Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Guest Post: Jo Bissell[author of Beyond the Reach of Judgement][+Giveaway]

Beyond the Reach of Judgement by Jo Bissell
Genre: paranormal romance; paranormal tragedy
Number of pages: 294
Word Count: 76K
Cover Artist: Char Adlesperger
at Wicked Cover Designs

Book Description:

“Did we leave any sin out?” she replied with a forced weak laugh.

“No. Between the two of us, I think we have managed to cover them all,” he mumbled as that uncomfortable lump in his gut returned.

Julien Rene Durant was once a good man. Born in France, he took the oath as a Jesuit Priest in the 1600s. He dedicated his life to spreading the Gospel. Now, he was a monster surviving off the blood of others; killing for survival even as he wished for nothing other than for his own extinction. After almost four centuries of guilt and hopelessness, he encounters someone who might just be able to rescue the good man trapped within the monster, but will his judgements deny him a second chance?

Mary Ruth Jacobson-Ryan is nothing special; a small town girl stuck in a rut. Married to the local Iraq and Afghanistan War Veteran and town hero who turned out not to be the perfect guy she fell in love with before the war, she is desperate for a way out. When things turn from bad to worse, she runs with plans to never look back. She quickly finds, however, that her search for a better future may lead her down a path with no future at all.

Write What You Know?
by Jo Bissell

            Anyone who has ever attempted to write fiction has heard this piece of advice; write what you know. But what does that really mean? In the world of too many Mary Sue's, carbon copy heroines, and wish fulfillment stories (especially common in romance genres) does it even apply? As a new writer, I found myself considering this frequently early on in my creative process. What do I know and how could it possibly be worthy of a vampire novel? If my life were that interesting, wouldn't I be writing an autobiography?
            As the story of Ruth and Julien started to take place, I realized, my experiences directly influenced the way the characters developed. Is Ruth me? Not really. I was a fortunate child with happily married, middle-class parents, and no major traumatic memories growing. While I was raised in a small town like Ruth and Jonny, thanks to the hard work and support of my parents, teachers, and friends, I had every opportunity to experience the world beyond that town. I traveled near and far. I played instruments and participated in a multitude of activities with school, church groups and friends. I went to college and then medical school in different cities and states. Now, I am happily married to a wonderful man, have wonderful friends, and feel very content. Not like Ruth at all it seems.
            On closer inspection, however, Ruth is me. Ruth is the potential me had I not been so fortunate to be where I am and to have what I have. There were many times during my own journey where my story could have taken a similar path to hers. Her story represents the fears I had growing up of never getting out and the story of some girls I grew up with who never did. I took my anxieties and dreams and turned those into Ruth's, but I made my worst fears come true for her. By analyzing the choices and luck in my own experiences, I've been able to find an interesting character with a believable history and challenges. I was also able to then tempt that character and understand how she might respond in such circumstances, and in a strange way understand myself better.
            So, while I've never dated a rich attractive vampire, I do know what it's like to fall madly in love with someone who seemed to have everything you've ever wanted only to realize the truth is much darker. And while I've never had my blood sucked from me willingly or not, I do know what it's like to feel as though someone has taken advantage of me in a way that seems to “suck the life out” of me. These are the things that I know and therefore the things which inspire my writing consciously and subconsciously. 

            Now, as I look ahead to my next projects, I see many more fresh opportunities to write what I know, and I secretly also worry about what other repressed fears my new characters might reveal about me. 

About the Author:

Jo Bissell started writing in middle school with fantasy stories inspired by books such as The Hobbit, and in fact once turned in a journal project written entirely in Dwarfish Ruins. She then explored fanfiction and short speculative fiction writing. Now, after many years of study, she spends most of her time working as a full time physician caring for hospitalized adults. When she is not writing or doctoring, she enjoys reading, watching movies, traveling, archery, thrift store shopping, and snowboarding. She currently resides in the Iowa City, IA area with her husband and two cats.

Beyond the Reach of Judgement is Jo Bissell’s first original novel which evolved out of a 2012 National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) project. She also has a short speculative fiction piece, His Eyes, available for Kindle. Future planned novels include a sequel to Beyond the Reach of Judgement, other works of urban fantasy and paranormal romances, and a science fiction novel. She continues to participate in NaNoWriMo.

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.com/e/B00CEDZWHM

Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/JoBissell

Tour giveaway
2 $10 Amazon Gift Cards

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