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We're so happy to congratulate our classmate DENISE JADEN on the publication of her debut YA, LOSING FAITH.  Denise's writing has appeared in Mississippi Crow Magazine, The Greensilk Journal, where her story LOCKED AWAY won an Editor's Choice Award, and the Tidepool Fiction Ezine.  Her novels have received various awards through Romance Writers of America.  And now (drum roll please) ....her first novel for teens, LOSING FAITH has just been released from Simon Pulse/Simon and Schuster!  

Denise lives just outside of Vancouver with her husband and seven-year old son. 

Congratulations Denise, on the publication of LOSING FAITH.  We know you're very busy and have tons of upcoming appearances so we're happy you could take a little time to talk about your book.

Interestingly, you were a Polynesian dancer before becoming a writer. Those are two very different forms of artistic expression. Do you find any parallels between them?

I find that engaging in any kind of creative outlet really helps keep me balanced. I get grumpy and irritable if I'm not creating something for days on end.  I like that dancing is a bit more physical, and I still do spend a fair amount of time at that, but I also love the new expressions and inner-workings of my brain that I find through writing. 

LOSING FAITH concerns the death of a sibling.  Do you think your readers who may have experienced a similar situation will find your book helpful?  
I think all people grieve differently and Brie's journey likely won't be the same as anyone else's. But I do hope a reader could follow Brie's journey and see that it's okay to take your own route.  It's okay to disengage for a while if you need to, or to focus on something else, or to just cry your eyes out if that's what you need to get through it.  

What books did you love when you were a teenager and what drew you to writing in the Young Adult genre? 

I didn't love books as a teenager, in fact, I did everythign I could to avoid them!  Of course that has changed, and now some of my favorite authors are Sarra Manning and Laurie Halse Anderson.  

When I first began, I attempted writing a novel for the mainstream adult genre. My protagonist was a thirty-year old man.  But when I sent it to critique partners, many of them came back to me telling me it felt like a teen novel to them. I should have just taken the hint then, but it took me a little longer to pen my first YA novel and realize how right that felt. 

Any plans to take your protagonist Brie's journey further? 

This November, during NaNoWriMo (www.nanowrimo.org) I plan to write a companion novel to LOSING FAITH. It is still untitled, but this book will be telling more of Tessa's story.  I hope to have Brie and Alis make a few appearances throughout though. 

Okay now.  You've clearly kept in fantastic shape. How on earth do you home-school your child, as you do, and find time to work out regularly, and write and promote your book too!?  What's your secret?  Tell us everything!

Multi-tasking LOL. Actually, I would say that most of the time, I don't do any of it justice, but I'm just not willing to let go in any one area.  I homeschool first thing in the morning (if I don't, I forget!) then, head to the gym.  Our gym has a wonderful play area that my son loves. It gives us a break from each other, which is sometimes needed after homeschool.  At the gym, I read and critique writing from my critique partners between sets.  Then, back at home we have what is called "creative time".  It used to be nap time, then it was quiet time, but I figure since I'm using that time for writing—creating something—my son should too.  Sometimes he builds something out of Lego, or draws, or paints, but it's an hour just for quiet working.  

Other than that very loose schedule, I have no secrets. But if you have any, PLEASE pass them along. 

Well congratulations on everything Denise. And best of luck to you and LOSING FAITH. 


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 22nd, 2010 01:48 am (UTC)
Best of luck to Denise! I can't wait to read LOSING FAITH.
Oct. 22nd, 2010 03:15 pm (UTC)
Keep the interviews coming, Rhonda. And who will interview you? I definitely want to read that.
Jean Blasiar
Oct. 22nd, 2010 03:40 pm (UTC)
I really agreed with this quote:

"I find that engaging in any kind of creative outlet really helps keep me balanced."

Congrats, Denise!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )