As soon as I read Fighting for Flight I knew I had to interview J.B Salsbury! I was surprised to find out that it’s her debut novel AND I’m the first to interview her so I’m even more excited 🙂 She’s also giving away two e-copies of Fighting for Flight! Read my review HERE, then check out how to win a copy at the end of the post.
Jessy: Hi J.B! Welcome to Jessy’s Book Club! Tell us a bit about yourself.
J.B: Hi, Jessy! Thanks for having me.
I’m a wife and the mother of two little girls. I’m a complete dork. I’m pretty sure I embarrass myself often. I absolutely love to read, and romance is my obsession. But other than that, I spend most my days doing all the wonderful things that keep us stay-at-home moms busy.
Jessy: Fighting for Flight is such a stunning debut! Have you written anything that readers never got to see or is this your first ever attempt?
J.B: I’m absolutely floored at the response to Fighting for Flight. I had no idea it would do so well. I told a friend of mine that if I sold six copies, to six people I didn’t know, I’d be happy with that. So this is beyond my wildest dreams.
Yes, this is my first attempt at writing anything. I did study journalism as part of my Media Communications degree, but that was years ago. I self published FFF with the hopes that it would be good enough to deserve a second chance. So again, the success of the book is mind blowing.
Jessy: The community for these kinds of books is definitely like no other. One person picks up a good book and it spreads like wildfire! So what inspired you to write Fighting for Flight?
J.B: I was reading romance obsessively and noticed that there were plenty of sports themed romance novels, but not a lot that covered Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). My husband and I enjoy watching UFC fights and those guys are as tough and badass as they get. I talked to a friend of mine on Facebook, Jenny Aspinall, and she said, “If there’s a story out there you want to read that hasn’t been written, write it.” So I did.
Raven came to me first, fully formed from her troubled childhood and parents up to where the book begins. And Jonah came shortly after. I just set up their meeting, and they took it from there. I never plotted the story out, but rather let the characters dictate where the story went. I had big plans for Raven and Jonah’s first time. But as I was writing they started getting to it. I remember talking to my computer screen saying, “No! Put your clothes back on!! I had big plans for this moment to happen later in the book. Ugh! Come on, you two! Stop doing that—darnit. Too late.” My characters don’t listen to me. They really do have minds of their own. I guess I should have added that besides being a dork, I’m also half crazy.
Jessy: LOL! I love it! And, I loved your characters! How much of yourself did you put into Raven’s character?
J.B: Ahh, Raven. Yes, hmm. That’s a tough question. Her obsession with Victoria’s Secret is all me. I’ve struggled with anxiety and insecurity, but I think that’s true of most women. There is a lot about Raven that I wish I had. Her ability to smile in tough situations. Her strength and independence. I think that’s what I love about her the most. You’d think in her circumstances that she’d be weak and pitiful, but somewhere in there she finds this incredible strength and I find that so beautiful. There was a point in the book where Raven was crying. I remember writing it and rolling my eyes thinking “Man, this girl has cried way too much. I’m getting sick of it!” Real nice, right? But even with her pain and her tears, she never came across as wimpy and weak. She had this inner stability in the midst of utter chaos. *sigh* I love that about her. I don’t know if I’m like that, but I sure hope I am.
Jessy: What would you say is your favorite scene in the book?
J.B: Psht! This is impossible for me to answer. I love so many scenes in the book. For me, any scene with Blake and Jonah always had me smiling. Those two together were hilarious. And you’ll see more of them in Blake’s book too. Obviously the tender scenes with Raven and Jonah I love too. When they open up and share pieces of their pasts with each other. Their heart to heart moments will always stand out to me. And, this may come as a shock, but I actually enjoyed writing scenes with Dominick.(half crazy, remember?) He was such a nasty villain and again, because he came to me fully formed, I knew his backstory from the get-go, so I understood why he was the way he was which gave me some compassion for him. It’s hard to choose just one. But I will say that I had to cut two of my favorite scenes. Maybe I’ll share those down the road sometime.
Jessy: Ooh I love deleted scenes! And gun to my head? I would have to say their first time together. God that was beautiful!
Music is a big part of the book (and I enjoyed your selection immensely!) What were your reasons for infusing music into the book?
J.B: I’m so inspired by music. I can’t tell you how many times I’d be driving to pick up my kids from school or run errands and a song would come on the radio and I’d immediately think of Jonah and Raven. The last part of Jay-Z’s Niggas in Paris. The first time I heard that I could ‘see’ Jonah making his grand entrance into the octagon on title fight night. The oldies that I love I associated with Raven right away. She’s so different from other girls, her backpack and non-designer clothes (well, except for her lingerie), and her obsession with old cars, the old Motown and oldies just seemed to fit her perfectly. There isn’t a single genre of music I don’t like so I loved mixing it up in the book.
Blake’s book has strong musical influences as well. I’m excited to see what you think of his playlist. I already have a handful of songs that are so him.
But ultimately the music makes it into the book because I like the idea of the reader having a multi-sensory experience. Reading and living the book in their heads, and listening to the songs that go with certain scenes help to bring the story to life. And I love to relive a great story through music, so that’s pretty cool too.
Jessy: I definitely loved the addition of Halo. Like I said in my review, no other song is more fitting! Do you write in complete silence or does any particular music get your creative juices flowing?
J.B: It depends. Sometimes the words don’t come easily. The characters take a vacation and I’m left staring at the computer screen, forcing the words out. In those situations I hit Pandora and the music seems to bring those little buggers back to life. Other times, I’m so deep in a moment or so taken over by the situation that silence is best.
But any and all music gets my creative juices flowing. When writing from Jonah’s POV it was almost always gangster rap or metal. Raven was oldies, Motown, and R&B.
Jessy: I found Blake hilarious! I can’t wait for his book… How many books do you intend to have in this series?
J.B: The lineup as it stands is Blake then Rex. I’d like to do a book on Killian (all grown up, of course), I planned on Caleb but he’s snoring and not screaming for his story to be written yet. In Blake’s book you’ll meet a few members of Rex’s band, Talon and a few others. I may do a spin off Rockstar series on them, but not sure. I’m also introducing a new fighter in Blake’s book named Mason. He may get a book too.
I find Blake completely hilarious. I think everyone has an inner Blake. It’s that part of you that dances on table tops after a couple beers, or the one that wants to say “That’s what she said” when someone unknowingly makes a comment that sounds like something sexual. Or even the part of you that wishes so badly you could just say what you want to say without caring what everyone around you is going to think. That is your inner Blake.
Jessy: There’s a quote from Blake I was dying to add in my review, so hilarious! But eventually thought I’ll have plenty of those in his book instead 🙂 Any plans of venturing into other genres?
J.B: I have wondered if I could write paranormal. My guess is no. I have a very good friend who writes it and the stuff she comes up with is amazing. I don’t think my brain works that way. I’m sure you can tell by my love scenes that erotica is out of the question. I’m a total prude. But I do love the darker side of romance. I have no idea where things will lead. Like I said earlier, I was just hoping to sell a few copies to people I didn’t know. My ultimate dream was to make enough money to buy myself a laptop so I could write anywhere. This has been such an incredible experience and at this point, I’m up for wherever it takes me.
Jessy: I’m not so sure about erotica being out 😉 Thank you so much for joining us and sharing this story with us!
J.B: No, thank you! And thank you to all the people who took a chance on a new writer. I appreciate your support and I’m seriously feelin’ the love. Xx JB
Two e-copies of Fighting for Flight are up for grabs!
The giveaway is open internationally. All you have to do is leave a comment below. Since I’m always looking for recommendations, tell me the best book you’ve read this year. While you’re at it, head over to Jessy’s Book Club on Facebook and like the page
Giveaway closes on Friday 8 March 2013 at 17:00 EST.