Please give a warm welcome to the awesome Jolene Ballard Gutierrez, author of Devil.May.Care!
Hi, I’m Jolene Ballard Gutierrez! I’m so happy to be here! (Does the robot dance. Silence ensues, so she blushes and quickly moves on to the interview.)
3LB: Who or what inspired you to write? Do you have any role models, whether in writing or life in general?
My mom inspired my love of books by reading with me and surrounding me with books from the time I was a baby, and my love of writing grew from that. I had a second grade teacher, Mr. Boettcher, who offered to “publish” any books that his students wrote. That year, I spent hours writing my stories by hand and Mr. Boettcher spent hours typing my books up on his typewriter. My role models have always been people who connect others with things they love to do and help celebrate their gifts.
Angel falls for demon. Yikes.
3LB: Do you have anything that you need to have around you when you write, such as a specific playlist/radio station in the background, coffee, a desk in a quiet room?
Music distracts me because I find myself singing to it, so I don’t write to music. I love a quiet desk for writing, but I try to make use of any blocks of time I have. I generally carry my notebook around and write whenever I have a few minutes.
3LB: What’s the hardest part of the writing process?
Making myself do it. When I’m stuck or doing revisions, it’s easy to pop over to my email or to Facebook and lose time there.
3LB: What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?
Being a selfish mom. I think that women in our society have a lot of pressures on them, and as a mom who works full-time outside of the house, I definitely feel that, too. At some point after having my kids, I looked at myself and realized I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted any more. . .between the diaper changes and late-night feedings and struggles to get through each day, I’d lost myself. That’s when I started setting aside time most days to write, and it felt so good that I decided then that I didn’t want my kids to see me sacrificing everything for them. As my kids have grown (they’re ages 11 and 8 now), I’ve made a point to do things for me--things that nurture my soul like writing does, because I’m a better mom and better person when I take care of myself first.
I’m writing a sequel to Devil.May.Care and recently finished a middle grade multicultural novel. I’m also working on a few picture books. I’m having a lot of fun exploring genres!
3LB: What are you reading now?
I’m just finishing up Graveminder by Melissa Marr and am enjoying it! Because I’m a school librarian for a K-12 school, I should read all levels and genres, but I’ve always been drawn to paranormal and horror genres.
3LB: Time travel: Future or past? And where and when would you go to?
Past, definitely. If Atlantis existed, I’d go there. If it didn’t, I’d like to travel back in time to some place where mysterious, huge monuments were built, like Chichen Itza, Stonehenge, or the pyramids of Giza. I really want to know how the ancients worked with large stones like those.
3LB: Do you have a favorite mythical creature?
Unicorns, as long as non-virgins can touch them, ‘cuz I wanna ride one. If unicorns are untouchable for me, then I’m going for a Pegasus flight.
3LB: Tell us five interesting things about yourself.
1. I totaled two cars the first year after getting my driver’s license. My kids may not get their licenses until they’re 18.
2. I grew up riding horses and really wish I owned one now.
3. They have a mind of their own, so I’ve never wrecked a horse.
4. I don’t have a middle name and I’ve always wished for one.
5. If I enjoyed math and were better at science, I would’ve become an archaeologist.I love essential oils and learning about the beneficial properties plants have. Unfortunately, I kill most plants I try to grow.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I’m worrying that my answer to the time travel question was weird. Does anyone else wonder how all of those amazing stone monuments and monoliths were created or is it just me? ;)
Thank you, Jolene! For more information about Ms. Gutierrez, please visit:
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Thanks to Jolene Ballard Gutierrez for her generosity in providing this prize!