Countdown Day 6 -- Silke Juppenlatz

Six days until the big day, the day my book goes up for sale! Whoot. I can't thank my crit partners enough for all the love and support they've given me. ...and the help. Because believe me, I've needed some help. But, today, I've got a good friend to introduce you to...

My crit partner, Silke Juppenlatz. When I joined Passionate Critters, I met Silke over one of my WW2 novels. Being new to the group, I was all starry eyed and smiley. Well, meeting her didn't change that. :D But she did draw out my protective streak--for my work and for the group itself. I like our Silke because she truly knows how to separate the wheat from the chaff. We are a strong group of writers, and it takes a strong person to join us and stick it out. Well, I did. I stuck it out and I'm better writer because of that...and because of her. 

Now, that I've scared all my readers. LOL :D Welcome to my blog, Silke!! Thanks for joining me on my countdown to Release Day! I've got my own virtual bakery on hand because you just can't celebrate without cake and ice cream. So, what'll you have?

SJ: Favorite cake...oohh...errmm... *scratches head* I’m a sucker for the cakes my gran used to make. Träublekuchen (Which, I guess, would be Redcurrant cake) Zwetschgenkuchen (Plum, or more precisely Damson cake) and there’s also the Rabarberkuchen (Rhubarb cake). Stollen!
Damn, I’m hungry now.
PS - Paul just went into the cupboard and yelled “Did you eat all the Jaffa Cakes again?!” (Guilty as charged. If you want Jaffa cakes in our house, best eat them before I see them.) Ice cream? Not so much. I can take it or leave it. But I am partial to the “Soft” Ice cream they do here in the UK. (Mr. Whippy ftw!) Or proper Italian Ice Cream (Stracciatella!).

I married a German so I like to think Silke and I are practically related... I'm constantly inspired by how much you write. What drives you to create your stories?

SJ: My brain. *cough* It’s like an ever churning story machine, and it goes from one “What if?” to the next. I see something, hear something, smell something -- and go “What if…?” And boom. There it is. It really can be anything at all. Something someone says. Something like the smell of bacon drifting out of a window. A forgotten, half deflated beach ball stuck in some hedge. Anything.
It’s weird though. I’m a master at brainstorming and I run with it -- but I can’t do it on my own stories. In them, I get stuck.
I don’t plot. I don’t even do an outline. Nothing. It comes out of my brain straight on the page. If I plot…I don’t finish it. It’s like a disease. Every time someone asks me where it’s going, and I try to come up with something, I lose interest the moment I have worked out what’s going to happen.
After all, I already know how it ends, why bother writing it down?
First and foremost, I write a story for myself. If I know how it ends, I lose interest and don’t finish it.
That’s why I never plot. :)

Now, that is a little crazy...and interesting too. I can see your point, though.
You've got a book coming out later this summer. You want to tell us a little about it? Just a tease...? How about a one word description to wet our appetites?

SJ: One word? Yikes. Okay. “Betrayal”. There it is. :)
As for a tease… If you’ve read “Howl”, then you’ve met the heroine of “Watch Me” -- but not the hero. This is Tiffy’s story and while it follows on from “Howl”, it’s standalone and you don’t need to have read “Howl” to get what’s going on. You’ll meet characters from “Howl”, and you’ll get to meet new ones. Like…Keric, who is hot and sexy and on a mission. But his mission is set to clash with Tiffy’s fragile heart and…well. Best read it, eh?
Watch Me is scheduled for release in August.

I do have a third one in mind…but…something came up. :)

I’m working on a February 2013 release right now. It’s part of a series, and mine is Caedir (Gatekeepers - Book 2). Nope, not werewolves this time…

OMG! Are you really going to do it?! Not werewolves...does that mean?? No. Don't answer that. I love your stories....

So, tell me. When you made your first sale, how did you celebrate?

SJ: I was actually pretty gobsmacked. (Now there’s a Brit word for you.) I’d written Howl in a week (No, I pretty much didn’t sleep.), submitted it -- and had the contract land -- all in the space of 10 days. Seriously. From the first word to putting my X on the dotted line…ten days.
So yeah, I sat there with my chin on the floor, staring at that email. I didn’t think it would be accepted. I’d sent out quite a few stories before, usually targeting agents, and generally got back good feedback, but no offers.
I don’t remember how I celebrated. :) It’s all a blur lol.

Seems like it comes when we least expect it. :) Love your story, Silke.

If there was one book--of all the books and stories you've ever read--that you could live, which one would it be?

SJ: Oh wow, that’s a hard one!
I don’t think I’d want to live any of them. It would mean I’d have to give up my real life hero, and I’m just not prepared to do that. :) I have favorite books, ‘natch. My all time favorite read is Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Café. I think every woman should read this at least once.
It’s a book about being yourself, self-discovery, overcoming opposition and just…having fun.
It just really appeals to my inner rebel.

What a great answer! My instinct is to want to live the fantasy even if I do have a real life hero. :D

Some people have kids. Some people have dogs. You have a horse, which I've seen pictures of and it's gorgeous. Does this mean you'll be coming out to visit me soon in the wild, wild west?? I can find a stable for you...and horses too. And mountains... just sayin'.

SJ: You know…I want to visit every state in the US at least once. (Though a few I’ve done repeatedly already.) If I can afford it, I will most definitely come and visit you in the Wild, Wild West. :) That’s somewhere top of my list, actually. I want to stand somewhere in the prairie and just soak up the atmosphere. Mainly because I cannot imagine such a vast space. So Wyoming, Colorado and Montana are top of the top of the top places to go see. Arizona too. But I love the Deep South and the East Coast states and would happily live somewhere like North Carolina or Kentucky.
People always worry about what I might enjoy seeing. You know what? Package holidays and tourist attractions can go hang, as far as I’m concerned. One of my favorite memories is a Halloween spent trick or treating with a friend’s kids. I had a ton of fun. Or the summer where I got drafted into helping the trainee EMT’s at a friend’s fire station. I spent half the day being put in traction by hunky firemen lol… Then there was sitting in the grass behind some tiny out of the way ice cream parlor, munching totally spectacular ice cream. What can I say…? It beats any tourist attraction, any day, hands down. I want to see what you’d likely consider totally mundane and not worth seeing. Real life, real people. And quite frankly--I’ve never met anyone over there who wasn’t nice and helpful. Maybe I was just lucky, but I think Americans get a bad rep for no reason. I have yet to meet anyone who didn’t go out of their way to make my stay enjoyable, and that goes for all the states I’ve ever been to -- and that’s quite a few, over the years.
For that I’d like to say a hearty “Thank you. You guys are awesome.” :)
Ohh… Mountains tempt me. Having grown up in Germany, and spending over half my childhood skiing down some black run somewhere in the alps…yeah. It’s something I truly miss in the UK.
They have “Mountains” here, but erm…sorry. If you’re used to something like Mont Blanc (15,782ft) or the Zugspitze (9,718ft and a glacier), then Mount Snowdon (highest “Mountain” in Wales, a whopping 3,560ft) is more like a steep rocky hill to me.
I would LOVE to see the Rocky Mountains, but forgive me if I stay about 50ft away from the edge of the Grand Canyon…I have a fear of falling lol. (I’ll go right down the middle at low level in an aircraft, no problem.) Believe it or not, one of my dreams is to go East Coast to West Coast on horseback. If I could afford to, I'd get started tomorrow. (And if anyone would like to know my choice of horse: I'd take a Paso Fino and a Rocky Mountain. A Paso because I own one and just love his character, and a Rocky because I want one for much the same reason. Plus side? Both are gaited, and the most comfortable rides you could wish for--unless their name is Oscuro, and he has to get there really, really FAST.) 
I'll swing by when I do that East-West crossing, okay?

Yes! I can't wait...for you to win the lottery. :D 
Like you, I think I'll have chocolate cake, too when this countdown is over...and a nice glass of Merlot! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your stories with us. 

I can't wait until August! When you get a cover for that thing, come on by again that Caedir cover! It's fantastic. :D