’ve always written. My first story was about a raindrop and written on that big, yellow, lined paper in first grade, complete with illustrations! I won Honorable Mention in a Caldecott Award contest, and wrote my first romance in 9th grade. But I started writing for publication in 2003, joined Romance Writers of America in 2004 and sold my first series in 2008.
Twimom: You upcoming release, I Dream of Genies, is the first book in your new romance series featuring magical genies. What first attracted you to the concept of a heroine in a bottle? 
Judi: I’m a child of the 60s and 70s. I grew up on Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, The Munsters, Addams Family… campy humor, magic, and love stories. As to what gave me the original idea, I honestly can’t pinpoint it. I just woke up one morning with an idea about a genie who got freed unexpectedly from her bottle, heard the Indiana Jones theme, and there you go.
Twimom: I love all of those shows as well! Can you tell us more about your future plans for this new series?
Judi: The nice thing about magic is that it has all sorts of possibilities. The bad thing about magic is that it has all sorts of possibilities. You have to be careful; magic can solve all your problems, so there has to be a reason for it not to work. I’m pretty surprised at all the ways you can have magic not work. There are two more stories under contract: Genie Knows Best and Leave It To Genie (you can see my sitcom influences), and a bunch of others floating around my head. Now I just have to finish those books and write the proposal.
Twimom: Sounds great! I see you have another series which is about life under the sea. Please tell me more about this interesting looking series.
Judi: My Mer series came out in 2009 and 2010. The trilogy (so far) is about 2 Mer princes and their sister, and the humans who fall in love with them. In Over Her Head is about Erica, a marina owner who’s afraid of the sea and Reel, the second son heir to the throne who have to find some diamonds, escape a sea monster and deal with the death edict on their heads by the Mer royal council. 
Wild Blue Under is the story about Reel’s twin (and older) brother, Rod, (yes, their names are supposed to make you chuckle; what can you expect with a father named Fisher?) who has to return a lost mermaid to the sea. The problem is, Valerie not only doesn’t know she’s a mermaid, but she lives in Kansas because she thinks she’s allergic to the sea. When a flock of dive-bombing peregrines and an albatross with an agenda set out to thwart Rod’s plan, the fate of the Mer world is up in the air—literally. 
Catch of a Lifetime is about their sister, Angel, a “humanologist” who ends up stuck on land thanks to a hungry shark and encounters Logan and his six year old son, Michael. All Michael wants for his birthday is a mermaid, but all Logan wants is normal in his world. A mermaid is definitely not normal. But when Michael is lured away as bait for the mermaid by the shark, Logan comes to find out that a mermaid is just what he needs—in more ways than one.
There are two more sisters in the royal Tritone family and readers have been asking for their stories, so I’m hoping to get to write those as well. As for future books? Well, as I’ve said to my editor, it’s a big ocean out there.
Twimom: Hmm… those sound exciting *adds to To Be Read Wish List* Do you write any other genres?
Judi: Right now, no, although I have a lot of ideas for other stories: Romantic Suspense, Contemporary, and YA. All I need is more hours in a day…
Twimom: I always like to ask authors about their reading habits… What types of books do you enjoy reading? What was the best book you read in 2010?  
Judi: I’ve always read anything I can get my hands on, but I have to say that aside from reading my fellow paranormal romance authors, I gravitate to Romantic Suspense and thrillers. Best book I’ve read this year, hands down, is Kate Brady’s. Actually, both of her books (she was a debut author last year): One Scream Away (she won the RITA Award for Best First Book), and Last To Die. Couldn’t put either of those down.
Twimom: Excellent! What upcoming 2011 releases are you most excited to read?
Judi: Mine. Because that will mean it’s finished and edited. 😉
Twimom: LOL! So true, so true! Judi, once again thank you so much for taking the time to tell my readers a little bit about yourself and your writing. It was wonderful chatting with you.
Judi: My pleasure. Thanks so much for having me and I hope everyone enjoys the (magic carpet) ride in my whole new world!
Readers: You can find Judi on line at 
Her Website
Her Blog
Twitter
GIVEAWAY:  I have two (2) copies (two winners) of I Dream of Genies to giveaway here at That’s What I’m Talking About. Thank you to Sourcebooks for sponsoring the giveaway of Judi Fennell’s latest book. To enter, please leave a comment  and your email at the end of today’s interview or tomorrow’s review of I Dream of Genies. Winners restricted to US and Canada mailing addresses, only. Contest open from now until 9:00 PM EST on Friday January 7, 2011. Two (2) winners will be selected from the comment entries using random.org.

  • Hi 🙂
    Thank you for the interview with Judi & thanks to Judi for sharing here.
    It was interesting to learn a bit more about Judi!
    All the best,
    RKCharron

  • Good morning and happy new year to everyone!

  • That was a great interview. I loved those shows,too. They were always so fun to watch. I would really like to read your book.
    twoofakind12@yahoo.com

  • *Adds books to wishlist!!* I’ve just discoved an author I really have to check out. The books sound wonderful! Thanks for the interview! 🙂

    melvautour(at)hotmail(d0t)com

  • Good morning, ladies. Thanks so much for stopping by. There’s an excerpt on my website if you’d like to check it out: http://judifennell.com/IDOG%20Excerpt.html

  • and Rob, too. 😉

  • Looking forward to reading I Dream of Genies! Best of luck with the series, Judi!

    –Adele

  • Great interview!! I loved your Mer series and can’t wait for I Dream of Genies to come out.

    shelle18@sccoast.net

  • I always love your books Judi, have told ya that MANY times at AAD, can’t wait to get this one and read it too

    skontis@yahoo.com

  • Great interview. I loved those old Sixties shows. I can’t wait to read your Genie series. Good luck.

    cmatsky@aol.com

  • Good mornin’ Judi:
    Love the post and can’t wait to read this one!
    Carolyn Brown

  • Can’t wait for your new series to start! The Mer series was wonderful, full of great scenes. You have such a great imagination and sense of humor! Good Luck with your new series launch.

  • I really enjoyed the interview and learning more about your books. I love books with magic so I can’t wait to dive into this series. I enjoyed all those old shows too.

  • I cannot wait to read this book. Thank you for the contest dear!

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

  • Judi, the book sounds great! You never seem to run out of imaginative ideas and fun humor!

  • Wow! Hi everyone! Thanks so much for stopping by!

    I, unfortunately, don’t have the time to respond individually because I’m in a meeting all day today, so I’m sneaking in to read the comments.

    Wishing you the best of luck for winners of copies of the books.

  • Well, you know me, Judi, I love magic with a twist of humor. And you are such twisted writer.

    Wait, that didn’t sound right, did it? lol! I haven’t read a book of yours yet that I haven’t liked. I’ve been looking forward to reading this one since I first heard your idea about it.

    As Joanne says, you do have a great imagination and fun humor. 🙂

  • Happy New Year all and thanks for stopping by. Special thanks to Judi for popping in to say hello!

  • oh thank you for this interview… I have not read any of Judi’s books… But I would love to…
    Thank yoy for a chance to win.

    Kelly M
    crazyforbooks@comcast.net

  • I always wanted to be a genie, myself. Who wouldn’t love to live in a quilted candle holder and call your boyfriend “Master”?

  • VA

    I love Judi’s humor. She made me snort and giggle through her Mer series, and thrilled that another is ready to devour.

    Apparently the humor is timeless, my daughter has been watching I Dream of Genie via Netflix and I swear that I said nothing. She loves it.

  • Great interview Jen!
    Judi, I really enjoyed your Tritone books. So different and light and fun! I am looking forward to reading your new series!

  • I have read all three of Judi’s books and cannot wait to dive into her new one. I am sure it will be equally as good as the Mer series. Thanks for the interview and for sharing Judi with others. She’s an amazing author.
    Carol Routh
    faeriegoddess53@yahoo.com

  • Great interview! I’ve read the Mer books, of course and loved them, of course! Judi’s sense of humor matches my own and she creates wonderful worlds inhabited by wonderfully quirky characters and I can’t wait to read this newest book.

    wanda
    aries18 at charter dot net

  • Great interview.I have her Mer series on my TBR list. Looking forward to reading I Dream of Genies.
    elaing8(at)netscape(dot)net

  • Congrats on your latest release, Judi! I looking forward to reading it. The cover is gorgeous!

  • Sounds like a great series!

  • I’m looking forward to the new series, Judi! I was also a huge Bewitched and I Dream of Genie fan when I was a kid, so I expect to enjoy your Genie books a lot. Ah, youth. LOL

  • Great interview.Thank you for sharing today you are a new to me author and I cant wait to get my hands on your books mers and genies ohhh my !!!!I love both so I know I am going to be hooked on your writing.Plan on calling my library and asking them to get your books first chance I get .
    flanagan@mebtel.net

  • I haven’t read any of Judi’s books as yet. I remember thinking “romance and humour? I dunno about that combo” but the Sookie series and the Demonica series soon showed me that they go quite well together, thank you very much! Count me in!

    mrspeeps AT hotmail.com

  • All of your books sound wonderful and I’ve had the Mer series on my wish list. Now I’m excited to hear about a new series – I Dream of Genies sounds great and I’ll be looking for the rest of the series as well.

    Barbed1951(at)aol(dot)com

  • I grew up on Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie too so these books got me so excited especially I love mer people as well. Thank you for the interview Judi can’t wait for I Dream of Genies and while I wait, heading off to add the mer series to my must buy next list.

    vampiremistress2010@gmail.com

  • I love Fairy Tales with a new and different twist! Great interview.

    lovetoreadforfun(at)gmail(dot)com

  • So many Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie fans! How about Addams Family? I loved Morticia. You’ll see that influence in Genie Knows Best. I’m dating myself by using those shows as inspiration, but as VA said, even her daughter is watching them now on Netflix so they really are timeless.

    Thank you everyone for stopping by today! Wishing you all a great (magic carpet) ride when you read I Dream of Genies!

  • Clever title…sounds like a fun read, I would love to be entered. In the contest that is lol…I re-read that sentence and realized it just didn’t sound right!

    willowwind@gmail.com

  • snork!

    I think you’ll definitely enjoy my humor after that comment! 😉

  • I can’t wait to read this book! I read the last series and loved it and this one sounds so interesting. I haven’t read many books with genies before.
    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  • Great interview ladies! The book sounds really interesting and different from what is out there now.

    I also loved Bewitched growing up. *whispers* And I’ve always secretly wanted a genie in a bottle* Hehe!

    hangingwithbells@gmail.com

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