Brenda Janowitz: Hybrid Author (plus giveaway!)

Brenda Janowitz official headshot

Today, the adorable Brenda Janowitz is back at Traveling With T! Not only is she adorable (look at that face and hair!) but she is also GENEROUS! Thanks to Brenda, 1 lucky winner will win her 2 previous books, Scot on the Rocks and Jack With a Twist! *Note: Both books are Kindle books.

Thank you, Brenda, for stopping by again!

Brenda Janowitz: Hybrid Author

They call me a hybrid.  But, like any obsessive fan of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES would assume, I’m not actually half vampire/ half werewolf.  Although hybrids are super hot.  I wouldn’t mind sidling up to a hybrid, thank you very much.  Especially Klaus.  Wait, are you guys not watching THE VAMPIRE DIARIES?  Why on earth not?!

But I digress.

What they mean when they say I’m a hybrid is that I’m a hybrid author.

Back in 2007, Red Dress Ink (remember them?!) published my first novel, SCOT ON THE ROCKS.  The following year, they published my second novel, a follow-up to the first, JACK WITH A TWIST.  It was so thrilling—all of it.  First, to be represented by a New York City agent, and then to get a two book deal by a major New York City publishing house?  It was all just a dream.

Then, a funny thing happened.  Red Dress Ink closed its doors.  Most of the titles moved over to Harlequin’s women’s fiction imprint, MIRA, but mine did not.  Mine sort of… died.

Both books went out of print.  At the time, I was working on a lot of stuff—making babies, trying to write my third novel in the spaces between, and getting adjusted to this new life of mine out in the suburbs.  Which included lots of babies and trying to find time to write.  My agent told me that when books go out of print, it activates the reversion clause in your contract.  I’ll spare you the legal mumbo jumbo, but suffice it to say—I was able to get the rights back to my first two novels.

“What will I do with them?”  I asked my agent.  “Why do I need them?”

While I was moving out to the burbs and making babies, the publishing world had changed.  Author friends of mine were self-publishing their back lists, and my agent (and said author friends) thought I should, too.

So, my books had one life—a fancy NYC publishing house life, and then another—the gritty do-it-yourself indie life.  Sort of like a vampire.  The books may have died, but they’re back!  And they are totally going to suck your blood.

Okay, I’m kidding.  My books do not want to suck your blood.  (Although I’m sure your blood tastes delicious, I mean no offense.)  My books want to make you embarrass yourself in the subway from laughing (I’ve gotten that email from numerous readers and it makes me smile each time someone tells me that!).  They want to make you forget your problems for an afternoon (two different people read my second novel while getting chemo and told me that it helped them to keep a smile on their faces through an awful situation).  They just beg to be read on a plane, or a bus, or a beach (you could also read them on a subway, on a train, or by a lake.  I don’t discriminate.).

So, I’m a hybrid author.  I’ve re-published my first two novels myself on Amazon Kindle, and my third novel (RECIPE FOR A HAPPY LIFE) was released by St. Martin’s on July 2nd.

In honor of my hybrid status, I’ll be giving away copies of my first two novels.  Just leave a comment below to enter to win.  And if you want to tell me your favorite VAMPIRE DIARIES character, well, that would be very cool, too.

* Want to read more about Brenda? Here is more: Interview With Brenda Janowitz, Author Spotlight: Brenda Janowitz, Recipe for a Happy Life review

**Giveaway ends August 19th at 11:59pmEST. Winner will be notified Aug 20th.

I heart book covers

I heart books. I just do. I love looking at them, seeing them all lined up and organized on my shelf (even though it does not last long because it never fails- just after they are all organized and pretty- the book I desperately want to read is at the back of the bookshelf. Happens every time!), I love seeing the covers- all shiny or 3-d like (I like pretty books!).

But, I also love my Kindle. The ease of storage, the ease of buying- the sheer amount of books that can be owned on a Kindle.

I don’t mind reading on my Kindle, I actually get no more enjoyment from the actual reading of the book- whether it’s on a Kindle or a book.

What I desperately miss, though, is the looking at the covers of the book. Sure, sure, I can look at the cover on the Kindle- but it’s all grey-scale and therefore not pretty.

It’s a trade off- buy them on the Kindle and save room, yet sacrifice the joy looking at the covers or buy them as books, get the joy of seeing them on my bookshelf; but knowing that I’m slowly running out of room to store my pretty books? Am I the only one that thinks things like this?



In a perfect book world….

In a perfect book world, people would just accept that there is many forms to a book now and be accepting to the other forms. Of course, we don’t live in that type of world- we live in a place where the news of “e-readers” stir up some people’s fear of the “real” book leaving. While I cannot see in the future, I just don’t believe that it’ll happen.

However, I am growing weary of the thought process against Kindle or other e-readers- but before you want to argue; let me further explain. I live in a small town- super, itty-bitty, basically a dot on the map town. The nearest independent book store is 40 miles away. The nearest national chain is 75 miles away. The library, when I go to ask and check out books, half of the time they do not even have the book, never even heard of the book. Checking books out on inter-library loan is one of Dante’s 7 circles of hell things. I made do as much as I could- I bought mass-market paperbacks from Walmart, I loaded up on books when I went to book-stores; but still I hungered for more books. In came Amazon- with a simple point, click and buy- books were coming to my doorstep. Then came the day when I began to realize that if I bought physical books the rest of my life- one day I’d literally be the old lady who lived in a bookshelf. Then came the Kindle. I fought it at first, I did not want it, I was unsure about it- but my brother bought it for me. Slowly, but surely, I started liking it- actually enjoying it. It holds a charge for about a month. It holds hundreds of books, it’s light-weight, it’s font can be adjusted- it’s got many things about it that I really like. What I like the most, though, is the instant gratification of having a book in my hand.

For a girl who used to have to plan a way to get her books, the Kindle is a stroke of genius.

However, it’s not for everyone. And it’s not for me exclusively- I’ll probably always have a foot in both physical & e-reader world. I like having that choice, it gives me options. And for a girl who used to have little options- that is a delicious feeling.