Friday 9 March 2012

Blog Tour-- Otherwise by Jennifer White: Review, Author Interview & more!!

Hey Everyone! Today the Otherwise blog tour is taking a pit stop at Dark Readers! I was given the opportunity to interview Jennifer White, and let's just says she's a riot! We had a lovely conversation, and a great interview about her newest book Otherwise, so be sure to check out our Interview below! Click on the Otherwise picture to go to Amazon to order the book, and Jennifer's picture which will send you to her site! Thanks  ~Dark Readers

Title: Otherwise
Author: Jennifer B. White
Publisher: OakBluffs Press
Date Published: December 2011

Summary: Reluctantly, Delilah Gray has returned to her childhood home—a ramshackle cottage where her compulsive, hoarding grandmother, Meema, raised her. Meema’s ghostly manifestations refuse to let Delilah clean the filthy house, or to stay there peacefully. And that’s just the beginning of Delilah’s problems.  

When Delilah discovers that she is connected to Lily Defoe, a woman who leapt to her death many years ago, and to a man who refers to himself as The Gravedigger for Lost Souls, she realizes there is more to her homecoming than she anticipated. Who she is, and who she’s been, crosses the boundaries of life and death. Nothing—not the people she meets, not this very moment in time, not even the tragic death of her daughter—is what it appears to be. Not only does Delilah have her own “soul searching” to do, but she must work with some of Green Lake’s oddest characters to uncover the mysteries of several unsolved deaths that have never been forgotten.

While strange and supernatural occurrences threaten Delilah’s already fragile emotional state, she still has a crucial choice to make that will change everything. She comes to understand that there are some things that are worse than death. There is Otherwise—to be confined to a twilight state between the spiritual and the physical worlds. 

Review: Otherwise is a very intriguing novel! After reading the synopsis I knew it was a plot that I needed to discover more about, but that the same time I was nervous. Suspense, spirits, and ghosts aren't usually something I tend to read about because I get spooked too easily so I shy away. But I wanted to know why it was that Delilah a young woman had come back to her grandmothers home after several years to a somewhat desolate and quite town. There had to be a reason other and I needed to know :-) 

The author, Jennifer White, does a fantastic job with describing the setting and mood of this town. When I read Otherwise, I not only felt like I was in the position to be the main character, Delilah but I was also felt as though I was being surrounded by the spirits from the past that were effecting her lifestyle as well. The feelings and the experiences were all there, and I loved that! 

The emotions that I felt throughout this book varied as the plot unraveled... there was never one emotion that I felt for an extended period of time. But my emotions reflected the character's for the most part- which I believe goes to saying how well Jennifer writes with visual and descriptive detail to give her readers a full sense of the setting and character!

One thing that I noticed that I'd say separates Otherwise from many books that are out there today is that it fit perfectly together like a puzzle; we gradually see the story come full circle. There were drastic plot changes that left me constantly on my toes, wondering why? how? what what going to happen? But I can also see that some people could read Otherwise and think that these sections of the book are "plot holes"-- that isn't the case-- the story comes together so so beautifully, and yes bits and pieces are even shocking! You just need a little patience ;-) I loved that with Otherwise there was a constant energy flow throughout the entire book and even though we may not have know every little detail (yet!), that was the whole fun in reading! 

I really enjoyed reading Otherwise! If you are looking for a good dose of supernatural, mysterious read with wonderful upbeat and spunky characters like Delilah and Shane, I believe this is your book! 

Author Interview with Jennifer White!! 

Dark Readers:    What are some things, other than reading and writing, that you enjoy doing in you free time?

Jennifer White: I have wide, eclectic interests in the arts. Along with writing, I like to express my creativity through cooking, gardening, playing piano, interior design, photography, painting and sketching.  When I’m not inside writing, I spend as much time outdoors as I can. I live on a pond, so I enjoy that a lot. One of my biggest guilty pleasures is watching movies. I’m a big movie buff, so I watch at least one movie a day. 

DR:    Were you influenced by any writers growing up?

JW: Definitely! Stephen King was an early influence on me. Piers Anthony, as well—I liked stories with elves and centaurs!  Of course, I think Piers Anthony was a precursor to J.K. Rowling. His books were about two worlds, Xanth and Mundania, not unlike Rowling’s books where Harry Potter goes from Hogwarts Castle back to an ordinary world where Muggles live. I think there’s a lot of people who enjoy that kind of alternate reality in stories, like Katherine Paterson’s Bridge to Terabithia and C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia.

DR:     What were some of your “inspirations,” if any, for Otherwise?

JW: The two main characters, Delilah and Shane, and their specific story, ran through my head for years. When I finally went to write it, it came pretty easily—probably because I’d spent so much time thinking about it.  Some of the auxiliary characters came from real life—specifically many of the senior citizens. I’ve had a lot of strange things happen to me; a lot of supernatural events that prompted me to want to write this genre. 

DR: Otherwise has an eerie feel to it. I felt suspense and tension from the spirits that were constantly “haunting” everyone.  Did you have to be in a certain place, a mindset, you got into in order to write something like that? 

JW: Often when I’m writing I feel like I’m an observer—I’m watching and listening while I’m transcribing events. I’m just as fascinated by my characters, and what’s happening to them, as my readers are. As the tension turns up, and as spooky things begin to happen, they’re happening to me right along with the reader. 

Sometimes to get into a certain mindset, I use music. The tone of the music will match the attitude of whatever I’m working on, either a timeframe or a mood. For instance, I’ll listen to the Beatles, Queen, or the Rolling Stones, if my characters are in the 1960s or 1970s. If things turn poignant, I might listen to new age like Enya. I do the same thing when I’m writing movie taglines. 

DR:  I loved the fact that there were certain turns in this book that I didn’t see coming. It seemed to fit so well together—just like a puzzle. Are you more of a planner? Or a pantser?  

JW: All my stories are well-plotted, but since they’re all unique, I tend to take a different approach with each one. So, I guess that makes me both a planner and a pantser! There have been some books and movie scripts I’ve plotted from the beginning to the end before I wrote them, and others I’ve jumped into, starting with just a basic idea of where I was going.
With every story, I do a lot of research. When I’m done writing, I spend a lot of time editing and proofing. No matter what path I take at the beginning, I always make sure the story is tight, with no holes, so that everything wraps up nicely at the end. I typically have timelines, plot points and character sheets to refer back to.  

DR: Book to Movie: Just for fun, for the Main Characters, did you picture anyone famous who you may want to play these characters if they were to be on screen? 

JW: Delilah is feisty. I could see Emma Stone playing her. I dig her! Maybe Ryan Gosling for Shane because, well, he’s hot! I could see Shirley Maclaine playing Winnie.

DR: Otherwise deals with being in-between life and death, but not necessarily ghosts. Do you have any personal experiences you’d like to share that had to do with say ghosts or spirits, or anything like that?

JW: That premise—being in between life and death—came out of a personal experience when my father was dying. I had a newborn son and my father was a good 1 ½ hours away from me. I went to see him every day. But, I was exhausted. One day, I decided to take a break, get some rest, and stay home. Suddenly, I smelled this strong burning odor in my house—but it wasn’t something on fire, it was incense. I ran upstairs where my son was in his basinet, and that’s where the strongest smell of incense was coming from. I called my mom and asked her if she was burning incense in the room where my father was lying in a bed, and she said yes. I said, “He’s dying! I’ll be right there!”
My father died about an hour after I got to him, so I was able to say goodbye.
I believe, when you die, whatever experience, whatever love you have, goes with you. You go to a place that’s as personal to you as your life was. That’s the message I got out of my experience with my father, and that interpretation went into the book, Otherwise

DR:  And lastly, are you currently working on any new novels? And if so can you give us a little teaser into what that’s about?

JW: I have plans for sequels for my novels, Otherwise and Dead Asleep. I keep folders for each novel, and I pick away at the plots every now and then. I’ve just finished editing my book, Hummus for the Holidays. The movie script to the book is with Participant Media, the film company that produced the Oscar nominated movie, The Help. 

I have a YA/Crossover I’m working on as well. It’s called Ratty Snickels, and it’s a fun ride—a melting pot of Hunger Games, Bridge to Terabithia, Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter. I enjoy writing what I love to read. Things that make you speculate and wonder are always interesting to me. I like to ask myself the question, “What if?” As a writer, if you aren’t jazzed by what you’re writing, a reader won’t be jazzed by what you’ve written. That’s why I’m a pretty happy writer!


Anonymous said...

Otherwise sounds amazing - I love the idea of being between life and death. Fab interview too :D

Anonymous said...

ohhh i need to read this boooook

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